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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Panel #39
A Mile in my Moccasins: Living the Autism Life
Saturday, May 24, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
MARY ROSSWURM (Little Star Center)
MARY BETH WALSH (MOM2MOM/Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare)

As more and more interest in the field of applied behavior analysis focuses on service delivery to individuals with autism, it is critical that professionals understand the family issues that surround raising a child with autism and living the autism life. Well-intentioned behavior analysts eagerly work with children, teens and adults with autism in order to decrease unwanted behavior and/or increase deficit behavior but fail to truly understand what parents go through, day in and day out. Unfortunately, lack of empathy, unrealistic expectations and judgmental attitudes are not uncommon amongst behavior analysts. This panel, made up of parents of children with autism, will discuss the realities of raising a child with autism, who becomes an adult with autism. The autism life - from making it through the day, to how the entire family is impacted through the life-span will be discussed, in the hopes that participants will leave with a better understanding of what parents of children with autism go through.

Keyword(s): autism parents, empathy, family impact, life-span



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Modifed by Eddie Soh