Autism and Severe Behavior Problems Lecture on October 7

Expert to speak on autism and severe behavior problems

Haddonfield, NJ — People with autism and other developmental disabilities can acquire severe behavior problems, due to their lack of communication skills, frustration and other reasons.

Such problems – from self-injury to property destruction to aggression – can tear apart lives and families. But certain techniques can reduce and even prevent these behaviors.

Bancroft will host a workshop featuring a leading authority on this issue, Friday Oct. 7 in Haddonfield, N.J.

Titled “Autism and Severe Behavior Problems: A focus on prevention,” the session will be presented by Gregory Hanley, Ph.D., BCBA-D, director of the behavior analysis doctoral program at Western New England University.

“Many families struggle with these issues, which can be truly devastating for all involved,” says Caroline Eggerding, MD, chief medical officer for Bancroft, a leading nonprofit organization serving people with autism and other neurological disabilities.

“If behavior problems can be prevented, so much pain and heartache can be avoided,” says Eggerding, “and the person with disabilities can learn, grow, and overcome many other challenges.”

The workshop – part of Bancroft’s semi-annual Clarence York Lecture Series – will be held at the Haddonfield United Methodist Church at 29 Warwick Road, Haddonfield, in the large community room from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.

It will focus on three comprehensive strategies to prevent severe behavior problems:

  1. Promoting healthy sleep
  2. Minimizing non-functional, repetitive behaviors – such as spinning or hand-flapping – known as stereotypy
  3. Teaching social skills that eliminate the causes of problem behaviors

Brief lecture periods will alternate with small group discussions and role-playing, so attendees can practice and discuss the various components of these strategies.

Attendees will learn such techniques as:

  • Strategies to address common sleep problems, such as noncompliance with nighttime routines, delayed sleep onset, night awakenings and early awakenings
  • How to determine when stereotypy is a problem, and how to address it
  • Strategies for teaching leisure skills and social skills that interfere with the development of problem behaviors.

Hanley has 20 years of experience in improving socially important behaviors of children and adults with and without disabilities. He has published more than 60 related articles in peer-reviewed journals, and is the editor of Behavior Analysis in Practice.

He is also an associate professor of psychology at Western New England University, and an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The Clarence York Lecture Series, now in its fourth year, honors Clarence N. York, Ed.D., a renowned pioneer in the disabilities field and a former president of Haddonfield-based Bancroft.

For the lecture brochure or to register, call (856) 348-4010, email, or visit

– The lecture is part of a semi-annual series by Bancroft –

About Melissa

Melissa is the mother of two children on the autism spectrum and strives to provide information about all aspects of autism through her blog, The Autism Education Site. Follow Melissa on Twitter. Like me on Facebook.

© Melissa Hincha-Ownby and The Autism Education Site, 2008-2014.