Scientifically Supported Treatments, Ethical Decisions, and the Real Cost of Fad Treatments

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This presentation was filmed at the 2016 CCBS Autism Conference in Buellton, California

About the presentation:

This presentation was filmed at the 2016 CCBS Autism Conference in Buellton, CaliforniaIn human service provision, there is a requirement that the service provision does what it is intended to do – in other words, the service successfully treats the challenge which it is intended to help. For example, the field of medicine has a long history of evaluating different treatments to discover the most effective approach towards treating medical challenges. Adopting a strong scientific perspective, medical researchers have spent decades testing hundreds of medical treatments, so that today, the medical field has a reputation of being the most effective and successful when dealing with human diseases. Behavior analysis is also rooted in the foundations of a natural science approach towards a study of behavior. For behavior analysts, a scientific approach towards behavior is our worldview and influences how we approach autism treatments. Science provides a set of strategies that allow those who hold this perspective to empirically test and discover what works and doesn’t work. This worldview of science and evidenced-based practice is so fundamentally important that it is the core essence of our code of professional ethics. Through careful testing of autism treatments, service providers can identify treatments that are effective and ineffective, so that individuals with autism and their families will have a real chance of real progress.

About the presenter:

Dr. Thomas Zane is a Professor of Education and Director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Online Program at the Institute for Behavioral Studies, Van Loan School at Endicott College. Dr. Zane earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in psychology at Western Michigan University and his doctorate in Applied Behavior Analysis at West Virginia University. He has served as a Post-Doctorate Research Associate at the University of Massachusetts, Professor at Mount Holyoke College, and Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychiatry. He is a licensed psychologist in New York and Massachusetts. Dr. Zane has published in various journals and books, presented at regional, national, and international conferences, and been an invited lecturer in Ireland and the Republic of China. His research interests include teacher training, staff development, and evidenced-based practice in autism. As part of his duties at Endicott College, he offers a BCBA certificate program through distance learning.