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Early Identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder Present and Future Direction presented by Elizabeth R. Crais,PhD, CCC-SLP,ASHA, Fellow Professor and Coordinator of Doctoral Studies, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, UNC-CH

When: Tuesday November 8,2016, 12pm-2:00pm, Lunch provided (11:15am –12:00pm)

WhereUNC School of Social Work Auditorium, 325 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC   Directions and parking

Continuing Education2 hours

Fees: Workshop fee is $35

Workshop is offered free of charge to current UNC SSW students, staff, faculty, and to current UNC SSW Field Instructors and Task Supervisors (obtain coupon code from Field Office)

$15.00 for Family and Community Members, $5.00 for UNC Students

Additional $6 charge for psychologists who would like to receive Category A credit (please bring $6 day of event)

Registration: online pre-registration (You may pre-register up until the day before the program)


Recent evidence indicates that behavioral characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be seen in some children as young as 12-15 months of age and that interventions can potentially be implemented as soon as these children are identified. Yet diagnosis of ASD in North Carolina does not occur routinely until after 3 years of age and some children who receive a positive screen for ASD may not be immediately eligible to receive state-sponsored early intervention services. This presentation will highlight the research findings and implications for practice of efforts to identify infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with or at-risk for ASD and to implement effective early interventions. Particular emphasis will be placed on the current state of screening and diagnosis in North Carolina; what efforts are being made to lower the ages of early identification, diagnosis, and entry into early intervention; and what our service systems could do to better support young children with or at-risk for ASD diagnosis and their families.



AUtElizabeth Crais is Professor and Coordinator of Ph.D. Studies in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences (DSHS) of the Department of Allied Health Sciences (AHS) in the UNC-CH Medical School. She has 40 years of experience in working with children and youth with disabilities. Her research interests include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) identification and intervention, personnel preparation, and implementation of family-centered practices.  Along with a team of collaborators, she is one of the authors of the First Year Inventory, a parent-report tool for identifying risk for ASD in 12-month-old infants, and has developed a home-based intervention for infants and toddlers and a preschool intervention, both related to working with young children with ASD.



Handouts: Presentation Handout

Learning Objectives: 

At the completion of this program, participants will be able to

  • Recognize some early symptoms of ASD in infants and toddlers.
  • Describe the current status of screening, diagnosis, and enrollment in early intervention in NC of young children with or at-risk for ASD.
  • Discuss strategies for enhancing the services provided in NC for young children with or at-risk for ASD and their families.


  • Crais, E.R., McComish, C.S., Humphreys, B.P., Watson, L.R., Baranek, G.T., Reznick, J.S., Christian, R.B., & Earls, M. (2014). Pediatric Healthcare Professionals’ Views on Autism Spectrum Disorder Screening at 12-18 Months. Journal of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Volume 44 (9), 2311-2328.
  • Watson, L. R. & Crais, E. R. (2013). Translating between research and practice in serving infants at risk for ASD. ASHA Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 20(1), 4-13.
  • Webb, S. J., Jones, E. J., Kelly, J., & Dawson, G. (2014). The motivation for very early intervention for infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorders. International journal of speech-language pathology, 16(1), 36-42.
  • Zwaigenbaum, L., Bauman, M. L., Choueiri, R., Kasari, C., Carter, A., Granpeesheh, D., & Pierce, K. (2015). Early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder under 3 years of age: recommendations for practice and research. Pediatrics, 136(Supplement 1), S60-S81.

Transportation/ DirectionsThe most reliable place to park is in the UNC Hospital lot on Manning Drive. Parking fee is $1.50/ hour. The Carolina Inn next door on Pittsboro has space-available pay parking for a flat fee of $10/day. There are also numerous “park & ride” locations in Chapel Hill, with bus service to (or near) the School of Social Work. Directions.

Payment and Refund Policies:  There will be no refunds issued, however you may transfer your place to a colleague or receive credit for future lecture. Please contact Barbara Leach at 919-966-0396 to make arrangements, or if you have any other questions.

Information on Continuing Educational Credit:

Contact hours provided for LCSWs and LMFTs hours

CEU: Two Contact Hours per event

2 Contact Hours from UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

2 Contact Hours NBCC (provider #6642) The UNC School of Social Work is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program.  

Each lecture is co-sponsored by the North Carolina Psychological Association and the UNC School of Social Work. The North Carolina Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The North Carolina Psychological Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Each workshop is offered for 2 Hours of continuing education credit.

No partial credit will be given. Participants must attend the entire program in order to receive credit.

Attendance Policy:  To receive credit, you must be present for the entire session, and you must sign the sign-in and sign-out sheets (for psychologists )

ADA Statement: If you require any of the auxiliary aids or services identified in the Americans with Disabilities Act in order to participate in this program, please call us at 919-966-0396 no later than ten business days before the program.

Additional questions? Contact Barbara Leach at or 919-966-0396


Register Here



 – UNC employee for any Department or School other than UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work

 – Field instructor/Task supervisor who is not otherwise employed as a faculty of UNC School of Social Work


ONYEN LOG IN is ONLY for UNC-CH SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK current students, staff and faculty.



CAROL ANN HINCY 919-962-6540 or