Promoting Happiness Among Adults with Autism on the Severe End of the Spectrum: Evidence-Based Strategies

Dennis Reid
4.36 out of 5
(11 customer reviews)



This presentation from the 2016 Michigan Autism Conference outlines evidence-based strategies aimed at enhancing happiness for adults with autism who are on the severe end of the spectrum, focusing on improving their quality of life. It covers methods to identify and measure happiness and unhappiness indicators, strategies to increase happiness through daily routines, and the importance of building good relationships, altering negative situations, and embedding individual preferences.

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This presentation describes evidence-based strategies for promoting happiness among adults with autism on the severe end of the spectrum. The focus is on enhancing happiness to promote a desirable quality of life among adults who have challenges readily describing their emotional experiences. Initially, means of identifying and validating indicators of happiness and unhappiness on an individual basis are presented. Next, specific strategies for increasing happiness and decreasing unhappiness during daily routines are described. Examples of topics presented include how staff and others can develop good relationships with people with autism whom they support, how to identify situations accompanied by unhappiness and how to alter those situations, ways to identify and embed individual preferences within daily routines, how to provide necessary instructional and related demands in ways that are enjoyable, and how enhancing daily enjoyment can prevent and reduce challenging behavior. Throughout the presentation there is an emphasis on how promoting happiness as a desired outcome should be targeted, monitored, and evaluated just as other more traditional outcomes are addressed in human service agencies.

About the Speaker

Dr. Dennis H. Reid is a licensed psychologist and board certified behavior analyst who has spent his career providing behavioral services as a teacher, psychologist, program director, and director of psychology services. Dr. Reid shows a sustained record of impressive and outstanding applied research with major benefits for its direct participants, populations of participants, and fellow researchers. While most of his work is reported as peer-reviewed research in the most rigorous of applied journals, he has also taken the time to write books and manuals to allow this information to be exported to the widest audience. His work on reinforcer assessment/preference and happiness indices was seminal and is frequently cited. This line of preference investigation has opened new opportunities for the lives of individuals with profound, multiple handicaps. His work in staff training and management (including staff motivation) has helped other researchers and practitioners understand and use these procedures.

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Below is the entire open-access version of this video. It does not contain embedded questions or interactions like the CEU version of the module.

11 reviews for Promoting Happiness Among Adults with Autism on the Severe End of the Spectrum: Evidence-Based Strategies

Based on 11 reviews
1-5 of 11 reviews
  1. Avatar

    Such an important topic that isn’t always covered in lectures and learning opportunities.

    (0) (0)
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    Excellent and important!

    (0) (0)
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    I bought the book! Enough said. : )

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    While I have done a lot of CEUs over the years I have never done one on happiness. I truly enjoyed this! So many great bits of information in this lecture.

    (0) (0)
  5. Avatar

    Very informative, but I’ve watched the lecture three times and I’m still unable to obtain the certificate.

    (0) (0)
    • Eric J. Fox, Ph.D.

      Hi Elizabeth — if you’re still experiencing this problem, please contact our helpdesk using the blue “Help” button in the corner of the screen or by emailing us directly at There is no need to watch the video repeatedly to obtain your certificate.

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Dr. Dennis Reid
Promoting Happiness Among Adults with Autism on the Severe End of the Spectrum: Evidence-Based Strategies
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