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LIU Post Students Present Autism Research at International Conference

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A pair of LIU Post graduate students presented research on novel teaching techniques for children with autism spectrum disorders at the 2016 Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Lindsay Miller and Diane Grzebyk conducted their research as thesis work in LIU Post’s Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Both Miller and Grzebyk received their Master of Arts degrees in Behavior Analysis at LIU Post’s 2016 Commencement ceremony.

Miller’s research focused on dental procedures for children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, who often have great difficulty in cooperating with a visit to the dentist. LIU Post researchers demonstrated a highly effective method for obtaining full cooperation with dental procedures in two children who had previously been unable to tolerate a dental exam and cleaning due to their autism spectrum disorders. Miller worked with Dr. John C. Neill, associate professor of psychology at LIU Post to implement a program based on polyvagal theory, training the children to cooperate and even to enjoy getting their teeth examined and cleaned.

Grzebyk developed a special procedure to reliably ask non-verbal children with autism spectrum disorders to indicate which teachers they preferred, noting that desirable behaviors were increased and undesirable behaviors decreased when children worked with their preferred teachers. The original research, supervised by Dr. Neill, will lead to more effective educational procedures with autism spectrum disorders.

The LIU Post Department of Psychology has been honored by the National Council of Schools and Programs for Innovation in Professional Psychology in its doctoral degree (Psy.D.) program. The department offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology, Master of Arts degrees in Behavior Analysis and Experimental Psychology, and a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D) degree. For more information, visit the LIU Post College of Liberal Arts and Sciences home page.

Posted 06/10/2016

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