Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W1
Using a Reinforcement Based Treatment Package to Increase Food Acceptance
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
7:00 AM–9:00 AM
Studio AB, Niveau 2
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jessica Weber, Ph.D.
JESSICA WEBER (Els for Autism Foundation), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (University of Miami)
Description: Selective eating or "picky eating" is often described as a reluctance to try new foods based on some dimension of the food. Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder frequently exhibit these types of selective eating behaviors. Rigidity or adherence to sameness is a defining feature of autism that may extend to feeding and lead to habits that are difficult for parents to break. These feeding difficulties may cause significant parent stress and could potentially lead to more severe mealtime behaviors in the future. Interventions to address feeding challenges, often incorporate the use of escape extinction. Escape extinction is a highly effective procedure that has demonstrated significant success, however, for children who display less severe feeding behaviors, the use of escape extinction may not be necessary. Moreover, parents are often hesitant to implement escape extinction when their child displays more mild feeding related behaviors. The treatment package presented has demonstrated success in increasing food acceptance by individuals diagnosed with ASD, without the use of escape extinction. This workshop will teach participants to implement the treatment package and provide results of a study evaluating the effectiveness of the procedure.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) describe the features of picky eating; (2) describe the steps in the Picky Eating manual; (3) administer the Picky Eating assessment tool; (4) implement the Picky Eating program steps to increase food acceptance; (5) train caregivers on the use of the steps in the Picky Eating program.
Activities: Workshop objectives will be met through lecture, video demonstrations, guided practice and role play.
Audience: The workshop is designed for providers, including BCBAs, BCaBAs and RBTs, who work with children with autism.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism, food selectivity, picky eating



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