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 #497
CE Offered: BACB
Collaborating With Other Professionals: A Discussion of Opportunities and Approaches
Monday, May 30, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205A
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Alan Kinsella (Endicott)
CE Instructor: Alan Kinsella, M.S.

Professionals working in the human services industry have various backgrounds, training, and credentials. The variation of professionals may allow for more specialized treatment in practice areas, but also may create difficulty when working to support individuals. Collaboration between professionals is an expectation for behavior analysts. The purpose of this symposium is a review of various collaboration initiatives aimed at supporting behavior analysts in being good partners with other service professionals. The presenters will describe a model for collaboration between behavior analysis and occupational therapy; a model for training pre-service behavior analysts to learn about collaboration; and the perceptions of allied health professionals toward behavior analysts.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Behavior Analysis, Collaboration, Ethics
Target Audience:

Attendees should be credentialed and have experience working with other professionals. A basic understanding of scope of practice, scope of competence, and collaboration are helpful.

Learning Objectives: Learners will state behaviors that support collaboration between professionals Learners will state perceptions of allied health professionals toward behavior analysts Learners will state suggestions for training collaboration behaviors for pre service behavior analysts.
A Survey of Behavior Analysts and Allied Health Professionals: Understanding Perceptions of Other Disciplines
Kristin Bowman (Endicott), Lisa Tereshko (Endicott College), KAREN ROSE (Horry County Schools/Endicott College), Kimberly Marshall (University of Oregon; Endicott College), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Effective collaboration is essential to successful interdisciplinary service provision. This is especially important in autism intervention, where the expertise of several professions is necessary for comprehensive treatment. Collaboration is a challenge in many professional contexts, and does not always proceed smoothly. Barriers include a lack of understanding about other professions, interpersonal injury and feelings of devaluation by members of some professions, and logistical challenges that make it difficult for teams to convene and to communicate. The perceptions of professionals about the conceptual foundations, scientific merit, and worldviews of other fields can impact their impressions of that field’s utility. This can ultimately affect how they value and engage in interprofessional collaboration with professionals from those fields. Within behavior analysis, it is important to both understand how we are perceived by other professionals and how we view those professionals. To learn more about how behavior analysts are perceived by member of other professions, professionals from other disciplines answered questions about their experiences with behavior analysts. In addition, behavior analysts were questioned about their experiences with members from allied professions. In this survey, both sides of the collaboration interaction were questioned, to allow for a fuller discussion of the barriers to effective collaboration across disciplines. Results indicated that collaboration often goes well between behavior analysts and members of other professions. Ideas for fostering better collaboration will be shared.

Bridging the Gap Between Occupational Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis

KRISTINA GASIEWSKI (The Melmark School), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)

Interdisciplinary collaboration is challenging, but necessary, to meet the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Among the dyadic interactions in interdisciplinary teams, the relationships between Occupational Therapy practitioners and Board Certified Behavior Analysts are uniquely challenging. The disciplines define evidence based practice differently and approach intervention from different angles. Furthermore, there are fundamental differences in worldview between the disciplines. Both disciplines offer necessary treatment, and successful collaboration between these disciplines is essential for maximizing outcomes. Hence, finding ways to help bridge the gap between these professions, in particular, is essential. Common barriers to developing collaborative alliances include misperceptions of the other discipline, differences in terminology, and unprofessional behavior. This presentation reviews the history and foundational concepts of both disciplines, and the common approaches associated with each. In addition, models of collaboration are discussed, with suggestions for enhancing interdisciplinary communication and treatment. Suggestions are based on the premise that successful collaborative treatment is predicated on an understanding of the value and expertise offered by different disciplines, and requires mutual respect and professional dialogue.

An Example of Teaching Collaboration During Pre-Service Training
NICOLE BOVIN (The Margaret Murphy Centers for Children ), Jennifer Ruane (Melmark), Shawn P. Quigley (Melmark), Jill Harper (Melmark New England), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Collaboration amongst professionals within an interdisciplinary practice model has received considerable attention in recent years, particularly in the field of behavior analysis. Recent publications and practical guidance have highlighted the need for formal training in the area of collaboration during the pre-service (e.g., fieldwork, intensive practicum) experience for behavior analysts. Effective interdisciplinary collaboration has been associated with improved outcomes with clients and colleagues. This presentation provides an overview of a model for teaching collaboration skills to those seeking Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification. The model focuses on teaching future behavior analysts to work effectively with professionals in the fields of speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and developmental pediatrics. Specific supervision and training activities, as well as future directions for extending the model and developing additional outcome measures will be discussed.



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