Nov 10 2020
Nov 10 2020: 8:00am–11:15am

Psychotherapy for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families

Mental Health and Behavioral Health

About this Presentation

This presentation will focus on addressing the therapeutic needs of children with developmental disabilities and their families.  It will highlight the concerns that often arise when parenting children with disabilities, as well as the family’s need for practical resources and information.  An overview of group therapies for individuals with developmental challenges and their family members will be presented.   There will also be a particular focus on how to use evidence based practices to support psychotherapy for individuals with developmental challenges, particularly autism spectrum disorders.

Bradley Conference is designed to provide education for psychologists, social workers, physicians, nurses, certified counselors, speech/language and occupational therapists, teachers, milieu associates, and other professionals who work with children, adolescents or adults.Topics address different behavioral health populations and treatment modalities and are intended to provide practical, state-of-the-art information.

This session will be held virtually, on Zoom.


Karen Cammuso, PhD, ABPP is the clinical director of the Bradley Verrecchia Clinic for Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She earned her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Catholic University of America. Dr. Cammuso completed her clinical internship at the University of Maryland Medical Center and her postdoctoral fellowship at Georgetown University Hospital’s Child Development Center. She is a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Cammuso is actively involved in teaching activities with child psychology residents and fellows in the clinical psychology training programs. Her interests center on using evidence-based practices to support and treat children with developmental and behavioral health challenges at home and at school.

Maria Regan, LICSW received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island and her master’s degree in social work from Rhode Island College. She has worked at Bradley Hospital for 32 years. Regan is currently the clinical director of Bradley Hospital’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Partial Hospitalization Program. She began her career  as a clinical social worker in the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Inpatient Program. She also served as a clinical team leader at the Bradley School South County and as a clinical supervisor for the Bradley Hospital Access Center and Kids’ Link.

Gina Marini, LICSW is a Social Worker in the Verrecchia Clinic for Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Bradley Hospital. Marini earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from American University, and her first master’s degree in child development from Tufts University. After several years working in the field of special education, Marini returned to school and obtained her second master’s degree in social work from Boston College. Marini completed her clinical internship within Bradley Hospital’s Children’s Partial Hospital Program. Upon earning her MSW, Marini remained on staff at Bradley Hospital before joining the Verrecchia Clinic.

Marini has extensive experience working with children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. In the past, Marini co-led social skills training groups at the Groden Network’s Asperger’s Center. Marini also worked at the Autism Project – facilitating groups, consulting to local-area schools on best practices, and directing Camp Wannagoagain. Marini remains active in the community – currently running a recreational group for teenagers and young adults with varied developmental disabilities at Skills in Motion.  

Within the Verrecchia Clinic, Marini provides direct clinical services to children and families, including individual, group, and family therapies. Marini actively participates in SibLink, a group which supports siblings of children with special needs. Additionally, Marini coordinates community and school services, resources, and programs required to meet family needs, as well as supports youth with developmental disabilities as they transition into adulthood.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Recognize common needs and concerns in therapy with families who have children with developmental challenges. 
  2. Describe individual, family, and group psychotherapy approaches for family members and individuals with developmental challenges
  3. Examine how to use evidence based practices to support psychotherapy for children with autism and other developmental disabilities


  • Target audience: psychologists, physicians, social workers and other interested health care professionals.
  • Instructional level: Intermediate.
  • 3.0 CE hours/credits (see below.)
  • Beverages and light snacks will be offered.


  • Program fee: $59 Lifespan employee discounted rate: $49.
  • Online registration closes on Wednesday, September 30.
  • Phone registration: Please call the department of behavioral education at 401-606-5752
  • For refund/cancellation information please email or call Liz DeFreitas at 401-606-5752.
  • To request reasonable accommodation for a disability, please contact the Rhode Island Hospital CME office at 401-444-4260

Register online

Continuing Education Hours/Credit

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation criteria and policies of the Rhode Island Medical Society (RIMS) through the joint providership of Rhode Island Hospital and Bradley Hospital.  Rhode Island Hospital is accredited by the Rhode Island Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.      

Rhode Island Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s).  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Rhode Island Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Rhode Island Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

CEUs for this event have been submitted, pending approval by the National Board for Social Work (NASW), designating this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 continuing education credits for certified counselors, marriage and family therapists.