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The American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies - Webinar

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors: A Brief Review for Criminal Justice and Forensic Mental Health Professionals   (MEMBERS ONLY)

Presented by Jerrod Brown, Ph.D. and Zachary Yeoman, Psy.D.

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Webinar Objectives:

  • Learn about the etiology and diagnostic criteria of autism spectrum disorder
  • Explore the role of co-occurring conditions including trauma, substance use, and other psychiatric disorders in the relationship of autism spectrum disorder and sexually inappropriate behaviors
  • Develop a working understanding of autism spectrum disorder and the empirically-based literature pertaining to sexually inappropriate behaviors in this population
  • Learn how to assess the connection between ASD symptoms and sexually inappropriate behavior
  • Identify empirically supported treatments and interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and/or sexually inappropriate behaviors


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the most common developmental disorders in the United States. Symptoms typically include fixation, repetitive behaviors, sensory seeking or avoidance, rigidity and intolerance to change, and deficits in social skills (e.g., verbal and non-verbal communication). Consistent with the classification of this as a spectrum disorder, the symptoms can vary widely in their presence and severity across individuals. Not only do these symptoms affect an individual’s ability to adapt and function across a variety of settings, but they may also increase the risk of problematic behaviors in this population. In some instances, individuals with ASD may become tangled in the criminal justice, forensic mental health, and legal systems for a variety of reasons, including situations involving sexually inappropriate behaviors. As such, a functional analysis of the connection between these deficits and sexually inappropriate behavior is critical.  In light of these potential problems, professionals working in criminal justice and forensic mental health contexts must be equipped to assist and evaluate individuals with autism and co-occurring sexually inappropriate behaviors. Empirically-based research findings and case study examples will be emphasized throughout this training. 

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).

Zachary Yeoman, Psy.D is a clinical and forensic psychologist who is licensed in New Jersey and New York. His main area of interest is Forensic Mental Health Assessment (FMHA). Dr. Yeoman has provided help to a variety of organizations and individuals in addressing psycholegal issues for both adults and adolescents on an inpatient and outpatient basis. His professional experience includes the treatment and evaluation of sexual, violence, and firesetting risk, diminished capacity, mitigation, competence to stand trial, and parental fitness and bonding, and non-forensic mental health evaluations. Over the course of his career, he has conducted many evaluations of those on the autism spectrum and developed expertise in assessing the functional relationship between symptoms of autism and risk, particularly in the sexual domain. He also co-authored two articles on denial and conduct disorder in the context of sexually abusive behavior.

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