Tag Archive for 'evidence-based practice'

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CEC pre-conf session on MH and PBIS

The Council for Exceptional Children will host an “Institute on School-based Mental Health and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports” prior to its annual convention in Denver in April 2012. Readers of EBD Blog understand the importance of MH and its connections with schools for many students. This session, chaired by Krista Kutash and George Sugai, promises to help educators make and strengthen appropriate connections. Learn more about building positive bridges between mental health and positive school environments.

Webinar on FBA and positive behavior support plans

Tim Lewis

If you and your colleagues need to obtain a good foundation on the use of functional behavioral assessment and positive behavior support plans, there is an opportunity coming to satisfy that need.Tim Lewis will present another Webinar under the auspices of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and this one is entitled “Designing Individual Student Positive Behavior Support Plans Through Functional Behavioral Assessment.” It is scheduled for Tuesday 25 October 2011 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM (Eastern Time, US).

Professor Lewis is among the leaders in the area of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS). He co-edits the journal Behavioral Disorders and co-directs major projects on PBIS. Follow this link to learn more about the event and how to register for it; it is the third in a series of Webinars on the topic of PBIS that Professor Lewis is providing via CEC. (I don’t have a financial interest in them; I’m just shilling for them for free here.)

Addressing bullying via PBIS

Tim Lewis

Do you want to learn how to do something about bullying in schools? Here’s a way to get started.

Under the auspices of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Tim Lewis will present an online seminar (“Webinar”) entitled “Addressing Bullying Behavior Through Schoolwide Positive Behavior Supports” on Thursday 20 October 2011 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM (Eastern Time, US). Professor Lewis, who teaches and conducts research at the University of Missouri, has a wealth of experience and expertise in the area of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS), so this an excellent opportunity to get a good grounding in how to use the features of PBIS to help a school manage bullying problems. Follow this link to learn more about the event and how to register for it; it is one in a series of Webinars on the topic of PBIS that Professor Lewis is providing via CEC. (I don’t have a financial interest in them.)

Denny Reid in C’ville!

Dennis Reid, a renowned researcher and clinician who for more than 35 years has worked with individuals who have Autism, will speak on 22 September 2011 on “Evidence-Based Strategies for Promoting Enjoyment among People with Autism” in Charlottesville (VA, US). The talk by Mr. Reid, which is free and open to the public (but registration is required), is part of the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) Autism Speaker Series and is sponsored by VIA and the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. It is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 at St. Anne’s-Belfield Greenway Rise Campus, Randolph Hall Auditorium. To register, go to VIA’s Web site viaschool.org or call (434) 923-8252.

For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Reid’s research, he has an extensive record of work in behavior analysis, having published repeatedly in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. He’s based at the Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center in Mogantown (NC, US) which, oddly, doesn’t seem to have a Web site.

ASAT newsletter pending

Do you want to know more about evidence-based interventions for Autism? Are you weary of wading through a lot of over-hyped-and-not-well-tested methods hoping to find one gem? Do you come back to EBD Blog because you pine for trustworthy news about Autism?

There is an alternative, another source: The Association for Science in Autism Treatment has a regular newsletter and a new one is about to be released. If readers hustle their bustles, they can register in time to receive the next issue which includes (according to a mailer I received)

  • A feature article in which Dr. Thomas Zane discusses the adoption of Fad Treatments in Autism.
  • Four research article summaries (ranging from treatment comparisons to prevalence of adults with autism).
  • Spotlight on a new organization Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism.
  • Two Clinical Corners (Food Selectivity and Help with the Dentist).
  • Consumer Corner (Review of Transition Resources for Adolescents and Adults with Autism).
  • An in-depth group interview about fostering positive portrayals of science-based treatment in the media.

…and for the rest, you’re just going to have to read to find out!

Here’s a link to register for the newsletter: http://www.asatonline.org/signup. I encourage folks to do.

And, if you ever forget how to find ASAT, you don’t have to poke around looking for this message. Just check over there in the siderail. You’ll find it listed in the “Web Resources.”

Cog mod for PTSD

In the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Joanna Kowalik and colleagues reported that their review of studies on the use of cognitivie behavioral therapy for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) revealed that cog-mod appears effective in changing raters’ responses on some of the widely used scales of the Child Behavior Checklist. However, the results of their literature review are not as powerful as one might hope, given the small number of studies and substantial variability in the studies themselves.


Background and objectives There is no clear gold standard treatment for childhood posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An annotated bibliography and meta-analysis were used to examine the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of pediatric PTSD as measured by outcome data from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL).

Method A literature search produced 21 studies; of these, 10 utilized the CBCL but only eight were both 1) randomized; and 2) reported pre- and post-intervention scores.

Results The annotated bibliography revealed efficacy in general of CBT for pediatric PTSD. Using four indices of the CBCL, the meta-analysis identified statistically significant effect sizes for three of the four scales: Total Problems (TP; ?.327; p = .003), Internalizing (INT; ?.314; p = .001), and Externalizing (EXT; ?.192; p = .040). The results for TP and INT were reliable as indicated by the fail-safe N and rank correlation tests. The effect size for the Total Competence (TCOMP; ?.054; p = .620) index did not reach statistical significance.

Limitations Limitations included methodological inconsistencies across studies and lack of a randomized control group design, yielding few studies for meta-analysis.

Conclusions The efficacy of CBT in the treatment of pediatric PTSD was supported by the annotated bibliography and meta-analysis, contributing to best practices data. CBT addressed internalizing signs and symptoms (as measured by the CBCL) such as anxiety and depression more robustly than it did externalizing symptoms such as aggression and rule-breaking behavior, consistent with its purpose as a therapeutic intervention.

Because they are integrating so few studies it is very difficult to have a sensitive meta-analysis in this case. However, that Professor Kowalik and her collaborators found differences at all is encouraging. I hope they’ll continue to follow this literature. Also, I hope researchers will be using other measures of outcomes and that those other measures will be examined in future integrative literature reviews, too.

Kowalik, J., Weller, J., Venter, J., & Drachman, D. (2011). Cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of pediatric posttraumatic stress disorder: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 42, 405-413. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2011.02.002

Counselling explained. You can find counselling services in your local private hospital in Nottingham, UK.

FC goes to MIT

According to Robert T. Carroll at the Skeptic’s Dictionary, several people associated with facilitated communication have been working with Professor Rosalind W. Picard of the Affective Computing research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. In “Facilitated Communication Infiltrates MIT’s Media Lab,” Mr. Carroll reports about Professor Picard’s connections with supporters of what he says is now called “supported typing.”

Why would MIT’s Media Lab be involved with something that is clearly a discredited pseudoscience?

MIT’s Media Lab’s involvement with FC goes back several years.

A private FC conference occurred in May 2008 involving Douglas Biklen, Head of the FC Institute, Rosalind Picard, Head of the MIT Affective Computing Group, Margaret Bauman of the Massachusetts General Ladders Program (a long time FC advocate; she tried to get the New England Center to use FC in the early 1990s; she just got $29 Million from Nancy Lurie Marks a major, major FC supporter), Martha Herbert of Harvard Medical (supports the view that autism is a movement disorder, justifying FC)…That meeting seems to have been designed to establish liaisons between FC advocates in the Media Lab, the Ladders Program at Massachusetts General, the Syracuse FC Institute [now the Institute on Communication and Inclusion], and the University of Buenos Aires (i.e., Daniel Orlievsky), and cannot be unconnected to this upcoming event in July.

Mr. Carroll has much more on this. Given the problems with FC, one must wonder what a prestigious institution such as MIT would gain from such a connection. Is it possible that the researchers are legitimately investigating FC?

What about other developments from this lab? How valuable are they? One can’t dismiss them simply by association. Does this bracelet that seems to capture galvanic skin response and feed it wirelessly to computers actually have much value? Tracking GSR across time does look interesting to me. What clinical applications might emerge? Will they be beneficial?

You can read Facilitated Communication Infiltrates MIT’s Media Lab in its entirety on the Skeptic’s Dictionary.

ASAT newsletter’s available

For those readers interested in Autism who do not already subscribe to the newsletter of the Association for Science in Autism (ASAT), I have a nourishing treat: The latest issue of Science in Autism Treatment (SIAT) is now available. You can learn about ASAT and SIAT by going to the ASAT homepage and scouting about the many valuable resources there, including learning about and subscribing to the SIAT newsletter. Subscribe and you won’t have to depend on my flaky reminder system to let you know when one arrives in my mailbox!