Skip to main content
Sign In

          Robin Gabriels, PsyD


Gary Pavilion, 4th Floor

The Children's Hospital

Email:  Dr. Gabriels


Robin Gabriels, PsyD



Positions and Employment:

Psychology Intern, William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute), University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC (APA Approved Internship), Sept. 1996-Aug. 1997

UCHSC Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, JFK Partners, Sept. 1997 - Sept. 1998

Part-time Faculty/Professional Research Assistant/Project Coordinator, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, JFK Partners, Sept. 1998 – Jan. 2001

Part-time faculty, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Undergraduate Psychology Department, Fall Semester 1998

Part-time Faculty, University of Denver, Graduate School Psychology Program, Summer QTR 2000; Fall QTR 1999

Part-time faculty, University of Northern Colorado, Division of Special Education, Summer QTR 2000; Fall QTR 2000

Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice,Sept. 1998 – June 2003

Affiliate Faculty, Clinical Instructor, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Dept. of Pediatrics, January 2001-June 2003

Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Autism and DD programs, The Children's Hospital/University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Depts. of Psychiatry and Pediatrics> July 2003 – April 2004

Associate Professor & Director/Founder of the Neuropsychiatric Special Care (NSC) Program  April 2004 - June 2017

Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine, July 2017 - present

Other Experience and Professional Memberships: 

Director of Art Therapy, Department of Pediatric Psychiatry, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO, Sept. 1985 - Aug. 1996

Child and Family Therapist, Therapeutic Preschool Program, Aurora Community Mental Health Center, Aurora, CO 1990 - 1992

Board Member, Autism Society of America, Colorado Chapter, May 2001 – August 2006

Advisory Council, Autism Society of Colorado, August 2006- Present

Reviewer, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, March 2003 - Present

Reviewer, Autism: An International Journal of Research and Practice, Oct. 2004 – Present

Member, International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), 2005 - Present

Board Member, The Children’s Hospital Medical Staff Board, Feb. 2008 – Present

Advisory Board Member, Project SEARCH, employment training program for young adults with disabilities, The Children’s Hospital, May 2008 - Present

Medical Advisory Group for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl), 2013 - Present


Psi Chi: Psychology Honor Society - University of Northern Colorado, (Vice President), 1982

“Above and beyond” award by the Art Therapy Association of Colorado for acquiring state licensure eligibility for Colorado Art Therapists under the Professional Counselors Licensing Board, 1991

The Children’s Hospital SEED (Manager Level Reward) for clinical activity/leadership skills/development of new care delivery system, 2003

2013 Alumni Master Scholar Award for the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology, 2013



Various class and seminar presentations to residents, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and hospital staff on such topics as art therapy approaches and treatment, children with special needs, diagnosis, treatment, and management of children with autism spectrum disorders, and professional, development and ethics in supervision.

Has supervised psychology interns and externs, social work interns, psychiatry residents, postdoctoral students, research fellows, and medical students as well as served on psychology dissertation committees.


Program Director, Neuropsychiatric Special Care (NSC), Children's Hospital Colorado: Coordinates the NSC leadership team; oversees the clinical intervention methods employed by clinical staff; conducts program evaluation research, clinical interventions, and assessments of patients; and serves as a clinical mentor for clinical staff and trainees.


Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Gabriels, R. Art therapy assessment of coping styles in severe asthmatics. The Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 1988 Jul; 59-68.

Gabriels, R., Wamboldt, M., McCormik, D., Adams, T., & McTaggart, S. Children’s illness drawings and asthma symptom awareness. Journal of Asthma, 2000; 37 (7), 565-574.

Gabriels, R., Hill, D., Pierce, R., Rogers, S. J., & Wehner, B. Predictors of treatment outcome in children with autism. Autism: The International J. of Research and Practice, 2001; 5 (4), 407-429.

Unis, A. S., Munson, J. A., Rogers, S. J., Ed Goldson, E., Osterling, J., Gabriels, R., Abbott, R., and  Dawson, G. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of porcine versus synthetic secretin for reducing symptoms of autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2002; 41 (11).

Noland, R. and Gabriels, R. Screening and identifying children with autism spectrum disorders in the public school system: The development of a model process. J. of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2004; 34 (3) 265-277.

Gabriels, R.,Cuccaro, M. L., Hill, D. E., Ivers, B. and J., Goldson, E. Repetitive behaviors in autism: Relationships with associated clinical features. Research In Developmental Disabilities, 2004; 26 (2), 169-181.

Brinkley, J., Abramson, R.K., Hall, A., Wright, H.H., Gabriels, R., Gilbert, J.R., Pericak-Vance, M.A., and Cuccaro, M. Factor analysis of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. J. of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2007; 37 (10) 1949-59.

Gabriels, R., Ivers, BJ, Hill, DE, Agnew, JA & McNeill, J. Stability of adaptive behaviors in middle-school children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2007; (1) 291-303.

Gabriels, R., Agnew, J.A., Miller, L.J., Gralla, J., Pan, Z., Goldson, E., Ledbetter, J.C., Dinkins, J., and Hooks, E. Is there a relationship between restricted, repetitive, stereotyped behaviors and interests and abnormal sensory response in children with autism spectrum disorders? Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2008; (2) 660-670.

Gabriels, R, Agnew, J.A., Holt, K.D., Shoffner, A., Zhaoxing, P., Ruzzano, S., Clayton, G.H., and Mesibov, G. Pilot study measuring the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on school-age children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2011; (6) 578-588.

Gabriels, R, Agnew, J.A., Beresford, C., Morrow, M., Mesibov, G., Wamboldt, M. Improving psychiatric hospital care for pediatric patients with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities. Autism Research and Treatment: Special issue, “Identification and intervention of complex behavior problems in adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders", vol. 2012, Article ID 685053, 7 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/685053.

Gabriels, R., Agnew, J.A., Pan, Z., Holt, K.D., Reynolds, A., Laudenslager, M.L. Elevated repetitive behaviors are associated with lower diurnal salivary cortisol levels in autism spectrum disorder. Biological Psychology, 2013; (93), 262-268.

Current Grants and Contracts:

Grant Support: Mars - Waltham Foundation
Study Status: January 2014-Future
Co-PIs: Robin Gabriels, Psy.D & John Agnew, Ph.D
Consultant: Maggie O’Haire, Ph.D
Project Aim: Piloting a coding measure of behavior change in children with autism spectrum disorders from pre- to post-therapeutic horseback riding.

Grant Support: Mars - Waltham Foundation
Study Status: January 2014-Future
Co-PIs: Robin Gabriels, Psy.D & John Agnew, Ph.D
Consultant: Maggie O’Haire, Ph.D
Project Aim: Piloting a coding measure of behavior change in children with autism spectrum disorders from pre- to post-therapeutic horseback riding.

Grant Support: The Simons Foundation and The Lurie Foundation
Study Status: Summer/2013-Future
Subcontract Co PI: Robin Gabriels, Psy.D.
Project Aim: 2 year, 6 site collaborative research project (Autism and Developmental Disabilities Inpatient Research Collaborative, ADDIRC) to phenotype at least 500 children with ASD in specialty psychiatric inpatient units across the U.S.

Grant Support: NINR/NIH 1 R01 NR012736-01     1.3 million award
Study Status: 10/10 – present (4-year project)
PI:  Robin Gabriels, Psy.D.
Project Aim: Examining the Effects of Therapeutic Horseback Riding on Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Grant Support: The Children’s Hospital Research Institute-70K Research Scholar award
Study Status: 4/09-present
PI: Robin Gabriels, Psy.D.
Project Aim:  Pilot study to measure the effectiveness of a picture schedule reinforcement book on improving physical exams with school-age children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Study Status: 12/09-present
PI: Robin Gabriels, Psy.D.
Project Aim: Retrospective chart review of the outcomes form a patient population admitted to an in-patient ASD and ID specialty psychiatric unit at Children’s Hospital Colorado, the Neuropsychiatric Special Care Program.

Grant Support: Developmental Psychobiology Research Group, University of Colorado at Denver & Health Sciences Center  5k award
Study Status: 9/06-Present 
PI: Robin L. Gabriels, Psy.D.
Project Aim: To explore the relationship between high versus low frequent/severe Repetitive behaviors in children (ages 6-11 years) diagnosed with an ASD compared with diurnal salivary cortisol levels.