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.

  • OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    OTH: Other

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Seminar; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #5

ACT for Children With Autism and the Caregivers That Support Them

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom ABC
Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Mark R. Dixon, Ph.D.
Chair: John O'Neill (Contextual Behavioral Science Institute)
MARK R. DIXON (Southern Illinois University)
Dr. Mark R. Dixon, BCBA-D, is professor and coordinator of the Behavior Analysis and Therapy Program at Southern Illinois University. His interests include the study of complex verbal behavior, gambling addiction, and organizational behavior management. Mark has published 10 books and over 200 peer reviewed journal articles. He has served as Editor of Behavior Analysis in Practice and The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, associate editor for Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and a reviewer for over 20 non-behavioral journals. Dr. Dixon has generated over 2.5 million dollars in funding to infuse behavior analysis within local schools and treatment facilities, and create a behavioral therapy clinic for persons suffering from autism and related conditions. Mark's research and/or expert opinions have been featured in NewsweekTimeThe New York TimesNational Public RadioThis American Life, Bill Nye Saves the World, a New York Times best seller, and regional affiliates of ABC, CBS, and PBS.

Mark Dixon will take the attendees on a journey into the fascinating world of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and how to apply it to children with autism as well as their caregivers. The presentation will showcase the data, treatments, and outcomes from a variety of research studies and trace the history of these data back to a tiny school in rural Illinois that did the unexpected rebuilt itself from the ground up with ACT serving as its foundational core. At this school, students and staff start each morning with group ACT activities and practice the therapeutic techniques throughout the entire school day. A growing number of replication sites have started, and the outcomes have been dramatic. Higher GPAs, better attendance, and a feeling of belonging in children that have struggled for years. Caregiver changes have included increased positive interactions with clients, improved accuracy in running ABA treatment programs, less reported work stress, and improved parental acceptance of their child's disability. Dr. Dixon will discuss all aspects of these amazingly novel applications for ACT, including parent, staff and administration buy-in, training for personnel, student progress monitoring, and clinical outcomes.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the history of ACT and its empirical and conceptual foundations in Relational Frame Theory; (2) discuss the various elements of ACT, how to describe these separate processes, and awareness of how they interact together; (3) apply various ACT techniques to children across K-12 settings; (4) discuss ACT implementation and the scope of practice of a behavior analyst; (5) discuss how to apply ACT to parents and caregivers working with children with autism



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