Pediatric Series 

These selected webinars aim to support contemporary practice in pediatric neuropsychology and will be useful to both early career and experienced clinicians. The series includes webinars focusing on common practice issues such as assessment and diagnosis of specific learning disorders, use of performance validity measures in the neuropsychological assessment of youth, and executive function assessment strategies and interventions. The series also includes webinars that address neuropsychological assessment, differential diagnosis and treatment of special populations such as pediatric mild traumatic brain injury/concussion and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

1.5 CE Credits

Presented by:
Robin L. Peterson, PhD, ABPP/CN
Pediatric Neuropsychologist
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Children’s Hospital Colorado

This workshop will begin with a brief overview of current scientific knowledge about learning disabilities (LDs) impacting reading, writing, and mathematics, including their etiology, brain bases, neuropsychology, and cross-cultural manifestations. We will review the evidence bearing on various diagnostic models, including age discrepancy, IQ discrepancy, patterns of strengths and weaknesses, and response to intervention.  The remainder of the workshop will focus on the implications of this scientific background for individual diagnosis and treatment planning. We will explore common diagnostic quandaries in LD assessment related to severity, specificity, base rates, and etiology and will briefly discuss evidence-based interventions for LDs.

After the webinar, participants will be able to: 
1. Discuss pros and cons of diagnostic models of learning disabilities (LDs), including age discrepancy, IQ discrepancy, patterns of strengths and weaknesses, and response to intervention.
2. Identify universals and cultural constraints in the manifestation of LDs across countries/languages as well as for different demographic groups within this country.
3. Describe the challenges of applying categorical diagnosis to a continuum of academic skill and discuss the implications for cases falling in the “gray area.”

Target Audience: Clinical neuropsychologists and neuropsychology trainees
Instructional Level: Introductory

Dr. Robin L. Peterson is a pediatric neuropsychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She received a doctorate in child clinical psychology from the University of Denver and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology from the University of Denver and Children’s Hospital Colorado. She previously worked as director of the Developmental Neuropsychology Clinic at the University of Denver. She is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology and Pediatric Clinical Neuropsychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology.  She has clinical and research interests in neurodevelopmental disorders and pediatric traumatic brain injury. She is currently a co-Investigator for the Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. She is an author on over 20 peer-reviewed publications, multiple book chapters, and the book Diagnosing Learning Disorders: From Science to Practice (3rd Edition) which was published by Guilford Press earlier this year.  She recently served as invited chair for a symposium titled Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Reading Disabilities at the annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society. Before studying to be a psychologist, she taught kindergarten and first grade, which sparked her interest in understanding how all children learn to read. She remains active in teaching and training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

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Clinical Issues in ASD for the Neuropsychologist

1.5 CE Credits

Presented by:
Deborah Fein, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Psychology
University of Connecticut

This course will address some of the current issues that clinical neuropsychologists face when assessing individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  We will discuss some of the difficulties applying the DSM-5 criteria to various subgroups of ASD, as well as related difficulties in communicating about diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options with parents. We will then discuss key areas to consider in completing neuropsychological assessment with school aged and adolescent individuals with ASD, including common medical and psychological comorbidities that may require referrals. We will consider possible outcomes, and discuss the early predictors of various probable outcomes. While not covering the broad topic of imaging in-depth, we will consider one imaging study and its implications for change within individuals with ASD.  While evidence-based treatment for ASD comprises a very large body of literature, we will discuss several new therapies and some challenges with providing COVID-constrained therapy. We will briefly discuss the neurodiversity movement, with its disapproval of therapy aimed at reducing ASD symptoms. 

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Identify current issues that clinical neuropsychologists face when assessing individuals with ASD. 
2. Discuss several new therapies and some challenges with providing COVID-constrained therapy.
3. Discuss the neurodiversity movement, with its disapproval of therapy aimed at reducing ASD symptoms.

Target Audience: Clinical Neuropsychologists

Instructional Level:
Introductory to Intermediate

Deborah Fein is a clinical neuropsychologist who has been doing autism research for 40 years, at Boston University School of Medicine and, for the last 30 years, at the University of Connecticut. She is currently Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological Research and the Department of Pediatrics. Her research has been supported by several NIH institutes, by the March of Dimes, Maternal Child and Health Bureau, and the National Association for Autism Research. She has investigated numerous areas in autism, including peptide abnormalities, brainstem evoked potentials, language and memory, estimating and other cognitive skills, sensory abnormalities, early detection, theoretical issues concerning diagnosis, and outcomes in autism. She is the author of a recent book for teachers, “Autism in Your Classroom” and is the co-author of the widely used “Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers”, as well as a book for parents, “Activity Kit for Babies and Toddlers at Risk”. She served on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Clinical Neuropsychology, on the Science Advisory Board of Autism Speaks, as Associate Editor of the journal Neuropsychology, and was Secretary of the International Society for Autism Research.

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed

1.0 CE Credit


Presented by:
Sarah N. Mattson Weller
Professor, Department of Psychology
San Diego State University

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) affect as many as 5% of the population, making it one of the most common developmental disorders. However, many affected individuals remain unidentified. In one study of youth in foster or adoptive care, only 13.5% of youth diagnosed with an FASD were previously identified; 6.4% were previously misdiagnosed, and 80.1% had not been previously identified. Reasons for low rates of accurate diagnosis include multiple diagnostic schema and changes to diagnoses, traditional reliance on physical features, professional reluctance, and social stigma. This webinar will define and describe fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, summarize neuropsychological features of the disorder, discuss progress towards developing a neurobehavioral profile that is both sensitive and specific, and present a newly developed tool for identifying youth affected by prenatal alcohol exposure.

 After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Define common diagnostic features of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
2. Describe the neurobehavioral profile of youth with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
3. Discuss the overlap between FASD and ADHD.
4. Identify youth affected by prenatal alcohol exposure using commonly available tools.

Target Audience: Professionals in fields that see children and adolescents, primarily including psychologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, general practitioners, family medicine physicians, nurses, and pediatricians.
Instructional Level: Introductory to Intermediate

Dr. Mattson is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in neuropsychology and behavioral teratology. She received her Ph.D. from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and is a professor in the psychology department at San Diego State University. She is also the Director of Clinical Research for the SDSU Center for Behavioral Teratology, a campus-wide center focused on the brain and behavioral effects of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and other developmental disorders and Co-Director of the SDSU Center for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN), a cross-disciplinary program bridging the department of Psychology with the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Her research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders has been continuously funded by the National institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. She has served on the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and was awarded the 2018 Henry Rosett Award for Outstanding Contributions to the FASD field from the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Study Group of the Research Society on Alcoholism.

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Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Neuropsychological Perspective

1.5 CE Credit

Presented by:
David Baker, Psy.D, ABPP-CN
Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussion, is an increasingly common diagnosis that neuropsychologists encounter in their clinical practice. In fact, the assessment and management of youth mTBI or concussion is uniquely suited for neuropsychologists. This webinar will explore numerous aspects of pediatric mTBI, from injury to recovery, by examining the most current research and best practices in assessing and managing this common yet often misunderstood condition.  Through careful exploration of the current literature on youth mTBI, discussion of best practices, and presentation of select case examples, the audience will gain a better understanding of this condition with the ultimate goal of improving pediatric mTBI outcomes.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Recognize the expected natural clinical course of concussion and list what factors can complicate recovery. 
2. Define the expected neurocognitive deficits following a concussion and their expected course.
3. Distinguish between outdated and current evidence-based concussion management techniques.
4. Evaluate their own concussion knowledge and practices and how they align with current research and evidence-based practices.

Target Audience: Clinical neuropsychologists who evaluate children, adolescents, or young adults
Instructional Level: Beginner to intermediate

David Baker, Psy.D, ABPP-CN is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and serves as a Pediatric Neuropsychologist in the Rehabilitation Psychology Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Dr. Baker is involved in the supervision and training of externs, interns, and postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Baker has specific interest and expertise in traumatic brain injury- more specifically, concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in children and teens. He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters related to mild TBI and performance validity assessment. Along with seeing hundreds of concussion patients each year, he also routinely conducts evaluations on children with various other neurodevelopmental conditions, as well as serving as an expert for medico-legal evaluations.

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