Monday, September 26, 2011

Dr. Daniel Openden

Autism Light #50 is Dr. Daniel Openden.

Dr. Daniel Openden
Dr. Daniel Openden is Vice President and Clinical Services Director for the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) in Phoenix, Arizona.  Dr. Daniel Openden has received his Ph.D. in Special Education, Disability and Risk Studies from the University of California and was mentored by Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel. Dr. Daniel Openden is an Autism Light because of his important role as a leading autism researcher and clinical services director who has focused on early intervention strategies and the role of parents in educating children with autism.

In addition to his work at SARRC, Dr. Daniel Openden has the following special roles in autism research.
He is also a founding Board Member of the Council for Autism Services.

  • In June, 2011, Dr. Daniel Openden received the Phoenix Business Journals Forty Under Forty Award.
  • In 2004, Dr. Openden received the CalABA Julie Vargas Award for original  research with his study, "A Systematic Desensitization Paradigm to Treat Hypersensitivity to Auditory Stimuli in Children with Autism in Family Contexts."  

Speaker: Dr. Openden is also a frequent speaker at autism conferences and events.

  • He spoke at the 2011 National Autism Conference and the program at the 2011 National Autism Conference listed his research interests as, "parent education, professional development, positive behavior supports, early intervention, inclusion, and dissemination of service delivery models for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders."  
  • In 2010 Dr. Openden gave a presentation in South Carolina and wrote a news article on that speech.
  • In 2009, he was the keynote at the OAR Conference.  

Research Area: The majority of Dr. Openden's work has focused on parent training.  He explained to me the importance of this strategic partnership with parent education in this way:
I think it is important to recognize that parents can be effectively trained to deliver high quality intervention (in my work, Pivotal Response Treatment [PRT]) and make a positive impact on their child's symptoms. Parents are often our most committed group of people, and when provided with good training in evidence-based interventions, likely increase the intensity of treatment and improve outcomes. (Daniel Openden)
Dr. Daniel Openden shared with me that in his opinion two particular professional studies by others have had the most impact on autism research.  These two are:
Behavior Imaging Solutions: The following is the video of Dr. Openden explaining how they use Behavior Imaging Solutions at SAARC to help with early intervention strategies. Behavior Imaging Solutions is a system where parents upload video of children being taught to their Internet site and then trained therapists can access them and offer guidance on the intervention strategies being employed to improve specific behaviors with a specific child.

Social Media:  Follow Dr. Daniel Openden on the following social media.
Thanks to Dr. Daniel Openden for being an Autism Light. The research and work that he is doing to improve the lives of those with autism is making a difference in Arizona and beyond.  

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photo: Photo in this post used with permission of Daniel Openden.

This post went into syndication on Autisable

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