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About this Program

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In New York State, Behavior Analysts are licensed health-care professionals who provide therapeutic services for individuals with autism and related disorders. Service delivery might include conducting assessments of problem behavior or language deficits, developing treatments to reduce behavior and increase pro-social behavior, and caregiver training. An underlying feature of this service is a foundation in a scientist-practitioner model of therapy development and service delivery. Students enrolled in this program will be expected to master skills related to data collection and analysis and making data-based decisions to implement evidence-based treatments for autism.

The program capitalizes on available faculty resources at SUNY Upstate Medical University and its associated hospitals (e.g., Golisano Children’s Hospital). The program also leverages existing areas of specialization in the areas of Developmental Pediatrics, Child Psychiatry, and Social Work; disciplines that also factor into the continuum of care for individuals with autism and related disorders. The majority of the off-campus external instruction will involve supervised practicum experiences and thesis research.

The program faculty members presently hold joint academic and clinical appointments in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Development, Behavior, and Genetics. This division includes three subspecialty clinics that will serve as external instruction sites for students in the Behavior Analysis Studies program. The first is the Family Behavior Analysis Program (FBAP), which is an outpatient clinic that provides ABA therapy services for children with autism and related disabilities who also present with co-morbid behavior problems. This program provides 80 to 100 outpatient appointments per week and serves as the primary placement for students in the program. The primary providers at the FBAP are licensed psychologists and behavior analysts. The second subspecialty clinic is the Margaret Williams Developmental Evaluation Clinic (DEC), which serves as a primary diagnostic portal for children and families affected by autism and also provides ancillary services for those individuals. In this setting, students are exposed to diagnostic practices for autism as well as other evidence-based treatments (i.e., social skills training). In addition, the DEC is a multidisciplinary clinic of pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Therefore, students who rotate through this site also acquire valuable interdisciplinary skills. The third subspecialty clinic is the Center for Development, Behavior and Genetics (CDBG), which is a medical clinic for children with special needs. The primary providers in the CDBG are development pediatricians and associated staff (e.g., nursing, social workers, medical residents), and in the CDBG, students learn behavioral consultation skills as well as interdisciplinary skills.