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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Symposium #77
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission The Road Less Traveled: Revolutionizing Applied Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 29, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Area: CSS/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Samantha Fuesy (Adapt & Transform Behavior, LLC (ATBx))
CE Instructor: Samantha Fuesy, M.A.
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) has historically been implemented and carried out most commonly in clinical settings with adults and children diagnosed with autism and developmental disabilities. Within recent years, the field of ABA has been disseminating its implementation of services and interventions to other settings and populations. Behavior analysts at Adapt & Transform Behavior, LLC have been providing ABA services within juvenile detention and residential facilities in multiple states within the past 4 years. The company has been one of the firsts within the country to have detention staff be credentialed as registered behavior technicians and implement ABA services facility-wide. The presentations included in this symposium will provide a closer look at the effectiveness of the application of ABA with youth involved in juvenile/criminal justice systems. Additionally, the presenters will discuss barriers to youth accessing treatment, current misconceptions and need for additional research to assist in correcting systemic issues with commonly used treatments that are leading to potentially dangerous outcomes for this vulnerable population.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Criminal Justice, Facility-Wide PBIS, Juvenile Justice, Youth
Target Audience: Prerequisite skills include; basic understanding of behavior analysis, Behavior Analysts, Students, Crime and Delinquency, PBIS, trauma
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Implement a pyramidal staff training protocol; (2) evaluate most effective ways to implement facility wide interventions; (3) pinpoint specific needs for future research in this area.
Diversity submission 

Diversifying ABA to New Places Using Behavior Skills Training and Feedback to Increase Proficiency Within Detention Staff

SARA HORDGES (Adapt & Transform Behavior, LLC)

The application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the juvenile justice settings is a fairly new area of research for ABA. Recently Adapt & Transform Behavior, LLC behavior analysts have trained detention center administrators, supervisors and staff to become credentialed as registered behavior technicians (RBTs). The introduction of RBTs to this setting was hypothesized to increase the effectiveness of facility wide interventions put in place by the Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and aid in the fidelity of staff compliance with mandated facility operating procedures. The purpose of the case studies to be presented were to evaluate the effects of evidence-based interventions in the implementation and proficiency of daily detention roles and responsibilities. Pyramidal training (BCBA ? RBT? Detention staff) was used to train detention officers using behavior skills training on conducting effective and proficient searches on youth. Secondarily, a multicomponent intervention was implemented by RBTs to increase level card proficiencies.

Diversity submission 

Using High Density ABA to Increase Effectiveness and Efficiency of Facility-Wide Interventions in the Juvenile Residential Facility

EMILY KIEFFER (Adapt & Transform Behavior LLC)

As research shows, high intensity Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for individualized interventions is a successful approach. However, in many cases the density of services is minimized by institutions in the name of cost savings. This presentation will review a case study demonstrating the ability of highly effective FW-PBIS systems to be put in place at a quicker pace with high fidelity when high intensity Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) interventions are implemented by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). Prior to the introduction of high doses of ABA, the facility was experiencing high rates of self injury, property destruction, fighting and noncompliance that resulted in multiple escapes, arrests and hospitalizations of youth alongside high rates of staff turnover and terminations. These issues resulted in financial consequences (in the form of fines, hospitalizations, freezes and on boarding) for the program that outweighed the cost of attempting to bypass the use of BCBAs. The results of this case study show that both facility wide and individualized interventions were effectively put in place within three months and services were systematically faded and maintained at a lower level over the next year.

Diversity submission When Helping Hurts
SAMANTHA FUESY (Adapt & Transform Behavior)
Abstract: Interventions used in treatment facilities/programs for youth involved juvenile justice systems typically include a range of mental health interventions from psychotherapy, CBT, group therapy, psychotropic medications, etc. combined with religious interventions, mentors and punitive consequences. The introduction of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has begun but at a much slower pace due to many roadblocks and systemic issues within the current service delivery models. Because of a lack of research and behavior analytic presence at the policy level many youth are denied access to ABA services who need them. As a result unproven and, in many cases, potentially harmful treatments are being implemented with these vulnerable populations instead. Our data will show this is especially true in cases involving youth who engage in self injurious behaviors and/or severe aggression. One intervention in particular, the “Baker Act”, when used incorrectly has resulted in shaping up more severe and dangerous behaviors, a phenomenon that has been observed across multiple states.



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