Mental health care planning for autistic teens: What works, what doesn’t and why?


Professor Sandra Radovini

Professor Sandra Radovini is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Director of Mindful, the Victorian state-wide Child & Adolescent Mental Health teaching and training unit for professionals working with children, young people and their families. Mindful is part of the Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne. Sandra has held a number of key leadership positions in Mental Health: as the inaugural Chief Child Psychiatrist (2009–11); in the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist with the Victorian Department of Health; and as the inaugural Clinical Director of Headspace – National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

Facilitated by:

Dr Bianca Forrester, has lived and worked in the Geelong community for 15 years. She is a senior lecturer in Primary Care at the University of Melbourne and is also a lecturer at Deakin’s School of Medicine. In addition to her clinical work, she runs several communities of practice on issues including COVID care, family violence and youth mental health.

Previously, we’ve discussed the range of presentations of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in secondary school-aged teens: characterising them as those who have a prior diagnosis but require further and ongoing assistance; those who have been diagnosed with a mental health co-morbidity but not yet a diagnosis of ASD; and those who might present with the key criteria and request a referral for assessment. 

In this session, we opened the lid on the Autism guidelines to consider how to use awareness of these guidelines to streamline referrals, support and advocacy. We’ll be exploring how to better support the mental health co-morbidities that travel alongside Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

We’ll be looking at what can be done for young people while awaiting formal assessment in relation to lifestyle, family life, school life, social and peer interactions, academic demands and pressures and also how to tailor mental health therapies to the common needs of people with autism. 

This webinar was recorded on 17 May 2023.