Research by Topic: Applied Behavior Analysis

ASF Blog: A Rapidly Moving Field: Recent Findings in Infant and Toddler Interventions for ASD

Published May 7, 2015 in Autism Science Foundation

ASF Postdoctoral Fellow Jessica Bradshaw answers questions about infants with ASD: How do we know when to intervene? What are the best treatments? And do they work?

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States Split On Mandating ABA Coverage Under Health Law

Published January 18, 2013 in Disability Scoop

Despite a requirement that insurers start covering behavioral health treatment for individuals and small groups, a new analysis suggests less than half of states plan to include autism therapy.

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ABA Therapy OKd for More Military Kids

Published January 7, 2013 in Disability Scoop

More military families will have access to ABA under a new government program.

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Why Are There So Many Unsubstantiated Treatments in Autism?

Published December 27, 2012 in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders

An estimated 32-92% of parents use complementary/alternative treatments for their children with ASD despite the lack of scientific evidence for the efficacy of these methods. In this article, researchers issue a call for a standardized way to select and evaluate treatments. Barriers to successful treatment, including high costs, limited availability, parental compliance and poor recommendations from professionals are discussed.

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Autism Interventions Supported by Moderate Evidence; Better Studies Needed to Validate Effectiveness

Published November 1, 2012 in RAND Corporation

Widely used autism interventions are supported by moderate evidence. Head-to-head trials of competing autism treatments are needed to identify which programs are superior and additional work should follow study participants long-term to further examine the effectiveness of treatments.

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Researchers Grapple with Mixed Results from Cognitive Studies

Published July 30, 2012 in Simons Foundation Austism Research Initiative

Researchers at Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London are finding that some studies have suggested that people with autism have deficits in executive function, a set of complex mental processes involved in everyday life. But these results may instead reflect their difficulties imagining what other people are thinking.

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Understanding Why Autistic People May Reject Social Touch

Published March 20, 2012 in Time Magazine

Now, a new study offers insight into why some people shrug off physical touches and how families affected by autism may learn to share hugs without overwhelming an autistic childs senses.

Understanding Why Autistic People May Reject Social Touch

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Families cling to hope of autism ‘recovery’

Published December 15, 2011 in LA Times

An autism treatment called applied behavior analysis, or ABA, has wide support and has grown into a profitable business. It has its limits, though, and there are gaps in the science.

Families cling to hope of autism 'recovery'

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Children With Autism Benefit from Early, Intensive Therapy

Published September 28, 2011 in Science Daily

A primary characteristic of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is impairments in social-communication skills. Children and adolescents with social-communication problems face difficulty understanding, interacting and relating with others. University of Missouri researchers found that children who receive more intensive therapy to combat these impairments, especially at early ages, achieve the best outcomes.

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Gene Linked to Severity of Autism’s Social Dysfunction Identified

Published April 7, 2011 in Science Daily

With the help of two sets of brothers with autism, Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a gene associated with autism that appears to be linked very specifically to the severity of social interaction deficits. The gene, GRIP1 (glutamate receptor interacting protein 1), is a blueprint for a traffic-directing protein at synapses — those specialized contact points between brain cells across which chemical signals flow.

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Virtual Conversation Simulator Found Beneficial for Adults with Autism

Published March 20, 2011 in Science Daily

Simulated interactions in which adults with autism converse with a virtual partner may help them develop better social interaction skills, according to a novel study presented in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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Interactive Program for Dealing with Behavioral Problems is Available as iPhone Application

Published March 18, 2011 in Medical News Today

Behavior Breakthroughs, an interactive program developed by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), uses game-based technology and 3-D imagery to help train people who work with children and adults with behavioral problems.

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Interactive Game Helps Autistic Children Recognize Emotions

Published March 3, 2011 in Medical News Today

Children with autism spectrum disorders are better able to recognize faces, facial expressions and emotions with the help of an interactive computer program called FaceSay, according to newly published research from psychologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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Applied Behavior Analysis: Behavior Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Dental Environments

Published March 1, 2011 in Journal of the American Dental Association, Hernandez et al.

Many parents of a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can attest that dental visits are challenging for their child. Current behavior management techniques currently used in dentistry do not encourage children with ASDs to tolerate periodic dental procedures such as cleanings and obtaining radiographs. In this study, researchers studied the behavior management techniques […]

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Visual Skills Required for Independence Are Impaired in Children With Autism, Research Finds

Published December 20, 2010 in Science Daily

The ability to find shoes in the bedroom, apples in a supermarket, or a favorite animal at the zoo is impaired among children with autism, according to new research from the University of Bristol. Contrary to previous studies, which show that children with autism often demonstrate outstanding visual search skills, this new research indicates that children with autism are unable to search effectively for objects in real-life situations — a skill that is essential for achieving independence in adulthood.

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Less Pain for Learning Gain

Published September 28, 2010 in Medical News Today

Now research from Northwestern University suggests a new way of training that could reduce by at least half the effort previously thought necessary to make learning gains. They suggest combining periods of practice may alone be too brief to cause learning with periods of mere exposure to perceptual stimuli.

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Structural Basis for Autism Disorders

Published August 25, 2010 in Science Daily

There is still much that is unknown about autism spectrum disorders, but a University of Nevada, Reno psychologist has added to the body of knowledge that researchers around the world are compiling to try to demystify, prevent and treat the mysterious condition.

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How the Autistic Brain Distinguishes Oneself from Others

Published December 14, 2009 in Science Daily

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered that the brains of individuals with autism are less active when engaged in self-reflective thought. The study published in the journal Brain provides new evidence for the neural correlates of self-awareness and a new window into understanding social difficulties in autism spectrum conditions.

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