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 #W28
Severe Problem Behavior: From Research to Evidence-Based Practice
Friday, May 28, 2021
9:00 AM–4:00 PM
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Joshua Jessel, Ph.D.
JOSHUA JESSEL (Queens College, City University of New York), PETER STURMEY (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Description: Severe problem behavior is a debilitating and chronic repertoire that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Although a multitude of different behavioral interventions have been developed to reduce problem behavior, there is rarely a comprehensive demonstration of a successful program from beginning (intake of client) to end (reintegration into classroom and home) of clinical services. In this workshop we will start with an introduction to a practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment model. We will describe the research that has led to the development of the model and how it has been applied to school, home, and outpatient settings. In addition, we will provide a guide to conducting the practical functional assessment and how to use those results to build caregiver-informed communication skills, tolerance skills, and cooperation skills. Considering that the goal of the entire assessment and treatment process is to effect more global changes in the functional repertoires of individuals who exhibit problem behavior, we will spend the second half of the workshop describing how to maintain treatment effects once the individual is returned to the home or school environment by training staff members and caregivers and programming for generalization of outcomes.
Learning Objectives: Participants will describe evidence-based approaches to 1. conducting a safe and practical functional assessment of problem behavior 2. teaching function-based skills to replace problem behavior 3. training caregivers using behavior skills training 4. programming generalization of caregiver training 5. managing restraint and restrictive behavior management practices 6. managing treatment integrity and relapse.
Activities: The workshop will include lectures, case presentations, and problem solving exercises.
Audience: Participants should have an understanding of common behavioral concepts as described in Cooper et al. (2020) and some experience and basic knowledge of ABA applied to severe problem behavior.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Caregiver Training, Functional Analysis, Problem Behavior



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