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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Panel #246
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysts in Early Childhood Special Education: Challenges in Promoting Parent Participation and Team Collaboration
Sunday, May 30, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Berenice de la Cruz, Ph.D.
Chair: Berenice de la Cruz (Texas A&M University-San Antonio; TxABA Public Policy Group)
MEGAN G. KUNZE (University of Oregon)
SARAH KATZ (Texas A&M University - San Antonio)
Abstract: Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are key members of early childhood special education (ECSE) teams, yet being included can be a challenge. National differences exist in how ECSE programs embrace BCBAs and seek out participation from families. BCBAs employed by school systems are faced with various challenges (e.g., limited time, untrained staff) that may stifle the positive impact their work can have on children. When employed by the family, BCBAs may face barriers to partnering with school personnel, which may negatively impact child outcomes. BCBAs are ethically bound to partner with stakeholders responsible for clients’ well-being, which in the case of ECSE are the educational staff and home-caregivers, to establish a relationship of active communication and shared decision making. Collaboration between home and school is essential, now more than ever, due to virtual schooling requiring parents to fulfill the role of teacher due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists will share experiences and research in overcoming challenges in teaming and supporting parental involvement in ECSE pre-pandemic and during the pandemic and share lessons learned to inform future collaboration. Panelists’ experiences include practicing behavior analysis as BCBAs within school systems, supervisors, consultants, researchers, and teachers in Pre-K-12 grade classrooms and higher education.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this panel, participants will be able to: 1. Identify common strengths and barriers to collaboration between Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), parents, school personnel, and other stakeholders in early childhood special education (ECSE) 2. Describe the different roles of team members in ECSE programs 3. State the need for effective partnerships, BCBA participation, and collaboration to improve outcomes in young children with exceptionalities
Keyword(s): collaboration, consultant, early childhood, special education



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Modifed by Eddie Soh