Tagged Autism Research

Continuing Education Autism Workshop

We invite all BCBAs and BCaBAs, ABA clinicians, students, and professors to join Autism Research Group for a continuing education (CE) workshop at The Westlake Village Inn on November 6th, 2013 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm as Jonathan Tarbox, PhD, BCBA-D, Marianne L. Jackson, PhD, BCBA-D, and Adel Najdowski, PhD, BCBA-D, speak on “Teaching Perspective Taking to Individuals with Autism: Intro to Relational Frame Theory, Research, and Practical Strategies.”

The New DSM-5

Earlier this month, the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was released. This has been highly anticipated by the autism community because the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder has been changed. Many autism community members – especially those whose children are diagnosed with Asperger syndrome – have expressed concerns about whether their children could lose their diagnosis and, consequently, lose access to treatment.

The Autism Research Group

That’s why CARD is proud to be apart of the Autism Research Group (ARG). This research group is led by CARD’s own Director of Research and Development, Dr. Jonathan Tarbox and is dedicated to making a change for the better for those with autism spectrum disorders.

CARD Contributes Nearly $1 Million to Autism Research

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) is the only private, for-profit corporation contributing significantly to autism research in the United States, ranking third among non-governmental organizations contributing to autism research in the United States, according to the 2010 IACC Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Portfolio Analysis Report. The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee that coordinates all efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services concerning autism spectrum disorder (ASD), released its annual IACC Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Portfolio Analysis Report, which “tracks US inputs or investments into autism research.” CARD’s investment in autism research has increased every year since IACC began tracking autism research funding.

Assessing the Function of Stereotypy in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

In a recent study, CARD researcher Arthur Wilke and colleagues found stereotypy to be maintained by automatic reinforcement in the majority of children with ASD. Among the core features of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is the presence of repetitive and restricted behavior, also known as stereotypy. High rates of stereotypy can hinder social interaction and learning in children with ASD. As with any problem behavior, the function that is maintaining a stereotyped behavior must be identified before intervention can occur. Behaviors may be maintained by attention, escape, access to an object, or the behavior itself may be automatically reinforcing. For example, a child may repeatedly slap his hand against a flat surface because he likes the tingling feeling that results. While it is often assumed that the function of stereotypy in children with ASD is automatic, function should never be presumed based solely on the type of behavior. For this reason, CARD researchers investigated the function of stereotyped behavior in children with ASD.

CARD Researchers Publish On Challenging Behavior

We are happy to announce the publication of “The Handbook of High-Risk Challenging Behaviors in People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.” CARD researchers Jonathan Tarbox, PhD, Amy Kenzer, PhD, and Michele Bishop, PhD, wrote the chapter on “Ruminative Vomiting,” a severe behavior that can have major health consequences if not treated rapidly and effectively. When children with autism ruminate, they voluntarily regurgitate into their own mouths, re-chew the food, and then re-swallow it.

Training Behavioral Therapists to Administer Brief Preference Assessments

In a recent study, CARD Researchers Dr. Michele Bishop and Dr. Amy Kenzer found group classroom training to be effective in teaching behavioral therapists to administer brief preference assessments to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A major component of applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment is the delivery of preferred stimuli as reinforcement. Therefore, preference assessments are conducted to identify highly preferred stimuli. Such assessments ought to be conducted frequently since a child’s preferences may change. For this reason, Dr. Michele Bishop and Dr. Amy Kenzer set out to evaluate the effectiveness of classroom training in teaching behavioral therapists to administer brief preference assessments to children with ASD during therapy sessions.

Family Structure and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Although this statistic has been used time and again, its origin and supportive research are unknown. While there have been many speculations about elevated parental divorce rates for children with ASD, very little research has actually been conducted to estimate the frequency of divorce in this population. For this reason, Dr. Freedman and colleagues conducted the first population-based study to explore family structures of children with ASD.