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Autism Services Leadership

Todd Harris, Ph.D.

Todd Harris, Ph.D., is presently the Director of Autism Services for Devereux Pennsylvania.  He was previously Director of Devereux’s Center for Autism Research and Education Services (CARES), which is an approved private school, a consultation and training program, and a community-based adult program located in Downingtown, PA.

He received his doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he focused upon the use of applied behavior analysis techniques to instruct and support students with autism and their families. Along with teaching the Autism Specialization courses at the University of Delaware in the past, Dr. Harris has also published and presented research in the areas of teaching functional communication skills and PECS, staff and family support and training practices, community-based transition programming, and methods to reduce unwanted behaviors through positive approaches. 

He is presently on the advisory board for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and a member of the peer review committee for the Delaware Autism Program.

Dr. Harris’ Publications and Presentations and competitively awarded grants

Dr. Harris leads a team of respected and caring experts in the field of autism services and research who enrich Devereux’s programs:

Publications, Papers, Appearances, Presentations and Grant Awards

PUBLICATIONS and TOOLS

Lehigh University ASERT and Devereux Pennsylvania (December, 2010).  Community Inclusion for Adults with Autism.  A manual published through a grant from Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Autism Services.

Devereux Pennsylvania (May 2010).  Autism Transition Wiki (autismhandbook.org).  An internet-based support tool for families developed through a grant from Pennsylvania DOE.

Hansen, B., Harris, T.A., & Dickey, K.H. (2009).  Family Handbook on Transition Services.  Published through a grant from Pennsylvania DOE.

PAPERS PRESENTED AT MEETINGS

Harris, T.A., & Trusler, L. (2012, September).  Supporting adolescents and adults with autism.  Presentation at the Legacy of Care Conference, Framingham, MA.

Harris, T.A., & Trusler, L. (2012, September).  Teaching community skills to individuals with autism.  Presentation at the Legacy of Care Conference, Framingham, MA.

Albertson, C.M. & Hirst, J.M. (2012, May). Increasing implementation of behavior support plans through performance feedback and video self-evaluation. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Seattle, WA.

Harris, T.A. & Albertson, C.M. (2012, May). Implementation of a professional development series in ABA and Autism across several programs in a large human services organization: Professional Education in Autism Clinical Services (PEACS). Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Seattle, WA.

Albertson, C.M. & Hirst, J.M. (2012, March). Increasing implementation of behavior support plans through performance feedback and video self-evaluation. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Behavior Analysis, Hershey, PA.

Albertson, C.M. & Hirst, J.M. (2012, January). Increasing implementation of behavior support plans through performance feedback and video self-evaluation. Poster presented at the Annual Autism Conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Philadelphia, PA.

Albertson, C.M., Frederick, L.M., & Louis, P.D. (2011, October). Treatment Integrity Methods for Residential and Educational Settings. Workshop presented at Autism New Jersey, Atlantic City, NJ.

Amoroso, J.N., Plum, V., Jacques, J., & Albertson, C.M. (2011, March).  Increasing engagement through the use of antecedent exercise.  Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Behavior Analysis, Hershey, PA.

Dickey, K.H., Albertson, C.M., Pisaneschi, L.A. & Harris, T. (2011, March). Assessing a staff training, feedback, and goal setting package on increasing opportunities to respond in young students with autism. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Behavior Analysis, Hershey, PA.

Harris, T.A. & Albertson, C.M. (2010, October). Supporting students with autism through community-based instruction. Workshop presented at Devereux/SPARC Transition Conference, Downingtown, PA.

Amoroso, J.N., Plum, V., Jacques, J., & Albertson, C.M. (2010, August).  Increasing engagement through the use of antecedent exercise.  Poster presented at the National Autism Conference, State College, PA.

Harris, T.A., El-Attar, B.L., Albertson, C.M. & Bonn, W. (2010, August). Supporting families through the transition years. Workshop presented at the National Autism Conference, State College, PA.

Harris, T.A., El-Attar, B.L. & Albertson, C.M. (2010, August). Supporting families through the transition years. Poster presented at the National Autism Conference, State College, PA.

Harris, T.A., El-Attar, B.L., Albertson, C.M. & Bonn, W. (2010, July). Supporting families through the transition years. Workshop presented at the Transition Services Conference, State College, PA.

Harris, T.A., El-Attar, B.L. & Albertson, C.M. (2010, July). Supporting families through the transition years. Poster presented at the Transition Services Conference, State College, PA.

Albertson, C.M., Hirst, J.M.. Pallotta, A. & Janyszek, L. (2010, May). Determining the most effective treatment for increasing active engagement and decreasing inappropriate work behavior for an individual with autism. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, San Antonio, TX.

Dickey, K.H., Albertson, C.M., Pisaneschi, L.A. & Harris, T.A. (2010, May). Assessing a staff training, feedback, and goal setting package on increasing opportunities to respond in young students with autism. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, San Antonio, TX.

Frey, A.J., Amoroso, J.N., Bennett, J., Royer, J., & Albertson, C.M. (2010, May). Decreasing disruptive behavior through the use of differential reinforcement of diminishing rates of behavior. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, San Antonio, TX.

Harris, T.A., El-Attar, B.L., Albertson, C.M. & Bonn, W. (2010, April). Supporting families through the transition years. Workshop presented at the Penn Autism Network Conference, Horsham, PA.

Harris, T.A., El-Attar, B.L. & Albertson, C.M. (2010, April). Supporting families through the transition years. Poster presented at the Annual Pennsylvania Department of Education Conference, Hershey, PA.

Albertson, C.M. & Frederick, L.M. (2009, October). Collaborating with ancillary therapies to provide effective services. Workshop presented at Autism New Jersey, Atlantic City, NJ.

Frey, A.J. & Bennett, J. (2009, August). Decreasing anti-social behavior though the use of differential reinforcement of lower rates of behavior. Poster presented at the National Autism Conference, State College, PA.

Harris, T.A., El-Attar, B.L., Schweizer, J., & Koser, Ondrea (2009, July).  Effective Partnerships in Transition Programming for Students with Autism.  PA Community on Transition Conference, State College, PA.

Neifer, K., Harris, T.A., & Dickey, K.H. (2008, November).  Utilizing a Systematic Observation System to Monitor Progress of Students with Autism during Community-Based Vocational Training.  Poster presented at the Annual Conference for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Chicago, IL.

Harris, T. A. & Bates, B. (2008, March).  Increasing Meaningful Skill Instruction Through the Use of Service Learning.  Conference sponsored by the Bucks County Autism Support Coalition, Doylestown, PA.

Harris, T.A. (2007, November).  Supporting Adults with Autism.  Pennsylvania State Sub-Committee Hearing (sponsored by Rep. Barbara McIlvaine-Smith), West Chester, PA.

Harris, T.A. & Neifer, K. (2007, July).  Implementing a Structured Community-Based Instruction program.  PA Community on Transition Conference, State College, PA.

Tuzikow, J., & Harris, T.A. (2007, May).  Teachers' Accuracy in Reporting Students' Challenging Behaviors.  Association for Behavior Analysis International, Sydney, Australia.

Harris, T.A., & Evans, V. (2007, April).  Effectively Educating Children with Autism in School Settings.  Pennsylvania’s Coalition of Charter School Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Harris, T.A. (2007, April).  Critical Components Related to Educating Adolescents with Autism.  Pennsylvania’s Children’s Interagency Training Conference, State College, PA.

Harris, T.A., Neifer, K., & Witherspoon, C.  (2007, March).  Supporting Students with Autism Through Community-Based Instruction.  University of Pennsylvania’s Autism Network Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Harris, T.A. (March 2006 and 2007).  Functional Behavioral Assessment and Positive Behavioral Support.  Presented to Psychiatry Residents at CHOP, Philadelphia, PA.

Harris, T.A. (2006, October).  Best Practices in Educating Individuals with Autism.  Chester County Autism Alliance, Downingtown, PA.

Harris, T.A., & Neifer, K. (March 29th, 2006).  What Parents Should Consider When Evaluating School Programs for their Child With Autism.  West Chester (PA) Daily Local News.

Harris, T.A. (2005, November).  Best Practices in Educating Individuals with Autism.  Annual Conference for the Independent Educational Consultants Association.  Philadelphia, PA.

SEMINARS AND APPEARANCES

Harris, T.A., & Lau, J. (2012, November).  Issues Related to Adults With Autism.  Autism One radio Show hosted by Dr. David Holmes.

Harris, T.A., El-Attar, B.L., Albertson, C.M. & Burgess, C. (2010, April). Best Practices in Transition: Critical Components Related to Educating Adolescents with Autism. Webinar broadcast from PaTTAN, King of Prussia, PA.

Harris, T. A. (2010, April).  Informing Families and Supporting Families during the Transition to Adulthood.  Appearance on the television show:  Philly Factor; Philadelphia, PA.

Amoroso, J.N. & Hirst, J.M. (2010, February).  The Use of Assessment of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Guiding Educational Planning.  Presented in Devereux Corporate Center, PA.

Harris, T. A. (2010, February).  Issues Related to Serving Adults with Autism.  Appearance on the television show:  For the Health of It; Phoenixville, PA.

Harris, T.A.  (2004, November).  Siblings of Special Needs Children.  National Public Radio (WHYY, Philadelphia) Panel Discussion; Dr. Dan Gottlieb’s Voices in the Family.

WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES

Devereux/SPARC Transition Conference:  Pressing Issues; Promising Solutions (October, 2010).  Along with SPARC, we conceptualized and implemented a one-day conference on issues related to the transition to adulthood for individuals living with an autism spectrum disorder.

Devereux CARES’ Summer Autism Conferences, August 2009 and 2010.  Developed and implemented three day conferences on autism, applied behavior analysis, and positive behavior support practices for educators working with students with an ASD in public and private school settings.

Note- in the summer of 2010, we trained over 100 staff during three conferences in PA and DE

Chester County Autism Training Project, Fall 2004 to Present.  Developed and implemented a series of two-day workshops for all BSCs, MTs, and TSS working with individuals with autism in Chester County, PA.  To date, over 1200 staff have been trained.

Grant Funding

Competitively Awarded Research and Training Grants:

Promoting Excellence in Autism Clinical Services, 2010, Ronald Burd Fund. Funded as a professional development program for clinicians and administrators to acquire and demonstrate clinical competencies when working with individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and their staff.  Amount:  $60,000 for 16 months.

Supporting Families Going Through the Transition Years, 2009, Pennsylvania Department of Education.  Funded as a demonstration project to develop and implement and assess practices that educate and support families through the transition years.  Amount:  $43,000 for 9 months.

Working Together:  Partnerships Designed to Support Adolescents with Autism, 2008, Pennsylvania Department of Education. Funded as a demonstration project to illustrate how the Devereux CARES Adolescent and Young Adult program model can be implemented in public school settings.  Amount:  $45,000 for 9 months.

Supporting Adults with an ASD, 2007, Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Autism Services. Funded to develop and disseminate information on a comprehensive program model for adults with an ASD.  Amount:  $150,000 over 18 months.

Getting to Work: Supporting Adolescents with Autism, 2006, Pennsylvania Department of Education.  Funded to develop and disseminate information on a comprehensive transitional program model for students with an ASD.  Amount:  $150,000 over 18 months.

Supporting Paraprofessional Staff Working with Students with Autism in Public Schools, 2005, Pennsylvania Department of Education. Provided training and feedback to paraprofessional staff working with students with an ASD.  Amount:  $10,000

Chester County Autism Grant, 2004 to Present.  Provides a series of two-day training to wraparound staff working with individuals with autism. Approximately 250 staff trained annually on issues relating to autism and intervention strategies.  Amount:  Approximately $45,000 annually.


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