Leading scientists and treatment practitioners slated for Michigan Autism Conference

Contact: Mark Schwerin

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Leading scientists and treatment practitioners in the field of autism will share their expertise on the latest research and treatment at the fifth annual Michigan Autism Conference Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 11-13, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites.

The conference is dedicated to providing families, practitioners, educators and researchers with the latest information on a variety of topics related to the assessment and treatment of autism. More than 700 people are expected to attend, representing over 20 states and hundreds of agencies providing the most up-to-date and effective treatment and support for individuals affected by autism. Online registration is now closed, but mail-in registrations are still being accepted. People also may register on-site during the conference.

The conference begins with a free Kick-Off Presentation and Recognition Ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, with a presentation titled "The Past, Present and Future of Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism." The presentation will feature Drs. Richard Malott and Carmen Jonaitis. The kickoff also will include a special tribute to Malott for his enduring contributions to the treatment of autism for more than 50 years.

Keynote speakers

The keynote presentations are scheduled for the mornings of Oct. 12 and 13. These talks, from world-renowned researchers and practitioners, include:

  • Dr. Catherine Lord, professor of psychology at the Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain. Her presentation is titled "What Can We Learn about Appropriate Services in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder from Our Longitudinal Study from 2 to 22?"
  • Dr. James Partington, director of Behavior Analysts Inc. and service provider to children and their families at the STARS Clinics in Walnut Creek, California. His presentation is titled "Programming for Success: Critical Elements of an Effective Intervention for Individuals with Autism."
  • Dr. Bridget Taylor, co-founder and executive director of the Alpine Learning Group and senior clinical adviser for Rethink. Her presentation is titled "Behavior Analysis and Autism Treatment: A Rich History and a Promising Future."
  • Dr. Marjorie Charlop, professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College and director of The Claremont Autism Center. Her presentation will focus on "Creating Evidence-Based Treatment Procedures for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Everyday Technology."
  • Dr. Wayne Fuqua, professor and former chair of psychology at WMU. His presentation is titled "Detecting and Troubleshooting Treatment Failures: A Crucial Component of Evidence-Based Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis."
  • Dr. Rick Kubina, professor of special education at Penn State University. His presentation is titled "Educational Assessment and Effective Educational Programming."

Workshop, breakout sessions

In addition to the keynote speakers, several pre-conference workshops and breakout sessions will be offered on a wide variety of topics pertaining to autism. Subjects range from feeding interventions to educational programming, social skills and supports for transitions into adulthood, among others.

For more information, visit michiganautismconference.org. For questions about registration or the conference schedule, contact Kimberly Peck at kimberly.m.peck@wmich.edu.

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