Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #120
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Evolution of Research on Interventions for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Implications for Behavior Analysts

Sunday, May 27, 2012
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
303/304 (TCC)
Area: SCI; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Tristram Smith, Ph.D.
Chair: Jennifer N. Y. Fritz (University of Houston - Clear Lake)
TRISTRAM SMITH (University of Rochester Medical Center)
Tristram Smith, Ph.D., is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), where he leads federally-funded studies comparing the efficacy of different interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders. He is also a clinician in URMC's Community Consultation Program, serving students with ASD and other intellectual disabilities in schools and other agencies. His commitment to the study and treatment of children with ASD began in 1982, when he had the opportunity to volunteer as a buddy for an adult with autism who lived near his college. This experience inspired him to apply to graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied clinical psychology and worked as a therapist and researcher with O. Ivar Lovaas, Ph.D., in the UCLA Young Autism Project. Before moving to Rochester in 2000, he directed clinics for children with autism and their families in the states of California, Iowa, and Washington. He has authored or coauthored several of the most widely-cited studies on treatment outcomes for children with ASD.

The extraordinary success of behavior analytic interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has fueled the rapid growth of behavior analysis as a profession. One reason for this success is that for many years behavior analysts were virtually alone in conducting programmatic ASD intervention research. However, that era has ended. Many investigators from other disciplines are now carrying out large-scale intervention studies and beginning to report successes of their own. The increasing number and range of studies has the potential to improve services for individuals with ASD, and it challenges behavior analysts to intensify their research efforts.

Target Audience:

Professionals and graduate students

Learning Objectives: 1. Discuss recent, multidisciplinary research on interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)- 2. Describe the complementary role of single-case and group comparison studies in developing and validating ASD interventions 3. Identify priorities for future research on ABA interventions for ASD
Keyword(s): applied research, autism



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