Dr. Powers, Michael - Autism Awareness
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Dr. Powers, Michael, Psy.D.

Dr. Michael Powers is a pediatric psychologist and the Director of The Center for Children with Special Needs in Glastonbury, Connecticut. . He specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities. Dr. Powers holds an appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University. He is the author of the new book Asperger Syndrome and Your Child (HarperCollins, 2002) and editor of the award-winning book Children with Autism: A Parents’ Guide, (second edition) (Woodbine House, 2000). Dr. Powers is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on autism, and has presented extensively throughout the United States and abroad. He is a member of the Professional Advisory Board of the Asperger Syndrome Coalition of the United States, The Geneva Centre for Autism, and former member of the Board of Directors of the Autism Society of America.

Assessment and Treatment of Challenging Behavior in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Functional Ecological Approach

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders sometimes exhibit behavioral challenges that interfere with learning and social interaction. These can take the form of noncompliance or disruptive behavior, or can be more serious as in the case of aggression and self-injury. Over time, failure to treat these problems successfully can result in reduced life choices, more restrictive educational opportunities, and increased social isolation.

This workship will discuss the behavioral assessment and treatment of challenging behavior from a functional ecological perspective. Following a description of a functional ecological model, the assessment of physical environments, setting events, communicative function, motivational factors, and reinforcers based on sensory preferences will be described. These data will be integrated into a functional assessment, resulting in a decision model for intervention options. A framework for using assessment data to guide treatment planning and evaluation will be provided. Special emphasis will be placed on developing more adaptive communicative responses, and teaching the individual with autism to use alternative behaviors to achieve the same functional outcome. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of methods for evaluating the effectiveness of intervention outcomes.

Educating Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism: Recognizing Opportunities and Meeting Challenges in School, Home and Community Settings

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders present many learning challenges and assets that require a highly specialized, individualized approach to developing intervention plans. This workshop will discuss the learning assets and weaknesses presented by those with HFA and AS, with special attention to developing objectives and learning expectations that are educationally and socially valid. By describing learning strategies, modifications, and accomodations, parents and professionals will have a more comprehensive repertoire of procedures to use when developing and delivering instruction in school, home, and community settings.

Dr. Powers, Michael's Past Conference Schedule

February 24 & 25, 2006