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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Paper Session #49
CE Offered: BACB
A Systematic Approach to Pre-Session Pairing and Rapport Building in Programming for Individuals Receiving ABA Therapy
Saturday, May 29, 2021
10:30 AM–10:55 AM
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
CE Instructor: Amy Rachel Bukszpan, M.S.

A Systematic Approach to Pre-Session Pairing and Rapport Building in Programming for Individuals Receiving ABA Therapy

Domain: Service Delivery
AMY RACHEL BUKSZPAN (Butterfly Effects), Molly Ann McGinnis (Butterfly Effects)

Empirical evidence supports that pre-session pairing or rapport building, between a clinician and client, can increase clinical outcomes in ABA services. Kelly, Axe, Allen, and Maguire noted the effects of pre-session pairing on decreasing challenging behaviors in 2015 while Shillingsburg, Hansen, and Wright (2018) delineated 9 steps in the pairing process to best support children with Autism for in seat, at a table, discrete trial instruction. Furthermore, Lugo, King, Lamphere, and McArdle (2017) sought to operationally define the behaviors characteristic of pre-session pairing to then train staff to better implement these skills. This presentation explores the systematic approach to training BCBA supervisors and technicians in pre-session pairing and the addition of a “Rapport Building” curriculum to a client’s individualized learning program. The presenters will describe the training of clinicians across skills, review the development of a systematic pre-session pairing program, and compare clinical outcomes between clients whose programs include a systematic approach to pairing and those without. Finally, the presenters will examine the social validity from parents, payers, and technicians to support the pre-session pairing program.

Target Audience:

The audience should be competent in basic principles of behavior analysis, running center or home-based programming, writing, running, and supervising behavior analytic programming.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) integrate pairing procedures to increase a client's motivation and assent throughout programming; (2) translate pairing and rapport building procedures into socially significant outcomes for parents and caregivers



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