Wayne Fisher, PhD, BCBA-D
Henry Rutgers Endowed Chair
Professor of Pediatrics
BHI Core Faculty

Thurs, Nov 19 (1.00 PM – 1.20 PM)

Integrating Research and Practice in the Assessment and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Integrating research and practice helps to ensure that our current patients receive the most up-to-date assessments and treatments, and it facilitates continual refinement of those services so that the patients we see in the future receive even better care. In this presentation, I will explain our plans for integrating research and practice as we grow the Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services (RU-CARES). As an exemplar, I will describe a line of translational research in our Severe Behavior Program designed to address the recalcitrant problem of treatment relapse in which destructive behavior exhibited by individuals with autism and related disorders increases after a period of successful treatment. This line of research involves the translation of a mathematical theory of behavior, called behavioral momentum theory, that postulates that the momentum of a response is analogous the momentum of a moving object, as characterized by Newtonian physics. I will show how behavioral-momentum equations can be used to generate novel hypotheses about preventing or mitigating treatment relapse in the form of resurgence of destructive behavior, and I will summarize the results of our research in this area thus far.

Cathleen Piazza, PhD, BCBA-D
Director Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at CSH
Professor of Psychology
GSAPP, Rutgers-New Brunswick
BHI Core Faculty

Thurs, Nov 19 (1.25 PM – 1.45 PM)

Integrating Research and Practice: An Intervention for Change-Resistant Behavior in Children with Autism as an Exemplar
The intensive Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at Children’s Specialized Hospital will provide day-treatment services for children with severe feeding problems. The scientific, data-based approach the program uses facilitates the integration of research with practice. The professionals who are starting the program have a track record of conducting cutting-edge clinical research that has established empirical support for applied behavior-analytic interventions for feeding disorders. Their study on treatment of change-resistant feeding behavior in children with autism will serve as the exemplar of the seamless integration of research with practice for today’s symposium.