Vanessa BalDr. Vanessa Bal will join the department on March 29, 2023 at 1:30 PM via Zoom. in White Hall G09. Her talk is titled Autism in adulthood: Addressing misconceptions to promote understanding and foster inclusive communities. Continue reading for Dr. Bal's abstract and biography.
Awareness of autism has steadily increased over the past several decades. Unfortunately, what is known about autistic adults is still quite limited and there are many misconceptions that can have negative effects on the adult autism community. The focus of this talk will be to provide an overview of autism, particularly in adults, address several common myths about autism in adulthood, and provide some considerations for making settings (particularly university departments) more inclusive.
Dr. Vanessa H. Bal is an Associate Professor and Karmazin and Lillard Chair in Adult Autism at the Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and director of the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS) Psychological Services Clinic. She leads a research lab, called the Lifespan Symptom Profiles, Achievements & Needs (LifeSPAN) Lab, which focuses on advancing understanding of autism in adulthood. Her research and clinical interests are broad, but current projects include developing approaches to improve autism diagnosis across the lifespan and adapting interventions to address adult mental health concerns and foster well-being. She is also committed to characterizing strengths and profiles of individuals across the autism spectrum, including those who are minimally verbal or nonspeaking or have identified genetic conditions.