Each of the following presentations is approximately 60 to 90 minutes in length, including Q&A.
Presentations on additional topics can be arranged upon request; please contact us.
I. Speech and Language: The key to child development
Describes normal speech and language development in young children, the importance of distinguishing between “delayed speech” and delayed language, diagnostic implications of various patterns of speech or language delay, developmental disorders that frequently present as “delayed speech,” and best practices for intervention.
II. Introduction to Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Describes the areas of development impacted by ASD and the symptoms seen in children with differing degrees of impairment. Also describes key underlying neuropsychological deficits, and explains how these deficits contribute to the overall picture of ASD.
III. What Does the Future Hold?
Reviews normal developmental milestones, explains the difference between delay and atypicality; lays out a 3-dimensional model of ASD, incorporating degree of atypicality, level of general intelligence, and the evolution of symptoms of ASD over time, drawing on Leo Kanner’s original (1943) description, as well as 6 decades of scientific research. This presentation builds on Topic II (Introduction to ASD).
IV. The Autism Explosion
Explains the difference between prevalence and incidence; reviews the factors that have given rise to an increased prevalence of ASD; discusses reasons for the popularity of the perception that we are in an epidemic, and the consequences of this perception. This presentation builds on concepts developed in presentations II and III.
V. What Causes ASD
Lays out the scientific criteria for establishing causation; describes the various categories of causation of developmental disabilities and specific factors proven to cause ASD; suggests directions for future research.
VI. Developmental Treatments
Reviews and describes the range of generally accepted behavioral and educational modalities used with children on the autistic spectrum; introduces the concepts bottom-up and top-down thinking, and shows how these concepts can be tied to the 3D model of ASD developed in Topics II and III, to choose the most appropriate therapy for the child with ASD at successive points in time.
VII. Behavior Management and Psychopharmacology
Describes the maladaptive behaviors commonly seen in children with ASD, and the underlying neuropsychological traits responsible for these behaviors; explains behavioral interventions including positive and negative reinforcement, extinction, overcorrection, fading, chaining, and token economies; explains the role of commonly used medications including their benefits, limitations, and risks. This presentation builds on the concepts developed in Topics II and III.
VIII. Sense & Nonsense in the Treatment of ASD
Provides a set of standards that can be applied to all interventions for ASD to decide if they are worth the risk and expense; describes developmental therapies that have been associated with behavioral deterioration rather than improvement, and biomedical interventions that have been associated with brain damage.
IX. Family Matters
Describes the impact of having a child with ASD on parents and siblings; introduces the concept of family mental health, lists warning signs of impaired family function and ways to address the problem; discusses transition to adulthood, life care planning, and supports for adults on the spectrum. This presentation builds on the concepts developed in Topics II and III.
Download a copy of Dr. Coplan’s Speaking Topics.
Click here to invite Dr. Coplan as a speaker.