The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) is holding its third annual autism conference on Feb. 6-8 in Jacksonville, Florida, with the theme, "Research to Practice: Making Real Changes in the Lives of People with Autism."
Founded in 1974, ABA International is the professional organization for behavior analysts, a group that has seen demand for its members' services rise with the population of diagnosed children with autism spectrum disorders. (See the organization's website, including this page with information for parents.)
Choices about what kinds of approaches to use for helping children with autism spectrum disorders abound, and information about alternative therapies, diets, treatments and medicines circulate around the web and among parent discussion forums. Applied behavior analysis—backed by research and evidence that when trained therapists with expert supervision deliver services, they help people gain important skills—has gained important support among autism experts, educators and the medical community. See more about ABA in the Autism Bulletin archives.
As a parent, I have found it valuable to attend educational events; it's a way to connect with both professionals who are doing research about autism and meet up with other parents. It's a way to know you are not alone. I attended the ABA International conference when it was in Boston several years ago and came away impressed by the experience and knowledge of the presenters.
This year's event will address topics such as adults with autism, ABA school programs for children, Florida's autism legislation and ways to implement successful treatments for autism. Below is a brief overview of the components of the conference.
This year's conference, "Research to Practice: Making Real Changes in the Lives of People with Autism," will host 15 distinguished ABA experts presenting resources and information that teachers, therapists and parents can use to improve the lives of those living with an autism diagnosis. Presentations will focus on a variety of topics relating to three common themes important to the future of ASD treatment methods:
· Treatment Developments - A summary of the latest progress in behavioral intervention methods and how applied behavior analysts are helping to integrate people those with ASD into the community.
· Success Stories - Using science to guide autism treatment taking a look at the most recent and reliable case studies to help determine the future of those living with ASD.
· In Their Own Words - Personal observations and recommendations from professionals and parent advocates who are most closely affected by ASD.
See below for a rundown of speakers, provided by ABA International:
ABA Autism Speakers Summary