The Profound Autism Alliance Supports ECHO Autism Program for Enhanced Care of Individuals with Challenging Behaviours

The Profound Autism Alliance (PAA) is thrilled to announce the initiation of its inaugural project, ECHO Autism: Intense Behavior.

Funded by the Profound Autism Alliance, with the generous support of the Autism Science Foundation, ECHO Autism: Intense Behavior is committed to enhancing clinicians’ capacity to assess the underlying causes of intense behaviours and administer evidence-based treatments to mitigate them.

Intense behaviours such as self-injury or aggression affect a substantial proportion, ranging from 30% to 50%, of individuals with autism. Regrettably, there is a scarcity of experts and resources available to address these issues comprehensively. Furthermore, most clinical research often excludes individuals with profound autism, a group that is likely to experience intense behaviours at an even higher rate.

“ECHO Autism: Intense Behavior represents a pioneering effort that is exclusively centred on clinician development, with the goal of augmenting their knowledge and self-assurance in delivering best-practice assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for individuals exhibiting intense behaviours,” elucidated Dr. Kristin Sohl, MD, FAAP, a paediatrician at the University of Missouri Health Care and the founder of ECHO Autism. “Currently, there are extensive waiting lists for the limited number of multidisciplinary expert teams specialising in this area. Expertise in this domain is presently scarce, thereby exacerbating socio-economic and geographic disparities.” The ECHO Autism Communities Coordinating Centre at the University of Missouri, under the leadership of Dr. Sohl, will oversee this project.

“Many people with profound autism and their caregivers are living in crisis, boarding in emergency rooms and languishing on wait lists. They need compassionate and meaningful care for behaviors that can be painful and debilitating. At Profound Autism Alliance, we are determined to find solutions to remedy this and to empower physicians and their teams to help in the here and now. We are grateful to the Autism Science Foundation and to Dr. Kristin Sohl for investing their resources towards finding solutions for people with profound autism who are struggling,” conveyed Judith Ursitti, Co-founder & President of Profound Autism Alliance.

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