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 #197
CE Offered: BACB — 
Diversity submission Toward Culturally Responsive and Compassionate Behavior Analysis: A Case for Cultural Humility as it Relates to Neurotype
Sunday, May 29, 2022
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254A
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: David Legaspi (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis)
Discussant: Jamine Layne Dettmering (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, BIOS ABA, National Louis University)
CE Instructor: Jamine Layne Dettmering, Ph.D.

The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2020) requires certificate-holders to practice within their boundaries of competence (1.05), behave in an equitable and inclusive manner (1.08), involve clients in planning and consent (2.09), and individualize behavior-change programs to best meet the diverse needs, context, and resources of the client (2.14). The ethics code (2020) includes disability in the professional responsibility standard for cultural responsiveness and diversity (1.07). Although the field of behavior analysis has acknowledged the need for culturally responsive practices and made calls to action to improve training programs (Beaulieu, 2019; Couto, 2019; Fong et al., 2017; Miller et al., 2019; Najdowski et al., 2021, Levy et al. 2021) and nearly 73% of certificate holders work in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorder (BACB, 2020), little attention has been given to including disability, neurotype, and ableism in behavior analytic training and practice. This symposium will illustrate the importance of considering neurotype when designing behavior analytic intervention (Dawson, 2004; Lynch 2019), share actions taken by a behavior analytic training program to increase awareness of neurotype, and discuss ethics and future directions.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): ableism, autism, neurotype, risk-driven approach
Target Audience:

Intermediate and/or advanced: BCaBA, BCBAs, BCBA-D

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:1) Identify ethics codes relevant to consideration of neurotype in behavior analytic research and practice. 2) provide an example of how excluding neurotype may be harmful, 3) identify strategies to incorporate neurotype in research and practice.
Diversity submission Automatically Maintained Elopement Paper
ELIZABETH ASHTON BENEDICKT (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles), Kelly Vanessa Cruz (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), David Legaspi (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis), Tyler James Arauza (TCSPP)
Abstract: According to seminal texts within Applied Behavior Analysis, “Target behaviors should not be selected for the primary benefit of others,” (Winett & Winkler, 1972). Researchers have suggested the evidence-based practices utilized are in part a result of the values and context which they’re selected, including those of the individual in question, (Slocum, 2014). This paper will discuss a case study whereby a clinician intervened on a target behavior, elopement, with automatic maintenance. A prior clinician trained caregivers across 3 settings to block and redirect the stereotypy to “age-appropriate play”. The “age-appropriate play” was not a functional replacement behavior and amounted to a punishment procedure. Through a Risk Driven Approach, a new clinician who was autistic was assigned, and conducted A functional analysis, that showed the Elopement behavior was maintained by access to uninterrupted stereotypy. The new clinician implemented a differential reinforcement procedure for manding for access to uninterrupted stereotypy. Training was provided to all instructional dyads across 3 settings i.e., Home, school, and the community. The data reflect a total reduction of Elopement from 20/hour to 0/hour across 3 settings which has maintained for over 12 months. Ethical considerations when selecting practices and behaviors to target are discussed.
Diversity submission Including Neurotype in Training Programs’ Discussions of Compassionate, Response, and Ethical Practice
Abstract: The behavior analytic field has acknowledged the need for practitioners who engage in compassionate, ethical, and culturally responsive practices to reduce harm and increase effective socially significant service delivery (Beaulieu, 2019; Couto, 2019; Fong et al., 2017; Miller et al., 2019; Najdowski et al., 2021). Guidelines for including training in cultural humility, competency, responsiveness and self-awareness within training programs has been published in behavior analytic journals (Fong et al., 2017; Najdowski, 2021). Criticisms of current and past practices of behavior analysis (Shyman, 2016) and state-level policies that restrict practice to providing services to autistic individuals suggest the importance of including disability, neurotype, and ableism within training programs. This presentation will describe the actions of a behavior analytic training program in New York in including awareness and understanding of the impact of ableism in its curricula and pedagogy. The goal is to train future behavior analytic practitioners to recognize culture, ethnicity and neurotype in selecting socially significant goals, utilizing assessments, selecting contingencies, and use of language in discourse documentation and research. Suggestions for future research and growth related to these issues in training programs will also be discussed.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh