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.

  • AUT: Autism

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSS: Community, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PCH: Philosophical, Conceptual, and Historical Issues

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

13th Annual Autism Conference; San Francisco, CA; 2019

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #20
CE Offered: BACB

The Parents' Perspective: How to Get Parents to Buy In

Sunday, January 20, 2019
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Grand Ballroom A-C
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Jonathan J. Tarbox, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Shannon Penrod was an award winning comedienne and writer when her son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 ½. Terrified, overwhelmed, and unsure what to do next, Shannon set out on a mission to help her son. With luck, fortitude, and a lot of help, Shannon found a quality ABA program and was able to access funding to give her son intensive treatment. The result was nothing short of amazing. Her son, now 15, attends a college prep high school and is an active member of his school’s competitive robotics team. In her quest to help other parents access what she was fortunate enough to have, Shannon Penrod hosts the popular web show Autism Live, which features free information and inspiration for the global autism community. Shannon holds an MFA from The National Theatre Conservatory. Her award-winning one-woman show The Autism Mamalogues debuted at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2018 and has upcoming performance dates throughout the U.S.

What are the biggest stumbling blocks to getting parents to participate in and embrace an intensive behavioral intervention? Oddly enough, it can be as simple as understanding the parent perspective. Shannon Penrod is a mom of a child diagnosed with autism at 2 ½ years old; fortunately, he started an intensive, quality ABA program at the age of 3. His success has made Shannon a true believer in the power of ABA in treating autism. Now Shannon shares the often hilarious, sometimes tragic mindset of the autism parent. Can you get these overwhelmed, under-slept parents to understand and participate in their child’s intervention? Yes! And when you do they will often become your biggest cheerleaders. Shannon will give you the parent 411 so you can decode their behavior, arrive at the function, and begin to implement effective behavior intervention plans that parents can buy into.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify common issues that prevent parents from engaging in their child’s behavioral interventions and develop techniques to overcome them; (2) implement strategies to build rapport with parents; (3) create clear communication strategies that convey big picture concepts of an intensive ABA program with meaningful consequences for parents; (4) understand that a parent’s behavior/attitude is not always indicative of the wonderful being done.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh