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.

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49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

CE by Content: Ethics


 

Workshop #W11
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Creating Happy Learners: An Introduction to Measuring Assent and Assent Withdrawal
Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Fumi Horner, Ph.D.
CHRISTINA BAROSKY (Bierman Autism Centers), SIMONE PALMER (Simmons University and Bierman Autism Centers), FUMI HORNER (Bierman Autism Centers)
Description: Obtaining client’s assent as applicable has been included in the most recent version of the ethics code for behavior analysts (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2020). Many companies providing ABA-based services to learners have in their standard practice obtaining informed consent from families and caregivers as a part of the client onboarding process. Given the recency of this topic (new code became effective in January 2022), many professionals are questioning how to also obtain assent from learners, especially if they display communication deficits. Additional challenges may include difficulties with honoring assent or programming for assent withdrawal and the concern of increasing escape/ avoidance behaviors that interfere with the productivity of therapy or instructional time and treatment outcomes. This workshop will review the definition of consent, assent, and assent withdrawal, how to identify assent from learners with communication deficits, how to program for assent-based intervention, and discuss possible measurement strategies.
Learning Objectives: Review the definition of consent, assent, and assent withdrawal Describe the importance of assent-based interventions within ABA therapy Review some practical examples of assent withdrawal Review some measurement strategies of assent withdrawal Describe some strategies/ treatment goals when assent withdrawal is identified
Activities: Identifying examples and nonexample of assent based interventions by looking at the behavior intervention plans or videos. Conducting visual analyses to identify when assent withdrawal has occured. Identifying some strategies to remediate the issues instead of implementing escape extinction.
Audience: Any BCBAs who are interested in learning how to implement assent based interventions for children with autism
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Assent, Autism, Staff training
 
Workshop #W22
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Teaching Ethical, Professional, and Culturally Humble Behavior to Trainees
Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4C/D
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Odessa Luna, Ph.D.
ODESSA LUNA (St. Cloud State University), MICHELE R. TRAUB (St. Cloud State University), ARAYA VEROJPORN (St. Cloud State University), HANNAH ANSELMENT (St. Cloud State University )
Description: Ethical and professional behavior are among the most challenging elements of fieldwork training to define, teach, and evaluate. During this workshop we will review role-play scenarios that we incorporated into undergraduate and graduate ABA ethics courses to specifically target these skills. These role-plays required students to demonstrate and incorporate ethical and professional skills into common clinical interactions (e.g., obtaining consent for services and research, training staff, conducting a public presentation) and adapt and respond appropriately to scripted situational variables (e.g., anti-ABA rhetoric, differing cultural expectations, challenging environmental variables, personal questions). Workshop participants will practice implementing role-play scenarios, operationally defining specific ethical and professional behaviors, and evaluating role-play performance by trainees.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) understand behavior analysts’ ethical responsibility to program, teach, and evaluate trainee soft skills during supervision, 2) identify environmental and situational variables that occur during clinical interactions that require trainees to engage in soft skills in order to adhere to our ethical code, 3) collect data via a video recording using trainers’ professional skills assessment for trainee soft skills, and 4) create and evaluate their own professional skills assessment to ensure trainee clinical interactions are ethically sound.
Activities: Our workshop will integrate several activities. First, we will incorporate brief lecture and discussion, highlighting the need for more assessment and evaluation of BCBA trainee soft skills (active listening, engaging in declaration strategies, avoiding personal disclosure, use of empathy) when interacting with relevant stakeholders (parents, teachers, and staff). We will provide guided notes to participants, show video recordings of trainees practicing soft skills during a range of clinical activities, allow participants to take data with a professional skill assessment we created, and provide time for the creation and evaluation with workshop presenter feedback of an individualized skill assessment they can use for their BCBA trainees.
Audience: To be successful in the workshop and to have the most meaningful experience, audience members must be BCBA supervisors for trainees pursuing board certification.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BCBA Supervision, Culturally Humble, Interpersonal Skills, Soft Skills
 
Workshop #W36
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-Based Treatment Workshop
Friday, May 26, 2023
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3C
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Hillary Laney, M.Ed.
HILLARY LANEY (Centria Healthcare)
Description: In this workshop, Hillary Laney will support clinicians in design, implementation, and real time practice to design and implement a Practical Functional Assessment as well as design and troubleshoot Skill Based treatment. She will equip clinicians with skills to de-escalate behavioral episodes and teach meaningful skills to learners they are supporting in a practitioner minded model. The use of PFA and SBT has significant support in empirically validated publications and is a tool that many practitioners would benefit having competency in to better support their learners.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. describe the values of PFA/SBT 2. use information gathered from an open ended interview to create a plan and demonstrate all of the skills to perform a PFA 3. support to their clients with dignity while supporting them through challenges and teaching the contextually appropriate replacement skills
Activities: The format combines lecture, small group activities, guided practice, BST, video modeling, and frequency building exercises. Supplemental materials for identifying language will be provided in order to support participant learning
Audience: Any practioner serving clients with challenging behaviors
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Compassion, functional analysis, Severe behavior, Skill-based treatment
 
Workshop #W41
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Ethics
How to Use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Ethically With Parents and Caregivers
Friday, May 26, 2023
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1C/D
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Alyssa N. Wilson, Ph.D.
ALYSSA N. WILSON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology--SoCal)
Description: Parents of children with complex health needs require additional support beyond the integrity of implementing treatment plans. There is a plethora of empirical evidence supporting how to help parents implement treatment plans, yet less is known about how to embed other aspects of parental support to enhance the health and wellbeing of not only the parent but also the family. Recent research has shown the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment training within parent coaching contexts, particularly on parental stress, engagement in values-based patterns of actions, and the parent-child relationship. While promising, behavior analysts have minimal training opportunities to learn how to use ACT ethically within parent training or coaching contexts. Similarly, no training resource currently exists for behavior analysts to implement ACT within their scope of competence. Therefore, the current workshop seeks to provide attendees with an overview of how to use ACT in parent coaching contexts. The workshop will: 1) provide an empirically supported foundation on how behavior analysts can conceptualize ACT without relying on mid-level terminology; 2) outline step by step how to arrange an ethical ACT intervention for parents and caregivers; and 3) use video modeling help attendees establish repertories to use in their clinical practice.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify ACT components using behavior analytic language 2. Define key features of ethical ACT interventions 3. Select ethical ACT interventions when given an example of a presenting parent situation
Activities: The workshop will use the following activities: 1. Didactic lecture and group discussion 2. Guided practice through video observation and group discussion. 3. Video demonstrations of strategies will be provided.
Audience: The target audience is "intermediate", as they should have some general exposure to basic conceptual and empirical foundations of Relational Frame Theory. They should also have behavior analytic experience, and therefore should be certified or at least completed graduate training.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ACT, Ethics, Parent training
 
Workshop #W56
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Unintended Triggers
Friday, May 26, 2023
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom D
Area: TBA/CSS; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Natalie A. Parks, Ph.D.
NATALIE A. PARKS (Saint Louis University), BEVERLY KIRBY (Team ABA LLC)
Description: The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts specifies that behavior analysts must treat others with dignity, compassion, and respect and to be fluent in speaking about and addressing issues concerning diversity, discrimination and bias (1.07, 1.10, 4.07). Unfortunately most behavior analysts have not had any training in the meaning and historical context of these concepts or in how to talk about these subjects with others, especially supervisees. Lack of fluency in these areas leads to avoidance of the subjects and conversations or attempts to discuss laced with comments that negatively trigger others. In order for behavior analysts to comply with the Ethics Code and provide high quality supervision and services, they must first learn to identify potential triggers and develop the skill of working through triggers rather than attempting to silence or avoid them. This workshop will discuss the conceptual framework of how triggers develop, provide strategies to recognize them before they are voiced, and the steps to follow to work through times when you unintentionally trigger someone.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Conceptually systematically describe how triggers develop and how they are related to bias. 2. Identify potential triggers or triggering statements and words prior to voicing them. 3. How to work through difficult conversations that result from the unintentional triggering of someone.
Activities: Instructional strategies include: lecture, discussion, small group breakout, individual activities, and role plays.
Audience: Those attending this workshop should be fluent in the principles and concepts of behavior analysis including equivalence and non-equivalence relations and verbal behavior.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): cultural humility, diversity, humble behaviorism, interlocking contingencies
 
Workshop #W16
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Trauma Informed Behavior Analysis: Client-Based History Influences Treatment Effectiveness
Friday, May 26, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3B
Area: DEV/CSS; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt, Ph.D.
ANN MARIE KONDRAD (Yellow Brick Academy), JULIE A. ACKERLUND BRANDT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Description: Trauma informed care is more than a buzz word both inside and out of the ABA community. Foreknowledge of client’s history can influence the use of behavioral interventions and their effectiveness. During the assessment process, it is vital to obtain a client’s previous trauma history. When creating a behavioral intervention plan, care should be taken to acknowledge the client’s history and select interventions not only based on function but also their prior learning history.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Attendees will learn about the impact of trauma history on a client’s treatment. 2. Attendees will learn about research completed within the field of trauma informed behavior analysis. 3. Attendees will identify assessments of a client’s history. 4. Attendees will learn about antecedent interventions to minimize re-traumatization of the client. 5. Attendees will learn about research-based interventions including the treatment and development of behavior to improve skill development. 6. Attendees will identify ways in which Behavior Analyst can work to improve trauma informed treatment in ABA.
Activities: lecture and small group breakouts
Audience: Clinicians, graduate students, and researchers interested in trauma-informed ABA practices
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): antecedent, function, trauma
 
Workshop #W59
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Defining and Incorporating Assent Into Your Interventions: A Nonlinear Constructional Analysis and Approach
Friday, May 26, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4C/D
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Anna Linnehan, Ph.D.
AWAB ABDEL-JALIL (Endicott College / Great Leaps Academy / Eastern Florida Autism Center), ANNA LINNEHAN (Endicott College), SHEILA ANN ANN KLICK (Endicott College)
Description: Assent is presently a popular topic among behavior analysts given its inclusion in the 2022 BACB Ethics Code, and the current political climate around Applied Behavior Analysis. The Code defines assent as “vocal or nonvocal verbal behavior that can be taken to indicate willingness to participate in research or behavioral services...” (p. 7). Although there has been plenty of discourse around assent, its meaning remains ambiguous. Can assent, or lack thereof, be defined procedurally in terms of contingency arrangements? This workshop will begin by defining assent though a Nonlinear Contingency Analytic lens. The provided conceptualization defines assent based on the presence or absence of certain contingency arrangements, which goes beyond the common topographical definitions. True assent will be distinguished from apparent assent utilizing a degrees of freedom analysis. Examples and non-examples will be provided to illustrate this distinction. Attendees will then identify examples and non-examples of vignettes based on situations commonly encountered by clinicians working with Autism Spectrum diagnosed learners. If assent is determined to be absent or withdrawn, how can a clinician/practitioner proceed ethically while honoring the learner’s dissent? The Constructional Approach will be introduced as a way to create assent-informed programs by asking a few guiding questions related to desired outcomes, entry repertoires, maintaining consequences, and programming sequences. The answers will help clinicians create programs that build on learners' entry repertoires that lead to full participation in the program, while complying with the ethical guidelines on assent. Attendees will leave the workshop with a clear nonlinear contingency analytic definition of assent, be able to determine whether true learner assent is present, and tips/strategies of how to create a constructional program that incorporates and honors learner assent ethically.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, individuals will be able to:

1. Define assent functionally, and how to obtain it for ethical practice.

2. Identify examples and nonexamples of assent given commonly encountered situations in practice.

3. Assess for the presence or absence of assent and program for it to maximize ethical decision making.

Activities: Lecture, group activities, practice creating assent-informed constructional programs.
Audience: ABA practitioners, BCBAs, RBTs
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Assent, Consent, Constructional, Nonlinear Analysis
 
Workshop #W63
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Responsible Use of Restrictive Procedures: A Framework for Decision Making
Friday, May 26, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2A
Area: DDA/PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: G. David David Smith, Ph.D.
G. DAVID SMITH (GDS Behavioral Consulting)
Description: Restrictive procedures are often included in behavior support plans for people with an intellectual disability (ID), especially for those with a co-morbid mental illness (MI) who exhibit dangerous behaviors (Ferleger, 2008; Friedman & Crabb, 2018; Sturmey, 2009) or self-injury (McGill et al., 2009). Commonly used restrictive procedures include restraints and seclusion, schedules, rules, boundaries, limiting options, restricting access, or modifying the social and physical environment in ways that limit an individual’s freedom to act on their own. Legal precedent, state and federal law and prevailing ethical guidelines require that the “least restrictive” alternative must always be used. Despite this, there is no standard definition of the term “restrictive” and no commonly accepted way of assessing the relative restrictiveness of behavior change procedures. This workshop presents a simple and concrete way to quantify “restrictiveness” that allows determination of the relative restrictiveness of behavior change procedures. It also demonstrates the use of risk-benefit analysis (RBA) to guide and inform decisions concerning their use.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop participants will be able to: 1. Recognize restrictive procedures distinguishing them from nonrestrictive procedures, 2. Measure and assess the relative “restrictiveness” of procedures, and 3. Use Risk-Benefit A to inform the selection, design, application and continued use of restrictive procedures.
Activities: Teaching strategies will include lecture, small group break out, review of case studies, and guided practice measuring the restrictiveness of designated procedures and assessing the benefit-risk associated with implementation of designated restrictive procedures.
Audience: Participants should have experience developing behavior change plans, prior knowledge and experience implementing restrictive procedures and presenting behavior change plans to human rights committees.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): benefit-cost analysis, least restrictive, restrictive procedures
 
Panel #44
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Deja View All Over Again: Ethical Drift Continues
Saturday, May 27, 2023
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom D
Area: PCH/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Thomas L. Zane, Ph.D.
Chair: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
JON S. BAILEY (Florida State University)
YULEMA CRUZ (Rutgers University)
MARY JANE WEISS (Endicott College)
Abstract:

The new "Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts," published by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, is the newest iteration of our ethical obligations as behavior analysts. As our ethical requirements grow and clarify, there continues to be ethical lapses amongst the professionals in our field. Ethical drift continues. This panel, comprised of four members of the ABA ethics hotline, will present several case studies of ethical dilemmas, and each panel member will talk through how s/he thinks about each case, discussing interpretations, possible actions, and eventual resolutions. This panel has presented at ABAI for the past several years and has been very well attended.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

There are no prerequisite skills - ethical behavior is required by all who practice in our field. We are targeting behavior analysts who work with humans and non-humans; ethics apply to all we do.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) make better discriminations between dilemmas that involve and do not involve unethical behavior; (2) orally describe the difference between coaching and disciplinary review consequences; ( (3) when given an ethical dilemma case, will be able to identify which section of the code it relates to, and possible approaches towards resolving it.
Keyword(s): drift, ethics, human rights, service delivery
 
 
Panel #61
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Consultation in Diverse Public School Settings: Community-Centered Frameworks
Saturday, May 27, 2023
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center 403/404
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Megan G. Kunze, Ph.D.
MENAKA KUMARI DE ALWIS (University of Oregon)
BERENICE DE LA CRUZ (Texas A&M University-San Antonio)
WENDY I GUFFEY (Texas A & M University-San Antonio)
Abstract:

Educators in public schools face a diverse student population, requiring them to address unique academic and adaptive needs, encourage self-regulation, and decrease challenging behavior. Pre-service teachers receive some classroom management training in their preparation programs, yet this is limited and often leaves teachers with minimal understanding of preventing and responding to disruptive classroom behavior. Limited resources and budgets are common barriers to further in-service training for educators, burdening school administrators with increasing maladaptive behaviors and teacher burnout. One solution is strengthening the partnership between Behavior Analysts and schools through consultation. This panel will discuss various frameworks and share their experiences of providing ABA consultation in public schools (Pre-K through Secondary) to support diverse student populations and stakeholders. Panelists will explicitly highlight three consulting frameworks, each addressing unique school needs and settings: a multi-year consultation, a framework based on the Registered Behavior Technician Task List (2nd ed.), and a framework supporting regional district needs in rural areas. Panelists will discuss lessons learned, challenges, and ethically responsible problem-solving using the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (2020). Finally, panelists will discuss the impact of legislation on available resources and the implementation of ABA in schools. Attendee participation is highly encouraged. Questions and experience-sharing are welcome throughout the session.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Students should have completed some coursework toward their BCBAs and have experience working or practicum experiences in school settings. Professionals should be BCBAs or educators working with BCBAs looking to learn key factors in teaming in schools and have experience with behavior consulting or would like to pursue this partnership.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Define at least two community-centered frameworks and how to begin a partnership between BCBA and educators in a public school setting 2. Name three critical ethical considerations when in the role of a consultant. 3. Describe at least three key factors to consider in supporting diverse students when positioned in a behavioral consultation role. 4. Describe at least three key factors to consider in supporting diverse teachers when building partnerships with in-school personnel and stakeholders in behavioral consultation situations.
Keyword(s): community-centered frameworks, ethical ABA, school consultation
 
 
Symposium #87
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Using Data to Inform Ethical Practices in Research and Clinical Work
Saturday, May 27, 2023
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4A/B
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kathryn Glodowski (Mission Autism Clinics)
Discussant: Amy Gravino (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services/A.S.C.O.T Consulting)
CE Instructor: Kathryn Glodowski, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Professional organizations for behavior analysts and the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2020) are intended to protect vulnerable populations receiving applied behavior analysis (ABA) services and offer service providers support and accountability in upholding guidelines set to protect clients. When selecting practices in alignment with professional guidelines, behavior analysts also may want to confer with the research literature to ensure their selections are evidence-based. This symposium includes four presentations, each one showcasing a dataset related to an area of ethical need within the field. The first presentation will discuss survey results about researchers’ use of practices to obtain consent and assent from research participants. The second presentation will cover survey results regarding clinicians’ use of assessments and behavioral procedures to minimize behaviors that may cause harm. The third presentation will share results from an experiment comparing the efficacy and acceptability of using parents’ preferred or non-preferred language during behavioral skills training. The fourth presentation will consider results from a systematic review of recent literature in behavioral journals involving autistic people, comparing the use of deficit-based vs. strengths-based terminology. Amy Gravino (A.S.C.O.T Consulting, LLC) will discuss these four presentations based on her experiences and perspective.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Assent, Language Diversity, Problem Behavior, Strengths-Based Terminology
Target Audience:

The target audience includes BCBAs or BCBA-Ds providing ABA services and/or conducting ABA research. The pre-requisites include knowledge of the Code of Ethics for Behavior Analysts and the ability to make evidence-based decisions.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe various methods to obtain consent and assent from research participants, as well as the relevant items from the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (the Code). 2. Describe clinicians’ reports of using assessment and behavior-reduction procedures when minimizing behaviors causing harm, as well as the relevant items from the Code. 3. Describe the benefits of using a families’ preferred language when working with culturally and linguistically diverse families, as well as the relevant items from the Code. 4. Describe behavioral researchers’ use of deficit-based vs. strengths-based terminology in autism research, as well as the relevant items from the Code.
 
Diversity submission Consent and Assent Practices in Behavior Analytic Research
SARAH C. MEAD JASPERSE (Emirates College for Advanced Education), Michelle P. Kelly (Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE)), Shannon Ward (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by The New England Center for Children), Jonathan K Fernand (Florida Institute of Technology), P. Raymond Joslyn (Utah State University), Wilhelmina van Dijk (Utah State University)
Abstract: While consent and assent (when relevant) are required components of behavior analytic research activities according to the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, 2020), information about the use of assent procedures is not always included in published research (Morris et al., 2021). The purpose of the present study was to explore consent and assent processes in behavior analytic research by surveying researchers about their knowledge, practices, resources, barriers, and solutions with respect to consent and assent. The results from 123 behavior analytic researchers suggest that a variety of methods are being used to seek consent and assent, even though those processes are not always described in published literature. Additionally, discrepancies were noted between behavior analytic researchers’ responses related to consent and assent, which suggests the need for more research, training, resources, and social contingencies related to assent.
 
Diversity submission Clinicians' Use of Assessments and Treatment Procedures to Reduce Problem Behavior
KATHRYN GLODOWSKI (Mission Autism Clinics), Jacqueline Duchow (They Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Sundal Ghori (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Emma Olszewski (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Lindsay M. Knapp (Yellow Brick Academy)
Abstract: Evidence-based and ethical practice for treating problem behavior includes selecting, designing, and implementing FBAs and reinforcement-based treatment procedures informed by the results of the FBAs (BACB, 2020). A punishment component may also be needed only if socially valid outcomes have not been achieved with less intrusive procedures or if the risk of harm of the behavior outweighs the potential risk of harm of the procedure. Relatively little empirical information is available about clinicians’ process for treating problem behavior. The current project includes a survey of 252 BCBAs’ use of FBAs, treatment procedures for problem behavior, and punisher assessments if they’ve used punishment. Most respondents reported always using interviews and descriptive assessments when developing behavior-reduction plans, and almost all reported using differential reinforcement, extinction, and noncontingent reinforcement to reduce moderate or severe forms of aggression and self-injurious behavior. In addition, most respondents reported using response blocking, response interruption and redirection, response cost, and contingent demands; but few respondents reported using direct punisher assessments. A discussion about practice recommendations and future research is included.
 
Diversity submission An Empirical Investigation of the Effects of Preferred Language Use in Parent Training
ABRIL GISELLE LOPEZ CERVANTES (Fresno State), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: The Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts provides guidelines for BCBAs to follow when working with diverse populations. Ethical code 1.07, Cultural Responsiveness and Diversity, points out that behavior analysts need to gain knowledge and skills related to cultural responsiveness and diversity while assessing their own biases and capacity to address the needs of people with diverse backgrounds. Within the provision of ABA services, many systemic barriers exist for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) families. These barriers include the lack of diversity in research and practitioners and the common use of English as the default language in the provision of services. The current study examined the effectiveness and acceptability of caregiver training using their preferred and less preferred language. We recruited four parent-child dyads. Parent participants identified as Hispanic or Latina females between 37 and 57 whose primary language is Spanish and secondary is English (bilingual), with children aged between 3 to 8 years diagnosed with ASD or a related IDD. The study employed an alternating treatment design to assess the effectiveness and acceptability of each condition (i.e., preferred versus less preferred language) and its related intervention (i.e., sleep and toilet training) during behavioral skills training (BST). The results suggest that the use of each parent participant’s preferred language was slightly more effective and that parents rated the preferred language intervention higher on scales of acceptability and preference. The implications of this are discussed, as are the difficulties of conducting research in this area and suggestions for future studies.
 
Diversity submission 

A Systematic Review of How Behavioral Researchers Talk About Autism and Implications for Ethical Practice

SUMMER BOTTINI (Marcus Autism Center, Emory School of Medicine), Hannah Morton (Oregon Health & Science University), Kelly Buchanan (Binghamton University), Kait Gould (College of St. Rose)
Abstract:

Autism and disability research are shifting to a strengths-based approach including acceptance of characteristic differences and recognizing differences can be socially constrained. Advocates have suggested that terminology surrounding autism may negatively impact service delivery and people on the autism spectrum. In response, advocates have published recommendations for alternative terms to use in autism research. We aimed to identify how behavioral researchers describe autism and intervention supports to determine whether current language practices are consistent with recommendations. We conducted a systematic review using PRISMA-S guidelines for articles involving autistic people in 2021, yielding 2360 articles across 242 peer-reviewed journals. We will present results from articles in behavioral journals (n = 98 articles). We specifically examined the use of traditional deficit-based language relative to recommended alternative terms. Initial findings suggest that behavioral researchers still predominantly use terms consistent with a deficit-based model as opposed to strength-based alternatives; however, this is consistent with autism discourse across other disciplines of research as well. We will discuss ethical and practical implications of such language choices and provide recommendations for behavioral researchers.

 
 
Panel #91
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Cultural Responsiveness and Values-Based Care: What Starting Services in the Caribbean Can Teach Us
Saturday, May 27, 2023
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau, Ph.D.
Chair: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyán Behavioral Services)
SLOANE PHARR (The Wellness Centre)
MEGHAN CROWLEY (Tropical Behavioral Services)
GABRIELLE INDAH TORRES (Autism Aid Foundation / Find Your Balance LLC / Capella University)
Abstract:

Acceptance of care, quality of care and outcomes of care are all influenced by the cultural responsiveness of the clinicians delivering that care. Nowhere has this been clearer than in service delivery in the Caribbean. Our panelists from the Cayman Islands, St. Croix and Curacao will provide a brief introduction of who they are and the roles they play and have played in behavior analysis in the Caribbean. After these introductions, our chair from Puerto Rico will moderate a discussion based on questions from the audience focused on exploring the importance of cultural responsiveness and values-based care in communities where access to care has been limited; mental health stigmas still exist; and cultural factors must be taken into consideration. This panel is appropriate for anyone interested in learning more about starting services outside the United States or in rural/remote areas in the United Stated where services are not yet accessible, and barriers to care including cultural barriers exist.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts with at least 1-2 years of experience.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Identify the importance of cultural responsiveness in a service delivery model 2) Understand what it means to provide values-based care to clients and their families 3) Describe considerations for delivering high quality, appropriate care in settings with limited resources 4) Explore how to resolve conflicts of interest and issues of scope of competence when they are the only, or one of few, providers in a region
Keyword(s): Caribbean, cultural responsiveness, dissemination, values-based care
 
 
Symposium #180
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Counter-Control: Treatment Implications and Assent Considerations
Sunday, May 28, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom H
Area: PCH/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Dawn O'Neill (Judge Rotenberg Center; Contextual Behavioral Science Institute)
Discussant: John O'Neill (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
CE Instructor: Dawn O'Neill, Ph.D.
Abstract:

For over 70 years, the conceptual development of countercontrol in behavior analysis has focused on broad societal issues (e.g., public protests & social movements) with little attention to the behavior of individuals in clinical, residential treatment, and educational settings (see Delprato, 2002; Skinner, 1953, 1971, 1974; Spencer, King, Martone, & Houlihan, 2022). In fact, we are not aware of any interventions or experimental manipulations of countercontrol published in the applied behavior analytic literature. The purpose of this symposium is to first extend the conceptual literature by exploring dependent, independent, and extraneous variables associated with countercontrol in clinical, residential treatment, and educational settings. Next, we will discuss the treatment of countercontrol as a special example of the necessary risk/benefit analysis associated with client assent in applied behavior analysis. We propose that assent should be viewed on a continuum, be balanced with treatment effectiveness, and that assent (or lack thereof) can complicate applied behavior analytic treatment under certain conditions.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): assent, choice, counter-control
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts interested in the clinical treatment of counter-control and associated assent considerations.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) conceptualize and define counter-control at the individual level; (2) be able to identify counter-control in their clinical setting; (3) list considerations when obtaining assent to the treatment of counter-control.
 

Treatment of Counter-Control: A Clinical Case Study

JOSEPH TACOSIK (Judge Rotenberg Education Center), Halle Apelgren (Judge Rotenberg Center ), John O'Neill (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

Skinner (1953, 1971, 1974) described countercontrol as a response to social aversive control that functions to escape/avoid control at the individual (e.g., noncompliance) or group (e.g., protest) level that is often multiply-maintained by the attention of peers. Delprato (2002) asserted that socially mediated controlling conditions (e.g., rules) often function as establishing operations for countercontrolling responses while Spencer, King, Martone, and Houlihan (2022) emphasized the role of rule-governed behavior. Although countercontrol has received conceptual attention in behavior analysis for over 70 years, no experimental manipulations or interventions for countercontrol exist in the behavioral literature. Given that all residential treatment and educational settings operate around rules of conduct, one might expect that behavior analysts experience some degree of countercontrolling responses in practice. The purpose of this presentation is to provide: (1) a review of the conceptual literature; (2) an overview of residential treatment and educational factors; and (3) recommendations for implementing function-based interventions and ways to address treatment challenges specific to countercontrol.

 

Assent Considerations in the Case of Counter-Control

HALLE APELGREN (Judge Rotenberg Center ), Joseph Tacosik (Judge Rotenberg Education Center), John O'Neill (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts are obligated to consider “obtaining assent from clients when applicable” as dictated by the ethics code - section 2.11 (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2020). Assent is broadly thought of as client agreement or approval of treatment procedures. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that assent should include following elements: (1) helping the patient achieve a developmentally appropriate awareness of the nature of his or her condition; (2) telling the patient what he or she can expect with tests and treatments; (3) making a clinical assessment of the patient’s understanding of the situation and the factors influencing how he or she is responding; and (4) and soliciting an expression of the patient’s willingness to accept the proposed care. In behavior analysis, there is limited research describing assent procedures or studying the implications for treatment outcomes (Morris, Detrick, & Peterson, 2021). We will explore how factors such as court-mandated placements, regulatory guidelines, conservatorships, substituted judgement, and health related supports can impact client assent in function-based treatment.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #147
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Ethics
Community-Informed Practice: Engaging Communities We Serve to Inform Applied Behavior Analysis Services
Sunday, May 28, 2023
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 1
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyán Behavioral Services)
CE Instructor: Pablo Juárez, M.Ed.
Presenting Author: PABLO JUÁREZ (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)
Abstract:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has encountered several challenges which have negatively impacted the application of behavior analysis and importantly, public trust in ABA. Community-Informed Practice (CIP) – developed by TRIAD, the autism institute at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) – is a model for developing partnerships and seeking regular input and feedback from communities served by practitioners in human services fields to ensure those services reflect socially valid best-practice. CIP began as a conceptual model focused on understanding and categorizing common and increasing objections to ABA. Through substantive engagement with existing advocacy groups such as VKC’s Community Advisory Committee and The Arc Tennessee, as well as TRIAD’s Autistic Advisory Committee, we developed a set of guiding principles for a CIP-based implementation of ABA across various TRIAD service lines. In this way, CIP honors societal concerns about ABA and the ethics of its providers, as well as the professional expertise and judgement of behavior analysts. This balance can be elusive without direct and ongoing community engagement by a team devoted to reflecting the appropriate implementation of behavior analysis in their work and discussion of that work. This presentation will focus primarily on the work of TRIAD’s behavior analysts across Tennessee schools supporting students with intellectual and development disabilities who engage in complex and dangerous behavior; however, the processes of development and implementation of CIP will be discussed in a manner that will be applicable across different types of service models. The development of a strong CIP approach to ABA (or any other human services) can be challenging, resource-intensive, and time consuming, making it impractical for most, so additional discussion within this presentation will focus on considerations for taking CIP to scale at the state level and beyond. Finally, Community-Assessed Practice – a process by which a diverse advisory group provides ongoing feedback on service delivery, will be briefly highlighted.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Practitioners, Organizational Leadership, Public Policy

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify common criticisms about Applied Behavior Analysis; (2) Understand what community-informed practice (CIP) is and its utility in addressing concerns about ABA; (3) Learn about potential models for bringing CIP to scale
 
PABLO JUÁREZ (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)
Pablo Juárez received his undergraduate training in behavior analysis at University of North Texas and his graduate training in special education and behavior analysis at Vanderbilt University. He has over twenty years of experience in the field and is currently a Senior Associate in Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences, and Special Education (VU) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). He is Co-Director of TRIAD, the autism institute at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC), and Director of Behavior Analysis for VKC and Developmental Medicine. In his roles he oversees statewide behavior analytic and autism services, which are embedded within state systems of early intervention and education, clinical behavior analysis programming and expansion within VUMC, and the expansion of a practice-based behavior analysis research program. Additionally, he serves on local, statewide, and national disabilities-focused committees, work groups, and boards of directors.
 
 
Invited Tutorial #167
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
The Ethics of Appetitive Control: On the Transness of Orienting Back to Our Bodies
Sunday, May 28, 2023
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 2/3
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Mychal Machado, Ph.D.
Chair: Mychal Machado (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Presenting Authors: : WORNER LELAND (Sex Ed Continuing Ed)
Abstract:

“The reason you don’t fight for me is because you’re not fighting for yourself fully… Are you ready to heal?... That’s why they repress us as trans and gender variant people, because they’ve done this violence to themselves first.” - Alok Vaid-Menon When supporting transgender and gender-nonconforming clients, students, supervisees, trainees, and colleagues, it is critical that behavior analysts create contexts of affirmation. When considering cultural responsiveness, the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts notes that behavior analysts “evaluate their own biases and ability to address the needs of individuals with diverse needs/ backgrounds,” (BACB, 2020, p. 9). This presentation will examine gender identity as covert or subtle behavior, and the ways in which the tacting of covert events is taught (Skinner, 1945; Skinner, 1957; Moore, 2008). Attendees will be equipped to assess their own biases through the examination of selectionism at the phylogenic, ontogenic, and cultural levels, focusing on their own learning histories. Attendees will also learn how to create environments which forster orienting to appetitive control and which reinforce authentic responding through cultural competency and the movement toward cultural safety (Curtis et al., 2019).

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

ABA practitioners and professionals

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Generate 2. Demonstrate 3. Demonstrate 4. List critical steps
 
WORNER LELAND (Sex Ed Continuing Ed)
Worner Leland, MS, BCBA, LBA (they/them) is a former researcher and educator with Upswing Advocates, a current educator with Sex Ed Continuing Ed, a current collaborative writer with the Assent Lab, and a past president of the Sexual Behavior Research and Practice SIG of ABAI. Their work focuses on sex education, assent and consent education, and harm reduction and coercion reduction education in behavior analysis.
 
 
Symposium #179
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Stranger in a Strange Land: Behavior Analysts in Public Schools
Sunday, May 28, 2023
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center 403/404
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Sarah E. Pinkelman (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Coby J. Lund (Archer Behavioral Health)
CE Instructor: Coby J. Lund, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Over the last decade, it has become increasingly common for public school districts to hire Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBAs®) to provide services to students and staff in their district. This recent partnership presents many wonderful opportunities to students receiving behavior analytic services, but it is not without challenges. Schools have a distinct culture with values and norms that are in many ways inconsistent with the values and norms of applied behavior analysts. In some instances, the cultural differences conflict with the Ethical Code for Behavior Analysts. This symposium presents two papers addressing issues related to applied behavior analysts working in public schools. The first paper describes results from a mixed method investigation surveying over 300 BCBAs® working in public schools across the United States. The second paper discusses the ethical and logistical challenges of training and supervising aspiring BCBAs® in public schools and provides some recommendations for those faced with this task.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): education, ethics, public schools, supervision
Target Audience:

Experience working in and/or supervising aspiring BCBAs to work in public schools; experience supporting students/clients in transitioning to public school classrooms; experience collaborating with public school personnel (e.g., special or general education teachers, administrators); experience supporting families and caregivers in navigating the educational system.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify a minimum of five potential ethical dilemmas that behavior analysts are likely to encounter when working in schools; (2) describe ways to effectively resolve those potential dilemmas in alignment with school culture and resources; (3) outline a minimum of five considerations/recommendations for training and supervising aspiring school-based behavior analysts.
 

I Walk the Line: Seizing Opportunities From Ethical Challenges in Public Schools

SHAWN E KENYON (Northeastern University and Grupo Método), Danielle Lyons (Canyons School District), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University), Sarah E. Pinkelman (Western Michigan University), Rachel Mickelson (Western Michigan University), Kacy Rodamaker (Utah State University), P. Raymond Joslyn (Utah State University), Dylan Murphy Zimmerman (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBAs®) can play an important role in public schools. However, little is known about the scope of work BCBAs® are tasked with in these settings and to what degree this scope of work is in alignment with the ethical code for Behavior Analysts. The purpose of this study was to survey BCBAs® who self-identify as working in public schools in an effort to learn more about their experiences working in this setting. The research team emailed a survey containing 23 questions pertaining to BCBAs® working in public schools. These questions ranged in topics from caseloads to ethical dilemmas BCBAs® may encounter while working in public schools. The data collected from this survey were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitative analysis of responses was performed by calculating a percentage through dividing the number of responses with a particular answer selected by the total number of responses and multiplying by 100. Qualitative analysis was conducted by employing an iterative process where responses to open-ended questions were coded into themes. The intent of this paper is to generate meaningful discourse in training and supervision, collaborating with school administrators, resolving ethical concerns, and clarifying roles and responsibilities in public schools.

 
Serving Two Masters: Supervision of Behavior Analysts in Public Schools
DYLAN MURPHY ZIMMERMAN (Utah State University), Sarah E. Pinkelman (Western Michigan University), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Abstract: Although behavior analysts are becoming increasingly common in public schools, a recent survey of over 300 school-based behavior analysts indicates that they received the majority of their supervised hours in a setting other than schools (Pinkelman et al., in preparation). Additionally, participants reported that only 40% of their supervisors were knowledgeable about working in public schools, and 80% reported that they have encountered situations in schools that could be in conflict with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s® (BACB®) ethics requirements. In order for school-based behavior analysts to be successful, they must master not only the knowledge and skills outlined in the BCBA® Task List, but also have knowledge of the school context and applicable law and the skills to tactfully navigate the school context. This session will (a) highlight the opportunities that exist with behavior analysts in schools (beyond problem behavior reduction), (b) emphasize the importance of supporting aspiring school-based based behavior analysts in building a repertoire that will allow them to successfully navigate the school context in addition to the knowledge and skills outlined in the BACB® task list, and (c) offer recommendations to those who are responsible for supervising aspiring school-based BCBAs®.
 
 
Invited Symposium #194
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Basic Research
Sunday, May 28, 2023
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 2/3
Area: SCI; Domain: Translational
Chair: Liz Kyonka (California State University - East Bay)
Discussant: Liz Kyonka (California State University - East Bay)
CE Instructor: Liz Kyonka, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Justice, equity, diversity, inclusion (JEDI) and related issues have started to receive more attention in behavior analysis circles, including publications in behavior analysis journals about diversity and representation, antiracism, and cultural competence. To date, behavior analysis publications have been focused in two areas: cataloging demographic information from author bylines or the parts of Method sections that describe participants, and JEDI-oriented guidelines, frameworks and recommendations for clinical practice. Basic behavior analysis research is not immune from discriminatory practices, and basic behavioral scientists are not exempt from doing the work needed to ensure that behavior analysis is open to anyone. On the contrary, this kind of justice is one of three basic principles outlined in the Belmont Report for the protection of human subjects of research and one of five general principles in the American Psychological Association’s Ethics Code. Presentations will explore how JEDI principles can be meaningfully implemented in research involving student researchers and with animal research subjects, interrogate broader obligations to prospective behavioral scientists, and consider intersections between JEDI principles and culture responsiveness.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Students, Researchers, BCBAs

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to 1. Identify barriers to increasing diversity in behavior analysis. 2. Describe actions researchers and training programs can take to embed cultural responsiveness in behavior analysis. 3. Critically evaluate the relevance of recommendations about ensuring justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in research to behavior analysis research. 4. Apply a critical lens to ostensibly objective scientific practices.
 
Diversity submission What are the Barriers to Increasing Diversity of Researchers and Clinicians in Behavior Analysis?
PAUL SOTO (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: Efforts have been made to increase diversity of researchers and clinicians in behavior analysis as well as other STEM fields. Lack of diversity in the behavior analysis community is sometimes attributed to a lack of qualified candidates at the post-graduate level for academic position and roles (e.g., journal reviewers, journal review boards). If the barrier is truly a lack of qualified candidates, then we, as a field, must identify the factors that reduce the number of qualified master’s and doctoral-level candidates for clinical and academic positions and roles so that we can intervene to increase the number of qualified candidates. In my laboratory, I have had no difficulty in attracting undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to participate in research. However, none of these students have moved on to pursue graduate school in behavior analysis and only a couple have decided to pursue a graduate degree in a related field (e.g., neuroscience). Although I have considered pushing students harder toward graduate school in psychology, in general, and behavior analysis, specifically, reservations regarding job opportunities has dampened my enthusiasm to do so. Job opportunity limitations are not however the same in the applied area and perhaps that represents an avenue for pursuit.
Dr. Soto completed graduate training in psychology at Emory University and postdoctoral training in behavioral pharmacology at the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to accepting a position at LSU in 2017, Dr. Soto held tenure-track appointments in the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and at Texas Tech University. Dr. Soto’s research interests are in (1) the use of laboratory animal models of psychiatric diseases and symptoms for the evaluation of potential therapeutic approaches, (2) the use of drugs and genetically engineered animals to identify the neurobiological contributors to basic and complex behavioral processes, and (3) the investigation of short- and long-term effects of exposure to psychiatric medications. Recently, Dr. Soto has begun advocating for the use of single-case experimental designs in areas outside of behavior analysis, such as behavioral neuroscience, because of the scientific and ethical benefits provided by these designs.
 
Diversity submission Intersection of Cultural Responsiveness and Ethics in Behavioral Research
CORINA JIMENEZ-GOMEZ (University of Florida)
Abstract: Much has been said and written lately about the need to embed cultural responsiveness in behavior analysis and the need to enhance diversity in the field. In fact, similar conversations are taking place in many areas of science. Despite the current buzz, many may be left wondering what they can do or whether it is incumbent on them to act. What can researchers and training programs do? Further, what are the ethical responsibilities and implications of their actions (or lack thereof)? This talk will review some observations related to this topic.
Dr. Corina Jimenez-Gomez (she/her/ella) is an Assistant Professor in the Behavior Analysis program at the University of Florida. She earned a Licensure in Psychology at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela, and a doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis from Utah State University. She completed post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan and was a Research Fellow at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has held faculty positions at the Florida Institute of Technology and Auburn University. In addition, she served as clinical supervisor at The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Tech and was the Director of the Center for Autism Research, Treatment, and Training (CARTT) at Auburn University. Dr. Jimenez-Gomez is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the doctoral level, whose professional interests include translational and applied behavioral research in the areas of choice and reinforcement processes, the use of technology in ABA settings, caregiver and staff coaching, and cultural responsiveness in Behavior Analysis. Dr. Jimenez-Gomez has served as a reviewer for various scientific journals and is currently on the editorial board of the Perspectives on Behavior Science and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and is Associate Editor for Behavior Analysis in Practice. She is also the mom of two amazing humans and an elderly Labrador, and is married to a fellow behavioral scientist.
 
Diversity submission Scientific Objectivity and Social Justice in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
LIZ KYONKA (California State University - East Bay), Shrinidhi Subramaniam (California State University, Stanislaus)
Abstract: Much of the practical advice about incorporating principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) into behavioral research focuses on consulting stakeholders, reevaluating inclusion and exclusion criteria, and using inclusive language to describe research participants. For behavioral scientists investigating fundamental behavioral processes, following this advice can be challenging. For example, in experiments with laboratory animal subjects, humane treatment and transparent procedures for ensuring subjects’ welfare may be more applicable than consultation and inclusive language. This presentation will summarize recommendations about incorporating JEDI principles into research that have been published recently, and explore some implications of those recommendations.
Dr. Elizabeth Kyonka (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at California State University, East Bay on the ethnohistoric territory of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. Originally from Canada, she completed an Sc.B. in Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand. She has held faculty positions at West Virginia University and the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. Dr. Kyonka’s research includes experimental analyses of strategic reasoning and of the interplay between temporal learning and choice, behavioral approaches to assessing and modifying technology use, and metacritical analysis of behavior analysis. Currently, she is a member of the ABAI Science Board, serves on the editorial boards of The Psychological Record, Perspectives on Behavior Science and Learning & Behavior, and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
 
Diversity submission Incorporating Principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Behavioral Research
SHRINIDHI SUBRAMANIAM (California State University, Stanislaus), Liz Kyonka (California State University - East Bay)
Abstract: Foundational research skills that span the spectrum of behavior analysis include synthesizing the existing literature; developing an interesting, socially important research question; selecting appropriate measurement tools; designing an experiment that allows for valid inferences; applying best practices in data analysis; drawing conclusions based on the data; and disseminating the results to a broad audience. We argue that considering principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in each of those activities will benefit the field of behavior analysis and the broader community. This presentation draws upon the scholarly literature and personal experience to detail action steps to incorporate JEDI principles from study conceptualization to knowledge translation. Examples include using participatory research methods and adopting a critical lens to so-called objective, scientific practices.

Dr. Shrinidhi Subramaniam is an Associate Professor in Psychology at California State University, Stanislaus and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Subramaniam received her PhD in Psychology from West Virginia University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She teaches courses in applied behavior analysis, research methods, ethics, and addiction treatment, and mentors graduate students in their thesis research. Dr. Subramaniam’s research applies behavior analytic principles to solve problems like addiction, unemployment, and poverty in her community. Currently, she is the co-PI for Wellness WORKs!, a holistic health education program for CalWORKs participants in San Joaquin County. In addition to this work, she has published over 20 manuscripts and chapters across broad research interests. These publications include clinical studies evaluating the effectiveness of behavioral interventions like incentives and education, and basic and translational studies exploring processes underlying human decision making such as choice and temporal learning. Dr. Subramaniam is an Associate Editor for The Psychological Record, is on the editorial board for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and serves as the Board Secretary of the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior. She was the Association for Behavior Analysis, International’s 2022 recipient of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences Early Career Impact Award.

 
 
Symposium #206
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Stranger Things® - The Upside Down of Ethics
Sunday, May 28, 2023
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center 401/402
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Tim Caldwell, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavior analytic practitioners live within two different dimensions. Most of the time, treatment is provided with only straightforward ethical issues, but sometimes situations seem to turn our practice upside down. This alternate dimension of unethical behavior is not often discussed, yet it threatens the existence of our ABA, science-based world. Thankfully, behavior analysts can be taught the tools to fight against unethical monsters without needing psychic powers. This symposium will provide behavior analysts with methods to fight the ethical upside down by reviewing a script for instructing how to confront unethical behavior, methods to combat the invasion of pseudoscience, and ways to vanquish the barriers to conducting experimental analysis in clinical practice.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ethics, experimental analysis, pseudoscience, teaching ethics
Target Audience:

The target audience will have prerequisite knowledge in the BACB Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts, the science-based application of behavior change interventions, as well as the ethical use of experimentation in clinical practice.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Teach students or BCBAs how to effectively confront unethical behavior in the field (2) Identify the barriers to using experimental analysis in clinical practice (3) Identify ways to overcome the barriers to using experimental analysis in clinical practice (4) Identify pseudoscientific interventions that are utilized in practice and how to avoid them
 
Confronting Dr. Brenner (Papa): How to Teach Students to Confront Unethical Behavior
JONATHAN W. IVY (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg ), Kimberly A. Schreck (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The discipline of applied behavior analysis has an established Ethics Code (Behavior Analysis Certification Board, 2020), requirements for instructing ethics content within a Verified Course Sequence, and the mandate that behavior analysts address unethical behavior of others. However, no evidence-based practice exists for how to specifically teach student the ethics code or the skills for addressing unethical behavior. This research evaluated the effects of an instructional intervention package on number of script steps independently completed by graduate students to address violations of the ethics code. The script described eight steps to confront and address an ethical concern. The components of the instructional intervention package included gamification, in-class simulations, and behavioral skills training. Graduate students from three university programs participated in the study. A multiple baseline across groups (university programs) was used to evaluate the effects of the instructional intervention package. The results indicated that the instructional package resulted in significantly improved student independence in addressing unethical behavior. The implication of this approach to teach students how to address ethical concerns as well as considerations for implementation will be discussed.
 

Breaking Through the Barriers of the Hive Mind: Identifying and Fighting the Barriers to the Ethical Use of Experimental Analysis in Clinical Practice or Avoiding the Use of Formulaic Interventions

TIM CALDWELL (Behavior Interventions Inc.), Kimberly A. Schreck (Penn State Harrisburg)
Abstract:

The foundations of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and its subsequent ethical codes necessitate the use of experimentation to determine relationships among behavior and environmental variables as an underlying principle. Behavior analysts may be experiencing barriers to using experimental analysis (EA) in clinical practice. This paper included two questionnaire studies investigating behavior analysts’ (Study 1 N=293; Study 2 N =324) current use and barriers to ethical implementation of EA in clinical practice. Results aggregated from both studies indicated that approximately 1/3rd of behavior analysts did not use EA in clinical practice. Across the studies, lack of resources ranked as the most significant barrier, while reimbursement for services was ranked as the least influential barrier to using EA in clinical practice. These studies suggested possible general and specific barriers to implementation of EA in clinical practice, which may have significant ethical implications for appropriate treatment for clients.

 

The Strangest Thing: Trends in Behavior Analysts’ Use of Treatments for Individuals with Autism

KIMBERLY MARSHALL (University of Oregon), Kristin Bowman (Endicott College), Lisa Tereshko (Endicott College), Victoria Suarez (Endicott College), Kimberly A. Schreck (Penn State Harrisburg), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Justin B. Leaf (Endicott College; Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts have a responsibility to provide their clients with interventions that are based on scientific evidence. Nevertheless, in a survey identifying certified behavior analysts’ use and variables influencing their use of autism treatments, only between 78% and 95% of participants (N=921) at each certification level (BCBA-Ds, BCBAs, BCaBAs, and RBTs) reported current use of applied behavior analysis (ABA). Furthermore, with the exception of bleach therapy, all treatments, including ineffective/harmful interventions (e.g., facilitated communication), were reportedly used by at least one participant. Participants frequently cited persuasion by others as an influence for their treatment selections. A comparison with previous findings (Schreck et al., 2016) identified a statistically significant decrease in the percentage of certificants at each level (i.e., BCBA-Ds, BCBAs, and BCaBAs) using ABA compared to five years ago. Significant decreases in the use of two unestablished treatments were also found; however, there was no change in the reported use of all other pseudoscientific treatments. Since behavior analysts’ use of unestablished treatments may be detrimental to client outcomes and the reputation and success of the field of ABA, it is essential to discuss these findings and to identify methods for increasing behavior analysts’ use of empirically supported treatments.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #211
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Social Validity and the Spectrum: Finding the Rhythm of Autism in the Heart of ABA
Sunday, May 28, 2023
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 2/3
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Yanerys Leon (University of Miami)
CE Instructor: Yanerys Leon, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: AMY GRAVINO (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services/A.S.C.O.T Consulting)
Abstract: Forty-five years ago, Dr. Montrose Wolf named and defined the concept of “social validity” in his seminal published paper on the subject. Changes to and controversies within the field of ABA over the intervening years have made obtaining and measuring social validity for autistic individuals challenging, but more necessary now than ever before. This presentation discusses the need for social validity as it pertains to children and adults on the autism spectrum and highlights the barriers that exist to collecting social validity, as well as how we can make the ideas put forward by Wolf relevant to the present state of the field of ABA. Strategies for creating collaboration between relevant stakeholders and ABA practitioners will also be discussed. At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Understand how best to support the rights and promote the well-being of autistic clients when delivering ABA services; 2) Define “social importance” as it pertains to individuals on the autism spectrum and the autistic community; 3) Identify several strategies for collaborating with relevant stakeholders to promote social validity when implementing services for autistic clients.
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

ABA practitioners, researchers, those working in the field of early intervention, clinicians/professionals working with autistic adults, and anyone looking to learn more about autism.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Understand how best to support the rights and promote the well-being of autistic clients when delivering ABA services; 2) Define “social importance” as it pertains to individuals on the autism spectrum and the autistic community; 3) Identify several strategies for collaborating with relevant stakeholders to promote social validity when implementing services for autistic clients.
 
AMY GRAVINO (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services/A.S.C.O.T Consulting)
Amy Gravino, M.A., is an autism sexuality advocate and Relationship Coach in the Center for Adult Autism Services at Rutgers University. She is also the President of A.S.C.O.T Consulting, which offers autism consulting, college coaching, and mentoring services for organizations, schools, individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Amy is an international speaker who has given TED talks, spoken twice at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day, and presented worldwide to audiences on a variety of topics related to autism, with a dedicated special focus and research on the subject of autism and sexuality. Ms. Gravino obtained her Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University in 2010 and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Yes She Can, Inc. and the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, as well as the Scientific Advisory Board of Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research (SPARK). She is an award-winning writer who has co-authored a chapter on autism and sexuality in the Handbook of Quality of Life for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and her work has been featured in Spectrum, the leading online news source for autism research, and other outlets. Visit www.amygravino.com to learn more.
 
 
Symposium #200
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Providing Feeding Services in a Service Desert
Sunday, May 28, 2023
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2A
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Hallie Smith (Mississippi State University )
CE Instructor: Hallie Smith, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Picky eating is a normal phase of child development, but what happens when it goes beyond general pickiness? Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD; Goday et al., 2019) affects up to 25% of the general population and 80% of children with developmental disabilities (Galai et al., 2022). It is reported that children on the autism spectrum are five times more likely than their peers to develop PFD and to require intervention (Bareaskewich et al., 2021). Without treatment, PFD can lead to increased caregiver stress, impaired development, poor nutrition, and other health concerns (Kozlowski et al., 2015; Silverman et al., 2020). The assessment and treatment of feeding disorders by behavior analysts requires specialized training and collaboration with an interdisciplinary team (Tereshko et al, 2021). Unfortunately, in areas where behavior analytic services are more sparse, many providers do not have access to the appropriate training, supervision, or resources needed to treat this complex disorder. The purpose of this symposium is to discuss the training and supervision of future behavior analysts to treat PFD, ethical considerations and the importance of care integration when working with this population, and innovative ways that providers in service deserts are treating these patients.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Ethical Considerations, Feeding Disorders, Interdisciplinary Care, Service Accessibility
Target Audience:

We have classified this training as advanced; the presentation is focused specifically on providing services to a niche population that requires the behavior analyst in question to have specific training. Attendees are encouraged to have a baseline knowledge of pediatric feeding disorders and an interest in furthering their knowledge to better improve their practice or train future practitioners.

Learning Objectives: 1) Identify appropriate stakeholders needed to effectively and ethically treat a child with a pediatric feeding disorder. 2) Describe training strategies appropriate for teaching future behavior analyst to treat pediatric feeding disorders. 3) Apply the use of digital health services to the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders, specifically in underserved areas.
 

Feeding Intervention in Traditional Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Settings: To Feed or Not to Feed

GARET S. EDWARDS (GulfSouth Autism Center), Bradley Scott Bloomfield (Monash University), Christina Gladden (Gulfsouth Autism Center)
Abstract:

Children with autism and other developmental disabilities frequently present to traditional ABA clinics with a comorbid diagnosis of Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) or Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD). These children may have been enrolled and discharged from a multidisciplinary feeding program, may be currently receiving feeding therapy services, or may have not had access to feeding therapy yet. In some instances, it may be appropriate for behavior analysts to continue feeding intervention in order to increase variety, develop self-feeding, or to promote generalization and maintenance in novel settings. The purpose of this presentation is to review ethical considerations when providing behavioral intervention for feeding concerns in traditional ABA or early intervention clinics. Consultation with external providers from relevant disciplines and common intervention strategies to promote generalization and maintenance will also be discussed.

 
A Model for Establishing Pediatric Feeding Services and Training Future Providers in a Rural Community
HALLIE SMITH (Mississippi State University ), Hailey Ripple (Mississippi State University Pediatric Feeding Lab)
Abstract: One of the contributing factors to the lack of behavior analysts who address pediatric feeding disorders (PFD) is the limited opportunity for master’s level behavior analysts to receive training and supervision in this area during their training. Most providers who specialize in the assessment and treatment of PFD had the opportunity to train in one of the few intensive, multidisciplinary feeding programs housed in hospitals in urban areas; these training experiences are primarily reserved for doctoral level clinical psychologists and not master’s level BCBA’s. As a result, there are few providers who have the skills to implement feeding interventions, much less design them. This presentation will describe the development of a university-based lab that allows faculty with expertise in PFD to conduct research while providing services to high-need areas while simultaneously training graduate students to implement and develop treatment to address PFD. Presenters will discuss how this model fills the gap in the training and availability of practitioners who provide feeding services. Presenters will discuss the development of this lab while highlighting the training methods used to increase competency of master’s level students with the implementation of feeding protocols, data collection and analysis procedures, and clinical decision making.
 
The Digital Age of Feeding Therapy
ANNE H LIPSCOMB (Ochsner Hospital for Children), Margaret Bernheim Powell (Ochsner Hospital for Children)
Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a drastic increase in the use of digital health services among behavior analysts. In addition to telehealth services being a practical way to observe generalization of treatment at home, it is also beneficial in increasing access to feeding services for both patients and providers who may not have access to certain specialties due to location. Additionally, therapists are able to use digital health services to provide preventative programming for patients at risk for developing a Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD). This presentation will discuss the innovative ways in which behavior analysts trained to treat PFD have utilized digital health services to increase access to behavioral feeding services. Presenters will discuss how digital health services are beneficial for not only reaching those patients in more rural areas but bridging the gap between specialties through virtual consultation. Presenters will provide information on the use of outpatient telehealth services, virtual co-treatment services with occupational and speech therapists, preventative webinars, and waitlist workshops to treat PFD.
 
 
Panel #247
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Ethical and Cultural Considerations When Providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services to Latinx Families in Mexico and the United States
Sunday, May 28, 2023
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center 406/407
Area: TBA/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Berenice de la Cruz, Ph.D.
Chair: Berenice de la Cruz (Texas A&M University-San Antonio)
MARIANA DE LOS SANTOS (Bloom Children's Center)
FABIOLA VARGAS LONDONO (Independent Researcher)
Abstract:

This panel will discuss ethical and cultural considerations when providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to Latinx families in Mexico and the United States. The United States is diversifying at a fast rate. According to the 2021 Census data, 18.9% of the United States population are Hispanic, and Mexican account for over 60% of the Hispanic subgroup. Mexico is the third-largest country in Latin America and has the second-largest economy. In Mexico, a lack of medical and educational services is common, especially for families of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Panelists will share about the creation of a professional organization to disseminate the science of behavior analysis across Mexico and about the first behavior analytic organization in the United States formed to specifically address diversity of behavior analysts in the field of ABA. Results from a study that examined early intervention needs in the Mexican population and compared these needs to those in the Latinx Spanish-speaking population in the United States will also be discussed. Panelists will discuss their experiences, challenges, and lessons learned when providing ABA services to Latinx families. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences during this interactive panel session.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Audience members should minimally have the competencies and pre-requisite skills for a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as defined by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board 5th Edition Tasklist.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will describe ethical and cultural considerations when providing ABA services to Latino families in Mexico. 2. Participants will describe ethical and cultural considerations when providing ABA services to Latino families in Mexico. 3. Participants will compare the early education needs of Latinx Spanish-speaking children and children living in Mexico.
Keyword(s): cultural considerations, dissemination, ethical considerations, Latinx
 
 
Symposium #252
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
The Complexities of Ethical Decision Making
Sunday, May 28, 2023
5:00 PM–6:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1C/D
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: R. Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: R. Wayne Fuqua, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Decision making in clinical applications of behavior analysis is complex. This symposium will consist of three of the papers describing applied research and one conceptual paper. The first presentation will describe a study in which the the component skills involved in ethical decision were taught to students of behavior analysis. The steps students would implement given scenarios were compared to each other and to experts. The results of this study will be discussed in terms of the instructional considerations for those teaching students to engage in ethical decisions. The second presentation is another applied study, in which the decisions of novice and expert behavior analysts were compared. Experts and novices were asked to rate risk in conducting a functional analysis with and without a structured decision-making tool. The results of this study showed that both experts and novices benefited from use of the tool. The third presentation will describe an applied study of the underlying behavioral processes involved in clinical decision making. Researchers manipulated the televisibility and short-term harm to the clients of decisions. A loss-discounting framework was used to analyze the variability in responding of participants. The final presentation will challenge the audience to consider ethical decision making in a new context—that of artificial intelligence. This paper will address the question, what are the ethical considerations when designing artificial intelligence technologies? Finally, the discussant will summarize the common themes of complex, ethical decision making and implications for the field.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): decision making, ethics
Target Audience:

Prerequisite skills are certification as a beahvior analyst, detailed knowledge of the BACB's Code of Ethics, a detailed understanding of a variety of assessments and treatments commonly used in practice, as well as common ethical challenges related to the implementation of these assessments and treatments.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Use a rubric/decision tree to improve the quality of recommended actions for ethical scenarios, 2. State factors that influence ethical decision-making and the difficulty of measuring risk and decision-making processes, 3. Describe how the probability of their clinical choices leading to harm or being observed by others influences the decisions they make, and 4. State open-ended questions the field should answer as AI begins to be used more frequently in ABA.
 
Using a Decision Tree to Evaluate Contextual Factors in Ethical Scenarios
(Applied Research)
VIDESHA MARYA (Endicott College; Village Autism Center), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: The successful navigation of ethical dilemmas is an important skill set for practitioners of behavior analysis. Component skills include detection of the dilemma through ethical radar, the consideration of core principles, the identification of relevant codes, and the consideration of relevant contextual factors. Implementation and follow up skills require the analysis of effectiveness, the need for additional action, and the inclusion of preventative strategies for the future. In the instruction of the skill set, systematic ways are needed to teach these components. Specifically, students need to learn to analyze contextual factors and to methodically navigate a wide variety of potential circumstances. In this study, students of behavior analysis were taught ethical navigation skills using the Behavior Analyst Certification Board ethical decision-making model or using a worksheet in addition to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board decision making model. Their responses regarding actions to take were compared to one another and to experts in ethical conduct. Implications for instruction of this skill set are reviewed, as well as issues in the generalization and social validity of instructional procedures and outcomes.
 
Expert and Novice Use of the Functional Analysis Risk Assessment Decision Tool
(Applied Research)
ALI SCHROEDER (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Risk assessment and evaluation before behavioral assessment and intervention is required by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2020). Methods to do so and potential factors to consider are not readily available. Deochand et al. (2020) developed the Functional Analysis Risk Assessment Decision Tool (FARADT) to aid behavior analysts in ethical decision-making regarding whether to conduct a functional analysis. An empirical evaluation of whether use of the FARADT impacts novice users’ ratings of risk has not yet been conducted. The research discussed in this presentation evaluated expert and novice behavior analysts’ ratings of risk with and without access to the FARADT when given scenarios in which a functional analysis was being considered. Results indicated FARADT decreased variability of risk ratings for novices and produced ratings of risk that more closely matched the intended risk level of the vignette for both experts and novices. Results provide preliminary evidence that decision-making tools may be helpful to both novice and expert behavior analysts and provide insight into the complex variables considered during risk assessment and decision-making.
 
Influence of Televisibility and Harm Probability on Clinical-Ethical Decision-Making
(Applied Research)
ALAN KINSELLA (Endicott College), David J. Cox (RethinkFirst; Endicott College), Asim Javed (Endicott College)
Abstract: Researchers have recently begun to use a behavioral economics framework to study the clinical-ethical decisions made by practicing behavior analysts. Much of this work, however, has examined broad patterns as opposed to isolating the underlying behavioral processes. In this study, we sought to extend past research by studying how clinical-ethical decisions would be influenced by a parametric manipulation of the probability that each available option would be televisible or cause short-term harm to the client. Behavior analysts ( n =15) were largely influenced only by the probability of short-term harm. In contrast, the control group ( n =30) was influenced by the probability each choice was televisible and the probability of short-term harm. Further, across all choices, control group participants showed a higher tendency than behavior analysts to not allow the individual to engage in the harmful behavior. Quantitative models built using machine learning algorithms were able to predict ~75% of choices made by participants using only the independent variables manipulated in this study. At the individual level, a probability loss discounting framework seemed to account for the data; however, deviations from traditional probability loss discounting methods provide many areas for future research. In total, the present experiment highlights the potential behavioral processes involved in clinical-ethical choices, similarities between individual and group-level responding, and areas where practicing behavior analysts may have preferences that differ from their clients or their clients’ caregivers.
 
The Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence in Applied Behavior Analysis: Some Data & Conversation Starters
(Service Delivery)
ADRIENNE JENNINGS (Daemen University), David J. Cox (RethinkFirst; Endicott College)
Abstract: Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly a part of our everyday lives. Though much AI work in healthcare has been outside of applied behavior analysis (ABA), researchers within ABA have begun to demonstrate many different ways that AI might improve the delivery of ABA services. However, though AI offers many exciting advances, absent from the literature is conversation around the ethical considerations when developing, building, and deploying AI technologies. Further, though AI is already in the process of coming to ABA, it’s unknown the extent to which behavior analytic practitioners are familiar (and comfortable) with the use of AI in ABA. The purpose of this presentation is threefold. First, to describe how AI fits with existing ethical publications (e.g., BACB Code of Ethics) and where our ethical literature is silent. Second, to discuss considerations that can inform ethical guidelines and decision-aids for developing, and using, AI in ABA service delivery. Lastly, to present data around current perceptions and comfortability with the use of AI in ABA. In total, we hope this presentation sparks proactive dialog around the guidelines for the ethical use of AI in ABA before the field is required to have a reactionary conversation.
 
 
Panel #241
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Applications of Diversity and Inclusion Strategies to Decrease the Disparities in Access to Autism Services
Sunday, May 28, 2023
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4C/D
Area: AUT/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Alyssa Kavner (she/they), M.A.
Chair: Paula Pompa-Craven (Easterseals Southern California)
NAA GARRIDO (Galena Autism and Behavioral Services)
FATOU NJIE-JALLOW (New England Center for Children)
ALYSSA KAVNER (SHE/THEY) (Easterseals Southern California)
Abstract:

Autism is prevalent in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, with 1 in 44 children aged 8 years or older receiving an autism diagnosis, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. However, minority groups are less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with autism or as having speech delays. There are also disparities in the age that some minority children are diagnosed with autism, as well as the reported quality of care received. Studies found inequalities specific to autism diagnosis and treatment due to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status that limit accessibility of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) interventions for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and low-income families (Lauer, 2013; Magaña, et al. 2012; Smith et al., 2020). The panel discussion will start with an overview of disparities in access to healthcare, funding, and access to services and three organizations will discuss initiatives aimed at reducing disparities in service access. The panelists will then answer questions discussing organizational resources for building a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) department, staff and client resources aimed at increasing service access, and recruitment strategies aimed at increasing the diversity of service providers.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience:

BCBAs, BCBA-Ds, and Professional Psychologists should have experience in implementing programs in their own organizations, engaging with their communities, and using measurement tools to indicate organizational outcomes.

Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the disparities in accessing treatment for autism services in BIPOC and low-income families and discover specific resources aimed at reducing those inequalities; 2. Identify strategies and resources needed to implement a Diversity and Inclusion program within their own organization; 3. Identify goals related to training, recruitment, outreach and partnerships aimed at reducing the inequalities for accessing and increasing the quality of treatment.
Keyword(s): Access, Autism, Diversity, Inclusion
 
 
Invited Paper Session #297A
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Toward a Science of Applied Animal Behavior Analysis: Experimental, Ethological, and Ethical Considerations
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom D
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nathaniel Hall (Texas Tech University)
CE Instructor: Lindsay Renee Mehrkam, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: LINDSAY RENEE MEHRKAM (Monmouth University)
Abstract: Behavior analysis has a rich history of using animals to study learning and environment-behavior relations. Applying this knowledge to improve the welfare of animals used in teaching and research, however, is a relatively recent and exciting area of exploration for behavior analysts. This talk will review the history of how behavior analytic approaches have been successfully extended to applied animal settings and describe the framework for current and future directions for the field of applied animal behavior analysis. Using the concepts and principles experimental analysis in behavior as a starting point, we will move beyond the operant chamber to see how ethology can give insight as to how to maximize the generality of applied behavior analysis procedures across species, settings, and stimuli. This will include highlighting successful examples of single-subject designs for evaluating enrichment practices in zoo animals, evaluating preferences and reinforcer efficacy for food, toys, and social stimuli for a wide range of species, and the creation and evaluation of shaping plans and behavior contracts for cooperative care programs to help prepare for veterinary exams through our university-based animal behavior research clinic for community dogs and cats. We will even see how teaching goldfish to play soccer can be a humane way to use live animals to teach learning principles to students while also benefiting student learning and well-being outcomes as well. Finally, we will discuss ways in which adopting a behavior analytic approach can help animal researchers meet important animal welfare requirements, aid professionals in improving the integrity of their training and enrichment programs, and emphasize the ethical considerations to be aware of when delivering behavioral services to animals and their caregivers to promote positive human-animal interactions.
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Academics, practitioners, animal trainers, dog owners, zookeepers, animal researchers

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe how single-subject designs can be applied to simultaneously teach classical and operant learning principles and promote animal welfare (2) Apply the seven dimensions of applied behavior analysis to animal settings (3) Recognize and address ethical considerations and situations when working in applied animal behavior settings in research and in practice.
 
LINDSAY RENEE MEHRKAM (Monmouth University)
Lindsay R. Mehrkam, Ph.D. is an associate professor of psychology and Principal Investigator of the Human & Animal Wellness Collaboratory (HAWC) at Monmouth University. As an animal welfare scientist and doctoral-level board-certified behavior analyst, her research focuses on the benefits of human-animal interaction with the aim of improving the welfare of both animals and people in society. Specifically, Dr. Mehrkam’s research examines how environmental factors influence play, aggression, and stereotypic behavior in companion and exotic animals, how to promote behavioral choices and welfare of captive animals, and how to best conduct formal evaluations of training and enrichment practices in a variety of animal settings and species (from goldfish to Galapagos tortoises). In her role as Chair of MU’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, she uses behavior analytic approaches to and promote the humane use of animals in teaching and research and conducts evaluations of animal-assisted teaching interventions. Dr. Mehrkam is currently a faculty fellow with the Monmouth University Polling Institute, which focuses on developing nationwide assessments on pet owners’ behavioral services and data visualization in collaboration with the Applied Animal Behavior Research Clinic, a community-based clinic for pet dogs, cats, and their owners. Her teaching and research programs in applied animal behavior have led to publications, national and international conference presentations, seminars, and workshops as well as internships and service learning opportunities in animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and animal sanctuaries. She has been recognized through popular media outlets, grants, and scholarly and industry awards, including the Association for Professional Dog Trainers, Maddie’s Fund, and the Animal Behavior Society. Finally, Dr. Mehrkam serves as the president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International’s Applied Animal Behavior Special Interest Group for the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), which promotes applied animal behavior analytic research, set high standards in methods and techniques of animal training and enrichment, and promote the well-being of animals in society.
 
 
Invited Tutorial #301
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Culture, Compliance, and Consent
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 1
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Amoy K Hugh-Pennie, Ph.D.
Chair: Susan Wilczynski (Ball State University)
Presenting Authors: : AMOY K HUGH-PENNIE ( Infinity Behavior LLC, KNHK, BABA Inc.)
Abstract:

As the field of applied behavior analysis has grown exponentially in the last decade there have been greater accusations of past and present abuse and trauma caused by the interventions, strategies, and practitioners of ABA. How best can we address these concerns with a sense of curiosity rather than a defensive posture? Are these just the acts of some inexperienced newbies or evil eugenic founders of science? In this presentation, you will learn some of the histories of abuse and maltreatment of underrepresented groups (specifically BIPOC and disabled individuals). You will gain an understanding of how these learning histories of groups with a shared cultural identity or multiple shared identities lead to mistrust, non-compliance, and lack of consent to evidence-based strategies. Additionally, you will learn how cultural humility, awareness, and culturally relevant practices can improve the acceptance, consent, assent, and ultimately social significance of instructional objectives and outcomes for clients.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

BCBA, BCaBA, Teachers, Psychologists, School Administrators or Consultants

Learning Objectives: • Participants will gain a historical context for abuse and maltreatment in the medical, behavioral, and psychological sciences • Participants will learn to recognize signs of consent and assent in verbal and non-verbal clients • Participants will learn how culture affects, compliance, and consent to engage in different strategies and interventions • Participants will learn how to engage in culturally humble practices that can improve interpersonal and collaborative relationships leading to increased social significance and client success • Participants will learn to identify culturally significant instruction to improve programming
 
AMOY K HUGH-PENNIE ( Infinity Behavior LLC, KNHK, BABA Inc.)
Dr. Hugh-Pennie determined her purpose in life was to change the world through the science of behavior and education. In dedicating herself to this purpose, she has spent the last 25+ years disseminating ABA and incorporating evidence-based ABA practices in special education from early intervention to university settings across a diverse range of learners in the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong (SAR), China. Her experience in clinical training, organizational systems management, evidence-based data decision analysis, and program evaluation has led to verifiable positive results for clients and improved parent satisfaction in non-profit, private clinical practice, and school programs for whom she has been in key leadership positions. Amoy is currently an Instructor for the QABA/ QBS program for Knowledge Express Hong Kong (KNHK). She is a past President of the Hong Kong Association for Behavior Analysis, a former ABAI Program Board Member, and the current Clinical Director of Infinity Behavior LLC in Central Florida. She earned her Ph.D. in 2007 from Columbia University where she completed her research under the tutelage of Dr. R. Douglas Greer on the “Effects of Auditory Consequences on Non-Contextual Verbal Behavior: Palilalia." She holds an M.Ed. in Instructional Practice and Curricular Design and BS in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University. She has held the rank of Assistant Professor in the Departments of Education and Educational Psychology: Inclusive Special Education at Mercy College, Brock University, and the University of Western Ontario. She is a certified Special Education Teacher (K-12) in the US, Canada, and Hong Kong. She founded the Verbal Behavior Student Research Competition of the VB-SIG (est. 2002) dedicated to increasing student research in verbal behavior. She has served as an invited reviewer and/or held positions on the editorial review boards of several peer-reviewed journals including The Journal for Early Intensive Behavior Intervention, Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and Global Education Review. Dr. Hugh-Pennie is currently on the Advisory Board of the Black Applied Behavior Analysts, Inc. working towards increasing Black students,mentors and professionals in the field of ABA. Her recent publications include topics of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and ABA , Women's Experiences in Academia, Reading Instruction, and Consulting with Schools.
 
 
Panel #322
CE Offered: BACB/QABA/NASP — 
Ethics
PDS: Conflict of Interest (COI) in Scientific Publication: What it is and How to Avoid It
Monday, May 29, 2023
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom H
Area: PCH/EDC; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Stephanie M. Peterson, Ph.D.
Chair: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
DONALD A. HANTULA (Temple University)
STEPHANIE M. PETERSON (Western Michigan University)
MITCH FRYLING (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract:

The legitimacy of science is based on an unbiased, disinterested research and peer review system. Scientists are expected to pursue their research and publish their findings without regard to personal gain. Journal reviewers and editors are expected to perform their duties without bias due to personal gain and relationships. Conflicts of Interest (COI) arise in situations in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity. COI is a critical ethical issue in scientific publications. This PDS introduces and defines COI, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines regarding COI, provides some general guidelines for identifying and avoiding COI in scientific publication, and delves further into the complexities of COI for reviewers and COI for practitioners who seek to publish their work. Calling ABAI members, and especially student members, to a thoughtful conversation about COI in scientific publications, especially ABAI publications is a central theme of this PDS. Ample time for questions and answers is provided.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Students, and professionals

Learning Objectives: (1) identify conflicts of interest (2) state the procedures for reporting conflicts of interest in publication (3) describe ways to avoid conflicts of interest as an author, editor, or reviewer
Keyword(s): Conflict interest, Ethics, Journal publication
 
 
Symposium #364
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Applied and Theoretical Explorations of Ethics in Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 29, 2023
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1A/B
Area: DDA/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Swathi Ragulan (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Swathi Ragulan, Master in Applied Behavior Analysis
Abstract:

Ethics is an important construct in the field of behavior analysis for numerous reasons. However, the utilization of distinct ethical practices and the different theoretical conceptualizations of ethics have only recently began to attract more attention from our field as a whole. In this symposium, we will attempt to offer applied and theoretical applications of ethics and ethical practices. First, Andrea Michaels will describe the current state of ethics within applied behavior analysis via data gathered from a scoping literature review. Next, Will Fleming will discuss a molar, interbehavioral approach with regards to analyzing the ethics of behavior analysis as an applied science. Finally, Dr. Ilene Schwartz will describe how behavior analysts identify ethical dilemmas in practice, how they make ethical decisions, and what resources are used during the decision-making process.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

This symposium is intended for a target audience at an intermediate instruction level. It is encouraged that attendees are familiar with the BACB ethics code, are current on ethics-related literature within behavior analysis, and are also familiar with the philosophical underpinnings of the field to a certain extent. It will also be beneficial for attendees to assess their own professional experiences within behavior analysis and identify potential ethical dilemmas they have previously faced prior to attending this symposium.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify and state the recent trends and gaps in the behavior analytic ethics literature; (2) describe the importance of assent in the practice and dissemination of behavior analysis; (3) assess and compared various ethical decision-making processes currently used by practitioners and researchers in the field.
 
The Current State of Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis: A Scoping Review
(Theory)
ANDREA NICOLE MICHAELS (University of Nevada, Reno), Abraao Figueira de Melo (University of Nevada, Reno), Donna West (University of Nevada, Reno), Helen Tecle Kidane (University of Nevada, Reno), Bethany P. Contreras Young (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Ethics is a central component of the practice of applied behavior analysis. Since behavior analysts work toward supporting behavior change in research participants and clients, it is crucial that they do so in a socially acceptable way from both the consumers’ and profession’s point of view. However, there is no such literature review that has identified articles, summarized key themes, or provided guidance for future scholarship. We conducted a scoping literature review that focused on the broad goal of describing the current state of ethics within applied behavior analysis as expressed within peer-reviewed journal articles. Utilizing six databases, we identified 51 articles that met our inclusion criteria. We analyzed each article by extracting data such as: function of article, central topic and purpose, BACB Code references and Code items, and whether the article discussed common ethical principles. We report findings related to clusters of central topics and purposes, percentages for how often each ethical principle is discussed, and data pertaining to different BACB Codes and Code items. This scoping literature review may identify resources for other scholars to employ on a variety of topics. Implications such as gaps in the literature and shifts in content over time are also discussed.
 
Cultural Reaction Systems of Power: An Analysis of the Ethics of Behavior Analysis as an Applied Science
(Theory)
WILL FLEMING (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Behavior-analytic orientations as cultural practices evaluate the utility of constructs on the basis of the scope of human problems they can be effectively used to solve. As such, behavior analysis has largely become an applied science concerned with solving culturally-situated problems. Given how advanced behavioral science has become, this presents certain issues, including the construction of verbal contingencies that maintain response patterns that cohere with services we are able to provide. Our ability to produce demand for our own products using behavioral technology warrants an analysis of the ethics of scientific system construction. To this end, the current paper will use a molar, interbehavioral, and post-structuralist unit of analysis—cultural reaction systems of power—to analyze the ethics of behavior analysis as an applied science. Power relations across various activities that scientist-practitioners participate in will be assessed, and various forms of culturalization in which scientist-practitioners participate in through (1) direct behavior change interventions, (2) the production of scientific products and knowledge, and (3) graduated dissemination processes will be distinguished. Recommendations towards constructing a science that is more cognizant of its participation within power relations will be offered, and the importance of incorporating assent into behavior-analytic dissemination will be discussed.
 
How Behavior Analysts Make Ethical Decisions: A Qualitative Study
(Theory)
ILENE S. SCHWARTZ (University of Washington), Nancy Rosenberg (University of Washington), Elizabeth Kelly (University of Washington), Kaitlin Marie Kloes Greeny (University of Washington)
Abstract: Behavior analysts (BAs) frequently face professional ethical dilemmas. When faced with these dilemmas, BAs must problem solve and decide how to ethically respond. Though BAs have many tools available to guide their ethical decision-making (e.g., Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts; BACB 2020), little is known how BAs make ethical decisions in practice. We conducted a qualitative investigation of BAs’ ethical decision making to better understand how they identify ethical dilemmas in practice, how they make ethical decisions, and what resources they use during the decision-making process. Implications for behavior analytic practitioners, researchers, and people involved in training and supervising behavior analysts are discussed.
 
 
Panel #378
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Capacity Building Through Collaboration: Ethical Applications of the Science of Behavior Analysis in Public Schools
Monday, May 29, 2023
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center 403/404
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: John E. Staubitz, M.Ed.
Chair: John E. Staubitz (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, TRIAD)
BRENDA J. BASSINGTHWAITE (Munroe-Meyer Institute; University of Nebraska Medical Center)
PATRICK ROMANI (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
DEVA CARRION-MCGEE (School Consultation Program at Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

When students have complex behavior needs school teams often struggle to maintain student engagement and safety. An appropriate education includes evidence-based strategies for teaching new skills and for decreasing interfering behaviors when universal behavior supports have failed. Unfortunately, teachers and school-based staff often struggle to meet the needs of these students and have limited access to training related to evidence-based behavior analytic technology. Behavior analysts are uniquely equipped to address complex behavior needs of students and to address skills of educators whose lack of skill presents barriers to educational service delivery. Behavior analysts can be welcomed as a collaborative member of an interdisciplinary team when they value teaming relationships and follow their ethical responsibility to collaborate with colleagues to identify and implement solutions. This panel has a cumulative 55 years of experience working with school systems at various levels (e.g., individual, classroom, district, statewide) across 5 states. We will discuss our efforts in public schools to support students’ educational programming and to build capacity in educators’ skills while discussing key elements of the BACB Ethical Code (e.g., collaboration, scope of practice, addressing interfering conditions to service delivery). Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions for the panel’s response.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

This presentation would be appropriate for board-certified behavior analysts who have experience with clinical or school-based applications for severe problem behavior who are interested in coaching educators to put intensive behavior interventions in place. If practitioners or researchers would like to improve their skills for collaboration as a means of building service delivery capacity in educators, then this would be a beneficial session for them.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Identify tactics for initiating engagement with educators who hope to develop the capacity to assess or intervene with dangerous behavior. 2) Describe collaboration techniques to adapting behavior analytic consultation and technology to educational settings and work alongside non-BCBA practitioners. 3) Understand the ethical responsibility of behavior analysts to use collaboration to improve their practice in educational contexts relative to dangerous behavior.
Keyword(s): collaboration, consultation, school-based, state-wide
 
 
Invited Tutorial #397
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Advocating for Compassionate Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Practice in Conversations With Caregivers and Colleagues
Monday, May 29, 2023
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 1
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Adithyan Rajaraman, Ph.D.
Chair: Meral Koldas (Queen's University of Belfast)
Presenting Authors: : ADITHYAN RAJARAMAN (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)
Abstract:

In recent years, behavior analysts have increasingly embraced the relevance and importance of the construct of compassion, including but not limited to how it pertains to: (a) building relationships with clients, families, and colleagues (Taylor et al., 2019); (b) engaging in culturally responsive care (Jimenez-Gomez & Beaulieu, 2022); (c) establishing neurodiversity affirming practices (Schuck et al., 2021); and (d) ensuring that the delivery of ABA services are aligned with commitments of trauma-informed care (Rajaraman et al., 2022). These themes have each fostered burgeoning independent lines of scholarly discussion, but their amalgamation as an overall compassionate approach to ABA has not yet been described. This presentation represents my attempt to bring these definitions together to meaningfully infuse compassion into several elements of ABA practice. Through various professional experiences, I have learned to employ a particularly collaborative process—practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment, often embedded within an enhanced choice model—when given the opportunity to address an individual’s dangerous and challenging behavior. Evidence demonstrating the effectiveness, safety, and social validity of the approach is well documented; however, behavior analysts may struggle to gain “buy-in” with caregivers and colleagues due to the counterintuitive nature of certain procedures. In this presentation, while briefly summarizing procedures and expected outcomes based on existing research, I will delineate key areas of collaboration and defend the inclusion of certain procedures (and omission of others) by invoking compassion as a guiding compass. I will also argue that compassion can be found in the methods we use to evaluate our services by describing how the logic of certain single-case experimental designs can foster, rather than inhibit, compassionate ABA. Regardless of your opinions of or prior experiences with this approach, I hope to offer you an evidence-based argument—grounded in compassion—in its favor, while proposing a vocabulary for describing and defending compassionate and trauma-informed processes for addressing dangerous and challenging behaviors exhibited by the individuals you serve.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

ABA Practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, attendees should be able to: (1) Define compassion from a behavioral perspective; (2) Delineate procedures and expected outcomes associated with the practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment model for addressing dangerous and challenging behavior; (3) Describe how components of this assessment and treatment approach could be conceptualized as compassionate; (4) Defend the inclusion of compassionate procedures in practice
 
ADITHYAN RAJARAMAN (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)
dithyan (Dithu) Rajaraman has been blessed to teach, interact with, and learn from children and adolescents with and without disabilities for 14 years. Dithu completed his Doctoral training in Behavior Analysis at Western New England University, under the advisement of Dr. Greg Hanley. In 2019, he joined the faculty at UMBC, where he taught and mentored undergraduate and graduate students of Psychology with an emphasis in behavior analysis. In the fall of 2022, Dithu joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, where he serves as Director of Behavior Analysis Research within Vanderbilt Kennedy Center's (VKC) Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD). Dithu has published research in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, the International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, and Autism. Dithu’s research and practice interests include the assessment, treatment, and prevention of dangerous behavior, with an emphasis on investigating compassionate, trauma-informed approaches to behavioral assessment and intervention. This research aim is intimately connected to the goal of being able to provide safe, dignifying, yet highly effective behavior-analytic services to underrepresented individuals in underserved communities.
 

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