Sean Inderbitzen


3:00PM – 5:00PM PT
The Autistic Nervous System-New Directions and Possibilities

304 - Integrating Polyvagal Theory into Autism Intervention

Join Sean Inderbitzen, DSW, LCSW, Member of MINT, an autistic licensed mental health clinician as he flips our understanding of autism on its head! 

Looking through the Polyvagal Vagal lens, we’ll discuss autism as a disordering of the nervous system. Specifically, you’ll discover how much time autistic individuals spend in the sympathetic nervous system—preparing to deal with threats—and not enough in the parasympathetic nervous system. 

Building on the work of Drs. Stephen Porges (Polyvagal Theory), Pat Ogden (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy), and Bill Miller (Motivational Interviewing) and based on his forthcoming book Autism in Polyvagal Terms, Dr. Inderbitzen guides you through innovative interventions for helping autistic clients who are in “fight or flight” mode access the—"rest and digest" response. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain psychoeducation on autism to clients through a theoretical lens of Polyvagal Theory.  
  • Evaluate interventions from a host of practices including biofeedback, sensorimotor psychotherapy, social work pedagogy, and motivational interviewing for use with autistic clients. 
  •  Measure emotional awareness of clients on the spectrum from the lens of body awareness, executive functioning, alexithymia levels, and right/brain left brain dominance

Expert on treating autism and co-occurring trauma

Sean Inderbitzen, LCSW, MINT, has lived 32 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder and is an active clinical social worker within a community health center specializing in the treatment of Autism and co-occurring trauma. He is a doctoral student at Tulane School of Social Work and recently was awarded $40,000 by Mayo Clinic to investigate the impacts of increased pediatrician confidence on access to patients suspected of Autism Spectrum Disorder in rural medical settings.

Additionally, his research team (Katie Diebhold, LMSW, and colleagues) is studying the effectiveness of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy on children with PTSD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, in consultation with Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and under the guidance of Dr. Bonnie Goldstein. In addition to research, Sean maintains an active practice in a community mental health center working with persons on the Autism Spectrum. He is mentored by such innovators as Dr. Stephen Porges and consults with organizations on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Motivational Interviewing. He is an active member of the Motivational Interviewing  Network of Trainers, and his writings can be found regularly featured on Learn more at