Mental health difficulties commonly present in school-age children and adolescents with autism
In this session, we will define autism spectrum disorder (ASD), provide an explanation of psychiatric comorbidity in ASD, as well as review non-pharmacological interventions and psychotropic drugs used in ASD.
ABOUT Dr. Lukas Propper
Dr. Lukas Propper, MD, FRCPC serves as an associate professor and director of education at the Dalhousie Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and as a staff psychiatrist at the IWK Department of Psychiatry in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with an expertise in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, developmental psychopathology and paediatric psychopharmacology who joined Dalhousie University after finishing his Fulbright Scholarship at Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Propper is a long-standing collaborator on a genetic study of offspring of bipolar parents with Dr. Alda and a study regarding opportunities for very early intervention in youth at high risk for severe mental illness with Dr. Uher (the FORBOW project). His most recent research has focused on disruptive mood dysregulation disorder in offspring of parents with major mood disorders and his collaboration on high risk studies resulted in recent original publications in Bipolar Disorders, Pediatrics and British Journal of Psychiatry.
ABOUT Derrick MacLean
Derrick MacLean is a Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) Specialist with the IWK Health Centre’s Autism Specific Care Team. Derrick holds a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Sociology from Saint Francis Xavier University and will be graduating this fall with a Master’s of Science in Special Education (High Incidence Disabilities) from Fort Hays State University. For the past 15 years, Derrick has been a part of the IWK’s Mental Health and Addictions programs serving in roles such as case manager, in-home support worker, team leader and operations manager. For the last few years, Derrick has focused his work in supporting children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in overcoming impairing behavioral issues, building new skills and improving functioning at home, in the community and at school.
ABOUT Lindsay McKenna
Lindsay McKenna is a Clinical Autism Social Worker at the IWK Health Centre. She works in pre-school, school age and mental health services with children and adolescents with the diagnosis of Autism as well as dual diagnosis’. Lindsay provides therapeutic intervention to patients and families along with being a school liaison and case management provider. Lindsay also works with diagnostics and the EIBI team and many other organizations throughout the province in terms of advocacy, financial assistance and resource counselling.
ABOUT Victoria Fry
Victoria Fry is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Occupational Therapy program and also holds a Bachelor of Science with a double major in biology and psychology. For the past 11 years, she has worked primarily in pediatrics with a focus on autism in both private and public sectors. In 2010, she joined the IWK Health Centre and worked as a clinical interventionist for the Early Intensive Behavior Intervention program then moved into the autism team leader role at the IWK. For the last several years, Ms. Fry has been practicing as a preschool occupational therapist at the IWK, seeing children with a variety of diagnoses but mainly autism. Her primary passions are toilet training, understanding behavior and positive behavior supports, patient and family centered care and coaching adults to support the children they love and work with. She lives in Halifax with her fiancé and their mini golden doodle, Banjo.