Research & Professional Presentations

Since our establishment in 1976, Groden Network professionals have made significant progress in understanding and assisting those with autism and behavioral disabilities. We have conducted considerable research and investigation in this challenging field, and have received numerous requests for our publications.

In response, we have provided a list of the many articles that have been published in books and journals. In addition, we have produced videos that assist individuals in learning more about our relaxation and imagery procedures. Several books and manuals are also available to aid in understanding more about autism, behavioral disabilities, and behavior therapy techniques, all of which are integral components to the services we provide.


Symposium 2017 Handouts

Addressing Stereotypy – Gregory P. Hanley

Applications of ABA in Pediatric Medical Rehabilitation Settings – Greg Young

Assuring Good Grief for Individuals with ASD – Patricia Fiske & Kelly Scott

Behavioral Approach to Teaching Self-Control – Leslie Weidenman, Amy Diller, & Kristen Audet


Books, Articles, and Videos

Please e-mail groden@GrodenCenter.org if you are interested in purchasing articles , books or videos. Indicate the publication name and the number of copies requested. Price along with shipping and handling rates will be e-mailed back. Please do not send credit card information by email.

Books Available (through publishers, Amazon or the Groden Center)

Groden, J., Weidenman, L., Diller, A. (2016). Relaxation – A Comprehensive Manual for Children Relaxation – A Comprehensive Manual for Children and Adults with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilitiesand Adults with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 2nd edition.  Research Press. ($23.99).

Groden,  J., Woodard, C., Weidenman, L. (2016). Co-authored a chapter titled “A Stress-Reduction Approach to Addressing Self-Injurious Behavior in Individuals with Autism” in the publication entitled Understanding and Treating Self-Injurious Behavior in Autism. Edelson Press.  In order to receive a copy of this chapter, please contact Linda Ollari at (401) 274-6310, ext. 1231 or lollari@grodencenter.org.

Baron, M.G., Groden, J., Groden, G., & Lipsitt, L.P. (2006). Stress and coping in autism. New York: Oxford University Press. ($35.00)

Groden, J., LeVasseur, P., Diller, A., & Cautela, J. (2001). Coping with stress through picture rehearsal: A how-to manual for working with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. Providence, RI: The Groden Center, Inc. ($35.00)

Groden, G., Stevenson, S., & Groden, J. (1996). Understanding challenging behavior: A step-by-step behavior analysis guide. Providence, RI: Groden Center, Inc.(Call for price)

Groden, J., Weidenman, L., & Diller, A. (2016). Relaxation: A Comprehensive Manual for Children and Adults with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 2nd Edition.  Champaign, IL: Research Press. ($23.99)

Groden, J., Cautela, J. R., LeVasseur, P., Groden G., & Bausman, M. (1991). Video guide to Breaking the Barriers II. Providence, RI: The Groden Center, Inc. (Call for price)

Groden, J., Spratt, R., Fiske, P., & Weisberg, P. (1999). Intensive early intervention and beyond: A school-based inclusion program. Video guide to Breaking the Barriers III. Providence, RI: The Groden Center, Inc. (Call for price)

Groden, J., Kantor, A., Woodard, C., Lipsitt, L.P. (2011).  How Everyone on the Autism Spectrum Young and Old, can…become Resilient, be more Optimistic, enjoy Humor, be Kind, and increase Self-Efficacy.  London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.($19.95)

Videos Available (from the Groden Center)

Groden, J., Cautela, J. R., & Groden, G. (1989). Breaking the barriers: The use of relaxation for people with special needs. Providence, RI: The Groden Center, Inc.

Groden, J., Cautela, J. R., & Groden, G. (1991). Breaking the barriers II: Imagery procedures for people with special needs. Providence, RI:  The Groden Center, Inc.

Groden, J., Spratt, R., & Fiske, P. (1998). Breaking the barriers III: Intensive early intervention and beyond: A school-based inclusion program. Providence, RI:  The Groden Center, Inc.

Articles Available
If you are interested in ordering any of the articles listed below please e-mail groden@GrodenCenter.org. Indicate the publication name and the number of copies requested.

Dr. June Groden
Groden, J., LeVasseur, P., & Goodwin, M.S. (2006). Stress and autism: Coping and self-control techniques for those on the autism spectrum. Autism Advocate, 43(3), 36-41.

Groden, J., Goodwin, M.S., Baron, M.G., Groden, G., Velicer, W.F., Lipsitt, L.P., Hofmann, S.G., & Plummer, B. (2005). Assessing cardiovascular responses to stressors in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 20(4), 244-252.

Groden, J., LeVasseur, P., Baron, G. (2002). Stress and anxiety: Assessment and coping strategies. Presentation at the Autism Society of America national conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Groden, J., Diller, A., Bausman, M., Velicer, W., Norman, G., & Cautela, J. (2001). The development of a Stress Survey Schedule for Persons with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31(2), 207-217.

Groden, J., & LeVasseur, P. (1999). Stress reduction: A positive behavioral support. Presentation at a web conference: Cyber Conference Autism 99 [on-line]. www.autism.org

Groden, J., & Groden, G. (1997). Initiating and administering programs: Alternative settings. In D.J. Cohen & F.R. Volkmar (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders, 2nd Ed. (pp. 676-690).

Groden, J., & LeVasseur, P. (1995). Cognitive picture rehearsal: A system to teach self-control. In K. Quill (Ed.), Teaching children with autism: Strategies to enhance communication and socialization (pp. 287-305). Albany, NY: Delmar Publishing, Inc.

Groden, J., Cautela, J. R., Prince, S., & Berryman, J. (1994). The impact of stress and anxiety on individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. In E. Schopler & G.B. Mesibov (Eds.), Behavioral issues in autism (pp. 177-194). New York: Plenum Press.

Groden, J. (1993). The use of covert procedures to reduce severe aggression in a person with retardation and behavioral disorders. In J. Cautela & A. Kerney (Eds.), Covert conditioning casebook (pp. 144-151). Belmont, CA: Cole Publishing.

Groden, J., Baron, G., Pentecost, A., & Stevenson, S. E. (1988). A systems approach for educators and clinicians working with persons with autism: Putting it all together. In G. Groden & M.G. Baron (Eds.), Autism: Strategies for change (pp. 204-236). New York: Gardner Press.

Groden, J., Baron, G., & Cautela, J. R. (1988). Behavioral programming: Expanding our clinical repertoire. In G. Groden & M.G. Baron (Eds.), Autism: Strategies for change (pp. 49-73). New York: Gardner Press.

Groden, J., & Cautela, J. R. (1988). Procedures to increase social interaction among adolescents with autism: A multiple baseline analysis. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 19(2), 87-93.

Groden, J., Baron, G., & Groden, G. (1984). The need for the development of self-control procedures with the autistic population. Proceedings from the Annual Meeting and the Conference of the National Society for Children and Adults with Autism (NSAC), (pp. 198-220). Washington, DC.

Groden, J., & Cautela, J. R. (1984). The use of imagery procedures to reduce aberrant behavior in students labeled “Trainable Retarded.” Psychological Reports, 54, 595-605.

Groden, J., Groden, G., Baron, G., & Stevenson, S. E. (1984). Day treatment services for children with severe behavioral disorders. In W.P. Christian, G.T. Hannah, & T.J. Glahn (Eds.), Programming effective human services (pp. 337-355). New York: Plenum Publishing.

Dr. Gerald Groden
Groden, G., & Groden, J. (2002) Covert positive reinforcement. In M. Hersen & W. Sledge (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Psychotherapy (pp. 587-592). New York: Academic Press.

Groden, G., & Lantz, S. (2001). The reliability of the Detailed Behavior Report (DBR) in documenting functional assessment observations. Behavioral Interventions, 16, 15-25.

Groden, G., Groden, J., & Stevenson, S. (1997). Facilitating comprehensive behavioral assessments. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 12(1), 49-52.

Groden, G. (1992). The treatment of inappropriate emotional responding to criticism by a young man with autism using covert reinforcement. In J.R. Cautela & A.J. Kearney (Eds.), Covert conditioning casebook (pp. 135-143). Belmont, CA: Cole Publishing.

Groden, G. (1989). A guide for conducting a comprehensive behavior analysis of a target behavior. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 20(2), 163-169.

Groden, G., Groden, J., Dondey, M., Zane, T., Pueschel, D., & Velicer, W. (1987). Effects of fenfluramine on behavior of autistic individuals. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 8, 203-211.

Groden, G., Domingue, D., Chesnick, M., Groden, J., & Baron, G. (1983). Early intervention with autistic children: A case presentation with pre-program, program, and follow-up data. Psychological Reports, 53, 715-722.

Groden, G., Domingue, D., Pueschel, S., & Deignan, L. (1982). Behavioral/emotional problems in mentally retarded children and youth. Psychological Reports, 51, 143-146.

Groden, G., & Cautela, J. R. (1981). Behavior therapy: A survey of procedures for counselors. The Personnel and Guidance Journal, 60(3), 175-180.

Groden, G. (1978). The role of reinforcement in learning and relaxation. In J.R. Cautela & J. Groden, Relaxation: A comprehensive manual for adults, children, and children with special needs (pp. xv-xvi). Champagne, IL: Research Press.

Dr. Grace Baron
Baron, G., & Groden, J. (1993). A behavioral approach to the inner world of autism: The role of images, thoughts, and feelings in self-control. Presented at the 1993 International Conference on Autism: Toronto, Canada.

Baron, G., & Dondey, C. (1992). The use of covert conditioning to treat stress-induced asthma in a young child with autism. In J.R. Cautela & A.J. Kearney (Eds.), Covert conditioning casebook (pp. 119-125). Belmont, CA: Cole Publishing.

Baron, G. (1991, July). Easing transitions for persons with autism. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 7(7), 1-2.

Baron, G. (1990, Fall). Singular voices. Wheaton Quarterly, 11-14.

Baron, G., & Stevenson, S. E. (1988). Teaching for performance: A guide for preparing clinicians and teachers for the severely handicapped. In G. Groden & M.G. Baron (Eds.), Autism: Strategies for change (pp. 179-201). New York: Gardner Press.

Baron, G., & Cautela, J. R. (1983). Imagery assessment with normal and special needs children. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 3(1), 17-30.

Baron, G., & Cautela, J. R. (1977). Eliminating the self-injurious behavior of a young psychiatric inpatient. In D. Upper (Ed.), Perspectives in behavior therapy (pp. 103-125). Kalamazoo, MI: Behavior delia Press.

Groden Center Directors/Consultants
Goodwin, M.S., Groden, J., Velicer, W.F., Lipsitt, L.P., Baron, M.G., Hofmann, S.G., & Groden, G. (2006). Cardiovascular arousal in individuals with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21(2), 100-123.

Goodwin, M.S, Considine, S., Groden, J., Baron, G., Groden, G., Velicer, W.F., Lipsitt, L.P., & Hofmann, S.H. (2004, Summer). Exploring heart rate responses to stereotypical behavior in an individual with autism. Association for Behavior Analysis’ Autism and related developmental disabilities special interest group newsletter, 20(3), 1-4.

Woodard, C., Groden, J., Goodwin, M., Shanower, C., & Bianco, J. (2005). The treatment of the behavioral sequelae of autism with Dextromethorphan: A case report. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35(4), 515-518.

Knapp, L. G., Barrett, R. P., Groden, G., & Groden, J. (1992). The nature and prevalence of fears in developmentally disabled children and adolescents: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 4(3), 195-203.


Professional Presentations

On September 15, 2011, Dr. June Groden, Executive Director of the Groden Network “Your Autism Experts” participated in the U. S. Department of Heath & Human Services 2011 Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Services Workshop in Bethesda Maryland.

The title of the workshop was “Enhancing Supports for people with Autism and their Families: Community Intergration and the the Changing Delivery System.”

To watch a video of this workshop Click Here


Research News

The Groden Center, Inc. directs and supports comprehensive research as a part of its mission to assist children and adults with autism, other developmental disabilities, and behavioral challenges to lead productive, dignified, and satisfying lives. Research findings are disseminated through scholarly publications (e.g., books, book chapters, journal articles), presentations at scientific conferences, and teaching activities via seminars and workshops.

Current Research Projects

Each project title is a link to its corresponding description. You may use these links to navigate the page with greater ease, or you may simply scroll down the page to view descriptions of all our current research projects.


Project Descriptions


Wearable Platform to Foster Learning of Natural Facial Expressions and Emotions in High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome

PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS:

  • Matthew Goodwin, The Groden Center.
  • Rosalind Picard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory
  • Rana el Kaliouby, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory
  • Alea Teeters, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory
  • June Groden, The Groden Center

DESCRIPTION:

Evaluate the scientific and clinical significance of using a wearable camera system (Self-Cam) to improve recognition of emotions from real-world faces in young adults with Asperger syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA). The study tests a group of 10 young adults diagnosed with AS/HFA who are asked to wear Self-Cam three times a week for 10 weeks, and use a computerized, interactive facial expression analysis system to review and analyze their videos on a weekly basis. A second group of 10 age-, sex-, IQ-matched young adults with AS/HFA will use Mind Reading – a systematic DVD guide for teaching emotion recognition. These two groups will be tested pre- and post-intervention on recognition of emotion from faces at three levels of generalization: videos of themselves, videos of their interaction partner, and videos of other participants (i.e. people they are less familiar with). A control group of 10 age- and sex-matched typically developing adults will also be tested to establish performance differences in emotion recognition abilities across groups. This study will use a combination of behavioral reports, direct observation, and pre- and post- questionnaires to assess Self-Cam’s acceptance by persons with autism. We hypothesize that the typically developing control group will perform better on emotion recognition than both groups with AS/HFA at baseline and that the Self-Cam group, whose intervention teaches emotion recognition using real-life videos, will perform better than the Mind Reading group who will learn emotion recognition from a standard stock of emotion videos.

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Telemetric Assessment of Movement Stereotypy in Children with ASD

PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS:

  • Matthew Goodwin, The Groden Center
  • June Groden, The Groden Center
  • Wayne Velicer, University of Rhode Island
  • Stephen Intille, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

FUNDING SOURCE:

  • Autism Speaks

DESCRIPTION:

Stereotypical behaviors constitute one of the core diagnostic features of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Movement stereotypies represent one of the most disruptive classes of stereotypical behaviors occurring in children with an ASD. Engagement in these behaviors can lead to social stigmatization, and can complicate social interaction. Moreover, if a movement stereotypy becomes a dominant behavior in an individual’s repertoire, it can interfere with the acquisition of new skills and performance of established skills, and may lead to self-injurious behavior. Unfortunately, the lack of accurate and timely measures of these behaviors has slowed the development of interventions to reduce or prevent stereotypical motor movements. The current proposal will evaluate the use of wireless accelerometers and pattern recognition software to automatically detect two of the most common, high frequency stereotypical motor movements, body rocking and hand flapping, in 10 children with an ASD in real-time. New algorithms for real-time body rocking and hand flapping stereotypy detection will be developed that advance the state-of-the-art in ambulatory monitoring in children with an ASD, both for the collection of research data and for the development of novel intervention tools for therapists and caregivers. Obtaining detailed and accurate information on the occurrence, type of movement (i.e., topography), frequency, duration, and setting events associated with movement stereotypy is critical to understanding and treating this potentially disruptive behavior. Reliable recording of movement stereotypies will enable researchers to study what functional relations may exist between these behaviors and specific antecedents and consequences. These measures can also facilitate efficacy studies of behavioral and pharmacologic interventions intended to decrease the incidence or severity of movement stereotypy.

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Rituals and Behavioral Rigidity in Children with Autism: Experimental Analysis of Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).

PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS:

  • Jim Bodfish, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Cooper Woodard, The Groden Center
  • Matthew Goodwin, The Groden Center
  • June Groden, The Groden Center

FUNDING SOURCE:

  • Subcontract from National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)

DESCRIPTION:

This study examines the efficacy of a form of behavioral therapy based on exposure-response prevention (ERP), a validated form of treatment for childhood obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as a treatment for behavioral rigidity in children with autism. In autism, behavioral rigidity presents as a set of associated problems for parents and teachers including: (1) a child’s singular, ritualized focus on specific items or activities, (2) behavior problems that result when the parent or teacher attempts to limit these rituals, and (3) the child’s poor compliance and engagement with alternative activities such as academic or self-care tasks. For the present study, we designed a variant of ERP to address these aspects of behavioral rigidity in children with autism. The treatment consists of a block of 10 discrete trials. During each trial the child is: (1) allowed to engage in a highly preferred activity or ritual for 1 minute, (2) then switched from the ritual item to an academic task, and given hand-over-hand prompting and praise during a 1 minute period of academic task demands with the preferred/ritual item present. This is designed to simulate ritual blocking, transition from a preferred / ritual or activity to a non-preferred activity, and compliance with academic training during exposure to the preferred / ritual item.

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Electrophysiological Assessment of Guided Relaxation in Individuals with Autism

PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS:

  • Matthew Goodwin, The Groden Center
  • Elena Festa Martino, Psychology Department, Brown University
  • William C. Heindel, Psychology Department, Brown University
  • June Groden, The Groden Center

DESCRIPTION:

A number of studies have assessed the impact of relaxation training on individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Findings generally indicate that relaxation training effectively reduces disruptive, aggressive, and stereotypic behaviors in this population. However, it is unclear whether relaxation training simply serves as a replacement behavior incompatible with disruptive actions, or if physiological changes including respiratory, cardiovascular, and brain wave activities mediates behavioral improvements by decreasing arousal. A more thorough understanding of the physiological changes associated with relaxation training is needed to provide better information about the nature of this stress reduction technique, and to further determine if guided relaxation is an effective therapeutic procedure for children with autism. The goal of this project is to assess the impact of guided relaxation in 10 children with autism. We propose to use electrophysiological scalp electrical activity (EEG) measures, and autonomic nervous system (ANS) measures (e.g., respiration, heart rate, heart rate variability) to: (1) identify and characterize brain regions active during the performance of guided relaxation and (2) identify and characterize autonomic changes in arousal during the performance of guided relaxation.

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Analyses of Parental and Teacher Reponses on the Stress Survey Schedule for Persons with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (SSS)

PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS:

  • Lisa Femia, University of Rhode Island
  • Wayne Velicer, University of Rhode Island
  • Matthew Goodwin, The Groden Center
  • June Groden, The Groden Center

DESCRIPTION:

The current study includes three primary and one secondary aim. The first primary aim will use collected completed Stress Survey Schedules for Persons with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (SSS) by treating teachers and parents of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to develop a reference sample, providing means and standard deviations, for future comparisons. The second primary aim will investigate the possible existence of subgroups in the ASD sample based on survey responses from parents and teachers. The third primary aim will investigate the correlation between teachers’ and parents’ responses on the stress scale survey. A secondary aim is to investigate the relationship between age, gender, and specific diagnosis of individuals with an ASD and survey response scores.

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Mercury Hair Sampling in Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS:

  • Grace Baron, Wheaton College/The Groden Center
  • Janina Benoit, Wheaton College

DESCRIPTION:

While the role of mercury in ASD is unclear and unvalidated, recent research has found that infants with ASD have significantly lower rates of mercury in hair samples; suggesting they may have less ability to eliminate this toxin. It is not known whether a low rate of mercury elimination persists in individuals with ASD into adulthood, and this study seeks to address this question. More specifically, this study aims to establish typical mercury hair levels in the 18-31 year old age group. We are looking at the effects of two exposure variables: (1) amount of fish consumption and (2) number of silver amalgam filings. We will also compare our group results with the findings of a comparison group of typical young adults at Wheaton College and other community settings.

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Urinary Isoprostane Levels in Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Index of Oxidative Stress

PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS:

  • Matthew Goodwin, The Groden Center
  • Woody McGinnis, Oxidative Stress in Autism Study
  • George Lambert, University of Medicine and Dentistry
  • June Groden, The Groden Center

DESCRIPTION:

Emotional stress is associated with physical markers for oxidative stress. The current study will assess whether treatment offered at the Groden Center results in behavioral and emotional improvements and corresponding reductions in oxidative stress in children with autism. We hypothesize that (i) increased behavior problems and emotional stress will correspond with increased urinary isoprostanes, a measure of oxidative stress; and conversely that (ii) decreased behavior problems and emotional stress will correspond with decreased urinary isoprostanes. These hypotheses will be tested in10 children with ASD as they enroll in the Groden Center by comparing their isoprostane levels and global/direct ratings of behavior after the first week of enrollment with serial measurements at 1 month intervals until behavior problems and emotional stress have decreased, as determined by the behavioral intake team.

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Understanding Visual Perception in ASD

PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS:

  • Rolf Nelson, Wheaton College
  • Matthew Goodwin, The Groden Center
  • Grace Baron, Wheaton College

DESCRIPTION:

There is evidence that persons with ASD process visual information in a different manner than typically developing individuals. Although performance is sometimes worse, in some tasks, individuals with ASD actually show better performance. For example, individuals with ASD tend to do better on tasks that focus attention on small details and when the context is usually difficult to ignore. Measuring performance on these types of tasks, and where differences lie, can be a powerful tool in understanding cognitive capabilities in autism. This project involves the following three studies: (1) a computerized Perceptual Grouping task to understand the way in which children with ASD group parts of the visual field together to make sense of what they perceive; (2) a computerized Change Blindness and Attention task to assess how well children with ASD can detect changes in visual scenes; and (3) a computerized Eye Movements and Physiological Response task to understand the ways in which children with ASD scan visual information, and how this relates to physiological reactions. In particular, we wish to examine how scanning static (e.g., photos) and dynamic (e.g., videos) facial expressions (e.g., angry or happy faces) produce stress reactions. The overall goal of the proposed research is to understand some basic visual processing in ASD, as well as the interaction of these processes with social and emotional functioning.

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CareLog System for Enhancing Functional Behavioral Assessments

PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS:

  • Gregory Abowd, Department of Computing, Georgia Tech
  • Ron Oberleitner, eMerge Medical Technologies
  • Matthew Goodwin, The Groden Center
  • Gerald Groden, The Groden Center

FUNDING SOURCE:

  • NIH SBIR (Phase II)

DESCRIPTION:

To develop and evaluate a tool designed to support the collection of rich data for performing a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) in schools to develop intervention plans for children with special needs and/or severe behavioral problems. The proposed archiving system will permit educators to record only those data or behaviors judged to be important for later retrieval and review. The use of “experience buffers” enabled by the system provides an alternative for recording. This alternative allows educators to get critically needed records without the tedious tasks of manually documenting all of the details and without 100% video recording that is both time-consuming to view en masse and highly invasive. After successfully completing Phase I of this project, we are now planning a study to evaluate the system in a more rigorous manner by applying it to a larger population of children with special needs, engaging 3 centers in the study to demonstrate universality, and quantifying outcomes over a period of approximately one year. In a subset of subjects, we will also compare outcomes and costs of our proposed system with traditional methods of FBA. We will conduct studies to evaluate further the necessary training and background for instructors to use our system appropriately. The commercial potential of our system is high given the large and increasing incidence of children with special needs treated in school environments.

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