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

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #550
CE Offered: BACB
Tutorial: Building a Transactional Systems Model of Services for Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Grand Ballroom
Area: DDA/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Anthony J. Cuvo, Ph.D.
Chair: Mollie J. Horner-King (Southern Illinois University)
Presenting Authors: : ANTHONY J. CUVO (Southern Illinois University)

There has been an escalation in the number of children identified with autism spectrum disorders in recent years. To increase the likelihood that treatments for the children be effective, interventions should be derived from sound theory and research evidence. Absent this supportive foundation, intervention programs could be inconsequential if not harmful to children. Although atypical, the development of children with autism should be considered initially from the perspective of the same variables that affect the development of typical children. In addition, the developmental deviations that characterize autism must be considered when developing intervention programs. Behavioral systems models describe both typical as well as atypical development, and emphasize dynamic multidirectional person-environment transactions. The environment is viewed as having multiple levels, from the individuals with autism, themselves, to larger societal and cultural levels. Behavioral systems models of human development can be generalized to a transactional systems model of services for children with autism. This model is the foundational theoretical position of the Southern Illinois University Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Centers programs are described to illustrate the application of the model to multiple levels of the social ecology.

ANTHONY J. CUVO (Southern Illinois University)
Dr. Anthony J. Cuvo is Professor of Behavior Analysis and Therapy and Director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Southern Illinois University. His academic history includes degrees in psychology from Lafayette College (BA Psychology, 1965), Kent State University (MA Clinical Psychology, 1967), and University of Connecticut (Ph.D. Child and Developmental Psychology, 1973). Dr. Cuvo is a former Distinguished Research Fellow of the National Institute of Handicapped Research, and Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and American Association of Mental Retardation. He was the recipient of his College's Outstanding Teaching Award, first recipient of the College Outstanding Researcher Award, and the Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Scholar Award. Dr. Cuvo worked as a clinical psychologist in Pennsylvania and Connecticut before assuming his faculty position at Southern Illinois University in 1973. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Southern Illinois University and a founding partner in Illinois’ The Autism Program. Dr. Cuvo has obtained approximately four million dollars in external funding. He has edited two books, authored 14 book chapters, over 100 journal articles and other publications, and made more than 200 professional presentations. Dr. Cuvo has served as Associate Editor for five professional journals, and regular board member for 10 journals. He has been a grant proposal reviewer and site visitor for several federal agencies. He has given invited addresses and workshops in England, Italy, Costa Rica, and Brazil on numerous occasions.



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