6th Annual Conference

Answers to Your Autism and ADHD Questions:

A Conference for Caregivers and Professionals Looking to Learn More

All talks in this year’s conference will be done through Zoom Events!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

8:00AM – 2:00PM Pacific Time

8:15-8:30 am


8:30-9:50 am 

KEYNOTE: Emotion Dysregulation in Autism-Identification and Treatment

10:00 am – 10:50 am

Session 1A: Behavioral Approaches to Improving Sleep

Session 1B: Language Development Throughout Childhood and Adolescence

11:00 am – 11:50 am

Session 2A: Medications commonly used in the treatment of ADHD and ASD

Session 2B: Model of Co-occurring Care for children with ASD (Pre-recorded workshop)

12:00 pm – 12:50 pm

Session 3A: Special Education Basics

Session 3B: Community-based Services and Supports for Children with ASD and ADHD: How to find them and access them

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm

Session 4A: Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Session 4B: Dealing with the Fallout of Two Pandemics: Obesity and COVID-19

Registration is required

If you plan on collecting continuing education units, you must register as a professional.

Zoom is the top video conferencing application and FREE.

Please visit https://zoom.us/support/download to download Zoom.

When you register for the class, you will be provided the Zoom meeting ID and passcode.

Please click below to enroll

Explore our speakers and topics below or click here to download the Flyer

Presenter: Caitlin Connor, PhD

About The Session: Dr. Connor will discuss the foundations of emotions and how children learn to regulate. She will describe how individuals with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder experience emotions and how this can lead to difficulties in regulating their emotions. She will review how to teach children, adolescents, and young adults coping strategies that will help support their ability to regulate their emotions on a daily basis.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about emotion regulation and emotion dysregulation, including how emotion dysregulation can look in autistic people.
  • Understand how emotion dysregulation can be related to mental health challenges and poorer outcomes.
  • Recognize how coping strategies like mindfulness can be applied and adapted to autistic people.

Instructor Credentials: Caitlin Conner, PhD (she/her), is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research is focused on understanding, assessing, and treating co-occurring mental health issues in autistic individuals, including difficulties in emotional awareness and regulation across the lifespan. She is a co-developer of the EASE (Emotion Awareness and Skills Enhancement) Program, a mindfulness-based therapy intervention targeting emotion regulation in autistic teens and young adults.

Presenter: Emily Varon, BCBA

About The Session: Emily will provide psychoeducation on sleep hygiene throughout childhood and adolescents. She will identify the barriers that typically impede children from developing healthy sleep habits and provide intervention recommendations on how to combat these barriers. Emily will describe methods for assessing sleep deficits in order to track progress towards sleep-training goals.

Learning Objectives:

  • Improved understanding of variables that impede healthy sleep patterns
  • Methods for assessing sleep-skills that are in deficit.
  • Age-appropriate methods for teaching sustainable sleep skills

Instructor Credentials: Emily Varon (she/her) is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a dedicated focus on sleep-related behaviors. She has worked in the field of behavior analysis since 2000 and has devoted her practice to improving the sleep habits of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder since 2010.

Emily takes the complicated issue of pervasive sleep problems and helps behavior analysts develop appropriate and ethical behavior plans for improving the quality of sleep for consumers and their caregivers. Her focus on sustainability of sleep habits versus “good” or “bad” habits offers families and clinicians a broader, long-view perspective of sleep, resulting in more sustainable results over time.
By combining the science of behavior analysis with the science of sleep, Emily creates a consumable learning opportunity for BCBAs to enhance their practice by providing context for the way sleep and behavior both complement, and sabotage, one-another.
Emily resides in Irvine, California with her husband and two tweens. Improving the quality of life for persons with Autism, and their families, has been a passion of hers for over 20 years.

Presenter: Michelle Wahlquist, MS, CCC-SLP

About The Session: Michelle will provide an overview of lanugage development in toddlerhood, childhood, and adolescence. She will describe how this trajectory is sometimes different for children with a diagnosis of ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Michelle will identify tools and strategies therapists and caregivers can use to support the develpoment of language throughout childhood and adolsecence.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will recognize the importance of joint attention and play in the development of language skills while identifying at least two ways to support each.
  • Participants will identify two ways that books and shared storytelling can be used to facilitate expressive language development.

  • Participants will identify two tools or strategies for supporting a child’s conversation skills.

Instructor Credentials: Michelle Wahlquist, M.S., CCC-SLP  (she/her) is a licensed speech-language pathologist who joined The Center for Autism team in November 2013. She is the speech and language department division lead, coordinating speech pathology services here at The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders. She provides direct speech therapy services including comprehensive speech and language evaluations, individualized treatment, co-treatment, and collaboration with our multi-disciplinary team. In addition, she oversees program development and parent education. She has a particular interest in the use of play and literature to facilitate the development of language and communication skills. She is committed to helping families and caregivers better understand the speech and language development of their children. Michelle received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Dramatic Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1999. She graduated with her Master of Science degree in Communicative Disorders from Arizona State University in 2001. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association.

Presenter: Peter Chung, MD

About The Session: Dr. Chung will provide an overview of the symptoms related to ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as how medications may be used to treat these symptoms. He will review the behaviors that are targeted by these medications, as well as potential side effects and other impacts of medication intervention.

Learning Objectives: 

  • By the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to explain the pros and cons of using medications to treat ADHD.
  • By the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to list the behaviors targeted by medications used to treat ADHD.
  • By the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to describe the common side effects of medications used to treat ADHD.

Instructor Credentials: Dr. Chung is a board-certified UC Irvine Health pediatrician who specializes in developmental and behavioral pediatric medicine at The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders. His clinical interests include medical education, quality improvement, deaf culture, assistive technology, narrative medicine and video games for therapeutic application. Dr. Chung earned his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City. He completed his internship, residency, chief residency and fellowship at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Los Angeles. He also trained at UCLA’s Tarjan Center and at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles as part of the California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CA-LEND) program.

Presenter: Jonathan Megarian, MD.

About The Session: Pre-recorded workshop (e.g. this presentation was previously recorded and there will be no live Q&A)

Dr. Megarian will review the unique needs of youth with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder within pediatrician offices. He will describe a moedel of co0occurring care among providers to best support youth on the Autism Spectrum, while describing the pro’s and con’s of this model of care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the unmet needs of children, adolescents and young adults with ASD under current care models.
  • Identify the benefits to collaborative models of care for this population
  • Understand the successes and challenges to delivering this model of care.

Instructor Credentials: Dr. Megarian (he/him) is a board-certified pediatrician and child neurologist specializing in Autistic spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Megerian has extensive interest and experience in designing and executing clinical trials for neurological disorders. He is currently attending neurologist and Associate Professor (volunteer faculty) at CHOC and University of California, Irvine, respectively. Together with many CHOC Colleagues, he assisted in opening the new Thompson Autism Center at CHOC, where he serves as the Clinical Director. With support from CHOC and the Physician Specialty Foundation, he also developed CHOC’s new Division of Neurodevelopmental Medicine. The Division was designed to attract the best and brightest clinicians from a diverse background of expertise to work together under one department whose mission is to provide and develop the best care for children and adolescents with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Megerian brings his extensive interest and experience in designing and executing clinical trials for neurological disorders to the new Division and Thompson Center, where a host of trials are being planned and executed.

Presenter: Jeanne Anne Carriere, PhD

About The Session: Dr. Carriere will provide an overview of how children become eligible for special education form the perspective of the school setting. She will review how children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder may or may not be eligible for special education services. She will provide concrete steps families can take to support and advocate for their child with special needs within the school setting.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain a basic understanding of who is involved, what happens during, and how the Special Education process occurs.
  • Participants will understand the similarities and differences between Special Education Eligibility and a Medical Diagnosis.
  • Participants will identify how to be meaningfully involved advocates supporting families or their child through the Special Education process.

Instructor Credentials: Jeanne Anne Carriere, PhD, (she/her) is a Licensed Educational Psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with the public school system.  She is the Director of the Families, Agencies, & Schools Together (F.A.S.T.) program, a collaboration between UCI Health’s Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Chapman University’s Thompson Policy Institute designed to help parents understand and navigate the Special Education process and build productive collaborative relationships with their school team. Jeanne Anne is also an Assistant Clinical Professor for Chapman University’s Counseling and School Psychology program. Her research and practice interests are focused on completing comprehensive evaluations and effective report writing practices.  She has presented at the state, national and international level and is the co-author of the book Writing Useful, Accessible, and Legally Defensible Psychoeducational Reports (Wiley, 2014). 

Presenter: Maureen Dillon, LCSW

About The Session: Maureen will review the resources available to youth with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. She will remind attendees of the importance of accessing these services in order to best support their patients or children. She will provide support for individuals who advocate for their children.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Attendees will identify at least three community resources that are available to children and families with ASD, ADHD and other special needs.
  • Attendees will understand the importance in accessing these resources to support their child’s development.
  • Attendees will learn about advocating for a child with special needs and supports available to parents to strengthen their advocacy skills.  

Instructor Credentials:Maureen has been a clinical social worker at the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders (formerly For OC Kids) since 2006. Maureen earned her Master in Social Welfare (MSW) degree with an emphasis in medical social work at the University of California, Los Angeles. While working on her degree, she completed internships at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Children’s Institute. Prior to attending graduate school, Maureen worked in a group home for adolescents in New York, and later worked as a case manager for families in Los Angeles. She also spent two years in the area of program evaluation for non-profit organizations dedicated to healthcare issues throughout California. Maureen earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Spanish at Santa Clara University. As part of our multidisciplinary team, Maureen provides support to families and medical providers during initial patient evaluations and also provides ongoing support to families in coping with their child’s diagnosis, accessing educational and other community-based services, and dealing with crisis situations. She provides parent workshops and facilitates a parent support group. She serves as a liaison between the center and other agencies in the county which serve vulnerable families, such as the foster care and child protective services system, and public health nursing. Maureen makes presentations to community-based agencies, schools, child care providers and other organizations that request training for their staff regarding developmental issues and autism. She works on several projects and committees with the Autism Treatment Network (ATN). Maureen speaks Spanish and has been a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences since 2010.

Presenter: Lilian Au, ND, MPH

About The Session: Dr. Au will provide information on alternative and integrative medical approaches to treat the symptoms associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Au will describe what these integrative and alternative approaches look like and how youth can access these services.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Develop understanding of integrative medicine and preventive health interventions in the treatment of pediatric patients with ASD and ADHD.
  • Understand use of integrative health modalities and evidence–based treatments for supportive therapy in pediatric patients with ASD and ADHD.
  • Identify indications for appropriate referral and resources for provider and patient/parent education.

Instructor Credentials: Lilian Au (she/her) is a licensed naturopathic practitioner with integrative family practice experience. She specializes in maternal, child and adolescent health. She provides wellness care for infants, children and adults, and treats a variety of acute illnesses and chronic conditions with traditional and natural therapies. Dr. Au earned her naturopathic medicine degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Tempe, Ariz. She completed a naturopathic residency in family medicine at National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Ore., and received a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley, where she trained in the maternal child health leadership program. Her post-graduate research work at Sutter Health California Pacific Medical Center and UC Berkeley focused on pediatric developmental screenings at early care and education centers. Dr. Au is passionate about preventive care, patient empowerment and whole-family health. Her clinical interests include allergies, ADHD and neurodevelopment, asthma, fertility, hormone imbalance, reproductive and stress hormones, anxiety and depression, community medicine, pediatric and women’s health. Her research interests include the effects of environmental and nutritional factors on maternal and child health outcomes.

Presenter: Patricia Riba, MD

About The Session: Dr. Riba will provide concrete tools for providers and caregivers to use to support youth’s healthy eating habits. She will provide informaiton on how families can decrease screen time at home and make meal preparation easier.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Attendees will learn tools to support feeding their children and teenagers.
  • Attendees will learn tools to decrease screen time at home.
  • Attendees will learn tools to make meal planning for the week easy.

Instructor Credentials: Dr. Patricia Ronald Riba (she/her) is the founder and Medical Director for Dr. Riba’s Health Club (DrRHC), a community-based organization designed to prevent and treat nutrition-related health problems in children aged 0 to 5 years and their families. DrRHC offers a variety of programs and services at multiple sites throughout Orange County. Dr. Riba and her multidisciplinary team reach over 1,800 underserved families through individualized patient care plans, community and provider education and training, school-based programs, and Parent-Child Feeding Interaction Therapy. Dr. Riba attended Boston University School of Medicine and completed her residency in general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Prior to her current position, Dr. Riba worked as a Pediatrician for Orangewood/Juvenal Hall, Doctors of Children in Irvine, CCHC/AltaMed in Huntington Beach, and as an obesity consultant for the Latino Health Access Obesity Program. In 2008, Dr. Riba received the “Healthy Smiles: Hero of Oral Health Award.” She was also recently honored as an “Agent of Change” by the Children & Families Commission of Orange County and received an “Excellence in Philanthropy Award” from the Orange County Community Foundation. Her work has been featured in the Orange County Register and the Huntington Beach Wave. In addition, she has appeared on KDOC and KOCE as a childhood obesity expert. Dr. Riba’s program is increasingly being recognized throughout Orange County as a promising approach to nutrition-related disorders including diabetes prevention, obesity, Failure to Thrive, and feeding dynamic issues in children 0-5 years of age.

Cost: The cost of this session is included in the overall conference fee. 

Statement of Need: These monthly case consults are being held for UC Irvine physicians to provide greater awareness of the importance of using moral and ethical thinking in medical care. 

Target Audience: All physicians and other clinicians involved in the treatment of patients. Open to all faculty, staff and students. 

Faculty/Course Directors/Planners Disclosure: Since this session is an ethics article review, no conflicts for speakers or planners exist. 

Accreditation Statement: The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

Credit Designation Statement: The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

ADA Statement: In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, we will make every reasonable effort to accommodate your request. For any special requests, please contact:

Chelsea O’Haire (949) 267-0444;  COHAIRE@HS.UCI.EDU) before the meeting dates.  

California Assembly Bill 1195: This activity is in compliance with California Assembly Bill 1195, which requires continuing medical education activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency. For specific information regarding Bill 1195 and cultural and linguistic competency, please visit the CME website at http://www.meded.uci.edu/CME/. 

The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders (CAND) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CAND maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 

The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders (CAND) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CAND maintains responsibility for this program and its content.