Travis Thompson, PhD, is a professor at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) and licensed psychologist. He is an internationally recognized expert on behavior analysis, autism and the relation between behavior, genes and brain function. He has published over 230 articles and chapters and 34 books, including several on autism for practitioners and parents. Dr. Thompson has held numerous national offices and received awards for his work translating science into practical forms to directly benefit children.
Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) dramatically reduces autism symptoms and increases social, language and cognitive skills and reduces rigid, repetitive behavior and tantrums. Over 20 studies have replicated Dr. Ivar Lovaas's basic findings. For about half of children with ASDs, EIBI enables them to function similarly to same age peers by the time they enter school after 1-3 years of intervention. Most function reasonably well in regular education, some with supplementary supports. The other half exhibit less marked improvements and usually require more special education support. The reason for such a dramatic improvement in some children with autism and far less response in others has been unclear. This presentation will discuss the neurogenetic basis for the effectiveness of Early behavioral autism intervention and the fact that there are autism subtypes which are differentially sensitive to experience based brain connectivity, as well as others who are much less responsive. This suggests the underlying genetic and brain differences between the two broad subtypes may account for these differential outcomes. Implications for individualizing behavioral intervention based on subtypes and strategies for doing so will be discussed as well as longer term solutions.
No recent activity