In May 2020, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh funded a $100,000 endowment to SABA to support educational pursuits that complement the behavioral treatment of autism with knowledge and expertise from related fields and with consideration of the individual as a whole. The resulting Doreen Granpeesheh Fund for the Interdisciplinary Approach to the Treatment of Autism brings experts embracing this interdisciplinary perspective to the ABAI annual convention to educate the behavior analysis community. In the future, other ways of bringing complementary expertise will be explored and funded with the ultimate goal of contributing to these same aims. The hope is that behavior analysts may become proficient in diagnosis, biomedical interventions, and other aspects of a scientific, medical approach to studying and treating autism.
About Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh is the Founder and former CEO of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and the Founder and President of the Board of Autism Care and Treatment Today (ACT Today). Dr. Granpeesheh received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA under the mentorship of Professor Ivar Lovaas. She is licensed by the Medical Board of California and the Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Virginia, Michigan and Oregon State Boards of Psychologists. Dr. Granpeesheh holds a Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, doctoral level, and has been providing behavioral therapy for individuals with autism since 1979. She has been a member of numerous scientific and advisory boards including the US Autism and Asperger's Association, the Autism File journal, Autism 360/medigenesis, the 4-A Healing Foundation, and the Defeat Autism Now coalition. In addition, Dr. Granpeesheh has served on the National Board of Directors of the Autism Society of America, the practice board of ABAI, as well as the Autism Human Rights and Discrimination Initiative Steering Committee, the Early Intervention Taskforce of the Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders, and the Oversight Committee of the Department of Developmental Disabilities.
Dr. Granpeesheh has co-authored the book Evidence-Based Treatment for Children with Autism and numerous peer-reviewed publications on issues concerning the diagnosis and treatment of Autism. She was awarded the George Winoker Clinical Research Award from the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists for her publication titled: Retrospective analysis of clinical records in 38 cases of recovery from autism. Together with her colleagues at CARD, Dr. Granpeesheh created Skills® for Autism, a web-based software tool that creates comprehensive treatment plans for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, and founded the Institute for Behavioral Training, an online platform for training professionals and families on the principles of ABA.
To learn more, visit https://www.doreengranpeesheh.com.
Special Speaker Series
2020: Doreen Granpeesheh, Center for Autism and Related Disorders: “An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Treatment of Autism”
Abstract: Important behavior analytic contributions to the clinical treatment of autism spectrum disorder have not been fully embraced by the medical community. Although behavior analysis has unquestionably contributed substantially to autism treatment, behavior analysts could be more effective if their training incorporated knowledge and expertise from other scientifically sound, compatible disciplines. Behavior is not independent of the behaving organism. Behavioral treatment efficacy may be significantly improved if the psychological, nutritional and medical needs of the patient are given consideration and attention. To this end, the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) is pleased to announce the establishment of the Doreen Granpeesheh Fund for the Interdisciplinary Approach to the Treatment of Autism to support educational pursuits in related fields.
View this presentation here.
2021: Richard Frye, Phoenix Children’s Hospital: “The Medical and Biological Complexity of Autism”
Dr. Richard Frye is a Child Neurologist with expertise in neurodevelopmental and neurometabolic disorders. He received an MD and Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University and completed his Child Neurology Residency and Fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Learning Disabilities at Harvard University/Children’s Hospital Boston. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and serves on several editorial boards. He has conducted several clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of safe and novel treatments that target underlying physiological abnormalities in children with ASD. He is the Chief of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a behaviorally defined disorder. We are learning that ASD is associated with many medical co-occurring conditions such as sleep problems, gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, allergies, and anxiety, just to name a few. In addition, we are learning that there are underlying biological abnormalities with how the cells and body work. These medical and biological abnormalities may not only be related to ASD symptoms but, most importantly, may be impeding successful habilitation if they are not addressed. Thus, a multidisciplinary medical approach is necessary to evaluate and treat ASD in order to provide optimal outcomes.
View this presentation here.
2022: Jim Adams, Arizona State University: “Comprehensive Nutritional Interventions for Children and Adults with Autism”
James B. Adams, Ph.D., is the Director of the Autism/Asperger's Research Program at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the medical causes of autism and how to treat and prevent it including the areas of nutrition (vitamins/minerals, essential fatty acids, carnitine, digestive enzymes, special diets), oxidative stress, gut problems, gut bacteria, toxic metals, and seizures. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles, including over 50 related to autism. He is also the President of the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, the President of the Autism Nutrition Research Center, the co-leader of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Autism Research Institute, and the chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Neurological Health Foundation. He has an adult daughter with autism.
Abstract: Children and adults with ASD often have multiple nutritional and metabolic problems, including nutritional deficiencies, food intolerances, oxidative stress, decreased methylation, and impaired mitochondrial function. Many of these problems can be addressed by nutritional supplements and healthy allergen-free diets. A 12-month comprehensive nutritional intervention study was conducted to investigate the effect of combining 6 different nutritional interventions. The study found many benefits, including a 7-point gain in non-verbal IQ (compared to zero in the control group) and an 18-month gain in developmental age (vs 4 months in the control group). This suggests that many individuals with ASD can benefit from a comprehensive nutritional intervention to address underlying nutritional and metabolic problems.