Thomas Zane – Selling Hype or Giving Hope: Science and Pseudoscience in Autism Treatment

1.0 Type II CE Credits

This talk was filmed at the 2019 CCBS Autism Conference in Buellton, CA

About the presentation: 
Autism treatment has long been known as a ‘fad magnet’ that attracts well- vetted empirically-based effective treatments, but unfortunately, also attracts ill-advised, ineffective, and unethical treatments. Parents and caregivers seek effective ways of teaching skills, maximizing independence, and improving the quality of life for individuals with autism. They assume those professionals who have degrees, certifications, and visibility in the field know what they are doing, and believe the hype and marketing that service providers disseminate about the methods they use. The proponents of all autism treatments assert that their treatments will work. They want parents and caregivers to be hopeful that their particular treatments will meet the goals and desires of those seeking treatment. However, the fact is that some treatment providers can only provide the hype without also delivering the effective outcomes of their therapy. Hype is freely given. Real hope, gleaned from evidenced-based strategies
that produce objectively-measured positive outcomes, is harder to come by.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define science and pseudoscience;
2. Describe the differences between the two and give examples of each;
3. Describe criteria for evaluating treatments so that science-based treatments are selected and treatments based on pseudoscience will be rejected

About the presenter:

Dr. Thomas Zane is the Director of the Online Applied Behavior Analysis Programs at the University of Kansas. He was formerly 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.

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