A Webinar with Dr. Michael Cummings, M.D. and Dr. Michael J. Cameron, Ph.D., BCBA-D

CEUs: 2 (Type 2) CEUs in Ethics for Board Certified Behavior Analysts

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A recent study entitled Psychotropic Medication Use and Polypharmacy in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (2013) confirms that 64% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have a prescription for one psychotropic medication, 35% have a regimen of psychotropic polypharmacy (i.e., two classes of medication prescribed), and 15% use medications from three or more classes concurrently. According to Spencer, Marshall, Post et al. (2013), “despite minimal evidence of effectiveness or appropriateness of multidrug treatment of ASD, psychotropic medications are commonly used, singly or in combination, for ASD and its co-occurring conditions”.

Results of Spencer, Marshall, and Post et al. study, and other studies with comparable findings, indicate the need for professionals (including Board Certified Behavior Analysts) to develop standards of care centered on: (1) data collection methods (to measure the effects and side effects of medications), (2) communication and collaboration with prescribing physicians, (3) dynamic communication with families of children with ASD regarding drug efficacy, and (4) a methodology for prescribing medications.

Regarding the process of prescribing medications, a relatively new field of science, referred to as pharmacogenomics, is the harbinger of responsible and ethical pharmacological treatment of people with ASD.

Pharmacogenomics involves the study of how genes affect a person’s response to medication. In consequence, a drug prescribing methodology is emerging. Moreover, pharmacogenomics has special relevance for children with ASD. Specifically, the field of pharmacogenomics is focused on the study of pharmacology (i.e., the science of drugs), and genomics (i.e., the study of genes and their functions) and is poised to guide the medication selection process for children, adolescents, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Webcast Goals:
Within this webcast, participants will learn, from Michael Cummings, M.D. and Michael Cameron, Ph.D., BCBA-D about:

    1. (1) The classification of medications used for ASD treatment, including stimulants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and antianxiety agents
    1. (2) Pharmacokinetics (i.e., the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of medication)
    1. (3) The target effects of medication
    1. (4) The side effects of medication (e.g., behavioral, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, endocrine and metabolic, immunologic and gastrointestinal)
    1. (5) Data collection methods for monitoring drug effects and side effects
    1. (6) Communication strategies for various stakeholders
    1. (7) The impact of drugs on cognition, learning, memory, and physical health
    1. (8) Pharmacogenomics and gene-based (i.e., data-based) decision making centered on medication
    1. (9) The value of Clinical Decision Support Systems (i.e., decision modeling in behavior analysis), and
    1. (10) Gene-based (data-based) decision making centered on the selection of pharmacological regimens for the support of children, adolescents, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Supporting Documentation