Autism and Your Child

What is autism?

What causes autism?

How is autism diagnosed?

If my child has autism, does it mean that he or she is mentally retarded?

Background

Dr. Cronin is a licensed clinical psychologist (license: PSY 16026) who has worked in the UCLA Autism Evaluation Clinic since its inception (1997); upon the retirement of Dr. BJ Freeman, (now UCLA Professor Emerita) in 2004, Dr. Cronin became the Clinical Director. Subsequently Dr. Cronin also earned the title of Assistant Clinical Professor. In this role, Dr. Cronin provided services and training to both the inpatient and partial hospitalization services. Dr. Cronin also contributed to the variety of research projects related to Autistic Disorder. UCLA was awarded successive center grants, and Dr. Cronin conducted and supervised the assessments for the research participants.

Dr. Cronin is research trained and reliable on the psychodiagnostic measures the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and has extensive experience assessing and working with children with autism and their families. Dr. Cronin has supported individuals and their families affected by autism in a variety of venues: School District Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings, Hearings/Due Process, and media interviews.

Dr. Cronin was a consultant for the Center for Health Improvement that collaborated with the California Department of Developmental Services to establish the best practice guidelines (2002) for diagnosis and evaluation of individuals with Autistic Disorder or Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Its purpose is to provide best practice guidelines to professionals who work with the community agencies of California (Regional Centers) that provide support for individuals and families affected by developmental disabilities. Dr. Cronin has provided training to local Regional Centers who have recognized the need for their staff to receive training with the state of the art diagnostic tools that assist in the assessment and evaluation process. This improves the quality of diagnosis in the community and increases access to resources since these agencies provide their initial evaluation free of charge. Dr. Cronin also participated in the Westside Regional Center Learning Collaborative that brought together professionals who work in a variety of settings to improve family's access to educational and community support services. As a result of the multidisciplinary collaborative, a handbook was published to serve as a resource guide and "road map" to families affected by autism spectrum disorders.