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About this Program

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 and centers (e.g., Golisano Children’s Hospital, the Golisano Center for Special Needs). The program also leverages existing areas of specialization in the areas of developmental pediatrics, child psychiatry, and social work. These disciplines factor into the continuum of care for individuals with autism and related disorders.

The program faculty members presently hold joint academic and clinical appointments in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Development, Behavior, and Genetics, and the Golisano Center for Special Needs. This division includes four subspecialty clinical programs that will serve as external instruction sites for students in the Behavior Analysis Studies program.

The Severe Behavior and Pediatric Feeding Disorders programs are part of the Golisano Center for Special Needs and provide outpatient ABA therapy services to children with autism and related disabilities who also present with co-morbid behavior and/or feeding problems.  These programs provide 80 to 100 outpatient appointments per week. The primary providers at the Severe Behavior and Pediatric Feeding Disorders programs are licensed psychologists and behavior analysts. They are also the primary instructors in the Behavior Analysis Studies Program.

The third subspecialty clinic is the Diagnostic Evaluation Services (DES) clinic, 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). The DES 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 fourth subspecialty clinic is the Center for Development, Behavior and Genetics (CDBG), which is a medical clinic for children with diverse needs. The primary providers in the CDBG are developmental pediatricians and associated staff (e.g., nursing, social workers, medical residents). During rotations at the CDBG, students learn behavioral consultation skills, as well as interdisciplinary skills.