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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #13
CE Offered: BACB

Rocky Waters or Smooth Sailing: Student-Teacher Relationships and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Saturday, May 24, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W196b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Jan Blacher, Ph.D.
Chair: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (The University of Kansas)
JAN BLACHER (University of California, Riverside)
Jan Blacher is a distinguished professor of education and the University of California presidential chair at the University of California, Riverside. She holds a Ph.D. in special education/developmental pychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Blacher is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, the American Association on Mental Retardation, and the American Psychological Association. She has an international reputation for her research in autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, and she has published widely in these areas. Her work has examined the effects of out-of-home placement on children and young adults, family functioning when a child has a disability, and the impact of diagnosis, assessment, services, and coping in Latino children and families. Dr. Blacher has two current lines of research, both supported by external funding. One line of research, funded by the Institute for Education Sciences, examines factors affecting transition to school for young children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. A second line, funded by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, examines familial relationships when a child has a diagnosis of intellectual delay.

Inclusive school settings for young children with autism spectrum disorder are increasingly the norm. However, we know little about how to ensure a successful transition from early intervention to public or nonpublic schooling. All too often disputes about where and how a child with ASD will be placed when beginning school lead to mediation, fair hearings, or even court. It is important to obtain empirical evidence on aspects of the classroom, the teacher, the family, and the child that could affect these placement decisions and maximize a successful transition. This presentation will draw on data from two longitudinal studies (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Institute of Education Sciences) that specifically address the role of student-teacher-relationships (STRs) in positive school outcomes for children with ASD. Predictors of STRs will be identified for children with ASD as well as for two comparison groups (typically developing children and children with intellectual disabilities). For the ASD group, the role of parent involvement and parent-teacher-relationships in determining STRs also will be highlighted. New data on the role of STRs, child characteristics, and parenting behaviors in children's emergent literacy skills will be discussed, and implications for school practices identified.

Keyword(s): ASD, Parental involvement, School transition



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