A new treatment for children with autism, which has the potential to significantly improve their learning and academic skills, will be unveiled at Queen's University Belfast today (Friday 30 November).
Currently, more than 15,000 families in Northern Ireland are affected directly by Autism Spectrum Disorders. Precision Teaching, a method which teaches children not only how to behave, but how often, how fast, and for how long, is just one of many new studies and intervention methods for Autism Spectrum Disorders which will be unveiled at Queen's as part of its Autism Research and Treatment (QUART) Forum's Ambitious for All: Autism, Behaviour and Learning event.
Precision Teaching has been shown to be highly effective in helping children and young people with Autism and their typically developing peers achieve their potential in mainstream schools.
Almost 150 researchers from around the world, including keynote speakers from the UK and Greece, will gather at Queen's to discuss Precision Teaching, Intensive Early Behavioural Interventions and other therapies based on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), as the most effective evidence-based framework for treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Professor Karola Dillenburger, from the Centre for Behaviour Analysis in Queen's School of Education, said: "Autism is now diagnosed in 1 in 88 individuals. This means that more than 15,000 families in Northern Ireland are affected directly. 4,000 children with Autism Spectrum Disorders are of school-age and the provision of evidence-based behaviour analytic treatment is vital to ensure that these children are enabled to lead fulfilled lives. At today's conference we will hear from international experts in a number of potentially invaluable treatments.
"Precision teaching does not only benefit children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, it helps all children to overcome barriers to learning and achieve their full potential and is therefore of interest not only to teachers of children with ASD but to all educators. We will also hear about the innovative work that is carried out across Europe in Autism Spectrum Disorders Centres in Germany, Greece, France and Spain, where evidence-based early Intensive Behaviour Analytic Intervention has lead to vast improvements in the children's skill base, and allows for many more children to be mainstreamed."
The QUART one-day conference is in its second year. Taking place in the Whitla Hall at Queen's it will offer a forum for local, national and international best practice to be disseminated. It will allow practitioners, parents, individuals with a diagnosis, and academics to network and establish relationships with national and international leaders in the field.
The event is open to the public.