Weiss, Mary Jane
Weiss, Mary Jane
(Mary Jane Gill-Weiss)
Education: Rutgers University, Ph.D.
Writer, educator, and clinical psychologist. Bancroft NeuroHealth, Haddonfield, NJ, former coordinator, Program for Children with Autism; Rutgers University, Camden, NJ, former research assistant professor, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, New Brunswick, NJ, director, division of research and training.
Association for Behavior Analysis International (president-elect, 2004-06; president, 2006-07).
(Under name Mary Jane Gill-Weiss; with Christine M. Nezu and Arthur M. Nezu) Psychopathology in Persons with Mental Retardation: Clinical Guidelines for Assessment and Treatment, Research Press (Champaign, IL), 1992.
(With Sandra L. Harris) Right from the Start: Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, Woodbine House (Bethesda, MD), 1998, 2nd edition, 2007.
(With Sandra L. Harris) Reaching Out, Joining In: Teaching Social Skills to Young Children with Autism, Woodbine House (Bethesda, MD), 2001.
Practical Solutions for Educating Young Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Autism Asperger Publishing (Shawnee Mission, KS), 2007.
Mary Jane Weiss is a writer, educator, and clinical psychologist based at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. There, she serves as the director of the division of research and training at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center.
Weiss is an active advocate for persons with autism and for their educators and caregivers. She has served as president of the autism special interest group of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. The group serves those who have an "interest in the application of behavior analysis to the education and treatment of autism across the lifespan," commented a writer on the Rutgers University Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center Web site. She is the author of works such as Reaching Out, Joining In: Teaching Social Skills to Young Children with Autism and Practical Solutions for Educating Young Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome.
In collaboration with colleague and fellow autism expert Sandra L. Harris, Weiss is the author of Right from the Start: Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: A Guide for Parents and Professionals. The authors provide guidance on the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention, a form of autism treatment based on ABA. These forms of treatments focus on the autistic child's tendency to repeat errors as they are learning new tasks. Rather than let them commit those errors again and again, in the hopes that they will learn by trial and error, ABA treatments intervene much earlier, assisting the children with prompts, visual cues, and physical help in an attempt to prevent commission of errors as they learn new tasks.
In addition to the details on ABA treatments, Weiss and Harris discuss the current research on these treatments and offer encouraging reports of their successful application. Weiss and Harris present detailed information for parents and caregivers who are in the process of deciding whether to use ABA with their child. In addition, the authors give their readers detailed background information designed to help them assess the benefits of a home-based versus center-based treatment program, to assist them in locating instructors and consultants, and in establishing an effective ABA treatment regimen in their home.
The book is "highly recommended as a supplementary resource for anyone involved with or responsible for a child with autism spectrum disorder," noted an Internet Bookwatch reviewer. Lisa M. Jordan, Writing in the Library Journal, concluded that "any parent of a newly diagnosed toddler or preschooler would benefit from the information here."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Association for Behavior Analysis International Newsletter, 2006, profile of Mary Jane Weiss.
Community Mental Health Journal, August, 1993, Ruth Ryan, review of Psychopathology in Persons with Mental Retardation: Clinical Guidelines for Assessment and Treatment, p. 397.
Internet Bookwatch, August, 2007, review of Right from the Start: Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: A Guide for Parents and Professionals.
Library Journal, April 1, 2007, Lisa M. Jordan, review of Right from the Start, p. 104.
Rutgers University Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center Web site, http://dddc.rugters.edu/ (April 22, 2008), author profile.
Woodbine House Web site,http://www.woodbinehouse.com/ (April 22, 2008), author profile.