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Nationally recognized experts offer workshops on autism treatment

by Tonya Durlach

Dec. 2, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Dr. Wayne Fisher.
KALAMAZOO--Two nationally recognized experts on the treatment of autism will host public workshops Friday, Dec. 9, at Western Michigan University.

The workshops will feature Drs. Wayne Fisher and Cathleen Piazza, both leaders in the development of evidence-based behavioral interventions for severe behavior problems and pediatric feeding disorders. They both will be held in Room 1718 of Wood Hall, and will include material suitable for anyone with intermediate to advanced background in autism spectrum disorders.

9 a.m.--Functional Analysis and the Treatment of Aberrant Behavior in Autism

The first workshop will run from 9 a.m. to noon and will be led by Fisher, director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Munroe-Meyer Institute of the University of Nebraska Medical School. The workshop aims to teach individuals to understand causes and effective management strategies for aberrant behavior. Participants will learn to identify indirect and direct assessment techniques, develop a strategy to understand how aberrant behavior develops and is maintained, and to use that assessment information in the selection of effective behavior-management interventions.

Photo of Dr. Cathleen Piazza.
1:30 p.m.--Assessment and Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders

Piazza, professor of pediatrics and director of the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at the University of Nebraska, will present the second workshop from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. She will focus on effective procedures for treating behavioral feeding disorders in young children. Interventions focus on increasing bite acceptance and decreasing disruptive mealtime behaviors. The components of effective interventions for these issues will be discussed.


Early online registration is encouraged, as seating is limited. On-site registration will be open only as long as space is available. The cost is $75 for each workshop or $125 for both. Current WMU students receive a discounted rate of $20 per workshop.

The autism workshops are co-sponsored by WMU's Department of Psychology and Residential Opportunities Inc. For more information, contact Wayne Fuqua at or (269) 387-4474.