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Topics of the Day

Here are a variety (small at first but growing) of topics related to areas we routinely consult on covered briefly. We hope that these "Topics of the Day" will help you better understand our approach to each question and provide you with a resource or two related to the issue(s) covered.

A Brief Review of the NEA's The Autism Puzzle  The National Education Association recently published a 40+ page guide for America's educators on Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Dr. Montgomery reviews and critiques this important document.

What is the ABLLS? is an article by Dr. R. Montgomery that provides a brief overview of the ABLLS, its uses and utility.  

What is a BCBA Anyway?  is an article that attempts to dispel some of the myths and misinformation about what BCBA means, stands for, and what having it means regarding someone's skills and training.  Is having a PhD and BCBA better?  Does having a BCBA mean that the person necessarily knows anything about Autism?  IF they know about autism do they automatically know about Aspergers?

American Sign Language vs. Picture Exchange Communication System in the Development of Verbal Language in Children with Autism: A Review

 ASD Evaluations.  The diagnostic process is one of a trained professional interviewing caregivers, observing the child, and having the child try to do some specific things to help clarify the child's abilities and developmental sequences for the professional.  There is a lot of confusion about diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders, Much of the confusion comes from many people misusing screening devices as diagnostic instruments.  This article presents some information that I recently offered to the Georgia Autism Listserv in an effort to help clarify this issue.

ADHD or Sleep Disturbance? Sleep Hygiene: The non-drug intervention is an article written by Dr. Montgomery reviewing the issue of sleep deprivation as it affects behavior and how these effects can be misdiagnosed as common childhood conditions.  There is a pdf handout on Sleep Hygiene available.

How do I hire a qualified Behavior Analyst? is an issue that is more and more raised by parents and agencies.  Dr. Montgomery summarizes some recommendations on how to look at the credentials of someone claiming to be a behavior analyst and provides sources for specific criteria in evaluating those credentials based on those published by ABA.

How I.D.E.A. Increases the Need for Functional Behavior Analytic Skills in Public Schools: What they donít know can hurt us! was first read in 1999 at the 25th annual conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis in Chicago by Dr. Montgomery.  In it he analyzes the position of the National Association of School Psychologists in relation to their claimed ability to be experts on FBAs within the public schools.

Aggression in Schools is an ever growing problem in the U.S. (and around the world for that matter).  Dr. Montgomery has been working with aggression in a wide range of settings for almost two decades and offers some initial thoughts and guidance on minimizing such behavior in the classroom.

Functional Behavior Assessment is a term that many in U.S. schools heard for the first time when IDEA went into effect.  FBA is a behavioral assessment process that is deceptively complex.  Dr. Montgomery offers a brief overview of this area with essential cautions.

Functional Communication Training refers to a treatment typically recommended when a Functional Behavior Analysis (see above) has shown that an individual's problem behavior is maintained by social consequences.   FCT involves teaching the individual functional communication responses that produce access to the social reinforcer(s) identified as maintaining the problem behavior.

Medication issues involving sharing data with Psychiatrists is a brief article written by Dr. Montgomery for the newsletter of The Learning Tree.  Dr. Montgomery has been a clinical and behavioral consultant to various state and private agencies and has participated in developing their Behavior Development Program policies and procedures which involve the access to and utilization of medication services for students.

More than Medication is Appropriate is a statement involving some controversy.  There are some professionals, mainly physicians, who will tell parents that every behavior problem has an Organic Origin - and at some level that is true.  Dr. Montgomery discusses two disorders which are believed to be organic in origin and for which biological/medical/drug treatment alone appear to be wholly insufficient.

Social Maladjustment is an education term that many clinicians think of as synonymous with Oppositional- Defiant or Conduct Disorder from the DSM-IV. Dr. Montgomery discusses the difference between Social Maladjustment and Emotional Disturbance within the schools.

What Makes a Good Psychological Report?  This is a question that Dr. Montgomery has found himself asking more and more recently as he has read lots of reports from a variety of professionals on students in a variety of schools.  Dr. Montgomery discusses the two main factors which he believes must be present for a psychological assessment to result in a truly useful report.

Please Email us any suggestions you may have for issues, areas, or questions that you would like to see addressed in future "Topics of the Day" columns.  We will do our best to address any areas brought to our attention.


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