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.


46th Annual Convention; Online; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #101
CE Offered: BACB — 
Collaborative Approach to Supporting Severely Impacted Adults
Saturday, May 23, 2020
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: David Pyles (Pyles & Associates)
Discussant: David Pyles (Pyles & Associates)
CE Instructor: Adrienne Hursh, M.A.

Collaboration amongst interdisciplinary teams to manage treatment outcomes should be a first line of defense in effective behavior support with adults. Most of the time, figuring out the function of the target problem behavior is an easy task. The difficulty arises when treatment objectives are targeted in isolation thus creating a significant barrier to effective intervention. Often times adults with disabilities are served by various providers including behaviorists, psychiatrists, mental health professionals and non-behaviorally trained direct support staff. More often the consultation model for behavior services is used and the behaviorist is charged to work with a team of professionals and paraprofessionals that may or may not be focused on the same objectives. Initial and ongoing collaborative treatment planning will allow for more effective interventions. The talks that are presented in this symposium show measurable effects of professionals and paraprofessional who use a collaborative treatment model to support various individuals.

Target Audience:

The target audience for this presentation includes any professionals working in the field alongside other professionals and paraprofessionals.

Learning Objectives: Attendees will identify when and how to collaborate with other providers Attendees will learn to determine when the collaboration is effective or ineffective Attendees will learn strategies to manage ongoing collaboration

Collaboration With Psychiatrists: Working With Dually-Diagnosed Adults

Adrienne Hursh (Pyles and Associates), DENNIS PALIWODA (Pyles and Associates )

When working with dually diagnosis adults, behavior analysts want to minimize the need for medication for behavior challenges. The treatment evaluations presented here include collaboration between a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a psychiatrist to achieve medication stabilization and behavior reduction. The targeted individuals include (1) a 59 year old woman diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder, Depressed type and Moderate Intellectual Disability, (2) a 41 year old woman diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Severe Intellectual Disability, and Autism, and (3) a 30 year old woman diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Moderate Intellectual Disability, Epilepsy and Pseudo-Seizures. All of the ladies live in a group home setting (not all in the same home) and have a history of frequent hospitalizations as well as residing in state-run facilities. A collaborative model was used with the psychiatrist and direct staff that included development and implementation of a behavior plan, as well as visual/graphical feedback for decision-making with medications. Across all individuals, behavior challenges reduced and medication changes due to increasing behavior problems was no longer needed.


Collaboration With Paraprofessionals to Decrease Severe Problem Behavior

SHAI MAOR (Pyles and Associates)

Working with adults usually means utilizing a consultative approach where the BCBA is the consultant and paraprofessionals are the direct line staff. When this happens, collaboration with the service providers who employ the paraprofessionals and the paraprofessionals themselves is essential. In addition, the behavior program must include a strong staff training component to ensure accurate and consistent delivery of the behavior program. Without collaboration and staff training, the behavior program cannot be fully adopted to ensure effective support for the individual. This presentation includes treatment evaluations of collaborative models for three males, ages 23-28. All have dual diagnoses and have 2:1 staffing ratios due to the intensity of problem behaviors. Attendees will be presented with data that represent collaborative work with paraprofessionals that is focused on behavior plan implementation and overall behavior excess reduction.




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