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.

  • AAB: Applied Animal Behavior

    AUT: Autism

    BPN: Behavioral Pharmacology and Neuroscience

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSS: Community, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PCH: Philosophical, Conceptual, and Historical Issues

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

    SCI: Science

45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #489

A Public Health Approach to Early Learning

Monday, May 27, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom CD South
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Einar T. Ingvarsson, Ph.D.
Chair: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
DANA SUSKIND (University of Chicago)
Dana Suskind, MD, is Co-Director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health at the University of Chicago. A Professor of Surgery, she is Founder and Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, and Founder and Director of Thirty Million Words. She received her MD at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. At the TMW Center, she is working on advancing a novel public health approach to early learning which places parents at the center of their children’s language and cognitive development. Her research focuses on foundational brain development, with an overarching aim to affect a population-shift in the knowledge and the behavior of parents and caregivers in order to reduce the achievement gap and prevent early cognitive disparities at onset. Given the absence of any such tools in the field, she and her team developed a knowledge assessment tool, the Survey of Parent/Providers’ Expectations and Knowledge (SPEAK), which influences all three areas of her research: behavior change interventions, efficacy testing, and implementation scaling. Her research includes numerous peer-reviewed publications, and national and international speaking engagements. Author of the book, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain, she has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Crain’s Chicago Business, National Public Radio, and other national media outlets.

Dr. Dana Suskind is Co-Director of TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, and the Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the role of parents and caregivers in foundational brain development, with an overarching aim to narrow the achievement gap and prevent early cognitive disparities at a population level. Dr. Suskind will share the observations that led her to create the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health. The Center develops evidence-based interventions that enable parents, caregivers, practitioners, and researchers to harness the power of language to impact early cognitive disparities particularly among children born into poverty. Dr. Suskind will discuss the science that drives her research and share excerpts of TMW curricula and study results. Additionally, she will highlight the need for a public health approach to early learning as well as the TMW Center’s upcoming community-wide rollout that will utilize existing social and health infrastructures to disseminate our suite of interventions and critical public health information within a single US city.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the importance of early language exposure for foundational brain development; (2) define the 3 “Ts”: Tune in, Talk More, Take Turns; (3) discuss the importance of parent and caregiver engagement for children’s cognitive and language development.



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