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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #454
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission The Competent Learner Model (CLM) System: A Framework for Trauma-Informed Practice in Education
Monday, May 27, 2024
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon E
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Nipa Bhuptani (Applied & Behavioral Training Institute, UAE)
Discussant: Anne Katona Linn (Katona Linn Consulting, LLC)
CE Instructor: Christine M Welgan, M.S.
Abstract: Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) principles into Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) practice within the field of education is vital, particularly for students with additional needs. This symposium highlights the integration of TIC principles—acknowledging trauma, ensuring safety and trust, promoting choice and shared governance, and emphasizing skill building—into the Competent Learner Model (CLM). CLM is a comprehensive ABA-based implementation system that combines Precision Teaching (PI) and Direct Instruction (DI) to enhance learning in students with educational and behavioral challenges. The CLM framework encompasses student assessment and curriculum, staff training, and certified coaching to ensure proficient application of behavioral principles across four phases of implementation. The foundational lessons systematically teach Participation Skills across instructional conditions, to accelerate skill development resulting in reduction of interfering or escape-maintained behaviors. This symposium demonstrates the efficacy of CLM as a compassionate approach for improving student outcomes and fostering inclusivity in a variety of educational settings. CLM serves as a valuable resource for behaviorists and educators who are interested in implementing trauma-informed care practices within educational environments, showcasing its potential as a replicable system-wide intervention model.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): CLM, Compassionate ABA, Skill-Development, Trauma-Informed Education
Target Audience: This presentation is delivered at an "intermediate" instruction level. It is expected that audience members should be BCBAs within their first 5 years of practice, including practitioners, supervisors, etc., working in the field of Education, Early Intervention, Developmental Disabilities, Autism. They should be currently enrolled in or recently completed graduate-level work.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify the differences between compliance and participation. (2) recognize the harmful effects of coercive practices. (3) list ethical and trauma-informed practices utilized in the Competent Learner Model.
Diversity submission Trauma-Informed Care in Competent Learner Model: Fostering Participation and Skill Building in Early Childhood Education
(Service Delivery)
REKHA WARRIER (Applied & Behavioral Training Institute, UAE), Amina Ihsan Maliki (Applied & Behavioral Training Institute)
Abstract: The Competent Learner Model (CLM) is an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) curriculum which combines Precision Teaching (PT) and Direct Instruction (DI) to accelerate learning in students with significant educational and behavioral challenges. Across the field of early education, especially of student populations with additional needs, there has been a recent focus on the importance of incorporating Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) into ABA practices. This presentation aims to showcase the four main components of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC): (a) acknowledging trauma and its potential impact, (b) ensuring safety and trust, (c) promoting choice and shared governance, and (d) emphasizing skill building, embedded within the CLM curriculum. CLM is designed to be learner-led and non-coercive, systematically teaching the Participator Repertoire across four Instructional Conditions (ICs): Non-Directed (Play), Semi-Directed (Work), Teacher-Directed (Instruction) and Peer-Directed (Peer Interaction). The foundational first seven lessons prioritize increasing Motivating Operations in play, fostering participation through antecedent management, and minimizing escape-oriented behaviors by providing repeated, frequent access to highly preferred items and activities. CLM serves as a valuable resource for behaviorists and educators seeking to implement trauma-informed care practices within early childhood education settings, ultimately improving the outcomes for learners with diverse needs.
Diversity submission Trauma-Informed Behavioral Service Model Within Public School System: Competent Learner Model Reduces Exclusionary Discipline
(Applied Research)
CHRISTINE M WELGAN (CLM Coordinator, Loudoun County Public Schools), Tina Tomalesky (Loudoun County Public Schools), Laurel Jones-Purdy (Loudoun County Public Schools)
Abstract: To address growing behavioral concerns and punitive disciplinary actions in general education classrooms, the Competent Learner Model (CLM) was delivered as a tiered model of behavior analytic services. The CLM utilizes a trauma-informed approach to reduction of interfering behavior and skill building for learners and for staff alike through assessment, curriculum, staff training, and coaching. The goal was to implement CLM school-wide in order to 1) extinguish or reduce interfering behaviors, 2) teach replacement and/or desired behaviors, and 3) remediate skill deficits, in order to return students to successful full inclusion with their grade level peers. Results in the first school division demonstrated an 85% reduction in exclusionary discipline (out-of-school suspension, in-school suspension, and time out) at one school and a 78% reduction at the second school. Results in the second school division demonstrated an 80% discharge rate from tier 3 intervention back to the general education setting. Based on these results, the model continues to be implemented across 6 schools in the division during the 2023-2024 school year, with potential to create a system-wide trauma-informed intervention model for other divisions to follow.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh