Dr. O’Kelley is the Director of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Clinic at UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinics; she is also involved in psychology and interdisciplinary clinical training as the UAB LEND training director. She currently serves as leader of a state work group focused on Developmental Screening and Surveillance for Autism Spectrum Disorders (Act Early Alabama state team). Her clinical interests include cognitive and diagnostic assessment, individual and group therapy approaches, and school consultation for children with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Dr. O’Kelley is a certified provider of the PEERS program developed at UCLA (for more information about UAB PEERS email: PEERS@uab.edu).
Dr. O'Kelley has been involved in research and clinical activities with individuals with ASD and their families for 15 years. She completed her predoctoral internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Psychology Internship Training Consortium, and was a LEND postdoctoral fellow at UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinics. From 2006 to 2008, a portion of her postdoctoral fellowship included a position of Program Coordinator for the University of Alabama Autism Spectrum Disorders College Transition and Support program (UA-ACTS), a program she helped develop and implement. Dr. O’Kelley is a member of the International Society for Autism Research and American Psychological Association and is active in the Alabama Autism Providers Network.
Dr. O'Kelley's research interests include cognitive and behavioral phenotypes of individuals with ASD (previous collaborative and independent studies have included evaluating implicit learning, central coherence, and theory of mind paradigms), screening and early identification (i.e., evaluating validity of screening tools), sibling and family functioning (i.e., the broader autism phenotype and behavioral difficulties in siblings of children with ASD), group social skills interventions, and issues across the lifespan for individuals with ASD. She actively collaborates with investigators within Psychology, throughout UAB, and across the country on funded research projects. She supervises a number of student/trainee projects as a co-director (along with Kristi Guest) of the ASD Database Group at the UAB LEND evaluating clinical data obtained regarding children referred for ASD assessment.
Cognitive and behavioral phenotypes of children and adults with ASD, ASD treatment-outcome, family functioning in ASD and other developmental disabilities, screening and interdisciplinary diagnosis of ASD