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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #19
CE Offered: BACB

Genes, Environmental Sensitivity, Psychiatric Comorbidity, and Adaptation in Autism

Saturday, May 23, 2015
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Grand Ballroom C3 (CC)
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: John M. Guercio, Ph.D.
Chair: John M. Guercio (AWS)
JOHN CONSTANTINO (Washington University)
Dr. John Constantino is Blanche F. Ittleson Professor and director of the William Greenleaf Eliot Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine. His research on autism has focused on gene discovery and the elucidation of developmental markers of risk and resilience. He and his research team have pioneered the development of rapid quantitative methods for measuring inherited aspects of social impairment in children, to determine how such impairments are transmitted in families, populations, and across generations. Dr. Constantino’s work is currently funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and Autism Speaks. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE, a national gene bank for Autism), and is a former chair of the Mental Health Commission of the state of Missouri. He has an active clinical practice specializing in the care of children with disorders of social development, and he is psychiatrist-in-chief of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He has authored or co-authored more than 95 original peer-reviewed scientific papers.

This talk will first address what is currently known about the genetic underpinnings of autism, and how these overlap with susceptibilities to other neuropsychiatric conditions. The impact of genetic susceptibility to autism on children’s sensitivity and response to the environment will be discussed, with implications for approaches to behavioral support at respective stages of development. Next, the treatment of psychiatric comorbidities and their effect on adaptive functioning in autism will be reviewed. Finally, the goals for a next wave of research on the frontiers of genetics, early mind/brain development, and behavioral neuroscience will be discussed, specifically with respect to the promise of higher-impact intervention for affected children.

Keyword(s): autism genetics



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