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Alana Telesford
Alana E. Telesford, PhD
Associate Psychologist, Autism Center
Child Mind Institute

Contact

Emma Calkins, Staff Associate
646.863.5485

Alana E. Telesford, PhD, is an associate psychologist in the Autism Center at the Child Mind Institute. She received her doctoral degree in school psychology, with a specialization in pediatric psychology, from Lehigh University. Dr. Telesford completed an APA-accredited internship in Health Service Psychology at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Delaware and completed her post-doctoral fellowship in autism spectrum disorders at the Swank Autism Center. She has expertise in addressing the complex needs of youth with autism who have co-occurring psychiatric disorders as well as complex medical conditions. Dr. Telsford has vast experience working across home, school, and medical settings through collaborative consultation with caregivers, educators and medical providers.

Dr. Telesford expertise in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with autism and comorbid disorders. She provides diagnostic evaluations, individual and group therapy to children and adolescents as well as parent training and school consultation. Dr. Telesford is trained in gold standard autism assessment instruments, including the ADI-R and ADOS-2. She has extensive experience treating symptoms and co-occurring conditions frequently experienced by youth on the autism spectrum, including anxiety and specific phobias, behavior challenges and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). Therapeutic approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), parent management training (PMT), parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions (NDBIs), social skills trainings and peer-mediated interventions (PMIs). Dr. Telesford is trained in evidence-based interventions that are specifically tailored to the needs of children and adolescents with autism, including Rubi Parent Training for Disruptive Behavior and The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS).

Dr. Telesford has also conducted research related to autism spectrum disorders, peer-mediated interventions and access to care services. She has experience with single case design, large n data analysis, and the design and delivery of research studies in naturalistic environments. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed scientific publications on expanding the conversational skillset of youth on the autism spectrum as well as several book chapters on home- and school-based supports for youth with autism. 

As a psychologist in the Autism Center, Dr. Telesford provides comprehensive diagnostic evaluations for children of all ages as well as individual, family and group therapies to support anxiety management, social functioning, parent-child relationships, positive mealtime behaviors, sleep routines, toileting and completion of medical tasks (e.g., treatment adherence and procedural or needle phobias). In addition, she regularly consults with families and school professionals regarding educational supports for students. Dr. Telesford seeks to provide children and families with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and to encourage families and professionals to recognize and reinforce the many strengths of neurodivergent youth. 

Training:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Swank Autism Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital – Delaware
  • Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program, University of Delaware
  • Predoctoral Intern, Pediatric
  • Psychology Track, Nemours Children’s Hospital – Delaware
  • Graduate Extern, Autism Behavior Consultation Clinic, Nemours Children’s Hospital – Delaware
  • Graduate Extern, Pediatric Feeding & Swallowing Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Graduate Extern, Bethlehem Area School District, Pennsylvania

Education:

  • PhD, School Psychology, College of Education, Lehigh University
  • ABAI Verified Course Sequence, Behavior Analysis, College of Education, Lehigh University
  • MEd, Human Development, College of Education, Lehigh University
  • BS, Psychology; minor in Biological Sciences, Fordham University