recorded webinar

When Autism and Depression Come Together: What We Know, How to Manage, and Key Resources

Autism and Depression Webinar - SPARK Collab with ADAA
Anxiety and Depression
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 12:00 pm
- 1:00 pm ET

Depression is a common diagnosis across the autism community.  In fact, over half of independent adults in the SPARK study suffer from it. Please join us as SPARK and ADAA, a nonprofit that works to prevent, treat, and cure anxiety disorders and depression, co-host a timely and important webinar on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 12pm ET during National Depression Education and Awareness Month.  
Hear from a clinician, a researcher, and a social worker with autism who speak to the prevalence, assessment, diagnosis, treatment options, and experiences for those with co-occurring autism and depression. 

Presented in partnership with SPARK.

SPARK is a landmark autism research project which aims to make important progress possible. SPARK stands for ‘Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research,’ and the mission is simple: we want to speed up research and advance our understanding of autism to help improve lives.

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Presenter(s) Biography

Shuting Zheng, PhD, BCBA

Dr. Zheng is a postdoctoral scholar at UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her research interest has developed around profiling developmental heterogeneity in autism and identifying novel treatment targets to promote treatment individualization, with a focus on mental health. Dr. Zheng currently leads a longitudinal study with a cohort of SPARK young adults with autism to examine the effects of depression services and life circumstances on depressive symptoms over time. Besides her research efforts, she is also a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) and has been an active member of the UCSF Center for ASD and NDDs clinic team.


Rebecca Sachs, PhD

Rebecca Sachs, PhD is a licensed psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of individuals with OCD and Anxiety or individuals on the Autism spectrum who also experience difficult co-occurring disorders. Board Certified in CBT and an expert in the top-recommended treatments for OCD and related disorders, Anxiety Disorders, and school refusal, Dr. Sachs is a sought after clinician and speaker on topics related to the treatment of OCD, Anxiety, and Autism Spectrum Disorders, and how to optimally treat individuals with co-occurring disorders. She was recognized as a rising star by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), receiving their Career Development Leadership Award in 2015.


Dena Gassner, MSW

Dena Gassner, MSW is an adjunct faculty member at Towson University and is a PhD candidate at Adelphi University. Recently appointed to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) which is a body that reviews current autism research for the President's Cabinet, she is also the co-chair of the Autistic Researcher Committee (ARC) for the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) and a national board member for The Arc US. She is extensively networked and published including her most recent contribution, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism and has provided training events to the United Nations, in Russia, England, Copenhagen and other places.

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