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Progress and Challenges in the Behavioral Treatment of Autism

Posted Sep 12 2008 11:32am



The Association for Behavior Analysis is sponsoring an Autism Conference in Boston next week with an excellent roster of speakers and topics on Behavioral Treatment in Autism. With so many myths and misconceptions about ABA and autism it looks like this conference could be very helpful for parents looking for professional guidance on how to improve conditions for their autistic children. The introduction for the conference program follows but the detailed list of speakers and topics can be found by accessing the ABA International web site at:

http://www.abainternational.org/autconf/downloads/Program_posters.pdf

Progress and Challenges in the Behavioral Treatment of Autism
Association for Behavior Analysis February 2 – 4, 2007 Boston Sheraton; Boston, MA


The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a child presents tremendous challenges for parents and educators. For several decades applied behavior analysis has provided the conceptual and empirical bases for designing and evaluating effective education and treatment programs for children with autism. It has been estimated that more than 550 articles have been published in the peer-reviewed literature reporting socially significant improvements in communication skills, social skills, academic skills, and adaptive functioning by children with autism as a result of behaviorally-based interventions. As the beneficial outcomes of behaviorally-based education and treatment have been reported by the media, the number of agencies and individuals offering “ABA services” for children with autism has grown exponentially. Inaccuracies and misconceptions in the popular media and in the professional literature about what applied behavior analysis is or is not and what it can or cannot achieve make it difficult for consumers and practitioners alike to separate fact from fiction.

In response to this situation, The Association for Behavior Analysis International is sponsoring the 2007 Autism Conference, Progress and Challenges in the Behavioral Treatment of Autism, to be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston on February 2-4, 2007. Planned with the support of ABA International's Autism and Parent Professional Partnership Special Interest Groups, this conference will expose providers of home and school-based behavior analysis services, parents and family members, caregivers, researchers, teacher trainers, and students to the most current, scientifically validated information about behavior analysis in autism treatment.

The single-track conference will feature 14 invited presentations by prominent researchers and authorities on the treatment of autism and representatives from the May Institute and the New England Center for Children (past SABA Awardees for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis). The conference will also provide a forum for over 170 autism researchers to share their recent work in two poster sessions. The conference will close with a Round Table discussion by representatives of ABA International's organizational members. The conference will provide many opportunities for personal exchange with researchers, presenters, and organizational members of ABA International.

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