Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Program by Invited Events: Sunday, May 28, 2023


Invited Paper Session #123A
CE Offered: BACB
Cutting the Red Tape: Cultural Barriers to Implementing ABA Services in Brazil
Sunday, May 28, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 1
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Paula Kenyon (Northeastern University and Grupo Método)
CE Instructor: Susan Wilczynski, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: MECA ANDRADE (Grupo Metodo)
Abstract: Having 10 years of experience in Brazil, starting with public services and evolving to private practice, the author will identify some critical different between Brazil and the United States that affect regulation, cultural practices, and values. The history of Behavior Analysis in Brazil points to a solid experimental base developed in the 60s and 70s with strong Brazilian scientists and collaboration with such people as Fred Keller and Murray Sidman, to name a few. The incredible amount of knowledge produced during these years was unfortunately restricted to universities, with a focus on experimental, theoretical, and philosophical practice. Applied Behavior Analysis services, as we know them, did not arrive in Brazil until mid-late 90s. The author received all ABA training in the United States and came back to Brazil in 2012, having training in both experimental and applied settings. Having had her BCBA for 10 years at the time, she quickly understood that there were cultural barriers to implementing ABA services in Brazil. With that knowledge, she allowed her certification lapse with the understanding that regulation in Brazil would not work with American governance, as Brazilian professions are regulated by the federal government, with branches such as CFP and CRP, which do not require specialization in ABA, allowing any psychologist to implement ABA without training. Participants attending this talk will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of creating practices that are culturally appropriate when entering countries outside the United States.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Practitioners of ABA

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Understand the history of behavior analysis in a developing country, and how it guides practice; (2) Identify critical practices that may not be readily available in developing countries and how to adapt to such reality; (3) Describe cultural sensitive practices when entering countries different than the US
MECA ANDRADE (Grupo Metodo)
Meca Andrade is a Psychologist in Brazil. She was a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst from 2001 to 2013. Throughout her career, she led important projects delivering ABA services in the US, Uganda, and Brazil. Meca published in Brazilian and American Journals. She also co-authored the National Guidelines for Autism Services along with Federal Regulators and other Health professionals in Brazil. Meca is the founder of one of the largest ABA companies in Brazil, serving students in five clinics in São Paulo, and one in Porto Alegre, in addition to providing telehealth services across 17 other States in Brazil. She has developed the first physical management program in the country and ran an important project in the State Hospital in São Paulo, and trained State employees on Autism Care.
Invited Paper Session #147
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
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)

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 Paper Session #152
CE Offered: BACB
Neurodiversity-Informed Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): Ethics Through the Neurodiversity Paradigm
Sunday, May 28, 2023
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 2/3
Area: SCI; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Cas Breaux, M.S.
Presenting Author: CAS BREAUX (Cassi Breaux Consulting, LLC)

The neurodiversity paradigm is a philosophy that all neurological development is equal and acceptable. The neurodiversity paradigm views neurological variation as expected, similar to the variations we expect in other in other characteristics. According to the neurodiversity paradigm, neurological variation should not be viewed as problematic. Essentially, a “normal” brain does not exist and expecting all people to have similar neurocognitive functioning leads to social dynamics that are oppressive to neurodivergent individuals. Practitioners can use the neurodiversity paradigm to guide and reframe their ethical practices. This reframing process will be offered in four parts. First, this presentation will define and offer appropriate use of terminology related to the neurodiversity paradigm and the neurodiversity movement. Next, this presentation will reframe the ethics of target behavior selection through the social model of disability. Then this presentation will explore how individuals and organizations within the neurodiversity movement view the practice of applied behavior analysis. Last, suggestions for ABA practitioners and organizations that seek to be more neurodiversity-informed will be offered.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify and define terminology related to the neurodiversity paradigm; (2) Identify three benefits of the social model of disability; (3) Create a list of five ways that the neurodiversity paradigm can be applied in ABA practices.
CAS BREAUX (Cassi Breaux Consulting, LLC)
Cas Breaux has been adjunct faculty in the Center for Behavior Analysis at the University of West Florida since 2013 and the manager of educational content for CentralReach since 2018. Prior to CentralReach, Cas was a special education teacher, school administrator, and behavior specialist for the New York City Department of Education. Cas has also been a private practice owner, supervisor, behavior support tech, and several other roles within the behavior field for more than 15 years. As the primary content developer of ABA Knowledge Builder and long-time BCBA supervisor, Cas has extensive experience in content knowledge, skill development, and ethical practices within the BCBA task list (5th ed.). Cas has created more than 150 hours of asynchronous teaching content related to the BCBA task list (5th ed.), LGBTQIA+-inclusive ABA, assent-based ABA, and neurodiversity-informed ABA. As a trans and neurodivergent practitioner, Cas is deeply committed to helping practitioners develop inclusive and neurodiversity-informed practices.
Invited Paper Session #165
CE Offered: BACB
Skinner’s Pragmatic Science and Engineering of Behavior Change
Sunday, May 28, 2023
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom D
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Guy Bruce, Ed.D.
Presenting Author: GUY BRUCE (Appealing Solutions, LLC)

Skinner’s pragmatic approach is the tap root of the pragmatic tree of knowledge. It is the source of the scientific and engineering methods which have allowed practitioners to both predict and control behavior change and help clients achieve their behavior change goals. This talk will provide a brief history of Skinner’s pragmatic approach, contrasting it with dogmatic approaches, and describing its benefits for both practitioners and their clients.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Scientists and Engineers of behavior change who are interested in learning about Skinner’s pragmatic approach.

Learning Objectives: 1. Given examples of pragmatic and dogmatic approaches to the science and engineering of behavior change, learners will select the appropriate term for each example. 2. Given examples of pragmatic and dogmatic organizational practices, select pragmatic or dogmatic. 3. Given examples of the responses of engineers and technicians to human performance problems, select engineer or technician. 4. Given the name of the provider function, select the appropriate recipient functions. 5. Participants will describe examples of pragmatic or dogmatic processes at their organizations.
GUY BRUCE (Appealing Solutions, LLC)
Since earning his Ed. D. in Educational Psychology from the Behavior Analysis in Human Resources program at West Virginia University, Dr. Bruce has taught behavior analysis in both undergraduate and graduate programs and consulted with variety of organizations, including BellSouth, Crystal River Nuclear Power, Delta Faucet, Dearborn Financial, Mayo Hospital, and Waddell & Reid Financial Services. He is the author of “Instructional Design Made Easy,” a workbook for designing more efficient training programs and EARS, a data-based, performance-engineering process that can be used to improve organizational performance at the system, process, and individual levels, so that organizations can achieve desired results. In addition to conducting workshops on the application of organizational performance engineering to change how providers work together, so that every client or student makes efficient progress, he is currently working on ProgressCharter, a mobile/web application that will facilitate implementation of the EARS Process: 1) Evaluate Student Progress; 2) Analyze Provider Performance Problems; 3) Recommend Changes in Provider Resources, Training, and Management, and 4) Solve Provider Performance Problems by Designing and Implementing Recommended Solutions.
Invited Paper Session #182A
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Behavior Analysis and Racial Prejudice: Empirical Research and Perspectives for Intervention
Sunday, May 28, 2023
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center 401/402
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Daniel Mark Fienup (Teachers College, Columbia University)
CE Instructor: Julio C. De Rose, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: JULIO C. DE ROSE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Behavior analysis has much to contribute to the study of prejudice, and in particular racial prejudice. Well-established behavioral processes are involved in this complex social phenomenon. These processes include discrimination and generalization, stimulus equivalence and other kinds of derived relations, and the transfer or transformation of stimulus functions. This presentation will consider studies dealing with one particular aspect of prejudice: relational responding linking racial groups with negative attributes. Some studies with children have shown that it is possible to reverse such prejudicial relations in the laboratory, and that the reversion may persist for several weeks. Furthermore, current studies are attempting to address some important questions raised by these earlier works, such as: 1) How sensitive and valid are our measures of relations between races and attributes? 2) How can we increase the effectiveness of procedures to counteract these relations? 3) Can similar procedures be effective with older participants, such as adolescents and adults? 4) Can the findings of such research be useful to generate educational interventions against prejudice? Behavior analysis shows potential to make a meaningful contribution to the understanding and change of racial prejudice but needs to increase research efforts to address critical questions so far unanswered.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience:

Researchers and students interested in the behavioral aspects of prejudice and in possibilities of intervention.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify behavior principles involved in racial prejudice; (2) Describe and discuss experimental procedures to investigate prejudice as well as how to counteract it; (3) Identify shortcomings of the behavior-analytic research on prejudice and directions for future development; (4) Identify perspectives for intervention on prejudice.
JULIO C. DE ROSE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Ph.D. at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, in 1981, and postdoctoral Fulbright fellow at the Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, in Waltham, MA (1984-6). Currently, Professor of Psychology at the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil, and Research Director of the Brazilian National Institute of Science and Technology on Behavior, Cognition and Teaching. Author or co-author of more than 170 articles and chapters on experimental, applied, and conceptual Behavior Analysis. Served in the editorial boards of several international journals in the field of Behavior Analysis, and currently Associate Editor of The Psychological Record.
Invited Symposium #194
CE Offered: BACB — 
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.

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.

Invited Paper Session #211
CE Offered: BACB — 
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 to learn more.
Invited Symposium #240A
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Scholarly Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper Competition Winners
Sunday, May 28, 2023
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 1
Area: DEI; Domain: Translational
Chair: Daniel Kwak (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: Daniel Kwak, Ph.D.

This competition is designed to encourage, promote, and reward behavior analytic scholarship on topics and issues in DEI, both in the field of behavior analysis and more broadly. Students (graduate or undergraduate) and post-graduate professionals who have completed empirical or conceptual papers relevant to DEI that are informed, at least in part, by a behavior-analytic perspective were invited to submit.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the cultural and linguistic diversity, and related training and experiences, of applied behavior analysis service providers and service recipients; (2) describe areas for growth with respect to training and education in cultural responsiveness for behavior analysts and trainees; (3) Evaluate areas for optimization with traditionally-applied computer-based instruction for staff training; (4) Identify examples of potential prerequisite skills to be trained before training complex skills related to DEI; (5) Recognize the current barriers that may impede culturally and linguistically diverse individuals with autism from learning a second language; (6) Use the generalization tactics from this study to promote the development of tacts across multiple languages with other individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities.
Diversity submission Cultural Responsiveness in Behavior Analysis: Provider and Recipient Perceptions in Ontario
(Service Delivery)
PAIGE O'NEILL (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Cultural responsiveness is critical in behavior analytic services, particularly when providers and recipients have different cultural backgrounds. The purpose of this study was to systematically replicate and extend Beaulieu et al. (2019) by investigating the diversity among applied behavior analysis (ABA) service providers and service recipients in Ontario, service providers’ training and experiences in working with diverse families, and service providers’ and recipients’ perceptions of behavior analysts’ cultural responsiveness in practice. Results from 428 participants suggest that service providers and recipients in Ontario differ in demographic characteristics; service providers report having little training in how to serve diverse families; and although service recipients rate providers’ skills relatively positive, there is room for improvement. Results suggest a path forward for behavior analysis that includes education and training in cultural responsiveness as well as encouraging and fostering a bidirectional relationship between behavior analysts and the families they serve.
Paige O’Neill is a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) studying under the advisement of Dr. Catalina Rey. She obtained her master’s degree in applied disability studies with a specialization in applied behavior analysis from Brock University in Ontario, Canada under the mentorship of Dr. Julie Koudys. Paige is a BCBA in the Early Intervention program at MMI where she works with early learners and supervises trainees. Her research interests include topics related to mediator training and treatment integrity; teaching procedures to promote skill acquisition for early learners; and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of behavior analysis.
Diversity submission Diversity Term Accuracy: A comparison of SAFMEDS and Computer-Based Instruction Training Models
(Service Delivery)
CANDACE R FAY (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Promoting diversity and inclusion can impact a variety of different groups. Many organizations rely on various training methods to help ensure diversity in the workplace. However, little research has compared the effects of different training approaches on increasing recall of specific cultural terms. Thus, the present study employed an adapted alternating treatment design to explore the effectiveness of two different training approaches. A SAFMEDS training model was compared to a traditionally-applied. Computer-Based Instruction, to determine which is more efficient at promoting cultural fluency. The number of correct definitions for diversity terms across various demographic categories, served as the dependent variable. Participants mastered a higher number of diversity terms when trained with SAFMEDS, compared to the computer- based instruction procedures. During maintenance sessions, participants exhibited sustained performance. SAFMEDS may be ideal for improving precision when training terms to be used in conversations about diversity, and culturally-related topics. These skills will aid in building more culturally-relevant social skills that include more complex response requirements.
Candace Fay is a BCBA and a Ph.D. student at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). Her core values include authenticity, balance, competence, and growth. Throughout her education, research, and practice, she has worked in areas such as ABA service delivery, training and development, performance management, behavioral systems analysis, instructional design, DEI, and intimacy and sexual behaviors. Candace currently practices within the scope of behavior-analytic instruction, research, operations consulting, and program management for ABA service delivery.
Diversity submission Evaluation of Instructive Feedback and Multiple-Exemplar Training as Strategies for Generalizing Tacts Across English and Spanish Responses
(Service Delivery)
PATRICIO ERHARD (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Research has indicated that bilingual learners with autism have difficulty accessing culturally responsive interventions. Emerging research has shown that people with ASD have benefited from the use of instructive feedback and serial multiple-exemplar training for promoting the generalization of tacts. However, to date no study has examined the effects these combined strategies have on the emergence and generalization of tacts across multiple languages. We used a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants to teach children from heritage language homes tacts in English and Spanish. The results demonstrated that instructive feedback and serial multiple-exemplar training were effective at producing generalization across novel stimuli exemplars in primary and secondary languages for two of the four participants. Additional training components (i.e., rehearsals and no-no prompts) were effective in producing the same generalization outcomes with the remaining two participants.
Patricio Erhard is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), PhD candidate, and assistant instructor in the autism and developmental disabilities program at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to UT Austin, Patricio attended the autism/ABA program at Texas State University where he earned his Master's in Education. His current research interests include multiple exemplar training, instructive feedback, dual language development, verbal behavior, social skills training, and equivalence-based instruction. Patricio is also currently teaching Trastorno del Espectro Autista at UT Austin, a Spanish course about autism.
Invited Paper Session #248
CE Offered: BACB
A Behavioral Approach to the Treatment of Aphasia: Scratching the Surface
Sunday, May 28, 2023
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 2/3
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Rocio Rosales (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
CE Instructor: Rocio Rosales, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: ZUILMA GABRIELA SIGURDARDOTTIR (University of Iceland)
Abstract: Aphasia is an adult language disorder that can be acquired following a cerebral vascular accident (e.g., stroke). There are many types of aphasia and it is common for patients to be diagnosed with one type of aphasia in the beginning but be diagnosed with a different type of aphasia during the healing period. Healing typically lasts for 6 to 18 months post trauma. After the healing period the condition becomes chronic. Broca´s aphasia, which I mostly focus on, is characterized by a diminished vocabulary and by the slow, broken, and labored formation of sentences. The processes that enable improvements in fluent speech, e.g., in naming, reading, sentence structure, etc., are not well understood. Various approaches have been used to treat patients with Broca´s aphasia including speech therapy. Most studies show improvements after treatment. Still, the development of an effective and efficient treatment, one that reliably works better than others for specific patients with specific symptoms, remains to be established. Treatment based on operant conditioning or stimulus control procedures seemed to be promising in the very limited number of available studies over 20 years ago. My curiosity with regard to Broca‘s aphasia, and my firm believe that the application of learning principles could alleviate some of those symptoms led me into experimenting with a behavioral treatment. It is my goal for today to present the data of these studies as an example of how learning principles can be applied systematically in the treatment of aphasia to increase fluent speech. These studies just scratched the surface and need to be continued. It was my intent to try out something that could potentially help a few patients achieve more fluent speech. Participants in these studies were adults with chronic-aphasia, aged 51-63. The performances that were treated varied across participants but all had to do with fluent speech, e.g., naming people or objects, making sentences, sequencing stimuli, discriminating written words or reading compound words. Treatment was based on stimulus control procedures like errorless learning, backward chaining, and other operant conditioning. They were treated for up to 7 months. Treatment variables were clearly defined and systematically used in standard ways across participants with flexibility for adaptation to individual outcomes using clearly defined criteria. Prompts that were used in training faded out as performances improved. Treatment effects were evaluated with single subject experimental designs. The performances of all participants improved significantly. Performances ultimately reached 100% correct in some tasks without any prompts from the experimenter. Generalization measures across stimuli and settings demonstrated that their improved performances generalized to novel stimuli and novel settings. One study was directly replicated. When a replication failed further studies were undertaken in an attempt to understand the reasons for the failure to replicate. Systematic replications are needed to assess generality of effects of this experimental treatment. Replication of therapeutic effects is a prerequisite for advancement in any therapeutic field. Only with direct and systematic replications of single-subject experimental studies is it possible to ultimately determine which type of therapy is effective for what type of patient with what type of etiology and symptoms and in which particular situation (Barlow & Hersen, 1984; Hayes, Barlow, & Nelson-Gray, 1999; Sidman, 1960).
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

All ABA practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to:(1) List the main symptoms of Broca‘s aphasia; (2) Describe an intervention based on errorless learning and performance feedback for symptoms of aphasia; (3) Discuss the benefits of applying the methods and strategies of applied behavior analysis in the treatment of aphasia.
Zuilma Gabriela Sigurðardóttir finished her BA in psychology in 1985 at the University of Iceland, her MA in Behavior Analysis and Therapy in 1989 at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and her PhD in Psychology in 1992 at Northeastern University-Boston. She became member of ABAI in 1987. She has worked on the dissemination of behavior analysis in Iceland and Europe for 30 years. First as therapist, consultant, and adjunct faculty at the University of Iceland, while also being an administrator and developer of services for the disabled in Reykjavík. Then she became an administrator and developer of psychological services for schools at the compulsory level for the City of Reykjavík. She entered academia full time in 1999 as assistant professor of behavior analysis in the psychology department of the University of Iceland. She became associate professor in 2004 and full professor in 2018. She has taught behavior analysis at all levels, both required and elective courses that she established. She has guided and supervised approximately 190 students‘ research projects for thesis in behavior analysis at all levels, including the only PhD thesis in behavior analysis in Iceland so far. She has managed and coordinated graduate student practica in public schools for 23 years. She has aided Icelandic students to find programs of study in behavior analysis in the United States and Europe since 1998 and has guided them in the application process. She was department chair of the psychology department at the University of Iceland in 2003-2005. She was president of the European Association for Behavior Analysis in 2015-2017 and past-president in 2017-2020. Her research interests include the analysis of language acquisition from a stimulus equivalence paradigm and applied behavior analysis in various contexts. She has served as associate editor of EJOBA and JOBE for many years and was on the review board of EJOBA for many years prior to becoming associate editor. She has reviewed manuscripts for various other scientific journals like JEAB and for scientific journals in various other disciplines as well. She has served as reviewer of grant proposals for the Icelandic Research Council and other granting agencies. She was an exchange teacher at the University of Latvia with Erasmus fellowships in 2015-2019 and led the establishment of the Baltic Association for Behavior Analysis. She has continued teaching for Latvia through the internet in the last three years. She aided in coordinating the first conference on behavior analysis in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2016. She has taught re-education courses for elementary school teachers, psychologists, administrators, and allied health professionals in Iceland and Latvia. She has also offered behavior management classes to parents and teachers in Iceland in Icelandic, English, and Spanish. She has had a small private practice where she provides services to families. She presently serves as board chairman of the newly established Applied Behavior Analysis masters program at the University of Iceland. She enjoys travel and culture, classical music concerts, family gatherings, and her dog. She has two adult children and a grand-daughter on the way. She was born in Mexico City but moved from there at age 10 and settled down in Iceland at age 11 with her Mexican mother and Icelandic step father. She is the recipient of the SABA 2023 award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis.
Invited Paper Session #262
CE Offered: BACB — 
Establishing Pivotal Professional Skills in the Course of Supervision
Sunday, May 28, 2023
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Convention Center 401/402
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kerri L. Milyko (CentralReach)
CE Instructor: Linda LeBlanc, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: LINDA LEBLANC (LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting LLC)

A pivotal skill is one that, when acquired, produces beneficial changes across a wide range of other skills as an ancillary effect. For a practicing behavior analyst, organization and time management skills, problem solving skills, and interpersonal skills moderate many other repertoires in both work (e.g., academic success, clinical effectiveness, productivity) and personal life (e.g., household management, money management) and are pivotal to success as a clinician and supervisor. However, at least some behavior analysts become certified without explicit training in these skills and refinement of these repertoires. When these skills are weak, the transition to full time employment can be stressful and the risk of poor performance or burnout is increased. This presentation will review strategies for establishing core professional effectiveness skills in the course of supervision.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

BCBA Supervisors

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify at least 3 pivotal professional skills; (2) identify 5 steps of a structured problem solving approach; (3) identify the effects of perspective taking on various professional behaviors.
LINDA LEBLANC (LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting LLC)
Linda A. LeBlanc, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Licensed Psychologist is the President of LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting and the past Editor in Chief of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Her 25 year career has included academic positions at Claremont McKenna College, Western Michigan University and Auburn University as well leadership positions in human services organizations. She established LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting in 2017 and consults to technology companies, universities, and behavior analytic human service organizations. Her professional interests include behavioral treatments, supervision and mentoring, and ethics. She is a Fellow of ABAI and is the 2016 recipient of the APA Nathan H. Azrin Award for Distinguished Contribution in Applied Behavior Analysis.



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