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UCSB Koegel Autism Center Chosen for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis Award

The Koegel Autism Center at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School has been selected as the recipient of the Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis Award by the Society for the Advantage of Behavior Analysis.

This award is given annually to an agency, department or facility of an organization that contributes to the ongoing and enduring development of behavior analysis. The award will be presented at the Association for Behavior Analysis International’s 42nd annual convention held in Chicago from May 27-31, 2016.

“This wonderful recognition is a testament to the success of our Koegel Autism Center and to your pioneering research and dedicated efforts on behalf of the autism community,” UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang said upon hearing about the award. “You are helping to improve the lives of so many, and raising the stature of the center and the university along the way.”

The Koegel Autism Center is recognized by SABA for the center’s influence on interventions for children on the autism spectrum and training and research in applied behavior analysis. For over 30 years the Koegel Autism Center has contributed to the body of research and publications on developing treatment delivery systems through family and others who support children with autism.

The center is especially commended for the development and success of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), created by Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel of the Gevirtz School. PRT incorporates child choice and direct and natural reinforces, as well as targeting critical areas of the child’s development rather than just individual behaviors. It is recognized by the National Research Council as one of the ten model programs for autism and as one of the four scientifically based practices for autism intervention in the United States. The Koegel Autisim Center is additionally recognized for the center’s impact on training, in the workshops it provides for school certification, teachers, classroom aides, and school-based interventions, as well as its undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Koegel Autism Research and Training Center, overseen by Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel, is dedicated to improving the lives and prognoses of children with autism, as well as the lives of their families. The major goals of the Koegel Autism Research & Training Center are increasing our understanding of autism spectrum disorders, the development and implementation of state-of-the-art pivotal response treatments, as well as the improvement of elementary and secondary education efforts for children with autism and other severe disabilities. The center's primary interests lie in research and training (both pre-service and in-service), focusing on family support and on the education of children with autism in community environments and classrooms with their typically developing peers.

The center is funded by a number of sources, including the state of California, federal research and training grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Department of Education, and through private donations. The Koegel Autism Center is part of the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara.

— George Yatchisin is the communications coordinator for the Gevirtz School at UCSB.

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