Pathways in and out of problematic sexual behaviour in autism

Dr Rachel Loftin, Mark Mahoney, Dr Laurie Sperry and Dr Alexander Westphal

Dr Laurie Sperry
Dr. Laurie Sperry, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is an Associate Professor in Psychology and Criminology at Regis University. In addition to a PhD, and a degree in Forensic Psychology and Criminology, she is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst- Doctoral Level. She has participated in global outreach and provided services in Australia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Africa, Saipan, Singapore and has developed a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Bangalore, India.

In 2006 she was added to the Fulbright Scholarship’s Senior Specialist Roster. She moved to Australia in 2010 and worked at Griffith University in the Department of Arts, Education and Law. Her research focuses on people with ASD who come in contact with the criminal justice system to ensure their humane treatment within the system.

Laurie Sperry's profile at Regis University

Mark Mahoney
Graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1971, Mark Mahoney received his law degree in 1974 from the State University of New York Law School at Buffalo. Beginning with the firm of Doyle, Diebold & Bermingham and up to the present time with his firm of Harrington & Mahoney, he has always engaged in the private practice of criminal law. Mark is admitted to practice in all New York courts and the Supreme Court of the United States. He is one of the few attorneys admitted to practice in all four federal district courts in New York.

Dr Alexander Westphal
Alexander Westphal, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Law and Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, and at the Yale Child Study Center. His clinical and research interests include regression in autism, issues at the intersection of autism and the legal system, and risk assessment in autism.

Dr Rachel Loftin
Dr Rachel Loftin is a school and clinical psychologist and Clinical Director of the Autism Assessment, Research, Treatment & Services (AARTS) Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Loftin specializes in evaluations, consultation and interventions for individuals with ASD of all ages, with a special emphasis on young adults. Dr. Loftin has extensive training in the instruments and clinical skills to diagnose, as well as expertise in educational, behavioral and social interventions for people with ASD. Dr. Loftin received her PhD from Indiana University and completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the Yale Child Study Center, specializing in developmental disorders. Currently, she is investigating a sexuality education curriculum for young adults with ASD, with a research grant from the Organization for Autism Research.


People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at heightened risk for engaging in problematic behaviors, such as stalking and viewing illegal pornography due to inherent characteristics of the disorder. This panel will... [ view full abstract ]


PL-13 » Panel Discussion (09:40 - Sunday, 18th September, Pentland Auditorium)