Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder: An ABACGives Event in Honor of Tristram Smith ~ 3/19/19 ~

Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Presented in Memory of Tristram Smith
2016- Tristram Smith being awarded the Haggerty-Friedman Chair at the U of R

Tristram Smith was wonderfully supportive and open to presenting for ABAC in our first year. The RUBI network of researchers were publishing their parent training program and Dr. Smith, joined by Dr. Scahill, presented the original version of this webinar in December 2015. The webinar was well received but we never had the opportunity to do it again even though both Drs. Scahill and Smith came back to ABAC to run individual webinars, with the most recent presented by Tris in January 2018.

With permission from Dr. Smith’s wife, ABAC has partnered with Dr. Scahill and one of Dr. Smith’s colleagues, Dr. Karen Bearss to dedicate this updated version of the 2015 webinar in memory of Tris.

75% of the proceeds of this very special ABACGives webinar will be donated, at the request of Dr. Smith’s family, to the Autism Science Foundation

Presented by: Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD, Professor Marcus Autism Center Department of Pediatrics Emory University and Karen Bearss, PhD, Assistant Professor Seattle Children’s Autism Center Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences University of Washington

Live Event Information:

  • Date: Tuesday, 3/19/19
  • Time: 6:00-8:00pm eastern standard time

Recording Information:

  • This webinar is presented LIVE and will be recorded. All registrants have the opportunity to attend LIVE and/or view the recording during the 5 day limited access period that begins the day after the live webinar.
  • Not sure how our recording program works? Read More

For ABAC’s continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page

Scroll down to the product description for the complete description and related information about this event.


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75% of the fees from this special ABACGives Webinar will be donated directly to the Autism Science Foundation.

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental condition of early childhood onset characterized by social communication deficits, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. ASD affects 1 in 59 children. In addition to the defining features, as many as 50% of children with ASD exhibit behavioral problems, including tantrums, noncompliance, and aggression. These behaviors interfere with the performance of daily living skills, limit the child’s ability to benefit from educational services, and may increase social isolation. Uncertainty on how to manage these behavioral problems may also amplify caregiver stress. The challenges parents face in raising a child with ASD has sparked interest in the use of parent training (PT) in this population, as it empowers parents to be the agent of change for their child. As a result, PT programs targeting a wide range of skills and abilities in ASD are emerging as effective. The Research Unit on Behavioral Interventions (RUBI) Autism Network developed a structured parent training manual for families of children with ASD and co-occurring disruptive behaviors. The program uses techniques grounded in applied behavior analysis to teach parents how to manage their child’s behavioral problems. We conducted a series of studies on the RUBI program and found that it is acceptable to parents, can be reliably delivered by trained therapists, and reduces children’s noncompliant and disruptive behavior. Because it is a time-limited intervention (11-13 weekly outpatient visits), this PT program can be implemented in a range of settings, including clinics and schools. The purpose of this seminar is to provide a greater understanding of the prevalence, impact, and treatment of disruptive behaviors in ASD and how parent training is a promising line of treatment for these challenging behaviors.  

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this seminar participants will be able to:

1) Discuss the rationale for parent training (PT) as a first line treatment for children with ASD and disruptive behavior
2) Describe the design of a large-scale randomized trial of RUBI-PT versus Parent Education
3) Summarize the effects of RUBI-PT on disruptive behavior, daily living skills and parental stress compared to Parent Education.  
4) Describe the modules and essential ingredients of the RUBI-PT program
5) Describe the implementation of RUBI-PT in clinical settings and via telehealth

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Continuing Education and Professional Development:

  • Certified Behavior Analysts/Licensed Behavior Analysts: 2 Type II CEs   LIVE or RECORDING 
  • Psychologists: 2 CEs LIVE or RECORDING 
  • Social Workers/Certified Counselors: N/A
  • Teachers/RBTs/Other professionals: This event may be eligible for continuing education or professional development hours. Speak with a representative at your organization or your supervisor for approval.

[pane title=”Presenter Information and Disclosure Statement”]

Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD is Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and Director of Clinical Trials at the Marcus Autism Center. He earned his master’s in child psychiatric nursing and PhD in psychiatric epidemiology at Yale University. He has over 20 years of experience in designing and conducting multi-site, randomized clinical trials in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These studies have included placebo-controlled medication trials, behavioral interventions and the combination of medication and behavioral interventions. Dr. Scahill’s research has also included the development of outcome measures for children with ASD.

Karen Bearss, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. She earned her B.S. in Psychology as well as her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida. Prior to joining the UW community, she served as an Associate Research Scientist at the School of Nursing and Child Study Center at Yale University and Assistant Professor at Emory University where her work focused on parenting interventions for children with disruptive behaviors. At UW, she directs the RUBI clinic at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center. Research pursuits focus on the development, evaluation and implementation of evidence-based parenting interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Presenter Disclosure Statement

Dr. Scahill has served as a consultant to Janssen, Roche, Neurocrine, Supernus, Shire and Yamo. He receives royalties from Oxford and Guilford.

Dr. Bearss does not have any disclosures.

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6:00 pm: Introduction

6:05 pm: Live webinar begins

7:45 pm: Q & A session- submit questions via chat function

8:00 pm: Submit attendance codes, take post-test, and fill out confidential evaluation form


Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

Our webinars are available to anyone who is able to access the internet. For those who are vision impaired attendance codes are read aloud and graphs and videos are described verbally. For those who require it, our webinar platform allows for closed-captioning. For more information, contact us at


Cancellation, missed webinar, and grievance policy information



Continuing Education Option, No CE/ General Public Option

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