Autism Speaks to host Thought Leadership Summit on Challenging Behaviors

December 2, 2020
Autism Speaks Thought Leadership Summit on Challenging Behaviors

Autism Speaks will convene an invited group of researchers, clinicians, autistic adults and other autism community members virtually on Dec. 3 and 4, 2020, to address the needs of autistic people with behavior challenges.

“The landscape of services and treatments is very sparse, particularly for autistic people whose behavior challenges keep them from learning at school, finding employment or even living safely in their home and community,” said Donna Murray, vice president of clinical programs at Autism Speaks. “We’re bringing people together across the field to get a consensus on what we know, what we need to know and how to improve care for people with these challenges.”

Challenging behaviors can range in intensity, from those that interfere with social interactions or might not be appropriate for work or school, to behavior challenges that require significant support, such as aggression and self-injury.

There are few programs that provide the level of care needed for those with more significant support needs, and families often face obstacles like distance and financial limitations that keep them from accessing them.

In addition to the discussions at the event and a strategic plan for future research, workgroups led by participants afterward will produce guidance for providers and health system administrators on how to run programs that are comprehensive and effective for people with challenging behaviors.

The summit workgroups will also produce a roadmap for autistic people and their families to access the system of resources for behavior supports across the spectrum.

Come back to this page for meeting highlights on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4.