Autism Expert John Rapp Visits VIA

April 24, 2014 |

Autism expert John Rapp, Associate Professor of Psychology at Auburn University, visited the Virginia Institute of Autism to give a Continuing Education Talk for VIA staff.

During his talk, “Assessment and Treatment of Noncompliant Behavior,” Rapp gave staff members tips to help students learn to cope with and enjoy tasks that have been traditionally difficult for them, like brushing their teeth, having their blood drawn or getting a haircut.

“It was great having John Rapp at VIA because he has tremendous experience applying current clinical research to common problems people with autism experience,” said VIA’s Executive Director, Ethan Long. “His insight and feedback is helping VIA improve the clinical care we offer the people we serve.”

Rapp is known as an expert researcher in the field of applied behavior analysis and autism. Now, he is creating a link between his lab at Auburn and the Virginia Institute of Autism.

Rapp plans to work with VIA to study how we can help people with autism better manage their stereotypical behavior when it interferes with learning.

Auburn graduate and VIA behavior analyst Scott Sparrow says the burgeoning partnership between VIA and Auburn is very exciting.

“The relationship will allow for research collaborations that will benefit not only the students at VIA, but hopefully can create information that the entire autism community will find valuable,” said Sparrow.

New VIA staff members like Sparrow are also bridging the two programs. One of Rapp’s top-notch Auburn applied behavior analysis graduate students, Olivia Coppes, will join VIA’s Outpatient Behavioral Services team in August.

Tags: Auburn University, autism expert, autism study, John Rapp, partnership, Scott Sparrow, VIA Staff, workshop