Autism and ABA: Best Practice in America and the Way Forward for Europe.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

According to recent estimates, 1 in each 68 new-borns will be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the USA (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014), while 1 in every 29 children will be diagnosed with ASD in the UK (Dillenburger, Jordan, McKerr, & Keenan, 2015). Individuals diagnosed with ASD share a set of characteristics at varying levels of severity: impairments in social communication skills and presence of restricted interests and repetitive behaviours (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).Notwithstanding these figures, little effort has been placed in European countries’ policies for reaching an early diagnosis. This has a detrimental effect on future prognosis for children with ASD, since research has clearly shown that when evidence-based interventions are accessed early in life, they can lead to great improvements on the overall functioning of children with ASD, including significant gains in social communication and reduction of inappropriate behaviours (Dawson, Rogers, Munson, Smith, Winter, Greenson, Donaldson, & Varley, 2009).Additionally, when looking at the services available for children with ASD and their families in Europe, it seems that not much improvement has been made in the last decades. Traditional eclectic approaches and a wealth of non-scientific methods seem to be available and often recommended by public bodies, while state-funded evidence-based interventions are not offered as part of the education or health system. Given that there is a wealth of evidence on the effectiveness of interventions based on the science of ABA, it seems that specific action is required to correct the situation, respecting children’s right to effective treatment and inclusion.In the present paper, these issues are fully discussed and recommendations for best practice are offered.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2015
EventAthens Institute for Education and Research 17th Annual International Conference on Education - Athens, Greece
Duration: 18 May 201521 May 2015

Conference

ConferenceAthens Institute for Education and Research 17th Annual International Conference on Education
CountryGreece
CityAthens
Period18/05/201521/05/2015

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