Addressing Challenges to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Pine Rest Autism Symposium

Going Around, Over, Through or Under the Obstacle:

Addressing Challenges to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder Across the Lifespan

Numerous barriers exist in managing patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Some obstacles, like difficulty with communication and social skills are inherent with the diagnosis. Other barriers arise from the complex provider, family and social responses to these individuals.

The symposium will identify and present solutions to many of these obstacles including:

  • DSM 5 updates and their implications
  • Barriers to treatment and how to navigate these
  • Summary of the latest research on Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Managed care and the current delivery system
  • Complicated cases and the keys to success discussed by a nationally-recognized autism expert


  • Matthew Siegel, MD
  • Julie Gentile, MD
  • Kelly Blankenship, DO

Check-in begins at 7:00 am

Cost: $120 General Admission; $50 Medical Students (Includes continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and a small thank you gift)

Registration closes November 3, 2017. No walk-ins.

Printable Symposium Flyer

Who Should Attend:

Adult and pediatric physicians and psychiatrists, family practitioners, ER physicians, social workers, insurance payers, and others involved in serving people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder are invited.

Continuing Education Credits:

5.5 CME credits for medical professionals, and 5.5 CE credits for social workers. No partial credits available.


Dr. SiegelMatthew Siegel M.D.

  • Director of the Developmental Disorders Program of Spring Harbor Hospital, Maine
  • Clinical Investigator at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute
  • Member Autism and Intellectual Disability Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • PI for a multi-site phenotype-genotype study of children severely affected by autism that will examine relationships between phenotypic domains of communication, intelligence, psychiatric co-morbidity and corresponding genetic pathways


Dr. GentileJulie Gentile M.D.

  • Professor of Psychiatry at the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio
  • Interim Chair of Psychiatry at the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio
  • Project Director for Ohio’s Coordinating Center of Excellence in Mental Illness & Intellectual Disability



Dr. BlankenshipKelly Blankenship D.O.

  • Program Director of the Pine Rest/MSU Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Michigan State University





7:00 – 7:50 a.m.      Registration

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.      Welcome and Introductions

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.      Overview and Updates in Autism

Presented by Kelly Blankenship, DO

9:30 – 10:45 a.m.    Developing a System of Care for Children with Autism or Intellectual Disability and Behavioral Health Challenges

Presented by Matthew Siegel, MD

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.  Break

11:00 – 12:15 p.m.  The Four Keys to Success in Transition Age Autism; Services Development in Ohio: Any Lessons for Michigan?

Presented by Julie Gentile, MD

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.    Lunch (Provided)

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.      Psychiatric Co-morbidity and Psychotropic Medication in ASD

Presented by Matthew Siegel, MD

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.      Regional Services

Presented by Kelly Blankenship, DO

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.      Panel: Questions and Discussion

Kelly Blankenship, DO; Julie Gentile, MD; Matthew Siegel, MD

About the William Van Eerden, MD, Lecture Series

William VanEerden, MDDr. William Van Eerden, a staff psychiatrist at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services for more than 40 years, exemplified a commitment to clinical excellence in professional practice throughout his distinguished career. In addition to his strong clinical reputation at Pine Rest, Dr. Van Eerden was administratively responsible for the establishment of the partial hospitalization program, the older adult unit, was the first director of adult services, the first director of the psychiatric residency program, and cared for thousands of patients over his years of service. In his practice, Dr. Van Eerden combined a commitment to the highest psychiatric standards with a deep concern for the integration of faith and behavioral health care.

In keeping with the values demonstrated in his life and career, Pine Rest presents the William Van Eerden, MD, Lecture Series with the support of his friends and family. This series will feature national and international lecturers on topics related to best practice of psychiatric care, with a particular emphasis on spirituality and integration of faith and practice.

The goal of this series will be to help establish a legacy of an education and learning culture at Pine Rest in keeping with Dr. Van Eerden’s values, life and professional practice. Ultimately, the program will improve the lives of those in our community through training in excellent care. This program also represents an extension of Pine Rest’s strategic plan which calls for superior clinical outcomes, outstanding customer service and the creation of a great place to work—one where lifelong learning as well as professional and personal growth is encouraged and nurtured.



Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services

300 – 68th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services designates this live event for a maximum of 5.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.™ Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services is an approved provider with the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative. Approved Provider Number: MICEC-0047. This course has been approved by the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative and is recognized by the State of Michigan, Department of Community Health, Licensing Division for Social Work Continuing Education. Collaborative Contact Information: 517-487-1548, Ext. 17.