avatar for Prof. Karola Dillenburger

Prof. Karola Dillenburger

Centre for Behaviour Analysis, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland

Prof Karola Dillenburger has worked extensively in social care and therapeutic settings in Germany before moving to Northern Ireland. She is the Director of the Centre for Behaviour Analysis in the School of Education at QUB. She has published widely, including 5 books, 5 multimedia training resources, and over 50 academic papers. Her research interests include the application of Behaviour Analysis in areas such as trauma, bereavement and loss, autism spectrum disorder, and parent training. Applied Behaviour Analysis is the scientific basis for well-established, evidence-based interventions for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and many other conditions.

Presentation Title:  Assistive technology and Autism: The role of behaviour analysis
Karola Dillenburger (QUB) and Mickey Keenan (University of Ulster)

Summary: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects 1:88 (CDC, 2012) individuals across the globe, irrespective of ethnicity, social economic status, culture, or language. Boys are four times more likely to be affected than girls. ASD is diagnosed on the basis of behavioural observations of significant difficulties with communication, social interaction and imagination. Co-occurrence of intellectual disabilities as well as physical and mental health issues is relatively common, but not inexorable. Behaviour analysis is the key to effective educational and health practice in ASD. Recent advances in information technology (principally, the exaltation of touchscreen activated devices) are utilised in behaviour analytic ASD programs and  enhanced with behavioural technology, especially in the development of Apps for Autism.
Here we will present SIMPLE STEPS, an innovative multimedia training resource that was developed in Northern Ireland by UU and QUB together with a parent-lead charity and transferred across Europe (FP7 Leonardo). We outline our plans to integrate behaviour analytic principles further into assistive technologies, including connected health and home programme supervision and monitoring.