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 #18
CE Offered: BACB
Playing Nice in the Sandbox: The Role of Behavior Analysts on Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Teams
Saturday, May 27, 2023
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center 406/407
Area: TBA/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Patrick Romani, Ph.D.
Abstract: In education and healthcare, the expectation for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaboration exists to provide high-quality services. Many behavior analysts, though, do not receive formal training or supervision on how to function best on these types of teams. This symposium will highlight innovative collaboration between behavior analysts and educational and healthcare professionals. Drs. Rosales and Padilla-Dalmau will present on efforts to understand how behavior analysts can meet the needs of other professionals and training initiatives to prepare effective participation in multidisciplinary teams. Dr. Luehring will present on integration of behavior-analytic services into a multidisciplinary team on a psychiatric inpatient unit for youth with developmental disabilities. Finally, Dr. Traub will present ongoing work to improve the impact of behavior analysis within interdisciplinary teams in educational settings. At the conclusion of these four presentations, Dr. Harper will provide a discussion to summarize presented information and share ideas for behavior analysts to maximize their impact when working on these types of teams. Attendees will learn about strategies to train novice behavior analysts to function on interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary teams and ways to be effective team members on these teams.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Education, Healthcare, Interdisciplinary teams, Multidisciplinary teams
Target Audience: The targeted audience for this symposium includes board-certified behavior analysts and board-certified assistant behavior analysts that work on multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary teams in schools or other healthcare settings.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Describe evidence-based methods for training practitioners to function well on interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary teams. 2) Describe strategies for sharing expertise and negotiating disagreement on teams. 3) Define a interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team and describe their benefit when delivering behavior-analytic services.
A Collaborative Interdisciplinary Approach to Training Graduate Students
ROCIO ROSALES (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Claudia Rindaldi (Lasell University), Robai Werunga (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Abstract: The value of interdisciplinary collaboration has been a recurring theme in the field of behavior analysis and has received renewed attention in recent years. To maximize outcomes for students with disabilities, a collaborative team approach in service delivery is of critical importance; it is not only recommended as a necessary competency for practitioners, but also mandated by the special education law (IDEA, 2006). One such critical collaboration that directly impact students with disabilities including autism, is that between special education teachers and Board Certified Behavior Analysts®. Yet, interdisciplinary collaboration is not often an area of focus in graduate training programs. This talk will discuss an interdisciplinary personnel preparation project that is funded by the Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) designed to train special education personnel and aspiring behavior analysts to learn together in a side-by-side cohort format. The overarching goal of the project is to prepare professionals with knowledge and experience in collaboration to benefit children with disabilities. The presenter will share the rationale behind this kind of model for personnel preparation, discuss initial experiences with the first cohort of students in the program, and discuss potential barriers to implementing this model in academic programs.

Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in Puerto Rico to Meet Training and Knowledge Across Health and Educational Professionals

YANIZ C. PADILLA DALMAU (Flamboyán Behavioral Services)

When disseminating behavior analysis in communities that do not have an established behavior analytic profession, it is often important to collaborate with colleagues in different professions to develop capacity. In Puerto Rico, there is a dearth of ABA services and training programs, however, our survey research showed that education and health professionals in the island have high interest and need in receiving training in behavior analysis. In addition, there is a high incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and need for ABA services. In this talk I will present survey data demonstrating interest in behavior analysis across professions in Puerto Rico. In addition, I will share our efforts in increasing capacity in applied behavior analysis (ABA) in Puerto Rico, in particular, the collaborative projects with colleagues from different professions (e.g., psychology, public health, special education, speech and language) along with behavior analyst colleagues. I will speak to the importance of empowering professionals already working in the community in order to make meaningful, sustainable and culturally appropriate changes in capacity.


The Contribution of Behavior Analysts Within Multidisciplinary Teams in Hospital Settings

MATHEW C. LUEHRING (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus), Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)

Health care industries represent the most frequently endorsed work setting for behavior analysts (Burning Glass Technologies, 2015). Further, this research indicates that there continues to be a strong demand for behavior analysts working in health care industries. Within these setting, behavior analysts may be employed in a variety of clinical positions with clients with a range of presenting concerns and diagnoses, such as neurodevelopmental disabilities, anxiety/mood concerns, significant medical complications, suicidality, and psychosis. While behavior analysts need to ensure they are practicing within their scope of competence and not treating disorders or conditions in which they have not received training (BACB, 2020), behavior analysts possess significant experience with and knowledge of experimental analysis, demonstration of functional relations, and data-driven decision-making that can provide a significant contribution to multidisciplinary teams. The purpose of this presentation will be to highlight the role of behavior analysts working within multidisciplinary teams in a hospital setting. A focus will be on the integration of behavior analysts within inpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient settings. Considerations for ethics, collaboration, and multidisciplinary care will be discussed.


Moving From Cooperating to Collaborating: The Role of Behavior Analysts in Interdisciplinary Treatment Planning

MICHELE R. TRAUB (St. Cloud State University)

More and more behavior analysts practice in multidisciplinary environments; that is, in settings in which professionals from multiple disciplines assess, design interventions, and treat clients. However, many of these services are being provided in parallel, such that interventions and programs are complementary but not necessarily coordinated. Fewer behavior analysts, though, provide interdisciplinary services, in which programs designed by multidisciplinary professionals are fully integrated and coordinated with one another. Interdisciplinary services not only provide an avenue for clients to receive a more comprehensive approach to intervention, but they may improve outcomes by strategically incorporating goals across disciplines and minimize duplication of effort by various professionals. Using illustrative case-example data, this presentation will describe how interdisciplinary collaboration can build upon the multidisciplinary work many behavior analysts already practice to enhance the role of the behavior analyst on a treatment team and to maximize treatment outcomes for clients.




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