Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Workshop Details

Previous Page


Workshop #W47
CE Offered: BACB
Developing Successful Programs to Meet the Needs of Adults with ASD.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D.
JOANNE GERENSER (Eden II Programs), PETER F. GERHARDT (Organization for Autism Research), ERIN SPARACIO (Eden II Programs/The Genesis School), RANDY I. HOROWITZ (Eden II Programs), FRANK R. CICERO (Eden II Programs)
Description: There has been considerable research done in the past twenty years in the area of autism and related disorders. Clinical research in speech and language, social skills, education, and behavior problems have resulted in a much better understanding of the complex nature of autism. The research clearly supports the use of applied behavior analysis in the treatment and education of learners with autism. One problem, however, is that very little of this research has included adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). While many of the findings with children with autism can be relevant in our work with adults, there remain significant gaps in the literature that unfortunately leave many more questions than answers. The lack of available literature to guide service providers in their work with adults with autism is particularly problematic today. The dramatic increase in the incidence of autism began almost 15 years ago and we are just now beginning to see this impact in the field of adult services. Many of the schools that opened, in the past decade, to meet the demands of parents who wanted good behavioral education programs are now facing the real challenge of how to address the needs of these learners as they become adolescents and adults. Still other programs that have been providing adult services for years to other populations are now being asked to expand their programs and accept learners with ASD. This workshop will address key aspects of developing an effective program for adolescents and adults with autism. Specifically the workshop will review the available literature in the areas of employment, recreation and leisure skills, sexuality, speech and language, promoting independence, community integration, and quality of life. In addition, assessment and programming to address each of these areas will be presented. Video tapes of program implementation as well as other relevant visual supports will be incorporated within the workshop. The workshops primary focus will be on adolescents and adults with autism who continue to demonstrate significant challenges and limitations. The essential components needed to specifically address individuals with ASD will be highlighted. In addition, the important modifications and adaptations that are necessary to meet the needs of individuals with ASD as they grow older (and typically bigger) will be presented.
Learning Objectives: Participants will 1. Become familiar with the relevant literature relating to services and treatment of adults with ASD 2. Identify key components of an effective program to meet the needs of adults with ASD 3. Become familiar with programming to address employment, sexuality, recreation and leisure as well as other key areas in adults with autism 4. Describe strategies for promoting independence in adults with ASD
Activities: Participants will participate in lecture as well as group discussion. In addition, participants will watch videos of different aspects of service delivery for adults with ASD. Finally, participants will review different data sheets, program forms and assessment materials used within a behavioral program for adults with ASD.
Audience: Service Providers, Program Administrators, Behavior Analysts, Parents of Adolescents and Adults with ASD
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh