Pre-Meeting Workshop

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Pre-Meeting Workshop:
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses: The Power of Understanding and Leading Holistic Care for Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
(available at an additional fee)

Pre-Meeting Workshop Flyer


Lauren Frederick, MA, BCBA, Autism New Jersey
Anne Kearney, MSN, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Jessica McCurry, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, Bradley Hospital 
Elizabeth Steinmiller, MSN, PMHCNS-BC, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


At the end of this presentation, the participant should be able to:

Describe the complex biopsychosocial composition of patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) throughout the lifespan.

Assess the common medical co-morbidities of those diagnosed with ASD, the impact on healthcare access, and the health disparity experienced by these individuals.

Evaluate the common psychopharmacologic approaches used in treating secondary behavioral/psychiatric concerns in patients diagnosed with ASD.

Identify various tips for partnering with the members of these patients’ multidisciplinary teams to enhance successful environmental modifications and prescribing of psychotropic medications.


Often Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are asked to prescribe medications to impact disruptive behavior in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  While there is an evidence-base to support addressing underlying causes of functional impairment, such as anxiety or rigidity, psychotropic medication alone is neither indicated nor sufficient.  There is more to consider about the patient’s environment and community involvement when discerning treatment needs.  For example, children with ASD have specialized educational supports, multi-disciplinary team members and often are receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy.  Many do know that a behavioral clinician could help inform prescribing decisions.  Additionally, providers may not know the various legal and regulatory guidelines that are in place to ensure these patients’ rights are met and supported.

Individuals diagnosed with ASD also have higher rates of medical co-morbidities, more unmet healthcare needs, lower satisfaction with healthcare interactions, and higher mortality rates than the general population. Many autistic individuals have complex medical and psychiatric needs but struggle to find compassionate, high quality and effective care. This workshop will discuss the common characteristics and co-morbidities among autistic individuals leading to their need for increased healthcare.

Workshop participants will learn how to integrate autism friendly practices into medical and psychiatric patient care. Participants will also gain a greater understanding of how other autism service providers (behavior analysts, special educators, speech pathologists, etc.) care for individuals with autism and how an interdisciplinary approach to patient care coordination can improve outcomes for patients. Understanding and incorporating elements of individualized educational and behavioral plans can assist nurses in providing safe, equitable and effective care.   Presenters will use recent peer-reviewed research and case studies to highlight clinical best practices for caring for an autistic patient.

Pre-Meeting Workshop Registration Fees

Registration On or Before March 1, 2024 After March 1, 2024
Member $190 $240
Non-member $225 $275
Student* $140 $190

*Include a copy of your student ID as proof of your student status.