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 #169
CE Offered: BACB
Discussions and Data to Support Behavior Analytic Methods for Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Sunday, May 28, 2023
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Convention Center 406/407
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Maria Clara Cordeiro (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Maria Clara Cordeiro, M.A.

The current symposium includes one data-based investigation and two discussion-based presentations. These presentations will highlight the need for greater interprofessional collaboration to implement treatment for individuals with developmental delays. The first presentation describes methods to increase collaboration between behavior analysts and occupational therapists. The second presentation discusses how to increase collaboration between behavior analysts and speech language pathologists to increase the efficacy of treatment for individuals with autism. The third presenter will review data suggesting that coursework alone was insufficient to provide the necessary experience to implement behavioral intervention for professionals across different fields (e.g., medical doctors, speech language pathologists) from a public hospital system in Brazil. Additional data will be presented describing the results of behavioral skills training (BST) across a small sample of students who participated in the course. These presentations suggest that collaboration is necessary within behavior analysis and that creativity of teaching within our field can lead to implementation of behavior interventions across a variety of disciplines and environments. Additionally, a model focusing on procedural integrity is presented to support the implementation of behavior analysis programming within an interdisciplinary setting.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): BST, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists
Target Audience:

Professionals and researchers in behavior analysis, speech pathology, and occupational therapy

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to (1) identify the limitations of online workshops and coursework in behavior analysis; (2) identify barriers to cross collaboration between behavior analysts, speech pathologists, and occupational therapists; (3) describe at least three different methods to increase cross-collaboration for meaningful clinical results between behaviors analysts and other fields.

Behavior Analysts and Occupational Therapists: An Ethical and Professional Collaborative Practice

LUIZA ASFORA (Guia AC), Maria Clara Cordeiro (Endicott College; Guia para Análise do Comportamento)

Professionals of different disciplines often work independently within their scope of competence, toward the ultimate goal of increasing the quality of life for individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Across disciplines, learning goals and interventions sometimes overlap or interfere with each other, compromising the client’s progress and development (i.e., contraindication). Therefore, learning how to effectively collaborate with other disciplines is an essential and valuable skill for implementing best practices and improving outcomes for the recipient of interventions. Nowadays, Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Behavior Analysts (BAs) are taking action to improve their interprofessional collaboration practice through decision-making models and guidelines on how to collaborate effectively. The purpose of this presentation is to present the core differences and similarities in the philosophy and practice of both disciplines, the current efforts from both disciplines to collaborate, and what is presented in the emerging literature about interprofessional collaboration. As an effort to increase collaboration between OTs and BAs, recommendations for the ethical and professional development of this collaboration will be presented, including information about each discipline's core principles. Ultimately, learning to effectively collaborate among many disciplines will benefit not only professionals, but – most importantly – the individuals with whom we work.

Collaboration Between Behavior Analysts and Speech Pathologists in Autism Service Provision
ANNE COSTA CARNEIRO (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; Guia AC ), Natany Ferreira Silva (Universidade Federal de São Carlos - UFSCar)
Abstract: The work of behavior analysts and speech pathologists often overlap in that behavior analysts and speech pathologists support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with complex communication needs such as reducing challenging behaviors that arise from difficulties communicating. Skinner (1978) and many other writers have pragmatically pointed out that, "If the function of an institution is education, therapy, or rehabilitation, all available resources should be used to speed the process." Thus, many individuals with ASD likely could benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration considering the complexity of ASD and high rates of comorbidity with bio-behavioral conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, feeding disorders, digestive and respiratory systems, disorders related to the endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic systems, as well as conditions affecting the immune system (LaFrance et al, 2019). Specifically for behavior analysts and speech pathologists, there are many points of convergence in scope but varied strategies for how to effectively collaborate (Slim & Yuill, 2021). Further, the existing literature on collaboration between these professions is often at a theoretical level leaving no known literature that describes how to create an effective intervention leveraging collaboration between these two professionals. This presentation aims to fill that gap by describing how collaboration could be beneficial, point out the main barriers for collaboration, and present patterns for improving collaboration such as a model in which both developmental and behavioral science are considered (Welch & Polatajko, 2016).
Evidence for a Practical Model of Behavior Analytic Instruction in Public Health Systems in Brazil
MARIA CLARA CORDEIRO (Endicott College; Guia para Análise do Comportamento), Anne Costa Carneiro (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; Guia AC ), Luiza Asfora (Guia AC), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento), David J. Cox (RethinkFirst; Endicott College)
Abstract: There is currently no common model of behavior analytic instruction in Brazil. In the current investigation, we examined the efficacy of a 40-week, 320 hour hybrid-model course in which 10 different instructors presented an introductory course to 37 students employed at a hospital that is part of the public hospital system in northeast Brazil (Sistema Único de Saúde; SUS). Students included professionals working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) spanning a variety of professions including medical doctors, speech language pathologists, and behavior interventionists. All students entered the course with varying levels of familiarity with behavior analytic intervention. We observed a 9.05% increase from pre- to post-test scores, and students reported higher levels of confidence with implementing behavior analytic procedures (e.g., renforcement, discrete trial training). Following instruction, we provided additional behavioral skills training (BST) to measure and improve skills in therapeutic settings for three of the students who were implementing behavior analytic interventions. Baseline data on skill transfer from instruction to application indicate most of the instructed skills did not generalize outside of the classroom context. Clinical recommendations for instruction and supervision will be provided based on these findings.



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