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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #128
CE Offered: BACB
Exploration of Several Practice-Oriented Training Applications
Saturday, May 28, 2022
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 203
Area: TBA/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer Ruane (Melmark)
Discussant: Amy J. Henley (Western New England University)
CE Instructor: Amy J. Henley, M.S.

Behavior analysts support behavior change in many capacities, often through training procedures. Examples include training parents to implement behavior change programs; training employees in expected job performance; and training pre-service behavior analysts in defined professional expectations. The purpose of this symposium is the presentation of various practice oriented training applications. The presentations cover the following information: 1) Training parents to utilize crisis management strategies; 2) Training new supervisors in active listening, feedback, and training others; 3) Evaluating various training procedures with newly hired staff learning to secure wheelchairs in a motor vehicle; and 4) Training an interdisciplinary team professional expectations for medication management interdisciplinary meetings.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Professionals with experience training

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe several training procedures used with new hires 2. Describe effective practices for feedback and supervision 3. Describe the training methods used within an interdisciplinary team

Randomized Controlled Pilot Study of a Crisis Prevention Institute Training Program Designed for Parents of Children With Autism

NICOLE ABENAIM SIMON (Lurie Center for Autism), Lisa Nowinski (Lurie Center for Autism, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School), Kirstin Birtwell (Lurie Center for Autism, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School), Ann Giauque (Lurie Center for Autism, Massachusetts General Hospital), Carol Stamm (University of Massachusetts Chan Medical Center), Alison Tassone (Lurie Center for Autism, Massachusetts General Hospital), Christopher J. McDougle (Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital and MassGeneral Hospital for Children), Caitlin Ravichandran (Lurie Center for Autism, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital)

Aggression, self-injury, and property destruction are among the most impairing and severe behaviors in individuals with autism (Doehring et al., 2014), yet a lack of evidence-based and accessible physical management training exists for the parents managing these behaviors. This study (NCT number NCT03537261) investigated the feasibility, acceptability, safety and efficacy of a novel Crisis Prevention Institute one-day parent training (P-CPI) facilitated by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Eighty parents (90% female, 88% White, 97% high school or equivalent) of children 5-12 years old with autism and irritability were randomized to P-CPI (n=41) or waitlist control (WLC; n=39), with 60 (33 P-CPI, 27 WLC) remaining two weeks post-training. All 34 parents completing training rated the course very good or excellent overall. Relative change in safety-related event rates following training did not significantly differ between P-CPI and WLC. Change scores for parental self-efficacy, which was the primary outcome measure, parenting stress, and quality of life, also did not differ significantly. The estimated standardized effect size for parental self-efficacy was 0.25 (95% confidence interval: -0.06, 0.57), with positive effect size favoring P-CPI. Data from this pilot study support the acceptability and safety of P-CPI but do not demonstrate short-term improvement in parental self-efficacy.

Increasing Supervisory Performance Skills via Group Instruction
BRAD STEVENSON (Melmark New England), Keri Stevenson Bethune (James Madison University), Jill Harper (Melmark New England), Helena L. Maguire (Melmark New England), James Luiselli (Melmark New England ), Silva Orchanian (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Moving into a supervisory role can be a challenging transition for professionals. Managing direct care staff involves a number of skills that are rarely taught to new supervisors. To address this, Melmark has developed a structured training program to teach supervisory skills explicitly. Titled “Supervision Series,” it uses behavioral skills training to teach targeted skills within a curriculum based on an organizational behavior management framework. This presentation will review results from a study designed to assess the effectiveness of Supervision Series. A multiple baseline across behaviors design was used to evaluate its effects on increasing the supervisory skills of three staff who recently moved into their first supervisory role. Targeted dependent variables were active listening, training direct care staff on new skills, and providing feedback. Results and discussion points will be reviewed based on the final data being collected.

An Evaluation of Organizational Training Processes and Performance Standards

ALYSSA RAFTOVICH (Melmark), Nikolaos Tsolakidis (Melmark ), Shawn P. Quigley (Melmark), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College), Lindsay McEntee (Melmark)

Many staff training programs focus primarily on the knowledge component of a skill, which is not optimally effective when trainees are expected to perform certain job duties (Parsons, Rollyson, & Reid, 2012). Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is a procedure that is utilized to focus primarily on teaching the performance aspect of skills that an employee needs to do complete their job duties. While Behavioral Skills Training has been an effective approach to training a wide variety of skills, there is not extensive research that discusses the use of behavioral skills training with training safety skills. This study will examine whether or not the use of additional practice opportunities and the attainment of fluency has an effect on the accurate implementation of a wheelchair securement system. While behavioral skills training is shown in the literature to be effective in teaching a variety of skills, there is limited research that analyzes its application to this skill set. Due to the lack of literature, this study examines Behavioral Skills Training as means to train staff to properly secure an individual who utilizes a wheelchair during transportation. The study hopes to determine whether Behavioral Skills Training will result in a better outcome.


Interdisciplinary Review Team: Training Effective Presentation Skills Across Professional Members

JILL HARPER (Melmark New England), Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England), Maria Wizboski (Melmark New England ), Haley Steinhauser (Melmark New England; Regis College), James Luiselli (Melmark New England )

Behavior skills training (BST) has become a common method to establish professional competencies through instruction, modeling, rehearsal and feedback. This study examined the effects of BST on the effective presentation skills of multiple professionals within an interdisciplinary review team (IRT) using a multiple baseline design. BCBA clinicians and registered nursing staff served as participants. All participants were active members of the IRT prior to the start of the study. During baseline, unique integrity checklists were developed to assess the accuracy of presentation skills for each department. Supervisors of each department then implemented BST. During the instructional component, the rational for the IRT process was reviewed and a written description of the expectations around preparation and presentation was provided. Video models specific to preparation and presentation were then viewed. Training ended with a rehearsal session during which participants were observed preparing for and presenting a case example. Feedback was provided throughout the training process. During baseline, moderate levels of accuracy were observed across all participants. Accuracy increased across both all participants following BST. Participants and other members of the IRT completed social validity measures following the training. This study provides another example of the effectiveness of BST in the establishment of professional competencies, in this case effective presentation skills.




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