Help with managing emotions and improving mental health

Dr. Kelly Beck

Dr. Kelly Beck talks about the Emotional Awareness and Skills Enhancement Study for ASD and it’s focus on those with high support needs.

Managing strong emotions and mental health can be a challenge for many autistic people and families. While some evidence-based services do exist, there has been limited focus on autistic adults and those with high service needs or profound autism.  We must listen to autistic people and families directly about their experiences managing strong emotions and mental health to create the best individualized care. This informs and guides service development and delivery into the community. 

We are conducting interviews with the autistic community about their perspectives and experiences managing strong emotions and receiving mental health care. We are interviewing autistic adults, autistic adolescents, caregivers of autistic people, and community mental health providers to better understand the service needs of the community. We are hoping to use what we learn to design and offer new services in community-based clinics.

Professor Dr. Carla Mazefsky and research team member Anabelle Theodat at the Autism Urban Connections, Inc. Fun Day Event. Dr. Mazefsky leads the Regulation of Emotion in ASD Adults, Children, & Teens (REAACT) Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh (https://www.reaact.pitt.edu/). 

Needs are very different across individuals and families. We are working hard to conduct research that better reflects these differences within the autism community. Family members and individuals with high support needs or profound autism are chronically left out of important research studies. Your participation will allow us to better gather information to design services for a wide range of needs. 

If you choose to join our study, we will ask you to talk with us for about an hour. We will meet with you virtually or in-person. We will ask you about your experiences as a caregiver for a teenager or adult with autism that has difficulty managing strong emotions. The meeting will be audio recorded. You will receive $50 for completing an interview. 

If you are interested, please contact our team at (866) 647-3436 or autismrecruiter@upmc.edu

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