20 Hours | 20 CEs

This on-demand professional training program on Autism and the Law is presented by  Michael L. Perlin, JD, and Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD, in partnership with Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates.

In recent years, far greater attention has been paid to the interactions between persons with autism and the legal system. These interactions include criminal law, mental disability law, sexually violent predator law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other civil cases. Issues range from those related to Internet-related pornography offenses to “eviction” from convenience stores. In this program, participants will learn about the legal and social hurdles that persons with autism must confront, including access to counsel; criminal trial complications; civil law and anti-discrimination law as it applies to persons with autism; persons with autism in the mental disability law context; juvenile considerations; persons with autism facing sexual violent predator legislation; forensic issues in jails and prisons; issues in treatment and housing in the community; and issues related to expert diagnosis and evaluation.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

  • Describe common misconceptions, advocacy issues, special education laws, and IDEA

  • Describe therapeutic jurisprudence, sanism, and pretextuality

  • Describe mental disability law and sexually violence predator case research

  • Describe autism and criminal law incompetency and confessions

  • Describe the trial process and ability to testify

  • Describe the treatment of persons with autism in jails and prisons & developments in constitutional law

  • Describe autism in mental health courts and medication issues

  • Describe the applications of the Americans with Disabilities Act

  • Describe the significance of reasonable accommodation laws

  • Describe community issues such as housing, access to public places, and domestic relations

Presented By

Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD

Heather Ellis Cucolo is an adjunct professor in New York Law School’s online mental disability law program, has served as Acting Director of that program, and has contributed to the development of courses within the program as well as assisted in collaboration with Asia-Pacific partners to foster international distance learning. Professor Cucolo currently teaches the Americans with Disabilities Act, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Mental Disability Law and Sex Offenders to both law students, clinicians and other professionals.

Michael L. Perlin, JD

Michael L. Perlin is Professor of Law Emeritus at New York Law School (NYLS), founding director of NYLS’s Online Mental Disability Law Program, and founding director of NYLS’s International Mental Disability Law Reform Project in its Justice Action Center. He is also the co-founder of Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates. He has written 31 books and nearly 300 articles on all aspects of mental disability law, many of which deal with the overlap between mental disability law and criminal law and procedure.

Collect Badges, Earn Certificates

This is a badge-earning program, which means it will help you earn a certificate that can be showcased on digital platforms like LinkedIn.

  • Intended Audience

    This self-paced program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This self-paced program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

    APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.


  • 1


    • Review Before Proceeding

  • 2

    About Autism

    • Lesson 1 Video

    • ASD Seminar

    • Forensic Issues and Challenges

    • Sex, Science, and the Age of Anxiety

    • Autism in the US

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 3

    Jurisprudential Filters

    • Lesson 2 Video

    • Changing of the Guards

    • Dealing with Victims of Crime

    • Half-Wracked Prejudice Leaped Forth

    • The Learned-Helpless Lawyer

    • Media Distortion


    • Lesson Quiz

  • 4

    Counsel and Judging Issues

    • Lesson 3 Video




    • Judiciary views

    • A World of Steel-Eyed Death

    • In the Matter of J.S

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 5

    Autism and Criminal Law

    • Lesson 4 Video


    • State v. Burr

    • ASD with Westphal

    • Commonwealth v. Vonschlichten

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 6

    Autism, Forensic Issues and Sexual Autonomy

    • Lesson 5 Video


    • ASD and Sexual Behaviors


    • Some Things Are Too Hot to Touch

    • Creating Continuity

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 7

    The Sexually Violence Predator Process – Criminal

    • Lesson 6 Video

    • Kent Academic Repository


    • Ethics and Human Rights

    • White Paper

    • Treatment

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 8

    The Sexually Violence Predator Process – Civil

    • Lesson 7 Video

    • Kansas v Crane

    • Kansas v Hendricks


    • Sex Offenders Cases

    • Sex Offender Registration

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 9

    Autism and Mental Disability Law

    • Lesson 8 Video

    • In Interest of RH, 289

    • In re Hytham M.G.


    • Pf v NJ

    • Civil Commitment Courts

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 10

    Autism and International Law; Autism and Domestic Relations Law

    • Lesson 9 Video


    • Divorce and Autism

    • Impact of the Convention

    • Autism in Children and Parents

    • Special Considerations

    • Guardians and Protectors

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 11

    Autism, anti-discrimination law, Special education law, and Community issues

    • Lesson 10 Video



    • Health Care for the Autistic Child

    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    • Police Training

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 12


    • Instructions

    • Evaluation

    • Submission Verification

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

  • Expert Instructors

    Professional training developed and delivered by the field's leading experts

  • CE Credit

    Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

  • Convenience & Flexibility

    Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!

Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates

We are proud to partner with Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates, LLC for this training. MDLPA is a boutique educational training company that offers specialized mental disability law consulting, the creation or enhancement of distance learning programs, in-house or online courses, and day or weekend training seminars to reputable organizations, educational institutions, professional groups and advocacy groups focused on providing advanced knowledge and skills to persons working with marginalized populations.NYSAP professionals have played a key role for 25 years in research on juveniles’ competence to stand trial and in developing juvenile competence standards for forensic clinical practice, law, and policy. In response to the growing demand for juvenile competence evaluations nationally, we provide consultation to assist agencies in developing or refining their juvenile competence service delivery system, as well as creating and conducting quality assurance procedures. We train clinicians and juvenile justice stakeholders (e.g., judges, attorneys, and community partners) in practice standards for conducting high quality juvenile competence evaluations.

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