Neurodiversity and ASD Specialist

Neurodiversity and ASD Specialist

Reports to: Associate Chief, Student Mental Health & Counseling

Position Overview: 

As a member of the Mental Health and Counseling (MH&C) Services team, the Neurodiversity Specialist is responsible for providing autism and neurodiversity-informed individual counseling, group therapy, initial assessments, crisis intervention, outreach and referral services to graduate and undergraduate students.  The Specialist also serves as an expert on neurodiversity to colleagues within MIT Health (providing education through case conferences and clinical seminars as well as consultations) and to key stakeholders throughout the campus community. Additionally, the position provides direct clinical services to our general undergraduate and graduate student population, including urgent care and crisis intervention, psychological evaluations, time-limited individual and group psychotherapeutic treatment, on-call services, campus liaison, outreach, mental health education, and community referral services.

Additionally, this role provides consultation services to our embedded behavioral health program which serves faculty and staff as well as supervision to postdoctoral psychology fellows and residents. The Specialist also serves as the expert consultant on external sources of referral and support options for our student population. The position will work closely with our campus colleagues in Disability and Access Services (DAS) to provide an integrated approach to supporting neurodivergent students.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities*

  • Serves as a mentor/developmental advisor and/or training resource to trainees as well as peers, providing an example with regard to quality of work and adhering to the ethical codes of the American Psychological Association. 
  • Provide autism and neurodiversity-informed individual counseling, group therapy, initial assessments, crisis intervention, and referral services to students.
  • Facilitate psycho-educational groups and support groups and conduct workshops for students with varying neurodivergent conditions, mostly autism.
  • Demonstrate commitment, skill, and experience in diversity and inclusion programming and clinical expertise in working with traditionally underserved or marginalized populations.
  • Provide consultation to faculty, staff, and administration regarding neurodiverse students.
  • May provide supervision to trainees.
  • Maintain APA professional ethics in all areas.
  • Engages in campus outreach and community education related to mental health issues. 
  • Serves as an expert consultant regarding community referral resources for students. 
  • Participates in select MIT Health, Campus Life, and University committees, as assigned by the Chief of Student Mental Health & Counseling Services.
  • Responds to ad hoc queries in response to leadership requests, acting as a primary thought partner to issues that are often challenging and require analysis to understand and resolve. Ensures that resulting decision information reflects what the requestor is seeking. 
  • Provides mental health screening and initial assessments, both in person and via telephone, of the student, including the assessment of their needs and strengths in their current situation and environment, as well as their functional level. 
  • Develops treatment plans with appropriate and competent interventions.
  • Responsible for assessment and intervention in crisis situations that may involve issues of suicidal intent and behavior, homicidal intent, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, family violence, elder or child abuse.
  • Provides treatment, therapy, psycho-education and/or counseling utilizing individual or group modalities. 
  • Aids the team in understanding and integrating the significance of psychosocial factors in relation to patient's psychiatric challenges, treatment, and recovery.
  • Identifies psychosocial issues that may impede progress. 
  • Makes recommendations to the team regarding care and care management.
  • Partners with the CARE Team to promote student and/or family level of understanding in order to make informed decisions. 
  • Provides care in an interpersonally and culturally sensitive manner. 
  • Provides outreach, case finding/screening for high-risk issues that may impact on student's progress, participation in plan, discharge, or ability to utilize resources. 
    All other duties as assigned.

Minimum Required Education and Experience:

  • PhD, PsyD, and/or MD and advanced licensure by the Massachusetts Board of Registration. 
  • Minimum 3 years related experience with a least 3 years acceptable clinical experience or completion of a fellowship in college mental health or related area. 
  • Valid Massachusetts licensure or license eligible. 
  • Advanced understanding of the full range of developmental and mental health challenges affecting late adolescents and young adults.
  • Evidence of experience in working with severe and persistent mental illness, patients and/or on a psychiatric inpatient unit, or the functional equivalent. 
  • Evidence of effective collaborations with a diverse group of psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, as well as productive collaborations with multiple stakeholders.
  • Evidence of the provision of culturally informed mental health care, and attunement to the manifestations of psychological problems across different cultural backgrounds, identity configurations, and genders. 
  • Knowledge of Massachusetts’s licensure standards and federal regulations (e.g., HIPAA, FERPA) pertaining to health care organizations (including clinical records, patient privacy, and confidentiality, treatment of minors) as well as relevant accreditation standards (e.g., Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care). 
  • Computer skills and knowledge of general office programs, spreadsheet programs, database programs, and presentation programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). 

Job number: 24182
Grade level: 13

* To comply with regulations by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the principal duties in job descriptions must be essential to the job. To identify essential functions, focus on the purpose and the result of the duties rather than the manner in which they are performed. The following definition applies: a job function is essential if removal of that function would fundamentally change the job.

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