Past Event

Autism, Gender, and the Law - How Does the Legal System Perceive Girls and Women with ASD?

April 29, 2019
6:15 PM - 8:30 PM
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Columbia University, 513 Fayerweather Hall, 1180 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027

Current research indicates a blind spot for girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), partly due to biases in clinical evaluations, leaving many young patients undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Girls tend to get by, do not have a good grasp of social interactions, and may try to go along or imitate what they see. Their symptoms are often misinterpreted as depression or anxiety disorders. Using case studies, this seminar will focus on the consequences of these biases on the perceptions and practices of legal and forensic officers who interact with young children with ASD in the context of forensic interviews. The seminar will also discuss current training of forensic interviewers and legal services available to girls with ASD and their families.

Sheryl Dicker, JD, faculty in the Department of Disability Studies at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, is a mother of a young woman with autism and has been a lawyer for over 40 years. She was a disability rights lawyer before her daughter’s birth and currently teaches disability law and policy, children and disability, and disability history.

David Mantell, PhD, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, is a forensic clinical psychologist who specializes in child protection psychology. He is a member of the Judicial Panel for the Connecticut child protection court and is Head of the Forensic Concentration in his department.

Rebecca Jordan-Young, PhD, Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College, focuses on biological claims about gender and sexuality by examining how cultural assumptions are embedded in scientific models and research design and practices.

Sylvie Goldman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology in Child Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on sex/gender factors in the early clinical diagnosis of ASD.

Natasha Yamane, MA in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, is studying the dynamics of parent-child interaction among families of young children with ASD.

Registration is free and required online. A light dinner will be served. Contact [email protected] with any questions. This is part of a series of seminars on sex and gender in autism, sponsored by the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University.