Video Presentation: Accommodation in Schools

School Districts across the country are struggling to meet the needs of students with ASD. Budgets are tight making it is hard to think about being proactive when there are not enough dollars to even cover day-to-day operations. However, districts have found that developing quality education programs for students with autism can actually result in substantial savings. During this presentation Dr. Leaf discusses factors that contribute to the development of classrooms that provide effective educational for students with ASD. Dr. Leaf shares what he has found to be indicators of a “good” school district, teacher and classroom.

Dr. Ronald Leaf is a licensed psychologist who has over thirty-five years of experience in the field of autism; he worked with Ivar Lovaas while receiving his undergraduate and doctorate degrees at UCLA. He is coauthor of: A Work in Progress; Building Quality ABA Educational Programs for Students with ASD; Sense and Nonsense in the Behavioral Treatment of Autism and Crafting Connections. Dr. Leaf has consulted nationally and internationally with families and school districts; he is Director of Autism Partnership.

Video Presentation: Treating Social Communication

Applied Behavior Analysis provides a systematic framework for teaching a wide range of skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Although commonly regarded as a highly structured approach it is also is very adaptable and flexible and well-suited to teaching more advanced and subtle skills associated with social communication. The degree of structure depends on the learning style of the student and the complexity of the skill being taught. Examples will be provided of teaching the basic elements of language, breaking down abstract concepts into teachable components, and the social components of communication including joint attention

Dr. McEachin is a clinical psychologist and behavior analyst who has been providing behavioral intervention to children with autism as well as adolescents and adults for more than 35 years. He received his graduate training under Professor Ivar Lovaas at UCLA on the Young Autism Project and contributed to the pioneering research on early intervention. In 1994 he joined with Ron Leaf in forming Autism Partnership, which they co-direct. Dr. McEachin has consulted to families, agencies, and school districts, assisting in the development of education and treatment programs and providing training to parents and classroom personnel. He has co-authored a number of books and journal articles and lectured throughout the world.

Video Presentation: What Comes Next? Post-Secondary Transitions

Young adults with autism spectrum disorders often have difficulty navigating the practical aspects of day-to-day living and the transition to college. These challenges often include trouble in the areas of executive functioning, social cognition, and adaptive functioning. Talk focuses on what underlies these challenges and discusses a number of practical solutions.

Dr. Black is a pediatric neuropsychologist and scientist who is a nationally recognized expert on autism spectrum and related disorders. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Autism Assessment and Treatment ( Dr. Black has spent the last ten years working clinically with children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorders. He has focused on the neurocognitive and psychological underpinnings for effective navigation of the social world and the unique challenges inherent in the transition to adulthood.

Published: 01/22/2014 Length: 01:04:44

Video Presentation: ABA Behavioral Treatment

For decades, behavioral therapies have been used to treat individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). While some individuals benefit significantly from structured behavioral plans, such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) based on the work of Ivar Lovaas at UCLA, others may do well using relationship-based therapies like Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime model or Pivotal Response therapy. Regardless of the approach, the plan needs to be developed using appropriate assessments, highly individualized and implemented in partnership with qualified professionals and caregivers.

Many individuals on the autism spectrum will benefit from a combination of therapies including behavioral treatment as well as speech, occupational, physical and sensory-integration support. Assessing for comorbid medical problems — including sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal problems, seizures and other neurological disorder, and sensory sensitivities — is a crucial step in developing an appropriate treatment plan. We are grateful to our friends at The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development for this video presentation.