University of Rochester Offers New Applied Behavior Analysis Program

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The number of children with autism continues to rise, with the latest data estimating that one in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder, a 78% increase from a decade ago. To address the learning and behavior of people with autism, the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, in collaboration with the Division of Neurodevelopment and Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, offers a new program and a specialization in applied behavior. Analysis (ABA).

With autism rates at an all time high, behavior problems in schools, at home, and in treatment settings abound. In addition, the complex learning needs of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those in rehabilitation continue to face practitioners, and the increasingly rigorous demands of K-12 education. Grade 12 require evidence-based practice to produce the best possible outcomes for all students. Applied Behavior Analysis, an evidence-based scientific intervention that uses modern behavioral learning theory to teach social, motor, reasoning, and verbal behaviors as well as the most widely accepted tools used in analysis and intervention difficult behaviors, offers solutions to these challenges.

“The increase in the prevalence of autism and associated disabilities has fueled the need for improved education and treatment services,” says Kathryn Douthit, PhD, associate professor and chair of counseling and human development at the Warner School. “At a time when employment opportunities for those trained in ABA are increasing to meet these emerging needs, the New York State Department of Health, in its 1999 clinical practice guidelines, has adopted ABA as the treatment of choice for professionals working with children with autism. in schools and clinics and at home. We are very fortunate to be one of a handful of universities across the state offering this high quality training in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.

The six-course sequence is the second nationwide program to be approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB®) for meeting the new education and experience standards required to pass the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. These more stringent requirements will come into effect in 2015. The ABA program and specialization is also the only BACB program approved in central and western New York City. The program prepares professionals for behavior analysis, increasing access to evidence-based intervention approaches, which research has shown to be effective in working with children with autism and related disabilities.

The 18-credit program includes principles of behavioral learning and analysis, teaching methods and applications, assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors, ABA research methods, ethics and professional conduct, as well as staff training and performance management. Students can complete the course sequence either as a concentration in the Master’s program in Human Development, with a specialization in Developmental Differences, or as an “stand-alone” ABA program. Graduates will be equipped to work in a variety of community, public and private, human service and educational settings where evidence-based best practices are implemented.

Some benefits of the ABA approach include: building student skills in school settings; conduct functional behavioral assessments and analyzes that guide the creation of behavioral intervention programs; improve the functioning of children and adults with various diagnoses; and increase the performance and satisfaction of employees in organizations and businesses. The ABA intervention provided by a trained behavior analyst has been recognized as an effective and evidence-based intervention for autism by the US Surgeon General, New York State Department of Health, US Department of Defense, American Academy of Pediatrics, Association for Science in Autism Treatment, and Autism Speaks, all of which support and recommend the use of ABA.

Dennis mozingoDennis Mozingo, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who leads the ABA program and specialization, says having an applied behavior analysis training program in western New York will help fill the gap between the needs of the community and the availability of trained professionals who have validation of professional certification from an accredited certification body.

The teachers in the program, all of whom provide counseling services to various community settings, including schools and treatment agencies, will bring years of experience in behavior analysis, serving children and adults with diverse needs, ”says Mozingo. “With the passage of autism insurance reform in New York State that extends health care coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, thousands of families across the state will now have access to more options and quality care, with less of the financial burden that comes with a loved one’s diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Board-certified behavior analysts are explicitly defined in the new law, and we are excited to be part of preparing professionals to serve people with autism and their families.

For more information on the Applied Behavior Analysis program and specialization, certification processes, or exam requirements, please contact Warner School Admissions at (585) 275-3950 or Dennis Mozingo at (585) 275- 6611.

About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education offers master’s and doctoral programs in teaching and study programs, school leadership, higher education, educational policy, counseling, human development, and vocational education. of health. The Warner School of Education is offering a new fast-track option for its EdD programs that allows eligible students to earn a Doctorate in Education in as little as three years part-time while working in a professional job in the same field. The Warner School of Education is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities and community organizations; generate and disseminate research; and actively participate in educational reform.


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