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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Paper Session #80
Compassionate Care and Interventions for Students with Disabilities in the Classroom
Saturday, May 27, 2023
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center 403/404
Area: EDC
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Susan Wilson (Purdue University Global)
A Behavior Analytic Approach to Compassionate Standards in the Classroom
Domain: Theory
SUSAN WILSON (Purdue University Global), Lisa Ann Phillips (Purdue University Global), Caroline Linfante (Purdue University Global)
Abstract: Over the past century, the technical aspects of grading students have been explored. By asking key questions, several outcomes result, including the consistency of assigning and reporting grades, what grades mean to students and instructors, the reliability and validity of cumulative grades, and the affective meaning attached to grades by students (Anderson, 2018; Bahadourian et al., 2006). As educators, it is helpful to “think function” in the classroom, where both positive and negative reinforcement can be utilized to respond to students more effectively (Bailey & Burch, 2009; Vargas, 2020). Balancing classroom order and boundaries, while still accommodating students is the goal. Exhibiting compassion in the classroom can support students when considering motivation for student success. Moving too quickly to alleviate student discomfort supports neither student success nor classroom standards. Reinforcing substandard behavior such as chronically late submissions and procrastination may not be examples of compassionate behavior (Taylor et al., 2018; Jazaieri, 2018). Educators should consider how best to orchestrate variables within an academic environment so that optimal student outcomes are achieved (Johnston & O'Neill, 1973).

Effective Assessment Practices for Students With Disabilities in Public School Settings

Domain: Service Delivery
MARYANN DEMCHAK (University of Nevada, Reno), Chevonne Sutter (University of Nevada, Reno)

A key component of effective behavioral services is comprehensive assessment for program planning purposes. Behavior analysts are also required to involve clients and relevant stakeholders in selecting and designing assessments (p. 11 Ethics Code). Assessments must also be behavioral and evidence-based (section 2.13). Not only is assessment addressed with the Ethics Code, it is addressed within the BCBA Task List (i.e., record review, determining need, identifying and prioritizing behavior change goals, assessing relevant strengths and deficits, and several other areas). Assessment is also linked to components of the Ethics Code that relate to “conform with legal and professional requirements” (section 1.02). Many BCBAs will work in school settings with students who have disabilities and who are afforded protections under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), with these components also reflected in state laws. One of the key components of IDEA is appropriate evaluation. This session will focus on assessment practices for behavior analysts with examples of assessments that may be legally required for students with disabilities in public school settings. The focus will demonstrate how various school-required assessments meet the requirements of being behavioral, evidence-based, and leading to program planning based on identified strengths and deficits.




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