Meeting Point: Latest From Lovaas

June 07

Meeting Point: Latest From Lovaas

MARBLES: Markers for Autism Risk in Babies—Learning Early Signs

While the causes of autism remain unknown, researchers at UC Davis are looking for answers. MARBLES (Markers for Autism Risk in Babies—Learning Early Signs) is a study designed to follow at-risk pregnant women through pregnancy and through their infant's 3rd birthday. The collection of both environmental and biological information from both the mother and the infant will give us greater understanding of some of the risk factors associated with autism.

UC Davis is currently enrolling women who have a biological child diagnosed with autism and who are currently pregnant or who plan to become pregnant in the near future. We will then learn all we can about their lives in an effort to see whether anything unusual occurs during pregnancy that may be associated with a later diagnosis of autism. Babies will undergo periodic behavioral testing conducted by qualified study personnel who will make home visits to collect this information, along with blood and urine samples, and to administer other questionnaires. Stipends will be paid for participation. To learn more about MARBLES, call toll-free at 866-550-5027.

The names of all children in this newsletter have been changed in respect for family confidentiality.

On the Lighter Side...
...5 outrageous reinforcers sure to add fun in therapy

Hand Grenade! Deliver reinforcers like a hand grenade. Instead of giving an M&M, pretend to send it through the air with a whistling sound until it gets to child's mouth then explodes (i.e. you make an exploding sound). Run from the child and toss the (soft) reinforcer back to them.

Reinforcer Presents! Wrap the reinforcer like a real present. Sustain the anticipation by gradually unwrapping across many trials.

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ABA and the Older Child
by Kristina Chew, Ph.D.

When I first heard about ABA and what a home therapy program entailed, my thought was I certainly don't want to be doing this when Charlie is five years old. That was the summer of 1999 and Charlie, who had just turned two years old, had just been diagnosed with autism.

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