Autism & Related Conditions Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Autism and Neurodevelopment Clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic that brings together a campus- and community-wide collaboration of clinicians, researchers, and families to foster excellence in clinical care for individuals and families with autism. The clinic is housed within the Division of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience which includes experts in psychology, neuropsychology, psychiatry, social work, developmental behavioral pediatrics, and behavior analysis. Our specialty is to provide comprehensive evaluations and treatment services for individuals with complex care needs.

The focus of this program is on diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and consultation on autism and related conditions in individuals from birth through adulthood and their families. Diagnostic evaluations follow an evidence-based, best practice framework in which the person’s needs related to autism are understood within the context of their overall development. Treatment services also implement evidence-based programs for improving social skills, improving communication, transition to adulthood, reducing anxiety, and parent-child interactions that promote development. 

A strong emphasis is placed on obtaining research-level reliability on diagnostic measures for autism to ensure the highest quality evaluations, as well as having close coordination and interaction with the autism community and available resources to be able to connect families with needed services. To this end, fellows will be expected to participate in at least one community/advocacy committee for autism or a related condition during their tenure. Understanding of the variety of psychiatric and developmental diagnoses, as well as performing differential diagnosis, is another strong emphasis. Because of the complex medical and behavioral needs of most children with autism and related conditions, the fellow within the Autism Program will participate and work cooperatively with many subspecialty services of the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Psychiatry. 

  • Potential Applicants
  • Current Populations Served
  • Clinical Activity
  • Research Activity
  • Administration & Didactics
  • Potential Applicants

    The Autism and Neurodevelopment Clinic at the University of Minnesota is seeking a postdoctoral fellow for a 2-year fellowship.

    Qualified candidates will have a doctoral degree and clinical internship from an APA/CPA accredited program in Clinical, Developmental, or School Psychology or related field and specialty training in autism and neurodevelopmental disorders. 

    Candidates should also be knowledgeable about standards of care for ASD diagnostic evaluations and evidence-based interventions, including experience with developmental, language, and psychological assessment. 

    Research reliability with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) are highly preferred, but not required. Board Certified Behavioral Analyst credential is preferred, but not required.

  • Current Populations Served

    Patients are referred to the Autism and Neurodevelopment Clinic from within the M Health network and University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital as well as from the community. We see patients across the spectrum and specialize in complex cases where patients have multiple co-occurring conditions, including genetic conditions. Psychotherapeutic services may include behavioral consultation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, parent counseling, treatment groups for social skill and practical skill development, and naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI).

    Autism

    Fragile X syndrome 

    Children at-risk for autism (siblings, history of prematurity)

    Other genetic conditions that overlap with autism (Williams syndrome, NF1, etc.)

    Other psychiatric and neurodevelopmental conditions or concerns that overlap with autism

  • Clinical Activity

    To ensure that the fellow receives a high level of clinical training in the area of autism and related conditions, the following activities will be required during the fellowship:

    Clinical assessment: The fellow will perform psychological/neuropsychological evaluations conducted with individuals suspected of having autism. The fellow will conduct 2 evaluations per week and will be individually supervised on each case by a staff psychologist. The fellow will participate in all aspects of assigned cases, including clinical interviews, face-to-face assessment, scoring/interpretation of results, report writing, and family diagnostic feedback sessions.

    Intervention: The fellow will work with faculty psychologists to co-lead or lead at least one treatment group per week. Depending on the fellow’s interest, they will also conduct NDBI parent coaching sessions or functional communication and behavior consultation. The fellow will also participate in treatment services involved with planning and facilitating treatment programs, such as therapy intakes for families interested in treatment services and family therapy sessions that support ongoing treatment groups.

    Professional Development: At the completion of the first year of fellowship, the fellow will be eligible to become a licensed psychologist. If they have not already done so, fellows will be expected to complete research reliability on the ADOS-2 and ADI-R during the course of their fellowship. 

  • Research Activity

    The fellow will be exposed to various aspects of clinical research work. This is achieved via participation in the following activities:

    Review of autism literature: The fellow will be provided with a series of readings in the area of autism and related conditions, primary in areas of diagnostic assessment, intervention, and policy.  

    Study coordination: The fellow will collaborate with Drs. Esler and Hudock in ongoing research projects evaluating treatment groups for autism, conducting telehealth intervention and consultation, following the needs of individuals with fragile X syndrome, and estimating autism prevalence. In addition, opportunities are also available for the fellow to access our clinic database, which includes diagnostic assessment measures and information, to develop manuscripts. 

    Independent Research: The fellow will be encouraged to develop research projects of interest to them that can be conducted with our available clinical populations or through collaborations with other research labs within the U of M system. 

    Grant writing: The fellow will be offered support, which may include participation in a grant writing seminar, should they wish to develop a grant idea during the fellowship years. 

    Manuscript preparation and submission: The fellow will be encouraged to collaborate on manuscript preparation and poster submissions at national and international conferences. Individually tailored goals will be established in this area.

  • Administration & Didactics

    The fellow will be required to participate in monthly clinician group meetings where cases and issues related to autism are discussed, as well as biweekly staff meetings. Optional didactics available to the fellow include Pediatric Grand Rounds and seminars through the Center for Neurobehavioral Development (CNBD) and the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain (MIDB). 

    The fellow will be expected to participate in a community-based advocacy or policy group for autism or a related condition (e.g., EIDBI advisory group, Autism Society of MN, Fragile X Consumer Support Network).

Meet the Faculty for the UMN Autism and Related Conditions Postdoctoral Fellowship:

Catherine Burrows, PhD, LP
Assistant Professor
Division of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience

Amy Esler, PhD, LP
Associate Professor 
Division of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience

Rebekah Hudock, PhD, LP
Assistant Professor
Division of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience

Chimei Lee, PhD, LP
Assistant Professor
Divisiont of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience

Jane Nofer, PhD, LP
Assistant Professor
Divisiont of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience

Robin Rumsey, PhD, LP
Assistant Professor
Divisiont of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience

Jessica Simacek, PhD, BCBA
Researcher
Institute on Community Integration Telehealth Laboratory
Director 
ICI-led TeleOutreach Center at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain

Adele Dimian, PhD, BCBA
Researcher
Institute on Community Integration Telehealth Laboratory