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Research Grant Awarded to Brookville Center for Children's Services
This fall, the Brookville Center for Children’s Services will begin a research study at the Barbara C. Wilson Preschool and the BCCS Autism Program to examine how neuropsychologists, teachers and behavior analysts can come together to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) optimize learning and improve educational outcomes.
A grant awarded by the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation in the amount of $89, 254 will fund this groundbreaking research study for one year. The William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation, is a private, family foundation organized to render support exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational purposes. A neuropsychological assessment is typically used to provide a diagnosis of ASD. In addition to a diagnostic classification, a comprehensive evaluation provides detailed information on a child’s overall cognitive status, attention and executive functioning, memory, language abilities, social-emotional function, praxic abilities, visuo-motor and visuo-spatial abilities and adaptive functioning.
This year-long research study strives to identify barriers to effective learning and to modify strategies within the ABA framework. Initially the study will seek to increase the teachers/behavior analysts and neuropsychologists understanding of each other’s domains and specific language. “This will help focus the neuropsychologists on the domains of verbal analysis in their evaluation and in their treatment recommendations,” says Kristine Loccisano, Supervising Behavior Analyst of BCCS' Autism Program. “It will also help educators better understand neuropsychology so they can use the information more effectively when addressing behaviors that are resistant to typical instruction programs.”
“We anticipate that the study will show that the children whose evaluations are shared among the team members exhibit a faster rate or greater breadth of skill acquisition because of the availability of the neuropsychological information,” says Denise Zeidler, Ph.D., Senior Director, BCCS at Barbara C. Wilson Preschool. “The findings will allow the evaluation to be included in teaching programs providing positive outcomes for children with ASDs.”