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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #222A
CE Offered: BACB
Pharmacotherapy of Interfering Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sunday, May 26, 2024
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon H
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Alison Cox (Brock University)
CE Instructor: Alison Cox, M.D.
Presenting Author: ROBERT NICOLSON (University of Western Ontario)
Abstract: Children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) commonly have a variety of behvavioural disturbances that can interfere with their ability to participate in interventions and which reduce their quality of life. Chief among these are aggressive behaviour (including self-injurious behaviour) and symptoms commonly seen in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In this presentation, the role of medication in the treatment regimen of youth with ASD and the evidence supporting the use of psychopharmacological agents will be reviewed. The presentation will also describe the importance of combined treatments (i.e., medication plus behavioural intervention) and the paucity of research investigating such combinations.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Clinicians and researchers

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe the indications for pharmacotherapy in Autism Spectrum Disorder 2. Explain the role of pharmacotherapy in Autism Spectrum Disorder in relation to behavioural intervention 3. Discuss the medical approach to aggressive behaviour in Autism Spectrum Disorder 4. Review the pharmacological treatment of inattention and hyperactivity in Autism Spectrum Disorder
ROBERT NICOLSON (University of Western Ontario)
Dr. Nicolson is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Chair of the Developmental Disabilities Program at The University of Western Ontario. He is a child psychiatrist whose clinical practice is largely devoted to children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. His research is devoted to the etiology and treatment of children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. He has authored or co-authored over 100 journal articles and he has been an investigator or co-investigator on grants totaling more than $30 million.



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