Gwendolyn Barnhart, PsyD, is a 2021 graduate of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

Michael Sakuma, PhD, Committee Chair

Michael Toohey, PhD, Committee Member

Elizabeth Beasley, EdD, Committee Member


autism, psychometrics, strengths and challenges, neurodiversity, DSM limitations, sensory, adaptive behavior, social skills, communication, stimming

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There are limited tools for professionals who work with individuals with autism to ascertain individuals’ strengths and challenges within the various facets of symptomology after diagnosis. Professionals can currently use personal interviews and psychological reports to determine individuals’ strengths and challenges to determine the types of services that would benefit them following initial diagnosis. The limitations of this practice are that the levels of understanding, accuracy, and use of these measures vary in the field. Furthermore, the norms of diagnostic measures are the entire population rather than solely individuals on the autistic spectrum/autistics (IOS/A). A new measure is necessary: one that encompasses everyone on the autism spectrum and highlights the variances in strengths and challenges within this population. This dissertation encompasses the creation of such a measure. The output of this measure is data that can showcase individuals’ challenges and strengths. These data can provide professionals who work with individuals with autism a better idea of where individuals’ needs may lie and help to create individualized treatment goals. This study consists of two data-collection phases: an in-depth measure analysis and one-on-one interviews of professionals in the field. In this study, the researcher assessed for content validity. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


Gwendolyn Barnhart, PsyD, 2021

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-7495-1242

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