FirstSteps Presents on Evaluation of Innovative Mindfulness Training Program for Children with Autism

Mindfulness training is an increasingly popular method of learning to manage one’s own attention in order to remain in the present moment.

A large amount of research has shown that mindfulness procedures can have beneficial medical and psychological effects for typically developing children and adults but the potential of mindfulness for children with autism is just now being explored. At the CalABA conference held in Santa Clara, California on February 26th, Dr. Jonathan Tarbox presented the results of an evaluation of a mindfulness training program developed at FirstSteps for Kids. The purpose of the program is to help children with autism manage their own attention during social situations, so that they can be more fully present and therefore apply their social skills more effectively. The program is still in its early stages of development but positive results are already being observed for multiple FirstSteps children. 


FirstSteps also featured the following topics presented at the CalABA Conference relating to children with autism:

  • Dr. Jennifer Harris on current and future issues impacting the business of providing ABA services 
  • Dr. Jonathan Tarbox on contemporary approaches to teaching language and cognitive skills in addition to mindfulness training 
  • Lisa Stoddard on evaluating a program for teaching problem-solving skills 
  • Kristen Carmi on reviewing and providing a critical analysis of recent research on generalization training 
  • Janine Strack on reviewing and discussing recent research on natural environment training approaches to teaching 
  • Courtney Tarbox on presenting a project comparing the effectiveness of two different natural environment training approaches for teaching language 
  • Evelyn Gould on presenting an evaluation of an acceptance and commitment-based approach to train parents of children with autism