About the Author
V. Mark Durand is known worldwide as an authority in the area of autism spectrum disorders. He is a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where he was the founding Dean of Arts and Sciences and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Dr. Durand is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and has received over $4 million in federal funding to study the behavior problems in children with disabilities. Previously he served in a variety of leadership positions at the University at Albany, including chair of the psychology department, interim dean of Arts and Sciences, and founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. (all in psychology) at the State University of New York Stony Brook. Dr. Durand was awarded the University Award for Excellence in Teaching at SUNY Albany in 1991, and the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg in 2007. Currently a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the Autism Society of America, he is the co-editor of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions and has written 10 books as well as over 100 publications on functional communication, educational programming, and behavior therapy. Dr. Durand developed a unique treatment for severe behavior problems that is used worldwide. Most recently he developed an innovative approach (Optimistic Parenting) to help families work with their challenging children.