Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #224A
CE Offered: BACB
The Medical and Biological Complexity of Autism
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
CE Instructor: Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: RICHARD FRYE (Phoenix Children's Hospital)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a behaviorally defined disorder. We are learning that ASD is associated with many medical co-occurring conditions such as sleep problems, gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, allergies, and anxiety, just to name a few. In addition, we are learning that there are underlying biological abnormalities with how the cells and body work. These medical and biological abnormalities may not only be related to ASD symptoms but, most importantly, may be impeding successful habilitation if they are not addressed. Thus, a multidisciplinary medical approach is necessary to evaluate and treat ASD in order to provide optimal outcomes.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Educational and behavior therapists.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) recognize that many children with autism are medically complex with many closely associated medical conditions; (2) understand that medical conditional that may co-occur with autism influence the individual response to educational and behavioral treatment; (3) understand that biological abnormalities in the way in which the cells in the body work can affect the way in which individuals respond to educational and behavioral treatment; (4) recognize that a multidisciplinary medical approach to the evaluation and treatment of autism may be needed to provide optimal outcomes; (5) recognize that there are medical treatments may be needed to complement educational and behavior therapy.
RICHARD FRYE (Phoenix Children's Hospital)

Dr. Richard Frye is a Child Neurologist with expertise in neurodevelopmental and neurometabolic disorders. He received an MD and Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University and completed his Child Neurology Residency and Fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Learning Disabilities at Harvard University/Children’s Hospital Boston. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and serves on several editorial boards. He has conducted several clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of safe and novel treatments that target underlying physiological abnormalities in children with ASD. He is the Chief of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.




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