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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #286
CE Offered: BACB

Is Autism on the Rise? Issues of Prevalence and Early Risk Factors

Monday, May 30, 2005
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Continental B (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Marygrace Yale Kaiser, Ph.D.
Chair: Jack Scott (Florida Atlantic University)
MARYGRACE YALE KAISER (University of Miami), Keith Scott (University of Miami)
Marygrace Yale Kaiser is a Research Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Project at the University of Miami. Her work and that of her colleague Keith Scott, has focused on prevalence of serious disabilities in children with special attention to the epidemiology of autism. Dr Kaiser received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Miami where she coordinated the Early Social Communication Project. This project examined the development of joint attention and other forms or early social interaction in children with autism. Her current research puts her in a unique position to build on her background in autism and now to apply the tools of developmental epidemiology to account for the increasing rates of autism and related disabilities.

Recently, issues concerning Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have received a great deal of attention. Comparisons of epidemiological data from the last 30 years suggest that there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of the disorder. However, the meaning of this increase is currently poorly understood and few population-based studies have been conducted with large U.S. samples. This talk will detail past and present efforts to document the prevalence of autism, as well as discuss implications of the apparent increase in the number of individuals affected by the spectrum of disorders. In addition, characteristics that may increase the risk for developing autism will also be discussed. The few studies that have explored possible association have mostly involved analyses of small, ethnically similar samples which may make results more difficult to generalize. Data from two investigations of large ethnically diverse populations will be highlighted and areas of future investigation will be presented.




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