• Autism Awareness

    During the month of April the Center for Public Service is recognizing Autism Awareness Month by featuring information, articles, and resources on autism spectrum disorders. Several faculty members with experience in working with people with autism or in the field of psychology contributed articles relating to autism. We invite you to explore and share our faculty members' insights and articles listed below and throughout our site. You can also visit our News and Events and Resources sections to learn more about this growing disorder that is affecting children and families across the world.

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    Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Autism

    By Nelly A. Dixon, EdD, BCBA

    ABA is highly recognized as an effective methodology for teaching individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Nelly Dixon takes a look at how professionals in the field of ABA promote changes in behavior and skill acquisition.

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    Autism and the Criminal Justice System: A Call to Legislative Awakening

    By Monique Chiacchia, JD, MSCJ

    Faculty member Monique Chiacchia, JD, MSCJ discusses how courts are dealing with instances of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as it relates to criminal intent but approaches vary, as there is no uniform or legislative pronouncement on how this disorder relates to mens rea. The article discusses ASD generally and reviews approaches to and concerns with processing ASD defendants.

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    Five States Enact Autism Insurance Reform Laws in 2015

    Brian Craig, Legal Studies Faculty

    Brian Craig discusses autism insurance reform laws in five states. He provides examples of how the reform laws vary from state to state and touches on the rise in legal and policy questions that arise due to the increase rate of autism and the increase in autism awareness.

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    The Passport, Blog Post by Christina Bass, Faculty Member, Department of Educational Studies

    “I am sorry”; three of the most powerful words that restore relationships, repair a broken heart, and help us to release the power of forgiveness. These same three words serve a different function when referring to autism; they become the most common initial response received from others when they find out that I have a son on the autism spectrum.

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    Parent's Perspective

    A Parent’s Perspective, by Patti Pelletier, Academic Chair

    Patti Pelletier, Academic Department Chair, shares her perspective as a personal teacher and parent of a child with a disability and offers tips for parents raising children with disabilities and tips for teachers to understand the sensitive relationship teachers have with the parents and their children in Children Our Concern journal.

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    Annemarie Kelly

    Blog: Forward-Thinking Spending: Insurance Reform for Autism Spectrum Disorder Patients

    By Annemarie Kelly, Legal Studies, Adjunct Faculty


    Adjunct faculty member Annemarie Kelly addresses the importance for insurance reform for autism spectrum disorders. According to Kelly, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders has increased dramatically and so has the need for specialized therapies that could help improve the health outcomes and wellbeing of individuals with autism. Kelly notes that some insurance companies are limiting insurance coverage for children with autism and explains why they shouldn’t. She also discusses how some states have enacted insurance reforms that require insurance companies to fully cover treatments for children with autism.

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    Eszter Barra-Johnson

    Mental Illness and Academic Success in Children of Older Fathers

    By Dr. Eszter Barra-Johnson, Kaplan University, Adjunct Faculty


    Adjunct faculty member Dr. Eszter Barra-Johnson reviews studies and the literature that focuses on the father's age as a possible factor in mental illness and academic success of a child. 

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    Rebecca Arvans-Feeney

    Faculty Article: Autism Spectrum Disorders and Comorbid Diagnoses

    By Rebecca K Arvans-Feeney, PhD, BCBA-D, Faculty, Kaplan University


    Dr. Rebecca K. Arvans-Feeney discusses the importance of recognizing autism spectrum disorders and comorbid diagnoses so that each diagnosis can be treated accordingly instead of focusing just on one disability. 

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    Nicole Hamilton

    Faculty Article: Resilience in Families With Autism Spectrum Disorder

    By Nicole Hamilton, PhD, Kaplan University, Adjunct Faculty


    Adjunct faculty Nicole Hamilton, PhD explores factors that drive resilience in families who have a family member with autism.  

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