The American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies - Webinar

Autism and COVID-19: Can the Lack of Routine Become Routine?   (MEMBERS ONLY)

Presented by Jerrod Brown, Ph.D, MA, MS, MS, MS, and Nicole Kimberley-Staeheli, MATS

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Webinar Objectives:

  • Provide an overview of autism spectrum disorder and the inherent developmental and behavioral challenges.
  • Share openly and honestly about the challenges of parenting a child with autism during a global pandemic including the sense of isolation, loss of routine and structure, and the lack of access to therapies and resources.
  • Explore the overall impact of chronic stress and uncertainly on parents, their children on the autism spectrum, their siblings, and their families
  • Examine the topics of acceptance and authenticity
  • Discuss practical tips and suggestions for schools and therapists to best support parents and their children on the spectrum.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a life-long, complex neurodevelopmental disorder impacting multiple domains of functioning. Certain common threads are woven within the spectrum including such things as a need for sameness and a predictable routine, difficulties in processing social norms and relationships, and repetitive stimming behaviors that can increase with uncertainty and anxiety.  Each of these threads has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic and related health regulations. Parenting a child with autism is a joy and a challenge.  Parenting a child with autism during a global pandemic, in the second presenter’s experience (Nicole Kimberley-Staeheli), has tipped the scales towards the challenging side.  This webinar will explore, from her perspective as a parent of a teenager with severe ASD the impact these last months have had on all the amazing children on the autism spectrum and what resources are needed now and as we move towards a ‘new normal” and all that will bring. 

Presenter Biography:

Jerrod Brown, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor for Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota and has extensive experience teaching courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Jerrod has also been employed with Pathways Counseling Center in St. Paul, Minnesota for the past seventeen years. Pathways provides programs and services benefiting individuals impacted by mental illness and addictions. Jerrod is also the founder and CEO of the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS) and the Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Scholars Today (FST). Jerrod has completed four separate master’s degree programs and holds graduate certificates in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Other Health Disabilities (OHD), and Traumatic-Brain Injuries (TBI). Jerrod is also certified as a Youth Firesetting Prevention/Intervention Specialist, an Anger Resolution Therapist (CART), a Thinking for a Change (T4C) Facilitator, a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Trainer, an Autism Specialist, and a Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider (CMHIMP).

Nicole Kimberley-Staeheli, MATS, is the lead consultant for Nicole Ranae Consulting, LLC and has over 25 years of experience in field of Corrections. The primary focus for much of her career has been in the training, facilitation and implementation of evidence-based practices.  Ms. Kimberley-Staeheli is a certified Motivational Interviewing trainer and has personally facilitated and trained hundreds of cognitive behavioral, trauma responsive, and gender responsive interventions including, Thinking for a Change, Aggression Replacement Training, the Domestic Violence Education Program, Decision Points, Moving On, Beyond Trauma, Healing Trauma, VOICES and Beyond Violence, and has been privileged to witness first-hand their life changing effects.

Ms. Kimberley-Staeheli serves as an independent consultant for county and community-based agencies serving criminal justice involved individuals and the communities they live in with a focus on cognitive behavioral and trauma responsive interventions. She has also worked as an independent contractor with both the Decision Points Authors, LLC and Dr. Stephanie Covington, LLC and has trained facilitators in Connecticut, Idaho, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Ms. Kimberley-Staeheli received her undergraduate degree from Hamline University and her graduate degree from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN.  Ms. Kimberley-Staeheli currently chairs the Minnesota Cognitive Behavioral Network, a professional association dedicated to supporting the implementation of evidence-based practices.  She has presented at numerous state wide conferences on the importance of cognitive behavioral and trauma-responsive interventions in facilitating long-term change for criminal justice involved individuals and their communities.

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