Inside Research at Utah State University

At Utah State University’s Sunrise Sessions, faculty and students share their research with community members and business leaders from the Wasatch Front. Held quarterly in downtown Salt Lake City, these early-morning presentations detail how USU research addresses pressing issues that impact Utah’s citizens and its future.

All are invited to attend these events at no charge thanks to generous sponsorship by Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Each session is free and open to the public.

Click here to learn how you can attend.

Next Sunrise Session: March 31, 2017. Thomas Higbee

Learn more about Dr. Higbee

Thomas Higbee

Unlocking the full potential of Utah’s children with autism through early intensive behavioral intervention

Autism Spectrum Disorder, known as ASD or autism, is a general term used to describe a group of complex disorders of brain development and connectivity. ASD affects communication, social and emotional functioning, and often produces repetitive or restricted patterns of behavior or interest. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 68 American children are born with ASD.

At the present time, there is no known cause for autism nor is there any biomedical treatment or cure. However, researchers have developed effective interventions to help children and adults with autism. Effective interventions for individuals with ASD share three characteristics. First, they begin early, as soon as the child is diagnosed with ASD, usually by age 3. Second, interventions are intensive, ranging between 25-40 hours per week of individualized intervention. Third, interventions are based on the scientific principles of human learning, called Behavior Analysis.

In this presentation, Dr. Higbee will discuss The Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program at Utah State University. Founded in 2003 to address the needs of Utah’s children with autism and their families, ASSERT has a three-fold educational, research and training mission. To meet these aims, ASSERT estabilished a model classroom on the USU campus to provide effective, research-based intervention to 15 families in the Cache Valley area. Dr. Thomas Higbee and his research team study effective intervention techniques for children with ASD and disseminate this information to families and practitioners worldwide. Finally, the ASSERT Program provides training on effective behavioral interventions for children with ASD to USU students and teachers both throughout the state of Utah and beyond.

Sunrise Sessions Podcasts

2017 Presentations

Thomas Higbee

March 31, 2017

Courtney Flint

January 27, 2017