V. Mark Durand, Ph.D., 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 & Sciences and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Dr. Durand is a fellow of the American Psychological Association. He has received more than $4 million in federal funding since the beginning of his career to study the nature, assessment, and treatment of behavior problems in children with autism spectrum disorders. Before moving to Florida, he served in a variety of leadership positions at the University at Albany-State University of New York (SUNY-Albany), including Associate Director for Clinical Training for the doctoral psychology program from 1987 to 1990, Chair of the Psychology Department from 1995 to 1998, and Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences from 2001 to 2002. There he established the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at SUNY-Albany. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees all in psychology at Stony Brook University. Dr. Durand was awarded the University Award for Excellence in Teaching at SUNY-Albany in 1991 and in 2007 received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Dr. Durand is currently Co-editor of the "Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions," is a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the Autism Society of America, and is on the Board of Directors of the international Association of Positive Behavioral Support. He serves on a number of editorial boards, has reviewed for dozens of journals, and has more than 100 publications on functional communication, educational programming, and behavior therapy. His books include several best-selling textbooks on abnormal psychology, "Severe Behavior Problems: A Functional Communication Training Approach" (Guilford Press, 1990), "Sleep Better! A Guide to Improving Sleep for Children with Special Needs" (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 1998), and "When Children Don't Sleep Well: Interventions for Pediatric Sleep Disorders, Therapist Guide "(Oxford University Press, 2008). In his leisure time, he enjoys long-distance running and just completed his third marathon. "
A truly lasting legacy of being an optimistic parent is raising optimistic children who not only survive but prevail in future challenges they will inevitably meet. Children, indeed, learn what they live. Be an optimistic role model!--Ann Turnbull, Ed.D."Co-Director, Beach Center on Disability" (03/04/2011) I am indeed more hopeful after reading Dr. Durand's book! It was his original research that showed us how to effectively improve challenging behaviors by bothering to ask 'why' individuals behaved as they did. Now, with equal clarity, he has shown us how to develop the thoughts and attitudes necessary to carry out these effective techniques. And, if we can cultivate these thoughts as suggested, the added bonus is greater life satisfaction.--Jed Baker, Ph.D."author of No More Meltdowns and Social Skills Training" (03/04/2011) A refreshing and innovative approach that treats parenting as a vocation rather than a technique . . . provides parents with the hope that believing in themselves and becoming optimistic parents is, in fact, the Holy Grail to effective parenting.--Louis Pellegrino, M.D."Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY" (03/04/2011) A major step forward in efforts to help families and children whose lives are affected by challenging behavior . . . Crammed with helpful guidance, much of which will not be found in previous manuals.--Glen Dunlap, Ph.D."University of South Florida" (03/04/2011) listing only "I can assure you every person caring or working for a child regardless of age or abilities will benefit from V. Mark Duranda s optimistic parenting advice . . . The authora s friendly, conversational style of writing brings the reader on board feeling that a friend is giving him parenting advice. "Optimistic Parenting" receives five STARS from "Special Needs Book Review" for the quality of the content and organization of this book!"--Lorna Da Entremont"