Autism as a Risk Factor for Disrupted Behavior - A Zoom presentation - Approved for 3 CE’s

10/30/2020 - 11:00am to 2:15pm CDT

A secure attachment between a caregiver and child develops within innumerable, yet exquisitely choreographed interactions and moments.

The child feels heard, understood, cared for, and safe, while the parent feels connected, capable and effective; both develop trust in the caregiver. When a child is on the autism spectrum, these felt experiences can be much more challenging to orchestrate.

This presentation will review the details of secure attachment and disrupted attachment, as well as the necessary caregiver/child interactions that foster secure attachment. We will also take a deep dive into the neurodiversity of the autism spectrum. Bringing all this information together, we will discuss how neurodiversity can impact the ability of caregiver and child to come together in ways that foster secure attachment and rather, lead them down the road to disrupted attachment. Finally, we will wrap up with how you can use a trauma -informed lens, coupled with an approach that combines infant-mental health and neurodiversity, to support the repair of disrupted attachments and promote the development of secure attachments within these families.


“What will this workshop teach me?”

• How secure attachment develops and why it is so important

• Ways in which disrupted attachment occurs

• The impact of disrupted attachment on both child and caregiver

• Underlying neurodiversity/neurobiology of children on the autism spectrum

• How this neurodiversity creates unique attachment challenges

• A brief overview of trauma-informed care

• Intricacies of supporting attachment between children on the spectrum and their caregivers


Erica Haugen is a graduate of Adler Graduate School, Marriage and Family track, holds a master’s degree in Child Development, is a certified DIR/Floortime practitioner, and the owner and founder of Canopy Family Services, LLC. She has worked with children on the spectrum, and their families, for many years, in various contexts. Her work with this population is centered around the caregiver/child relationship as the vehicle for developmental growth and progress. Erica brings a finely tuned neurodiversity approach to working with this population, which intertwines with passionate advocacy for the autism community.

Erica Haugen, MA
$0 – $65
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