Association for Behavior Analysis International

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Ninth Annual Autism Conference; Las Vegas, NV; 2015

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #5
CE Offered: PSY

Language Development in Fragile X Syndrome: Variation, Mechanisms, and Treatment

Saturday, January 24, 2015
9:30 AM–10:20 AM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Len Abbeduto, Ph.D.
Chair: Kristen M. Kalymon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
LEONARD ABBEDUTO (University of California, Davis, MIND Institute)
Dr. Leonard Abbeduto’s research is focused broadly on the development of language across the lifespan in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and the family context for language development. His research has been funded virtually continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 1985. Dr. Abbeduto has published more than 130 articles, chapters, reviews, and books on fragile X syndrome, autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities. His current research is focused on understanding variation in language outcomes in various neurodevelopmental disorders, the measurement of treatment effects in clinical trials, and the use of distance technology in behavioral treatment. Dr. Abbeduto is the editor of the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Kellett Mid-Career Research Award (2008) and Emil A. Steiger Award for Distinguished Teaching (1996), both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Enid and William Rosen Research Award from the National Fragile X Foundation (2010). Dr. Abbeduto is a fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He also directs the NIH-funded Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at the MIND Institute.

The focus of this presentation is on language development in children and adolescents with fragile X syndrome. Fragile X syndrome is a single-gene, X-linked disorder that is the leading inherited cause of intellectual disability and the leading known genetic cause of autism. Dr. Abbeduto will summarize his research in three areas. First, he will present findings regarding the language phenotype, with an emphasis on variation relative to other conditions (e.g., autism spectrum disorder), variation within the syndrome, and variation with age. Second, he will present findings regarding the factors that contribute to variation in the language phenotype, emphasizing individual characteristics (e.g., autism symptom severity), biological factors (e.g., level of FMRP, which is the protein that is absent or reduced in the syndrome), and environmental factors (e.g., parental mental health status). Third, he will summarize his research on the development of language measures for assessing efficacy in clinical trials as well as findings from a parent-implemented language intervention. Throughout the presentation, he will highlight similarities and differences between fragile X syndrome and nonsyndromic, or idiopathic, autism spectrum disorder.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants should be able to (1) understand the causes and consequences of fragile X syndrome; (2) become familiar with the nature and determinants of the language phenotype, as well as with methods for assessing and improving language in fragile X syndrome; and (3) understand some of the differences in the language phenotypes of fragile X syndrome and autism spectrum disorder.
Keyword(s): Fragile X, language phenotype



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