News Release

Personal Achievement Award for UU Behaviour Analyst

12th October 2005

Dr Mickey Keenan from the School of Psychology at UU has won an award from the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis.


Dr Keenan, who is a leading figure in the treatment of autism through Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), won the NYSABA Personal Achievement Award for his efforts to create programming and services for children in Northern Ireland.


NYSABA is an international organization devoted to the study of the experimental analysis of behaviour and represents scientists, scholars, and practitioners who are interested in the experimental analysis of behaviour.


This accolade follows an award by the British Psychological Society for Dr Keenan’s work in bringing science-based interventions in autism to the community.

Until Dr Keenan began research into the area of ABA, hundreds of families with autistic children living in Northern Ireland had no access to this kind of treatment and little knowledge about the help ABA can give.

“Bringing a new science of human behaviour to the community is fraught with numerous difficulties, not least the lack of resources for proper training. At a time when the rates of autism are on the increase worldwide, it is imperative that our community is fully informed about how to implement scientifically validated procedures that have maximum impact on a child’s prognosis,” Dr Keenan said.


“Added to the destructive effects of autism on the family, we face a crisis in our community in terms of the financial resources we have to deal with autism. However, this crisis can be managed if parents and professionals are made aware about how effective treatments can produce long-term financial savings.”


For more information on ABA and autism see



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