I’m a clinical psychologist who specializes in helping adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) develop the necessary skills to make a successful transition to the adult world in the areas of employment, independent living and community participation.
I have been working with children with ASD for nearly 20 years. While helping to develop a college support program for undergraduates with ASD, I saw firsthand how challenges with daily living skills, social skills and executive functioning could impact their success at many levels. This drew me toward helping adolescents and adults.
My approach to care is holistic. I first take into account the individual’s unique set of strengths and challenges. But I also focus on their family, environmental, school and community factors to address the whole system.
In addition to helping patients, I do research that focuses on developing and evaluating interventions that target daily living skills. These include doing laundry, managing money, cooking and personal hygiene. My colleagues and I also study academic executive functioning skills such as organization, planning and prioritizing. Our research goes beyond skill-building in the adolescents with ASD, to working with their parents and teachers. We seek to provide both parents and teachers with the necessary coaching and support to increase success and quality of life for their children or students.
When I’m not helping patients, I enjoy spending time with my husband, our three kids and our dog. My favorite things to do on the weekend are gardening and sitting on the porch reading or hanging out with family and friends.
Adolescents; autism spectrum disorders; transition to adulthood
Autism spectrum disorders; transition to adulthood; daily living skills; employment; academic skills
Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Autism, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics