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Schopler to be honored with APF lifetime achievement award

Dr. Eric Schopler, a professor in the department of psychiatry in UNC's School of Medicine, will be honored with the American Psychological Foundation's 2006 Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology at its annual meeting in New Orleans this August.

April 10, 2006

Schopler to be honored with APF lifetime achievement award

Dr. Eric Schopler, a professor in the department of psychiatry in UNC's School of Medicine, will be honored with the American Psychological Foundation's 2006 Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology at its annual meeting in New Orleans this August.

The award recognizes distinguished and enduring contributions to the application, practice and science of psychology and to the promotion of psychology in the public interest.

Schopler is the founder of Division TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), a world-renowned program based at UNC that provides diagnostic and treatment services to people of all ages with autism.

Schopler has spent his life working to determine the precise nature of autism and the most effective ways to treat it. His doctoral research on the sensory preferences of children with autism was among the first experimental studies that helped redefine the condition as a developmental disability, rather than a psychogenic condition caused by poor parenting.

His subsequent research into educational treatments for autism, and his use of the parents of autistic children as co-therapists in this treatment, met with resounding success, leading to the formation of TEACCH in 1971 and the program's receipt of the American Psychiatric Association's Gold Achievement Award in 1972.

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