Higher education, behaviour analysis, and autism: time for coalescence

Lise Roll-Pettersson, Karola Dillenburger, Mickey Keenan, Shahla Alai-Rosales, Zuilma Gabriela Sigurdardottir

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This special issue represents the cumulation of discussions at the 2nd International Summit on Higher Education, Autism, and Behavior Analysis that was held in Stockholm, Sweden, January 2018. This summit followed the 1st International Summit that was held in Texas, USA, September 2009. At that time, the rapidly rising prevalence rates of autism worldwide and the urgency of consumer protection meant that the summit focused on developing suitable Higher Education programs for behaviour analysts. The proceedings of the 1st Summit were published in a special issue of the European Journal of Behavior Analysis (Ala’i-Rosales, Roll-Pettersson, Pinkelman, & Cihon, 2010). Since then, the discipline has grown exponentially. We now have 306 Higher Education institutes that deliver verified course sequences (VCS) in Behaviour Analysis worldwide. However, most of these courses are located in the USA (n=217), with only 34 of these courses located in Europe, and the quality of community-based support for families affected by autism remains a major concern (Keenan & Dillenburger, 2018; Roll-Pettersson, Olsson, & Ala’i-Rosales, 2016). The purpose of the 2nd Summit was to discuss future directions, requirements, opportunities, and challenges for Higher Education in the field of Behaviour Analysis, specifically with regards to autism intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Behavior Analysis
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished online - 17 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The organizing committee would like to thank all participating researchers and scholars who have taken their precious time to participate in the summit, and to contributing to the making of this special issue. We would also like to express our deep gratitude to the Swedish Research Council as well as The Department of Behavior Analysis, University of North Texas, USA for financing the summit, and the Department of Special Education, Stockholm University.


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  • Professional development of behavior analysts in Europe: A snapshot for 21 countries

    Keenan, M., Dillenburger, K. D., Konrad, M-H., Debetencourt, N., Vuksan, R., Kourea, L., Pančocha, K., Kingsdorf, S., Juul Brandtberg, H., Ozkan, N., Abdelnour, H., Da Costa-Meranda, M., Schuldt, S., Mellon, R., Herman, A., Tennyson, A., Ayvazo, S., Moderato, P., Attard, N., Schenk, J., & 9 othersBudzinska, A., Virues-Ortega, J., Roll-Pettersson, L., Strömberg, D., Wirth, S., Escané, C., Glaus-Stuessi, E., Moskalets, A. & Gallagher, S., 10 Nov 2022, (Published online) In: Behavior Analysis In Practice. 16, 3, p. 709-729 21 p.

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