Making a Difference: Behavioral Intervention for Autism

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When Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism appeared in 1996, it quickly became an international bestseller in its field. Drawing from solid research and specific experiences, the researchers, parents, and practitioners who contributed to that book explained the principles of behavior analysis and applications to autism intervention, the critical distinctions between science and pseudo-science, and proven strategies for maximizing learning.

For this new book, the editors once more sought out practitioners, researchers, and parents who could provide readers with the kind of information they need to make informed decisions about the children and adults in their care. Included in the work are powerful statements from parents Pamela Dawson and Lora Perry, who describe the challenges they faced in obtaining effective treatment for their children and how they navigated those challenges.

Also included are chapters written by professionals who have dedicated their careers to finding creative and caring means of helping people with autism and their families. Dr. William Ahearn discusses the management of feeding problems. Dr. Bridget Taylor and her colleague Suzanne Jasper lay out some techniques for improving social skills. Dr. Richard Foxx talks about the treatment of problem behaviors - what to do if an individual's progress is slow, or practitioners run into roadblocks. Edward Fenske and his co-authors, Drs. Krantz and McClannahan, discuss the critical role of incidental teaching procedures in promoting spontaneous language. Dr. Gregory MacDuff and his co-authors provide an overview of research on prompting and prompt-fading, and provide guidelines for using prompts to develop new, independent skills. Margery F. Rappaport, a speech-language pathologist, shares her experiences in maximizing conversational skills. Dr. Deborah Fein and her colleagues review what is currently known about the nature of autism. Dr. Catherine Maurice examines the political turmoil surrounding autism and the myriad treatments that are currently promoted for this disorder.

Making a Difference, like its predecessor, combines solid, data-based information with practical problem-solving strategies. It will be a valuable resource for family members and professionals alike who strive to maximize the achievements of individuals with autism.