Introduction to Autism and Neurodiversity in Mental Health Settings

Introduction to Autism and Neurodiversity in Mental Health Settings

This half-day Interdisciplinary workshop will help participants to understand the unique occupational needs of the autistic community. This training will be invaluable to up-skill Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and other healthcare professionals so that they are equipped to effectively support autistic individuals as they navigate their lives.

About the course:

Autistic people show more depressive symptoms than neurotypical people (Mazzone et al., 2013) and children diagnosed with autism are 28 times more likely to show evidence of suicidal ideation compared to neurotypical children (Mayes et al., 2013). Autistic people (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) are seen in mental health services (Zener, 2019) however, there is increasing evidence that the autistic community struggles to access psychiatric treatment (Adams and Young, 2020; Camm-Crosbie et al., 2018; Crane et al., 2018) and that health professionals’ knowledge on how to support autistic clients may be developing (Maddox et al., 2019).

Typical areas of difficulty for autistic people include transitions, sensory regulation, social participation and navigating the environment. We want to support our clients to explore their occupational identities and build capacity. Sound knowledge of the mental wiring that underlies autism is essential to enable us to best support this population in the mental health setting.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the “Neurodiversity” umbrella, “different wiring” and co-occurring conditions
  • Learn prevalence of autism in general population and psychiatric population, including underdiagnosis and gendered presentations
  • Increased awareness of how developmental conditions may present in adult mental health settings and how this may influence the clinical process
  • Understand overview of autistic population – strengths, and unique occupational challenges such as transitions from school to work and sensory profiles

About the presenter: 

Susan Madigan OT has more than 10 years’ experience working with the neurodivergent community as an OT in CAMHS and College based services. She has specific expertise in supporting autistic adults through an occupational lens.  Susan has presented on neurodiversity and occupational therapy at the AOTI Mental Health Advisory Group (MHAG), Autistica, ASIAM, and to international groups including OT-U. A sample of this presentation can be seen here: Supporting neurodiverse students at third level for occupational therapists


Application and Payment information:

  • Applications are made via the Association of Occupational Therapists' Website. You can visit the registration page  here
  • Payment in full is taken at the time of application.
  • Payment of the fee does not guarantee you a place at this event.
  • Full payment must be received prior to the closing date in order to secure your place.
  • If the event is oversubscribed you will be provided with a full refund.
  • Successful applicants will be notified that they have a place at the event following the closing date.
  • Places are limited and members are advised to apply early to secure a place.
  • Please note: notifications will be sent to the email address entered on this application form. Please make sure to enter correctly the email address you wish to use for communication about this event.

You can register for this event on the AOTI Website

Visit the registration page here