ASF & COVID-19 Webinar Series

From Mindfulmess to Mindfulness

As the pandemic continues and school openings remain unclear, many of us have traded mindfulness for a mindful-“mess”. ASF and Children’s Specialized Hospital talked about mindfulness and gratitude and discussed breaks from social pressures. To listen to a recording of the webinar, click here. To view the presentation, click here.

Data Resources

Many researchers, especially early career scientists in ASD, have lost access to collecting in-person data from families and some research has stalled.  However, there are many data resources available to scientists with both biological collections and phenotyping data that might be available to help answer important research questions during this time.  ASF has compiled and organized these data resources HERE.  This file includes a description of the data resources and what they include, as well as who to contact to get them, but you will need to reach out to them individually if interested in any of the data.  They have their own data use agreements and IRB and collaboration requirements.  You can listen to a recording of the webinar here and access our powerpoint presentation here.


ASF hosted a webinar focused on autistic employment during COVID-19. Panelists Becca Lory Hector, Paul Morris and Julie Lounds Taylor discussed employment challenges for autistic adults, and answered questions about gaining, maintaining or changing employment during the pandemic. You can listen to a recording of the webinar here, and access our powerpoint presentation here.

Managing an IEP

There are a lot of questions about developing and maintaining an Individualized Education Plan during COVID-19 related shutdowns. The Children’s Specialized Hospital of NJ presented a webinar based on resources they have created around considering how to establish, develop and implement an IEP under lockdown or reduced school hours. It will help you strategize adaptations or major changes to an IEP at home or in community settings. You can view the recording here. Click here to see the powerpoint presentation with links to resources from CSH.

Managing Trauma

Many families are worried about long-term psychological effects of the list of traumatic events as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Is there going to be a surge of PTSD, especially in families with ASD? Dr. George Ake, a licensed psychologist specializing in childhood trauma from Duke University and leader of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network together with Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, talked about what you can do to mitigate the effects of long term trauma and where you can go for help in your area. Click here to to listen to the recording and click here to view the presentation.

Reducing Challenges in Wearing PPE

Before we get back to school, families need to manage social distancing and personal protective equipment.  Children’s Specialized Hospital clinicians and educators held a special webinar around reducing challenges in wearing personal protective equipment in families with autism and autistic adults.  These practices include wearing masks, hand washing and social distancing.  You can listen to recording of the presentation here and access the powerpoint presentation here.


ASF and Autism Speaks hosted a Research Regroup Webinar for autism research fellows. The group shared challenges, ideas, and potential solutions for slowing or stoppage of research studies in autism during the COVID-19 emergency. You can view the powerpoint of the discussion here.

Research Opportunities

ASF has hosted two webinars for families to learn how they can give back to autism research and be part of the solution to research questions. The studies highlighted throughout our discussion can all be done at home. You can listen to a recording of the first webinar here, and access the powerpoint presentation here. You can listen to a recording of the second webinar here, and access the powerpoint presentation here.


Families with autism have always been resilient, but how does that happen? And how can we use what we have learned during this crisis? ASF is hosted webinar on with Meng-Chuan Lai, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist and expert on the topic of resiliency and discussed factors that help families be resilient to major trauma, like the COVID-19 emergency. You can listen to a recording of the webinar here, and access our powerpoint presentation here.

Seizures & CBD

ASF hosted a webinar to discuss seizures and how to manage them during the COVID-19 emergency. Dr. Orrin Devinsky, Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU, presented the newest and latest research on traditional medications for the treatment of seizures, as well as the use of cannabidiol. You can listen to a recording of the webinar here.


As families are faced with the new norm of social distancing and quarantines, mental health is more important than ever. Psychologist Vanessa Bal, PhD, Rutgers University, shared advice on how we can take better care of ourselves during the COVID-19 emergency. The conversation was geared towards both parents and those who have an autism diagnosis. Click here to to listen to the recording and access the powerpoint presentation here.


ASF and the Autism Treatment Network‘s Dr. Kristin Thomas Sohl co-hosted a Telehealth Tutorial webinar. We shared an introduction to telehealth and best practices, including how to prepare for your appointment, what you should expect, who should be involved and how to follow up. Listen to the recorded webinar here, and view the accompanying powerpoint here. To learn more about how to prepare for your autistic child’s telehealth appointment by reading a guest blog post by Dr. Bonnie Offit here.