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SODBP Peer-to-Peer Session 2: Autism Spectrum- Challenges Faced by Individuals & Families

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Featuring Linda Copeland, MD, FAAP, a Board Certified Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician and an expert in the early diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Dr. Copeland will discuss challenges that families with children with Autism Spectrum face that she has clinically observed in her work. Such challenges include but are not limited to comorbid anxiety and depression, bullying issues, sleep problems, risk of abuse and why trauma informed care is important. She will share strategies that can help address these challenges and build resilience for the child and family.


Linda Copeland MD, BCBA received her bachelor’s degree in physiology from UC Davis, then her Medical Degree at the UC Davis School of Medicine in 1979, receiving the Alpha Omega Alpha honor.  

 She became a board-certified pediatrician and did two years of fellowship in child psychiatry as well as one year in developmental pediatrics, all at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  She worked for many years as a practicing primary care pediatrician and then obtained specialty board certification in developmental-behavioral pediatrics.

While working at Alta California Regional Center in Sacramento, she co-authored a grant from Sierra Health Foundation in 1993 to develop early intensive behavioral intervention services for children with Autism, networking with the UCLA Young Autism Project.  She also networked with parents of children with autism to create the first ever “Families for Early Autism Treatment” or FEAT non-profit group. Subsequently, Dr. Copeland obtained Board Certification in Behavior Analysis, earning her BCBA credential in 2009, collaborating with several doctorate level behavior analysts serving children with autism since that time.

  As a consultant on brain imaging research at UC Davis Medical Center, she assisted with magnetic resonance and spectroscopy studies on children with Fragile X syndrome as well as autism.  She also served on the Community Advisory Board for the CHARGE (Childhood Autism Risk from Genes and the Environment) study at the UC Davis MIND Institute for a decade.

Dr. Copeland was part-time faculty and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Fresno-UCSF Pediatric Residency Program for 5 years.  She has performed contract work as a developmental specialist with the Contra Costa Health Plan since the spring of 2015, reviewing ABA services for children with special needs. She also contracts at the UC Davis MIND Institute in the Research Division, assisting in studies on brain development and on the treatment of anxiety disorders in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Her early scientific publications include research on ADHD and childhood aggressive conduct disorder.  Her most recent publications include several articles on autism diagnosis & pathophysiology as well as on ABA treatment.  She has been a speaker for international symposia on autism spectrum disorders in the United States, Europe and the Philippines.