|William H. Ahearn serves as the Director of Research at the New England Center for Children and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (MABA) Program at Northeastern University. He is Past-President of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT). He received his doctorate in experimental psychology at Temple University in 1992 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Behavioral Psychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He then served as Program Manager for the Inpatient Pediatric Feeding Program at the Children’s Seashore House in Philadelphia before moving to the New England Center for Children in 1996. Bill has recently written a book chapter on managing feeding problems in children with autism and has published studies that have appeared in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Behavior Modification, Animal Learning and Behavior, The Lancet, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, The Behavior Analyst, and Behavioral Interventions. He currently serves on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavioral Interventions.|
The New England Center for Children is a private, nonprofit autism education center that offers state-of-the-art skill education and clinical programs for more than 300 children diagnosed with autism and other related disorders. In 2005, NECC was the recipient of the SABA Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis. We are committed towards sharing our expertise regarding autism intervention with others by conducting empirically-validated assessment and treatment, publishing in leading journals, and presenting at regional and national conferences. In providing services to individuals with autism for over 30 years, we have developed a substantial curriculum of teaching procedures that have been rigorously refined and replicated in 15 partner classrooms in local public schools. We are currently conducting research in a variety of areas that may further our understanding of how to best approach behavioral correlates of autism, including teaching techniques for children with severe learning problems, managing challenging behavior, and early intervention practices. In this presentation, we will focus on some areas of autism research that could make a significant impact including increasing appropriate play skills using video modeling, teaching social skills, and decreasing problem behavior using function-based interventions, obviating the need for aversive control techniques.