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 #301
CE Offered: BACB
Meaningful Curriculum and Respectful Intervention With Individuals Autism Spectrum Disorder: Beyond a Technology of Behavior Analysis Alone
Sunday, May 30, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.
Chair: Peter F. Gerhardt (The EPIC School)
NATALIE DRISCOLL (Endicott College)
JESSICA J. CAUCHI (Endicott College)
SHANNA BAHRY (Endicott College)

Social validity, as a component of the curricular decision-making process, provides a framework for behavior analysts to ensure that the skills targeted for acquisition are as important as the extent to which our instructional interventions are evidence-based and technically precise. Unfortunately, given the continued poor outcomes for adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), (e.g., Roux, et al, 2015) it would seem as though social validity may rarely be a part of that decision-making process. Among the reasons for this may be more readily available professional reinforcement for technical precision than for the selection of socially valid targets for intervention; a greater response effort required to target more socially valid targets in less controlled community environments, and; quite simply, the fact that many behavior analysts are tasked with, primarily, the reduction of challenging behavior and not the acquisition of socially valid targets. This panel will provide an overview of the relevant practice challenges associated with a focus on social validity across both the age and disability spectrum.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Intermediate - This presentation is intended for behavior analysts and related professionals with experience and/or interest in programming and intervention in support of improved outcomes for adults with ASD and ID.

Learning Objectives: 1) Discuss the continued, central importance of social validity when identifying target behaviors to either increase or decrease. 2) Discuss a minimum of 5 behavior analytic concepts with direct relevance to improving outcomes for adults with ASD and other Intellectual Disabilities. 3) Discuss the development of positive stimulus control over aversive or coercive stimulus control and, further, the development of shared stimulus control with your students, and, 4) Interpret typically non-behavior analytic concepts (e.g. self-esteem) into reasonable approximations of behavior analytic concepts.
Keyword(s): Effective Intervention, Goal Selection, Instructional Targets, Social Validity



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Modifed by Eddie Soh