Faculty Notes

$1.3 Million Awarded to Institute for Autism Research

BUFFALO, NY - The U.S. Department of Defense - Autism Research Program recently awarded a four-year, $1.3 million grant to the Institute of Autism Research (IAR) at Canisius College. IAR researches will use the grant to examine the effectiveness of MAXout, an outpatient program that treats symptoms in high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder (HFASD).

MAXout treatment targets restricted and repetitive behaviors, as well as social, emotion-recognition and non-literal language skills through the use of direct instruction, modeling, role-play, performance feedback, and behavioral reinforcement provided by staff clinicians. Treatment sessions are 90-minutes each, twice per week over 18-weeks.

Results of a pilot MAXout study indicated significant gains in children’s social-communication skills and a reduction in their ASD symptoms. The DoD grant provides funding to study the MAXout treatment in a randomized clinical trial, which will allow for a clear determination of the effectiveness of the outpatient treatment.

The principal investigators on the MAXout research grant are Christopher Lopata, PsyD, Marcus L. Thomeer, PhD, James P. Donnelly, PhD and Jonathan D. Rogers, PhD.

Click here to read more about the Institute of Autism Research at Canisius College.