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Eric Larsson

Legislative Director

Dr Eric Larsson - Washington DC 2020.jpg

Dr. Larsson is the Executive Director of Clinical Services at the Lovaas Institute Midwest, where he implements a program of intensive early intervention services for families of children who suffer from severe behavior disorders, including autism. This intensive early intervention program is widely regarded as one of the most thorough and highly supervised behavior therapy programs in the field. Dr. Larsson is also conducting a systematic research evaluation of the effects of this high intensity program. Dr. Larsson is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral.


Dr. Larsson is currently the President of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment. He is the chair of the Standards Committee of the Autism Commission on Quality. He serves on the boards of directors of the Council of Autism Service Providers, the Lovaas Foundation of Barcelona, Spain, the Autism Recovery Foundation, the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis, the Autism Treatment Association of Minnesota, and Erik’s Ranch and Retreats. He is a Trustee and serves on the Autism Advisory Board of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. He serves on the Minnesota DHS Early Intensive Developmental and Behavioral Intervention (EIDBI) Learning Collaborative. He is on the professional advisory board of the LittleStar ABA Therapy Center. He also has served as a board member of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts.


Dr. Larsson is a member of the Clinical Faculty in the Psychology Department at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches classes in Applied Behavior Analysis and in Autism. He holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Kansas. He has been providing intensive early intervention services since 1976, and has supervised such services since 1983. He is recognized as an expert in early intervention, inclusive communities, severe behavior disorders, multiple handicaps, autism, the rights of individuals with disabilities, nonaversive treatment, Applied Behavior Analysis, and self-injurious behavior. He served as Associate Research Director of the NIMH Multi-site Replication Study of the UCLA Young Autism Project.


Dr. Larsson has received both the Provider of the Year Award from Autism Speaks in Washington, DC and the Jerry Shook Leadership Award from the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA).


Dr. Larsson has consulted with over 350 programs and governmental agencies world-wide, including the Zentrum für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie of Zürich, Switzerland, the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School at the University of Chicago, the St. Amant Centre in Winnipeg, Canada, the Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission's Evidence-based Guidelines Subcommittee, Autism Intervention Services of New Brunswick, Canada, the Province of New Brunswick, Canada, and the Young Autism Project of Pittsburgh. He regularly consults on the development of Medicaid and insurance coverage for intensive early intervention. In Minnesota, he authored a law for Medicaid coverage of intensive early intervention for autism. He was the incorporator and first Executive Director of the Autism Behavior Therapy Alliance and FEAT of Minnesota. He advised the California Association for Behavior Analysis Task Force on Guidelines for Applied Behavior Analysis Services. He participated in the development of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Guidelines for Health Plan Coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis Standards of Practice for Applied Behavior Analysis in Minnesota. He has served on the editorial board of the journals Behavior Modification and the Consulting Psychology Journal.


Dr. Larsson has published 28 papers on such topics as early intervention, functional communication, autism, social skills, parenting, and human rights. He is known for developing the Language Matrix curriculum, which has been translated into five languages. He has given over 300 presentations at the national and international level in such locations as Melbourne, Australia, Sidney, Australia, Geilo, Norway; Granada, Spain; Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA; Orlando, FL; New York; NY; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Sacramento, CA; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montreal, Canada; and Los Angeles, CA and over 200 workshops on such topics as intensive early intervention, parenting, curriculum management, community leadership, behavior management, staff training, quality assurance, family violence, social skills, inclusive communities, autism, and consultation. He has received numerous state, private, and federal grants for a total of $1,180,000.


Dr. Larsson has coordinated a community development project for preventing family violence in high-risk communities in Olmsted County, Minnesota. He has provided clinical treatment in the family violence program at the Zumbro Valley community mental health center in Rochester, Minnesota. He served as the Director of Community Services at the May Institute, an internationally recognized treatment program which provides a wide variety of services to individuals with severe behavior disorders in New England. He served as the Director of Behavior Therapy Services for REM Health in Minnesota. He has served on over 20 community and civic boards including the West Hennepin Human Services Planning Board, the Olmsted County Evaluation Sub-Committee, and has served as chair of Parents Anonymous of Minnesota, and as President of the Board of the Family Support Network.


Dr. Larsson received his Doctoral degree in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas, under the guidance of Drs. R. Vance Hall and Donald M. Baer. While receiving his degree, he coordinated a "Handicapped Children's Model Program" for the U.S. Office of Special Education, developing the comprehensive special education program for public schools on Indian reservations in Nebraska.


Dr. Larsson continues to learn from the richness of life with his children, Sarah and Meers, and his partner, Kara Riedesel.

At a Glance: Legislative Director

Position held since:

Our legislative director has served in this position since 2008.

Years served on board:

Our current legislative director has served on the MNABA board in various capacities since 2008.

The legislative chair's role at MNABA

The legislative director at MNABA currently serves 2-year terms. The legislative director at MNABA is responsible for assisting the full board in setting an annual legislative agenda, implementing the agenda, and communicating about the agenda with the members of MNABA. The legislative chair attends full board meetings and provide updates to the board regarding legislative maters. The Legislative director is expected to create shareable content to support legislation efforts. The legislative director is elected on odd years (e.g., 2023, 2025, 2027). 

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