Sarah O'Kelley, PH.D. Clinical Psychology

Civitan International Research Center & Sparks Clinics
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
933 19th Street South, CH19 Room 307(Location)
1720 2nd Avenue South, CH19 Room 307 (Mailing)
Birmingham, AL 35294-0021
Phone: 205-975-5781
Email: [email protected]
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Last Updated: October 28, 2020

Sarah O'Kelley

Leadership: LEND Director
UCEDD Director
Primary Activity Coordinators: Clinical Services
Discipline Coordinators: Psychology: Developmental
Project/Program/Clinic Contacts: Autism Clinic Coordinator
Discipline(s): Psychology
AUCD Council Membership: No Council Membership
Council on Research and Evaluation
National Training Directors' Council
Research: Research: autism spectrum disorders, treatment-outcome with autism spectrum disorders, cognitive phenotype in autism spectrum disorders, behavioral phenotype of autism spectrum disorders, sibling functioning in autism spectrum disorders, family functioning in autism spectrum disorders, early recognition/diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders
Education: Education: undergraduate psychology, graduate clinical psychology, postgraduate clinical psychology, supervision of diagnostic assessment, supervision of cognitive assessment, supervision of therapy, interdisciplinary training, autism spectrum disorders
Service: Service: autism spectrum disorders, cognitive assessment, diagnostic assessment, individual therapy, family therapy, social skills group therapy, community outreach, school consultation, early recognition, MCH LEND Trainee Training Coordinator



Sarah O'Kelley, PhD completed several years of advanced training at the UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinics prior to being hired as a member of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) training team, with duties including presentation of didactic lectures, providing outreach to community providers, supervising trainees, and providing clinical services to children with ASD and their families. From 2006 to 2008, a portion of her postdoctoral fellowship was allotted to serving as the 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 was also a member of the Alabama Autism Collaborative Group and statewide Needs Assessment team. She currently serves as leader of a state work group focused on Developmental Screening and Surveillance for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. O'Kelley has been involved in research and treatment with individuals with ASD and their families for over 10 years. She received her doctorate in clinical child psychology from The University of Alabama in 2006 and completed her predoctoral internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Psychology Internship Training Consortium and postdoctoral fellowship at UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinics. Dr. O'Kelley's research interests include cognitive and behavioral phenotypes of individuals with ASD, sibling and family functioning, group social skills interventions, and issues across the lifespan. Her clinical interests include assessment and treatment, including cognitive and diagnostic assessment, individual and group therapy approaches, and school consultation. Dr. O'Kelley also has experience and a strong interest in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. O'Kelley has co-authored a book and a book chapter regarding current issues in ASD, presented posters related to autism research at national and international research conferences, and has several journal manuscripts in preparation. Dr. O'Kelley is also a member of the International Society for Autism Research and American Psychological Association.


O'Kelley, S.E., Griffith, E.M., Klinger, L.G., & McCurry, S.A. (2009). Screening, diagnosis, and treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders. In F. A. Karnes & K. R. Stephens (Eds.), Practical Strategies in Autism Education Series. Austin, TX: Prufrock Press.

Klinger, L.G., O'Kelley, S.E., & Mussey, J.L. (2008). Assessment of Intellectual Functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorders. In S. Goldstein, J. Naglieri, & S. Ozonoff (Eds.), Assessment of autism spectrum disorders. New York: Guilford.

Alabama Autism Collaborative Group (Mulvihill B., Klinger, L.G., Geiger, B., Kirby, R., Griffith, E.M., O'Kelley, S., et al.). (2008, June). Statewide Autism Needs Assessment Final Report. Available at

Poster Presentations

Griffith, E.M., O'Kelley, S.E., Perez, T., Biasini, F.J., Guest, K., & Bailey, K.J. (2010, May). Use of the Social Responsiveness Scale as a Screening Tool for Children Referred for Evaluation of Developmental Disabilities. Poster presented at the 2010 International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), Philadelphia, PA.

O'Kelley, S.E., Guest, K., Munger, S.M., Bailey, K.J., Biasini, F.J., & Griffith, E. M. (2010, May) Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Young Children Referred for Developmental Assessment: Guiding Efficient Assessment Practices within a Tertiary Clinic Setting. Poster presented at the 2010 International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), Philadelphia, PA.

O'Kelley, S.E., & Klinger, L.G. (2007, May). Predicting the Adjustment of Siblings of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Contributions of Broader Autism Phenotype and Family Variables. Poster presented at the 2007 International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), Seattle, WA.

O'Kelley, S.E., Klinger, L.G., & Klinger, M.R. (2005, April). The Relation between Central Coherence and Symptomatology in Autism. Poster presented at the 2005 biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, GA.

DeRamus, M., Klinger, L.G., O'Kelley, S.E., Klinger, M. (2005, April). Repetitive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Poster presented at the 2005 biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, GA.

Bodin, S.D., Renner, P., Crump, S.E., & Klinger, L.G. (2001, August). Subtyping Pervasive Developmental Disorders using DSM-IV Criteria. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

Klinger, L.G., Lee, J.M., Bush, D., Klinger, M.R., & Crump, S.E. (2001, April). Implicit Learning in Autism: Artificial Grammar Learning. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Minneapolis, MN.

Manuscripts in Preparation

O'Kelley, S.E., Klinger, L.G., Klinger, M.R., & DeRamus, M.K. (in preparation). Measuring repetitive behaviors in children with typical development and autism spectrum disorders.

Barber, A., Klinger, L.G., O'Kelley, S.E., Holtzclaw, T., & Klinger, M.K. (in preparation). Language Comprehension and Repetitive Behaviors in High Functioning ASD.

O'Kelley, S.E., & Klinger, L.G. (in preparation). Impact of the Broader Autism Phenotype on the Adjustment and Functioning of Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

O'Kelley, S.E., Barry, T.D., DeRamus, M.K., & Klinger, L.G. (in preparation). Social Skills Group Intervention with High-Functioning Children with Autism: Generalization of Effects to a School Setting.

Service Activities

Work Group Leader, Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council- Developmental Surveillance

And Early Screening Workgroup

Board Member, UA-ACTS (The University of Alabama Autism Spectrum Disorders College Transition

and Support Program)

Representative, Alabama Autism Providers Network

Member, Alabama Autism Conference Planning Committee

Volunteer, Alabama Autism Society

Chairperson, Advisory Board for The Children's Place at Huffman United Methodist Church, a childcare

and preschool facility in Birmingham, Alabama