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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W39
CE Offered: BACB
Working With Adults With Severe Problem Behavior: Ethical Considerations and Strategies
Friday, May 28, 2021
1:00 PM–4:00 PM
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Naomi Spence, M.A.
NAOMI SPENCE (Pyles and Associates), SHAI MAOR (Pyles and Associates)
Description: Severe problem behaviors can manifest into a variety of topographical behaviors but typically consists of aggression, self-injury, and/or property destruction. Unfortunately, this also means a decrease in opportunities for individuals who engage in this type of severe problem behavior because of the damage that these individuals can inflict. As legislature continues to push for community placements and the imminent closure of non-community-based placement opportunities for adults who display the aforementioned behaviors, the need for community supports that can safely, ethically, and successfully manage these individuals has significantly increased. Due to biological factors (e.g. height and weight) of these individuals, intervention strategies that are/were effective with children are not typically effective with these types of adults. Being an adult comes with an increase in freedom of choice (depending on conservatorship) that can make navigating support for these types of individuals extremely complex. Furthermore, at times an increased number of support services can provide a challenge in collaborating how to best support the individual. These support services include, but are not limited to psychiatrists, medical doctor’s, mental health therapy services, behavioral services, day programs and regional centers.
Learning Objectives: After attending this workshop, attendees will be able to (1) describe programmatic, ethical, and collaborative considerations for working with adults with severe problem behavior, (2) identify clinical situations that necessitate different approaches and (3) demonstrate understanding of information provided by creating a preliminary plan for an individual they serve.
Activities: This workshop includes presentation of information through lecture, presentation of evidenced based interventions, and guided group activities.
Audience: The target audience for this workshop is anyone working with adults.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



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