SEAL BEACH, Calif., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Autism Partnership Family Foundation hosted two complimentary workshops for parents and professionals on the importance of the development of social skills in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). More than 1,600 total attendees are scheduled to attend the workshops, making the event one of the largest autism events in the nation. Approximately 800 parents and professionals joined the first workshop today, April 26. The second workshop is scheduled for Fri., April 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach, Calif.
The curriculum for the workshops is designed to teach parents and teachers practical methods they can use to enhance social skills to children and teenagers with ASD and Asperger's Syndrome. The sessions are hosted by Dr. Ronald Leaf and Dr. Mitchell Taubman. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of autism, Leaf and Taubman are co-founders of the Autism Partnership, an organization that specializes in behavioral treatment and effective, comprehensive services to children and their families. Building on this success, Leaf and Taubman worked together to co-found the Autism Partnership Family Foundation to ensure that life-changing services are available to children whose parents may not be able to afford effective treatment.
Leaf and Taubman are licensed psychologists and authors of Crafting Connections, a book that highlights social skill development in clear and behavioral frameworks, and provides parents and teachers with a wealth of information regarding goals and strategies. They are pioneers in the field of autism research, and have co-authored several books. The two are influential advocates of the efficacy of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which uses an understanding of why behavior occurs to address a wide range of social issues, including helping individuals to learn. ABA facilitates development and fosters the greatest degree of independence. Leaf and Taubman provide ABA therapy through their practice at the Autism Partnership.
"We know that people with ASD often suffer from depression or loneliness, which is why we place a heavy emphasis on developing communication and social skills in children and teens with ASD," said Leaf. "These workshops teach parents and educators how to pair communication skills with social skills, which can foster meaningful relationships and friendships."
The effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis therapy was recently documented in a new study to be published June 2012 in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis titled "Comparison of Social Stories and the Teaching Interaction Procedure for Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism." Authored by clinicians from both Autism Partnership and the University of Kansas, including Leaf and Taubman, the study compared two teaching strategies for people with ASD. Social Studies, a commonly used approach that is used by teachers throughout the world, was compared to Teaching Interaction Procedure, which has been used by Autism Partnership since 1997. The study showed Teaching Interaction Procedure to be highly effective and that the commonly used procedure, Social Studies, was relatively ineffective.
For more information, please visit http://www.autismpartnership.com/workshops.
About the Autism Partnership Family Foundation
Autism Partnership Family Foundation is the non-profit sector of Autism Partnership, a service agency with an international reputation of excellence. The Autism Partnership Family Foundation was founded to assist children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in achieving the happiest, most fulfilling life possible. Its mission is to ensure that life-changing services are available to children whose parents may not be able to afford effective treatment.
About the Autism Partnership
The Autism Partnership is an organization that specializes in behavioral treatment and effective, comprehensive services to children with autism and their families. Founded in 1994 by Dr. John Eachin, Dr. Ronald Leaf, and Dr. Mitchell Taubman, the Autism Partnership combines knowledge garnered from university clinical research along with expertise gained from delivering services in a community-based setting. Autism Partnership staff speak at national and international conferences and have published numerous research articles which have appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals. For more information, visit http://www.autismpartnership.com/.
SOURCE Autism Partnership Family Foundation