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 #231A
CE Offered: BACB
In Defense of Applied Behavior Analysis in the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D.
Chair: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
COLE FITZPATRICK (Received ABA Services)
AMY GRAVINO (A.S.C.O.T Consulting)
RONALD LEAF (Autism Partnership)
JUDITH URSITTI (Autism Speaks)

The philosophy and associated methodologies of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been applied across several contexts and populations including, but not limited to, addiction (e.g., Silverman et al., 2008), autism (e.g., Leaf et al., 2017), education (e.g., Keller, 1968), gerontology (e.g., Dwyer-Moore & Dixon, 2007), healthcare (e.g., Friman et al., 1986), human safety (e.g., Geller, 2005), intellectual disabilities (e.g., Passage et al., 2012), juvenile delinquency (e.g., Serna et al., 1986), space (e.g., Brady, 2007), sports (e.g., Luiselli & Reed, 2011), and sustainability (e.g., Bekker et al., 2010). In each of the contexts and populations with which ABA philosophy and methodologies have been applied, improvements have been observed. This is perhaps best exemplified with respect to ABA-based interventions designed for autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is not to say that the application of methodologies based upon ABA has been without its faults. However, despite its faults, there have been countless success. The faults and the success should be discussed within the profession. The purpose of this panel is to highlight the many successes of ABA as it relates to interventions designed for autistics/individuals diagnosed with ASD while still acknowledging its faults and the need for improvement.

Instruction Level: Basic



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Modifed by Eddie Soh