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.


11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #45
CE Offered: BACB
Applied Behavior Analysis and the Development of Meaningful Skills
Friday, September 2, 2022
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Meeting level 2; Wicklow Hall 1
Area: TBA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Maria Sasaki Solis (The Reilly Behavioral Group, LLC)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Justin B. Leaf, MPH

Meaningful skill development is expected to be a central goal for behavior analysts working with individuals with diverse abilities and challenges. Yet, for the most part, behavior analysts have little, if any, training in how to actually do this. This symposium will focus on ways to identify meaningful skills across domains and populations (i.e., ASD, ID, ABI). This includes the presentation of the results of a treatment package designed to teach practitioners and students of behavior analysis how to write meaningful goals to improve outcomes in adulthood; a sample of the current state of sex education, including what skills are being taught and in what settings; the results of a comprehensive set of interviews with safety experts to better identify priorities instructional priorities; and finally, the role of ABA in reducing bullying in school settings.Throughout the symposium, the themes of social validity and meaningful curriculum will be highlighted. Recommendations for future research will be provided.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): bullying, safety, sexuality, Social validity
Target Audience:

Intermediate - This presentation is intended for behavior analysts and related professionals with experience and/or interest in programming and intervention in support of improved outcomes for adults with ASD and ID.

Learning Objectives: After attending this session, participants will be able to: (1) Identify factors that play a role in achieving quality outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum. Identify what does and what does not constitute a meaningful goal for a client, and discuss tools that may be useful in writing meaningful goals; (2) Describe the importance of sexuality education and identify resources to required to provide comprehensive sex education to people on the autism spectrum; (3) Identify 5 safety domains important to placement and level of supervision in adult services; (4) Identify the key elements of common bullying prevention programs and the implications for behavior analysts.

Examining the Effects of a Treatment Package Aimed at Improving the Writing of Meaningful Goals to Affect Outcomes in Adulthood

(Applied Research)
SHANNA BAHRY (Endicott College)

While the field of applied behavior analysis is in a position to affect meaningful change in the outcomes of clients on the autism spectrum, it is currently coming short of doing so. This presentation will provide a brief overview of currently available tools that may be used to guide the development of skill acquisition goals and curricula and a discussion on why these tools alone are insufficient. Initial data will be presented from a treatment package aimed at guiding the goal writing of practitioners and students of behavior analysis to help increase the inclusion of goals that are meaningful, socially valid, and highly individualized in order to positively impact the trajectory of a client with autism.


Sexuality Education for People With Autism Spectrum Disorders: What Are We Actually Teaching and Why?

JESSICA J. CAUCHI (Atlas Behaviour Consultation; Endicott College)

Sexuality is an important part of all education and comprehensive sex education is especially important for individuals on the autism spectrum. This presentation will provide a sample of the current state of sex education by reviewing survey results from questions regarding how often sex education is taught in both school and Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) settings, what types of sex education goals are targeted, and from what curricula these goals are drawn. The second part of this study analyzed data provided by educators and behaviour analysts, for inclusion of sex ed goals in teaching plans for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Finally, existing curricula for sex education for persons with autism are analyzed and reviewed for representation of comprehensive domains. Recommendations for clinicians, researchers, and families are included.

Qualitative Findings Informing the Establishment of Safety Domains and Training Materials
NATALIE M. DRISCOLL (Seven Hills Foundation & Endicott College)
Abstract: Safety is an important consideration for determining placement and level of supervision for people with disabilities who are recipients of adult services. The importance of safety for the population of adults with disabilities will be discussed. This presentation will provide a brief review of existing safety literature, qualitative findings from a series of semi structured interviews with content experts, and an overview of safety interview training materials. Data from the qualitative interviews will be shared along with the training materials which were informed by those data and used in the behavior skills training package. Additionally, quantitative findings from the behavioral skills training will be shared including the results of the study and measures of social validity.
Behavior Analytic Contributions in the Reduction of Bullying
BRIAN KEITH MASON (Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board; Endicott College)
Abstract: Bullying interventions have been well studied and widely implemented throughout the world for several decades. Large group studies are prevalent in the literature and focus on elements including; contributing factors, school response systems, punitive measures, fidelity of implementation, school/student demographics. Despite this depth of research, bullying incidents remain stubbornly high. Based on a systematic literature review, five popular bullying prevention programs were used to identify key elements in the reduction of bullying and victimization. This discussion will review the literature on anti-bullying programs to offer insight as to what programs and program components are most effective in reducing bullying and victimization among students. Behavior analysts are well positioned to use this research to play a more prominent role to combat this damaging behavior. Will we respond to this call?



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