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  • Edward Cumella  Headshot
    Dr. Edward Cumilla

    Treatment of Aggression with Functional Communication, Planned Ignoring, and Compliance Training.

    Over Memorial Day weekend, Dr. Edward Cumella, a full-time faculty member in the Graduate Psychology department of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Amy Lockney, a recent graduate of Kaplan University’s Master of Science in Psychology, attended the annual Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) convention held in Seattle, WA. There were thousands of attendees at the conference where Dr. Cumella and Amy presented Amy’s master’s thesis titled “Treatment of Aggression with Functional Communication, Planned Ignoring, and Compliance Training.”

    For her research, Amy worked with an autistic eight year-old boy who also has Down syndrome. At first, he could barely speak and was very aggressive. Under Dr. Cumella’s supervision, Amy designed a treatment that resulted in a 90 percent reduction in aggression and a large increase in communication skills for the child. More than 50 people attended the presentation at ABAI, where there was a large discourse  with other psychologists and ABA specialists on the topic. Currently, Dr. Cumella and Amy are working on publishing their research in a professional psychology journal.

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