Clinical Application And Best Practices – Cultural Competency

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This 120-minute webinar addresses the role culture, in its various forms, plays in social work practices with persons with autism and/or their families. This community comes with a unique set of values, beliefs, norms, shared experiences, challenges, and more. We will explore our need as social workers to attain cultural competence around this community and their specific needs in order to achieve best practices in linking clients with natural supports, helping them navigate to find appropriate therapies and treatments, and providing direct therapy and treatment ourselves.

Often, families are provided some case management support in the social work environment and are not linked with the benefits of traditional social work therapy and counseling services may bring. There appear to be several possible reasons for this, but most strikingly, we find many professionals and families categorize autism as a developmental disability and not a mental illness. Autism is an Axis 1 diagnosis in the DSM-IV, and literature indicates therapy and counseling based on behavioral theory is effective in decreasing symptoms and problem behavior as well as training new skills. Given our skills sets and additional understanding of autism and treatments, we explore ways we can benefit the family and/or client with autism within a social work context.

This event is designed for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Independent Social Workers, and other professionals in related disciplines.

Upon completion of Cultural Competency and Its Application with the Autism Community, participants will:

  1. Gain an understanding of the unique challenges and difficulties people with autism and their families face and how professionals can assist them in overcoming these barriers in a culturally sensitive manner.
  2. Learn the various systems people with autism and their families navigate to gain support, treatments, and obtain services.
  3. Achieve a better understanding of the additional skills needed to work effectively with individuals with autism and their families and how personal biases, expectations and limited understanding of individuals’ needs can hinder effective treatment.
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