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).

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #19
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Marrying ABA and the Medical System: Multi-Disciplinary Treatment Systems and Novel Approaches for Challenging Behaviors in Youth With Autism
Saturday, May 29, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
CE Instructor: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: MATTHEW SIEGEL (Maine Behavioral Healthcare)

Up to two-thirds of youth with autism spectrum disorder develop challenging behaviors, which are the most common cause for referral to behavioral health services in this population. While progress in treatment in this area has been made, many youth remain treatment refractory or unresponsive to the work of a single discipline. Specialized acute inpatient psychiatry units can be utilized to bring together the strengths of applied behavior analysis and other disciplines to assess and treat complex challenging behaviors. The service landscape, approach, and treatment evidence for these settings will be reviewed, and emerging novel approaches utilizing detection of physiologic signals in relation to challenging behaviors will be presented.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Practicing behavior analysts, administrators of ABA programs, clinical researchers.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the frequency and topography of challenging behaviors in youth with ASD; (2) identify the program elements and evidence for specialized acute psychiatry units targeting this population; (3) articulate the proposed relationship between physiological arousal and challenging behaviors.
MATTHEW SIEGEL (Maine Behavioral Healthcare)

Dr. Siegel is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics of Tufts University School of Medicine, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Developmental Disorders Service of Maine Behavioral Healthcare, and Faculty Scientist II at Maine Medical Center Research Institute. He has developed a nationally recognized continuum of treatment and research for individuals with autism, intellectual disability and co-occurring mental illness and challenging behaviors.


Dr. Siegel attended Amherst College, Stanford Medical School and trained at Brown University in child psychiatry, psychiatry, and pediatrics. He is the Principal Investigator of the Autism and Developmental Disorders Inpatient Research Collaborative (ADDIRC), a network of specialized child psychiatry units performing studies of children severely affected by autism and intellectual disability. Dr. Siegel is nationally recognized for his expertise in inpatient care and the treatment of serious challenging behaviors. He served on the Autism and Intellectual Disability Committee of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry for a decade and is a co-author of the Academy’s Practice Parameter on the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders in Children and Adolescents with Intellectual Disability.




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