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Breakout Session 1b

“The ABCD Approach to Assessing Gender Diverse and Trans Youth:  Affirming, Balanced, Comprehensive, & Developmentally-Informed” by Scott Leibowitz, MD

Scott Leibowitz, MD is the Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services for the THRIVE gender and sex development program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Leibowitz completed his child and adolescent psychiatry training at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he first developed a psychosocial assessment and treatment clinic in coordination with the hospital’s Gender Management Service- the first formal, multidisciplinary clinic for transgender youth in an American children’s hospital. He subsequently moved to Chicago and served in the Gender & Sex Development at Lurie Children’s Hospital before taking on his current role. He is currently the co-chairman of the Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Issues Committee for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a member of the Global Education Initiative for the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, and was appointed Chapter Lead for the Adolescent Assessment chapter in the upcoming revision of the WPATH Standards of Care, 8th edition. He also served as an expert witness in 2016 for the United States Department of Justice in its legal action against the State of North Carolina for its anti-transgender HB2 bill as well as an ACLU 2017 federal case in Pennsylvania on school bathroom use, for which the ruling was in favor of transgender youths’ rights. He has also served as an expert contributor in developing a report on consensus statements on conversion therapies as part of an initiative between SAMHSA and the American Psychological Association.

Brief Description:

This workshop will provide attendees a framework for the assessment of youth presenting with gender identity related needs within a mental health or multidisciplinary context. While transgender adults are of legal age to provide informed consent in order to start gender affirming medical care, minors are dependent on their parents for consent. Minors also differ in that they have more specific developmental factors that impact treatment decisions as a child moves from prepubertal through puberty and into late adolescence. The nuts and bolts of how to assess youth in an affirming, yet comprehensive way, will be discussed. More nuanced issues such as pronoun use and family acceptance will also be discussed.



1) Attendees will learn the approach to doing a behavioral health assessment of trans youth that is both affirming and comprehensive.
2) Attendees will learn the constructs obtained in an assessment according to different developmental stages of childhood and adolescence.
3) Attendees will learn the specifics on how to approach pronouns, pubertal changes, and parent acceptance within a mental health assessment and treatment frame