Rachel Loftin

Biography

Rachel Loftin

Dr. Loftin is clinical director for the AARTS Center. She is on faculty in the psychiatry departments at both Rush University Medical Center and the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Loftin specializes in evaluations, consultation and interventions for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other social challenges. She has an extensive background in educational, behavioral and social intervention approaches for individuals with ASD and related conditions. Dr. Loftin received her Ph.D. from Indiana University and completed pre- and postdoctoral child psychology training at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Loftin previously worked in private practice and held a faculty position at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At Yale and UIC, she was involved with several major research studies of ASD. Dr. Loftin consults in criminal and educational legal cases involving people with ASD. Her current research interests include sexuality education for young adults with ASD and training for general  medical providers to treat adults with ASD.

Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Adults with ASD

Abstract

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often require specialized clinical care. There are a number of challenges facing young adults with ASD who are transitioning to adulthood. The transition out of the educational system and into adult services, the onset of psychiatric comorbidities, and increasing demands on adaptive functioning are only three of the many hurdles this population may face. During transition to adulthood, families of young people with ASD often seek support from medical professionals. However, many clinicians are not knowledgeable about ASD-specific needs, and practitioners with ASD-specific training are rare. To further complicate the situation, those clinicians who do specialize in ASD tend to focus on childhood and may not have expertise in identifying and treating adults. This practical workshop will provide an overview of the most common issues adults with ASD face, guidelines on assessment, and recommendations for treatment. Attendees will better understand how to identify and treat problems such as psychiatric comorbidities, vocational options, independent living, sexuality, and other adult-specific issues.

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