Dr. Helena Johnson is a California Licensed Psychologist (PSY 21216).
She has dedicated her training and career to the assessment and treatment of childhood disorders. She began her graduate training in the area of neuropsychology assessment of children with developmental disabilities and later spent several years specializing in the areas of cognitive-behavioral therapy, childhood anxiety disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. While Dr. Johnson is knowledgeable in all aspects of child development and childhood disorders, she has specialized training and experience in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders, child anxiety disorders, ADHD, and related developmental delays and disabilities.
Dr. Johnson completed her clinical psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship training at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute (APA-Accredited site)/Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) inpatient and outpatient psychiatric programs. During her internship at UCLA, Dr. Johnson worked with leading child psychologists and psychiatrists. She was actively involved in several specialty clinics, including the Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program, Children’s Friendship Program, Parent Training Program, and the Autism Evaluation Training Clinic where she gained specialized skills in the diagnostic assessment of autism and in treating childhood anxiety, social skill deficits, and parenting skills.
Dr. Johnson completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA’s Autism Evaluation Clinic/Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) that was centered on providing evidence-based diagnostic assessment, treatment planning, and program evaluation services to children, adolescents, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. While at UCLA’s Autism Evaluation Clinic, Dr. Johnson developed an expertise in performing best practice diagnostic assessments of Autism Spectrum Disorders utilizing the most highly recommended and validated diagnostic tools for autism (including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised) through expert training and supervision. While employed at UCLA’s Autism Evaluation Clinic, Dr. Johnson’s efforts contributed to several research projects through the Center for Autism Research and Treatment (UCLA CART). Continued training in delivering social skill intervention to adolescents with autism or other developmental delays was gained through work as a group leader in the PEERS program (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills; developed by Dr. Liz Laugeson and Dr. Fred Frankel at UCLA). Dr. Johnson has completed the UCLA PEERS Training Program.
Her professional experience includes clinical and research work in inpatient and outpatient settings, including university, hospital, and community-based programs (e.g., Early Head Start; Child Advocacy Center). In these settings, she has provided assessment, treatment planning, treatment, and case management skills for children who have autism and developmental disabilities, attentional problems, learning difficulties, behavioral issues, anxiety, and mood disturbances along with serious mental health disorders.
Dr. Johnson is committed to bringing services to her clients that are informed by the latest advances in science and research and welcomes the opportunity to participate in research studies that further our understanding of autism. To that end, she typically is involved in grant-funded research projects and continuously consults the literature for findings relevant to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders in order to best serve her clients.
Throughout her training and professional experiences, Dr. Johnson has gained valuable experience in developing and delivering treatment programs for children utilizing well-established and research-supported principles of behavior. In addition, Dr. Johnson has formal education in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), leading to a certificate in ABA, through Pennsylvania State University.
Since completion of her training, Dr. Johnson has been working in private practice and serving children and adolescents, and their families, in the Orange and Los Angeles counties.