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 #W42
CE Offered: BACB — 
Designing Instruction That Honors Client Assent Withdrawal, Promotes Self-Advocacy, and Minimizes Harm
Friday, May 28, 2021
1:00 PM–4:00 PM
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Worner Leland, M.S.
WORNER LELAND (Upswing Advocates; Sex Ed Continuing Ed)
Description: Unpublished Justice Department data suggest that individuals with intellectual and learning disabilities are at least seven times more likely to experience sexual assault than their neurotypical peers, and that 86% of these assaults are committed by a non-stranger (Shapiro, Anderson, Benincasa, & Van Woerkom, 2018). Because of this, behavior analysts and other helping professionals have a crucial role in supporting client development of self-advocacy skills, which involve giving and removing of assent. Behavior analysts also have a responsibility to help create environments in which client autonomy, self-determination, and preferences are centered and consistently respected. This workshop reviews the BACB ethical codes relevant to client autonomy and assent and outlines ways to address these skills from an instructional design perspective. This workshop also addresses writing assent withdrawal program goals which demonstrate medical necessity of behavioral intervention. Empirically supported literature and data will be presented where applicable and available, and questions and discussion will be welcomed throughout the training. Practice activities will be provided to encourage application of the content, presenters will facilitate a discussion of several clinical scenarios, and attendees will have the opportunity to explore how these strategies can best be implemented with the client populations they serve.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: 1) Select examples of both vocal and non-vocal responses indicating assent and removal of assent across multiple clients. 2) Identify the ways in which training over-compliance can be harmful for clients. 3) Select the key elements of writing assent withdrawal instructional program. 4) Identify assent withdrawal goals that meet the criteria for a medically necessary treatment plan. 5) Given a scenario, select a response in line with BACB ethical codes and promotes client autonomy and choice.
Activities: This workshop will utilize lecture, whole group sharing, and active practice opportunities for crafting assent withdrawal program exemplars, graphing assent withdrawal data exemplars, and writing assent withdrawal treatment goal exemplars which meet criteria for medically necessary intervention.
Audience: BCBAs and BCaBAs
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): assent withdrawal, harm reduction, self advocacy



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