Home / News / 2024 Professional Webinar: Recognizing Autism in Youth/Young Adults and Navigating Adolescence into Adulthood

2024 Professional Webinar: Recognizing Autism in Youth/Young Adults and Navigating Adolescence into Adulthood

Presented by Deacon Lawrence R. Sutton PhD

Date: January 25, 2024

Time: 12pm – 1:30pm Central Time


During this webinar the presenter will provide how he defines and diagnoses autism. He will provide a brief overview of the common struggles that teens/young adults living with autism typically experience and outline ways to address these common problems from the vantage point of the teen/young adult and the caregiver. The presenter will share his own experiences through storytelling and engage the audience in open dialogue about the subject. The presenter encourages participants to share openly their own experiences ministering to those living with autism and those who support teens/adults with autism.

NACC Certification Competencies Addressed in this Webinar:  To be determined

Presenter Information

Lawrence R. Sutton, Ph.D. is a Deacon in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Director of Pre-Theology Formation at St. Vincent College and Seminary.  He and his family grew up in the Diocese of Pittsburgh; with Nancy and sons Daniel, Brian and Mark.

In addition to his work at St. Vincent’s, Dr. Sutton works as a Psychologist at the Wesley Spectrum Services in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and was the former Manager of the Western Region Office of the Bureau of Autism Services in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980 and has been licensed as a psychologist in Pennsylvania since 1983; and is also licensed as a psychologist in West Virginia, Ohio and Nebraska.

As a Deacon, he developed and has run a Sacramental preparation and religious education program for children/adolescents touched by autism in the Diocese of Pittsburgh since 2003 at the Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church.  His primary work over the past eighteen years has been with children and adults touched by autism and worked with those with other types of disabilities throughout his career.

Dr. Sutton has numerous publications in the area of treatment of behavioral issues for teens and adults with developmental disorders, particularly those with autism.  He is the author of the book entitled, “How to Welcome, Include, and Catechize Children with Autism and Other Special Needs, A parish-Based Approach”; “Teaching Children with Autism in Catholic Settings”, both published by Loyola Press as well as “Autism and Holy Orders: How to help Seminarians with Autism become effective Priests”,  Lambing Press, 2022.

Dr. Sutton has also worked with criminal justice related issues since the 1980’s initially with alcohol and drug related problems, particularly with alcohol/drug impaired driving and then later with individuals who had either a developmental or psychiatric disorder.  He worked in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services as manager of psychological services from 2004-2007.  He has presented his work nationally in over 50 Dioceses and as a Keynote Speaker in Lagos Nigeria on five occasions since 2012, at the World Eucharistic Congress in Cebu Philippines and in Bamenda Cameroon and has been qualified as an expert witness as a psychologist in Pennsylvania and Federal court.