Seminar: Working with the Autistic Client


Working with the Autistic Client

Saturday, November 4, 2017
9am – 4pm
Autistry Studios,
448 Du Bois, San Rafael, CA
(415) 454-1037

6 CE credits

Autism/Aspergers is a hot topic these days and more and more ASD teens and adults are coming into therapy. Janet Lawson, LMFT and Sara Gardner, LMFT invite you to a seminar on the challenges and rewards of working with autistic clients. We will cover some basic facts and myths about autism, discuss assessment, what to look for when taking a personal and family history, when to encourage testing, and when to refer for other services.

We will present case studies illustrating how autism can complicate treatment and the importance of parsing out what is an organic autistic perspective and what is a learned or family-of-origin perspective (bit of the old nature vs nurture argument!). Prodromal schizophrenia and bipolar disorders share many observed symptoms with autism. As do several of the personality disorders such as borderline, schizotypal, avoidant, and antisocial. Treatment strategies differ dramatically so making the best diagnostic model of your client can be crucial. We will look closely at differential diagnosis to help understand what is autism as opposed to other issues which can be present.

Special guest, Dan Swearingen will talk about his experience as an adult on the spectrum – the struggles he has had and the help he has received from therapists.

We will also touch briefly on Project-Based Therapy (PBT), the modality that we are creating at Autistry. We will offer other workshops focused on PBT later in the year.

Specific Learning Objectives
This course is intended for professionals who are working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or who are considering working with this population. It is also appropriate for physical and mental health professionals who are working with the general population and would like to have more information about ASD in order to make appropriate referrals for assessment.

Attendees will receive training in the differential diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Attendees will receive information and training to help discern when working with an ASD client is within their scope of competence, when they should seek consultation, and when they should make referrals.

Working with the Autistic Client
6 CE credits

Pre-licensed (no CE certification): $80
Clinical/Associate (LMFT, LCSW, LPCC and LEP CE certification): $100
Psychologist/RNs (CE certification): $110


Online payment – please select attendee category from dropdown list and add to cart:

Attendee/Certification Type




Janet Lawson, LMFT, the CEO/Founder of Autistry Studios, is a Marriage and Family Therapist and has worked with adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder for over 15 years. She has a Masters in Library and Information Science (Indiana University) and an MS in Counseling Psychology (Dominican University). She worked for several years in the film industry and was a Producing Fellow at the American Film Institute. Janet founded and developed Autistry Studios and Project-Based Therapy in response to her clinical experience working with the ASD population and her personal life-experience as the mother of an autistic child.

Sara Gardner, LMFT,is the Clinical Director at Autistry Studios. She manages intakes and works with clients and families individually, and in Project-Based therapy group workshops. Sara has an MS in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University, and a BA in Child Development from Mills College. She has worked with ASD individuals of all ages, including young children and older adults. Before pursuing her MFT licensure, she worked with the ASD population in various educational and community-based settings and volunteered at the UCSF Autism Clinic.

CE APPROVALS: This course meets the qualifications for 6 hours of Continuing Education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs, as required by the California Board of Behavioral Science. Autistry Studios is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CEP #136769) to provide continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, and LEPs. Autistry Studios maintains responsibility for this program and its content. For questions about LMFT/LCSW/LEP/LPCC CE accreditations please contact the Autistry Studios Clinical Director.

CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. SCRC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SCRC maintains responsibility for the program and its content. SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association. For questions about CE, visit Spiritual Competency Resource Center or contact David Lukoff, Ph.D.

CANCELLATION POLICY: No refunds. The amount paid can be applied toward a future workshop within 12 months. Registrations are not transferable. Autistry Studios Continuing Education Workshops welcome people who have disabilities. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs at sara@autistry.com. Grievances should be presented in writing and will be responded to within 48 hours and acted upon within 2 weeks.