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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #323
Developing a Multilayered Evidence-Based Program for Individuals With Autism: Ensuring Collaboration Amongst All Stakeholders
Sunday, May 28, 2023
5:00 PM–6:50 PM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 4
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mian Wang (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Discussant: Dimitrios Dimitriou (UCSB-University of California Santa Barbara)
CE Instructor: Dimitrios Dimitriou, Ph.D.

Providing quality therapy rooted in the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to individuals with autism needs to be a multi-layered approach. While a trained behavior therapist (i.e., board certified behavior analyst, qualified behavior analyst) can develop an evidence-based program to help individuals with autism develop positive skills and extinguish problem behaviors, without: (1) parent-education, (2) sibling involvement, (3) school collaboration, and (4) proper on-going supervision, it will be difficult for the client to make meaningful progress. In this symposium, we will cover original research and published materials. Dr. Dimitriou will present key findings across his 13 published books on effective parent education support embedding elements of the eco-cultural theory. Incorporating key elements from each presentation will be pivotal in ensuring a well-rounded quality program for individuals with autism. Dr. Glugatch will review her research on providing a novel training program to siblings in order to help improve play strategies for children with autism. Dr. Kim will present her original research on how to support and train school personnel to facilitate social interactions between children with autism and their peers. Lastly, Dr. Ford will review her findings from a cross-sectional survey regarding supervision practices and satisfaction.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Autism, collaboration
Target Audience:

Professionals, practicing behavior analysts, teachers, parents, caregivers, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) recognize barriers for client progress; (2) identify solutions to increase parent/guardian and sibling involvement during therapy sessions; (3) improve collaboration with school personnel; and most importantly (4) identify strategies to foster a strong collaborative working relationship amongst all key stakeholders.
Multicultural Parent Education Training: Embedding Cultural Beliefs and Values
DIMITRIOS DIMITRIOU (UCSB-University of California Santa Barbara)
Abstract: Ensuring parent/guardian involvement and collaboration is pivotal in ensuring a child’s success. However, parents/guardians may be reluctant to participate in their child’s therapy for several key reasons. Based on the 13 published books by Dr. Dimitriou, he will explore key variables that are correlated with low parent/guardian participation/involvement. First, some cultural beliefs and values may limit a parent/guardian’s willingness to participate in their child’s therapy sessions. Second, parent’s may not believe in the value of therapy and may have negative preconceived ideas. Third, parents may feel inadequate and/or feel inferior supporting their child’s needs. Lastly, parents may view therapeutic time as an opportunity for “alone time.” These potential factors will be discussed in greater details and solutions for each of these variables will be addressed.

Sibling Techniques for Enhanced Play and Support (STEPS) for Strengthening the Sibling Bond of Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
LINDSAY GLUGATCH (University of Oregon)

Sibling relationships are a unique and special bond throughout the life span. Having a sibling with autism may present extra difficulties to form a close and meaningful relationship. While siblings play an important role in the child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) life, there is no consistent method for involving siblings in treatment for individuals with ASD. This current study evaluated a novel treatment package including training siblings on play strategies (called play tips when communicating with the participants) in combination with a sibling support group to increase positive sibling play and perceived relationship quality. Using two concurrent multiple baseline designs, nine sibling dyads participated in the online STEPS program. Specifically, the intervention package included an online implementation of behavior skills training on simple play strategies and participation in a sibling support group. The intervention package improved quality of sibling play and increased the perceived quality of the sibling relationship.


Training Paraprofessionals to Target Socialization in Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Fidelity of Implementation and Social Validity

(Applied Research)
SUNNY KIM (University of California, Santa Barbara )

Although the literature suggests that it is feasible to train paraprofessionals to effectively implement social interventions for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), there is a paucity of research that addresses the social validity of these programs. The present study replicated and extended previous research on paraprofessional training, as well as assessed social validity. Our results suggest that (a) paraprofessionals can be trained to fidelity using a package consisting of lecture and performance feedback, (b) there are collateral gains for paraprofessionals following the training, (c) the social interactions between students with ASD and typically developing peers improve following paraprofessional training, and (d) there is strong social validity in regard to acceptability of the training program. Limitations and future directions are discussed.


Supervision Practices and Predictors of Supervision Satisfaction for Clinicians Providing Behavioral Services for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

(Applied Research)
KATERINA FORD (University of California, Santa Barbara )

Despite increasing empirical support for applied behavior analysis over several decades, little attention has been paid to the ways in which supervision is implemented among service providers for individuals with autism. In this study, a cross-sectional survey was designed based on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) supervision guidelines and research literature. 125 clinicians from California service agencies completed a survey inquiring about supervision practices and satisfaction with (1) “typical” sessions and (2) sessions delivered through videoconferencing (VC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Exploratory factor analyses were conducted to examine factor structure of supervision practice and satisfaction resulting in a three-factor model for supervision practice (i.e., supervision activities, supervisor proficiency, and clinician evaluation processes) and supervision satisfaction (i.e., satisfaction with supervision content, satisfaction with perceived level of support, and dissatisfaction with supervisory relationship). Supervision hours and individual and group meeting frequency were significant predictors of supervision practice, while supervision practice significantly predicted supervision satisfaction. Open-ended comments provided suggestions for improving supervision sessions and supervisor behavior in each delivery format. These findings provide a preliminary foundation of correlational evidence supporting the importance of specific supervision practices and how they predict clinician satisfaction, which can help prevent burnout and turnover.




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