Autism Light: Dr. Daniel Openden

Dr. Daniel Openden is Vice President and Clinical Services Director for the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SAARC) in Phoenix, Arizona.  Dr. Daniel Openden has received his Ph.D. in Special Education, Disability and Risk Studies from the University of California and was mentored by Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel. Dr. Daniel Openden is an Autism Light because of his important role as a leading autism researcher and clinical services director who has focused on early intervention strategies and the role of parents in educating children with autism.

In addition to his work at SARRC, Dr. Daniel Openden has the following special roles in autism research. 


  • In June, 2011, Dr. Daniel Openden received the Phoenix Business Journals Forty Under Forty Award.
  • In 2004, Dr. Openden received the CalABA Julie Vargas Award for original  research with his study, “A Systematic Desensitization Paradigm to Treat Hypersensitivity to Auditory Stimuli in Children with Autism in Family Contexts.”  

Speaker: Dr. Openden is also a frequent speaker at autism conferences and events.

Research Area: The majority of Dr. Openden’s work has focused on parent training.  He explained to me the importance of this strategic partnership with parent education in this way:
I think it is important to recognize that parents can be effectively trained to deliver high quality intervention (in my work, Pivotal Response Treatment [PRT]) and make a positive impact on their child’s symptoms. Parents are often our most committed group of people, and when provided with good training in evidence-based interventions, likely increase the intensity of treatment and improve outcomes. (Daniel Openden)Dr. Daniel Openden shared with me that in his opinion two particular professional studies by others have had the most impact on autism research.  These two are:

Behavior Imaging Solutions: The following is the video of Dr. Openden explaining how they use Behavior Imaging Solutions at SAARC to help with early intervention strategies. Behavior Imaging Solutions is a system where parents upload video of children being taught to their Internet site and then trained therapists can access them and offer guidance on the intervention strategies being employed to improve specific behaviors with a specific child.


Social Media:  Follow Dr. Daniel Openden on the following social media.

Thanks to Dr. Daniel Openden for being an Autism Light. The research and work that he is doing to improve the lives of those with autism is making a difference in Arizona and beyond.  
Autism Light is a daily look at diverse heroes to the world of autism.
Photo: Photo in this post used with permission of Daniel Openden.

Read original post

Alan Stokes on FacebookAlan Stokes on GoogleAlan Stokes on Twitter
Alan Stokes
Autism Light is an upbeat but real blog that takes readers on a journey that recognizes diverse heroes in and for the autism community.
Alan Stokes

Alan Stokes

Autism Light is an upbeat but real blog that takes readers on a journey that recognizes diverse heroes in and for the autism community.

0 thoughts on “Autism Light: Dr. Daniel Openden

  • The doctor has done an amazing job with his research. You are able to get so much from his work. I hope to see more of this work in the future. Keep up the good work. 

    actos class action lawsuit

  •  I have an 8 year old son who was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 2. We were advised to immediately involve him in an educational setting. Even with the schooling from that age he still did not begin to talk until the age of 5. I am so very thankful to have the availability of special programs and a school that could help us. Without such we would not have known what to do or where to turn.
    Thank you Dr. Openden for your focus and commitment to the research of Autism.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *