Contact Us | Advertising | Classified Ads | Shopping Cart
Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Report Abuse   |   Sign In   |   Register
CE Workshop: Maximizing Early Brain Development
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend

When: Friday, December 6, 2019
Where: GPA Office
13 Corporate Blvd. NE
Suite 220
Atlanta, Georgia  30329
United States
Presenter: Jennifer L. Stapel-Wax, PsyD
Contact: Hannah Steinberg, Marketing Specialist and Administrator

Online registration is closed.
« Go to Upcoming Event List  

Workshop Title: Maximizing Early Brain Development: Detecting and Intervening Early With Young Children At-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder


Workshop Description: 

This workshop will focus on the early detection/identification and intervention with young children at risk for autism spectrum disorder. Autism is an early-onset, complex neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by deficits in socialization and communication in combination with stereotyped or restricted behaviors or interests. The symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are present within the first two years of life, with an estimated prevalence of 1 in 59 children in the US. There is emerging and rapidly growing evidence that early intensive intervention for ASD can improve performance on measures of cognitive abilities and improve language and behavior, thereby improving the course of the illness.


Despite the multitude of reasons for optimism for these strategies, there continue to be a number of barriers and pitfalls in the interconnected web of events for young children at risk for ASD. While early screening and detection seem possible, children are not being quickly identified and provided with evidence-based treatments that we know can change their trajectories.


While some communities have wrestled with and made substantial progress in one or more areas related to increasing knowledge, effective screening, timely referral, accurate identification and evidence based early intervention, challenges still exist and disparities continue to be present. Effective detection and referral at young ages is difficult and appears to require a combination of parent knowledge and acceptance of delays, provider knowledge and acceptance of delays, use of effective screening tools, and a willingness to act and refer. In spite of our ability to screen and recognize early signs of ASD by 12-18 months of age and provide a diagnosis of ASD when needed, the median age for ASD diagnosis in the US is 4.2 years. The diagnosis for children already experiencing health disparities is later still.  This needlessly delays crucial interventions. Capitalizing on neuroplasticity, there is incontrovertible evidence indicating the considerable positive impact of early intervention. 


Learning Objectives

  1. Define the state of science as it relates to Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  2. Describe the importance of early brain development and young children.
  3. Explain the impact of early development on children who develop ASD.
  4. Analyze evidence-based research related to early screening and detection.
  5. Summarize treatment and intervention methods for infants and toddlers with ASD.
  6. Discuss promising intervention methodologies.


CE Hours: 6 


Level: Intermediate


About the Presenter:

Dr. Jennifer Stapel-Wax is an Associate Professor in the Division of Autism and Related Disorders in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine.   Her primary clinical and administrative role is as the Director of the Infant and Toddler Community Outreach Research Core and as Director of Clinical Research Operations at the Marcus Autism Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Dr. Stapel-Wax has worked clinically with children and families for over 25 years with a 20-year career in doctoral clinical work and graduate level teaching at Emory University, the Georgia School of Professional Psychology and at the Marcus Autism Center.   She completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology and her internship in pediatric behavioral medicine and neurodevelopmental disabilities at Miami Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Stapel-Wax completed her postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology and neurodevelopmental disabilities at the Marcus Center/Emory University postdoctoral fellowship program. 

Dr. Stapel-Wax’s specialties include assessment of young children, neurodevelopmental disorders and consultation/liaison in multiple systems of care.  Dr. Stapel-Wax is actively involved in her professional community through her positions on advisory boards, as a consultant, as a past member of the board of directors and as a Past President of the Georgia Psychological Association.  She is a senior member of the Division of Autism and Related Disorders faculty providing supervision and mentoring to junior faculty and sits on committees at Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory Department of Pediatrics and School of Medicine.  She is also a member of several national and international collaboratives focused on early screening, early identification and early intervention and routinely sits on grant review panels for the NIH, HRSA and DOD.

Dr. Stapel-Wax’s clinical and research interests are in the areas of development and assessment of young children, neurodevelopmental disorders, and teaching, training and supervision.  Dr. Stapel-Wax uses her clinical and interpersonal strengths in building collaborative and consultative relationships among professional colleagues in the community and other institutions.  She is also an accomplished speaker and teacher as well as an expert in building of strong collaborative relationships focused on training, education, and service delivery.  Her current focus on the research team is to lead community based research on infants and toddlers at risk for autism spectrum disorders based at the Marcus Autism Center. Dr. Stapel-Wax is a team scientist who has been an investigator and site principal investigator on 4 federally funded grants addressing screening and intervention for ASF in infants and toddlers.  She is the principal investigator on several foundation grants addressing the training of community based early interventionists. She is also leading several outreach efforts to build a community viable healthcare system for infants and teachers and on a grant-Talk With Me Baby- that is aggressively implementing capacity building strategies early in the developmental period to collectively address the early language gap that has dramatic implications for reading proficiency by third grade and further dramatic implications on education and health outcomes over the lifetime. Dr. Stapel-Wax and her colleagues are providing leadership for community based research on infants and toddlers at risk for autism spectrum disorders based at the Marcus Autism Center.    


Registration Costs (per workshop): 

Early Bird Registration (Must be postmarked on or before November 22, 2019 to receive this rate.)

  • $140: GPA Members
  • $170: Non-members
  • $50: *GPA Student Members

Registration (After November 22, 2019)

  • $150: GPA Members
  • $180: Non-members
  • $60: *GPA Student Members

Must be logged into member profile to receive member rate.

*If a GPA Student Member needs continuing education credits, he/she will need to pay the higher GPA Member fee regardless of status as a student.


Cancellation Policy:
All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Hannah Steinberg via email ( A $35 cancellation fee will be charged for any cancellations prior to November 29, 2019. No refunds will be given after November 29, 2019.

The Georgia Psychological Association is proud to sponsor and support a wide variety of workshops throughout the year as an APA approved sponsor of Continuing Education.