The American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies - Webinar

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Firesetting Behaviors   (MEMBERS ONLY)

Presented by Jerrod Brown, Ph.D, MA, MS, MS, MS

This webinar is only available to members
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Webinar Objectives:

  • Analyze key research findings, statistics, and concepts associated with autism and youth firesetting
  • Consider screening and assessment options to identify youth with autism who set fires
  • Identify best practices for minimizing the consequences associated with youth firesetting among individuals diagnosed with autism
  • Review intervention and treatment approaches appropriate for youth diagnosed with autism who set fires


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by communication and social skills deficits, cognitive rigidity, and a wide range of emotional and behavioral symptoms. These deficits can contribute to issues with impulsivity, sensory overload, decision-making, long-term planning, linking cause-and-effect, and understanding consequences. In light of these pervasive issues, it is not uncommon for some impacted individuals to become involved in the criminal justice system for behaviors including firesetting. As such, it is important that youth fire prevention and specialists, mental health, and criminal justice professionals understand the challenges and complexities of working with youth with co-occurring autism spectrum disorder and firesetting behaviors. This training focuses on this nexus in four key areas. First, attendees will learn about the possible causes and risk factors underlying firesetting behaviors in youth with autism. Second, attendees will learn state-of-the-art techniques to improve the prevention, identification (e.g., screening and assessment strategies and interviewing tactics), and treatment of firesetting behaviors in youth with autism. Third, attendees will examine the roles of comorbid psychiatric diagnoses (e.g., substance use, personality disorder, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and histories of abuse (i.e., sexual and physical) in cases of fire setting in individuals with autism. Finally, relevant research findings and case study accounts will be presented throughout the session. 

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).

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