New Daemen Program Expected to Bolster Autism Treatment

“There’s always somebody, somewhere who wants to improve some kind of behavior,” says Vicki Madaus Knapp, left, director of the new Applied Behavior Analysis Program, with her colleague, Vanessa B. Patrone, as they discuss the program curriculum at the Thomas Reynolds Center for Special Education at Daemen College. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)
“There’s always somebody, somewhere who wants to improve some kind of behavior,” says Vicki Madaus Knapp, left, director of the new Applied Behavior Analysis Program, with her colleague, Vanessa B. Patrone, as they discuss the program curriculum at the Thomas Reynolds Center for Special Education at Daemen College.

A pair of Daemen College assistant professors who have studied with some of the top autism experts in the nation have launched a new program at the Amherst school that should help improve autism treatment in the region – and beyond.

“There’s just so much hope in what we do,” said Vicki Madaus Knapp, head of the new Applied Behavior Analysis Program.

Knapp and Vanessa B. Patrone have combined to teach a master’s-level course load that will lead to a new state license in Applied Behavior Analysis, an intensive, evidence-based form of treatment designed to help those with a variety of needs learn to make healthier choices.

The practice has been used to help those with Down syndrome, addiction and dementia, but New York State at this point only allows its use to help treat those with autism.
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