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 Workshops: Thursday, May 25, 2023


Workshop #W6
CE Offered: BACB — 
Applied Behavior Analytic Acceptance and Commitment Training: Functional Analysis PART ONE
Thursday, May 25, 2023
1:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center 401/402
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Yukie Kurumiya, Ph.D.
THOMAS G. SZABO (Capella University), LARISA SHEPERD (Endicott College), ASHLEY PETT (Achievement, Balance, Community LLC), CELIA HEYMAN (New Jersey ABA), YUKIE KURUMIYA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), TYLER-CURTIS CORY ELLIOT (University of Georgia), Kristy Park (George Mason University), ELISE PRACHAR (The Florida Institute of Technology)
Description: Evidence for the utility of acceptance and commitment training (ACT) in applied behavior analysis (ABA) is growing. Most researchers publishing in this area are highly skilled academics with their most experienced graduate students, so it is not surprising that they are successful and operating within an ABA scope of practice. But how does the average ABA practitioner gain access to the coaching needed for successful, ethical implementation of ACT in ABA settings? It does not help that ABA practitioners leave ACT workshops saying, “This is great, but how would I do this?” In fact, it is problematic for our field when training does not result in skill acquisition and sensitivity to the nuances of acceptable conduct when using an intervention. This workshop (Part 1 of 2) will offer training in two skills – ACT assessment and therapeutic alliance. Using a BST format, participants will learn to conduct descriptive functional assessment of the six ACT repertoires and apply a 14-step task analysis to the development of a compassion-focused therapeutic relationship with clients. Participants will receive intensive coaching in small groups from seven seasoned facilitators and access to an online folder with self-paced training material, videos, and relevant research.
Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) code dialogue for six core indirect-acting contingencies; (2) discriminate steps in a 14-step task analysis to the development of a compassion-focused therapeutic alliance; (3) conduct descriptive ABA ACT functional assessment with attention to the therapeutic relationship.
Activities: BST - rationale, modeling, rehearsal, feedback. Also, lecture, small group breakout, large group discussion.
Audience: Participants should be familiar with the ACT model. Having previously participated in an ACT workshop, read ACT research, or read ACT books would help. This content is appropriate for BCBAs and for BCaBAs under supervision of BCBAs with ACT in ABA background. This content is also appropriate for students and practitioners of clinical behavior analysis (behavioral counseling, therapy, and so forth).
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): BST+ Roleplay, Descriptive ACT-FBA, Therapeutic Alliance
Workshop #W10
CE Offered: BACB
50 Simple, Easy, Evidence-Based Practice Strategies to Prevent and Reduce Aggression in School Settings
Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3C
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Laura Kenneally, Ed.D.
LAURA KENNEALLY (Advance Learning Center)
Description: BCBAs are challenged to reduce and prevent students with autism and other developmental disabilities from engaging in problem behavior including aggression. These severe behavior challenges limit a student’s ability to learn appropriate academic, vocational, and social skills and become a successful, independent adult. As schools have limited resources including funding and trained personnel, BCBAs are tasked to fix these challenges with quick, easy, effective, and low-cost solutions. This workshop includes 50 detailed interventions for school-based BCBAs to create positive, easy fixes, on a shoe-string budget. These strategies include ABA “buy in”, personnel training, curriculum, behavioral assessments, and program evaluation.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define and demonstrate shaping and use of the feedback model to create behavior change. (2) Define and implement 50 ways to reduce/prevent problem behavior in school. (3) Use a data-based measurement system to evaluate the efficacy of the intervention(s).
Activities: Hands -on activities to learn and practice shaping skills with the use of the feedback model Instructional video of how to provide feedback and shaping lecture, small group activities to describe and illustrate 50 evidence-based practices
Audience: BCBAs who have some experience writing FBAs and BIPs who seek additional skills in intervention strategies and training school staff to effectively implement them.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Workshop #W11
CE Offered: BACB — 
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 #W17
The Four Causes of Schedule-Induced Behaviors: Experimental and Applied Implications
Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2A
Area: EAB/PCH; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Jeff Kupfer, Ph.D.
JEFF KUPFER (University of Colorado Denver), RON F. ALLEN (Simmons University)
Description: Adjunctive or schedule-induced behaviors (sometimes maladaptive and always excessive) are behaviors that are maintained at a high probability by stimuli that derive their reinforcing properties as a function of parameters governing the availability of some other class of reinforcement. In non-human subjects, some schedules of reinforcement have been shown to generate strange behaviors such as: polydipsia, attack against members of its own species, self-induced escape, pica, and hyperactivity; In human subjects, these same schedules can exaggerate behaviors such as fluid intake, aggression, pacing, grooming, eating, stereotypic behavior, smoking and, quite possibly-- “wretched excess”. This presentation provides a new framework for schedule-induced behaviors that organizes sixty years of research and theoretical literature. A video-tape will be shown demonstrating various types of schedule-induced behaviors in a rat and pigeon. Studies describing functional relationships with reinforcement schedules and “generator schedules” (i.e., schedules promoting schedule-induced behaviors) will be reviewed, as well as functional assessment and measurement strategies. Alternative reinforcement strategies in applied settings will be reviewed and case studies will be presented comparing fixed- vs. variable-DRO schedules
Learning Objectives: (1) Attendees will describe the Aristotelian four causes of schedule-induced behaviors (2) Attendees will describe methods to measure and assess schedule-induced behaviors (3) Attendees will describe pitfalls in using common schedules of reinforcement (4) Attendees will describe alternatives to minimize the influence of schedule-induced behaviors
Activities: Instructional strategies: lecture, discussion Workshop objectives will be met through lecture, video presentation, assessments. The format combines lecture and discussion
Audience: Masters level BCBAs or higher
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Workshop #W20
CE Offered: BACB
Successful Intervention in Schools: How to Provide Effective and Systematic Behavioral Consultation
Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4A/B
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Kristen Maria Villone, Ph.D.
KRISTEN MARIA VILLONE (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health), RYAN MATTHEW BIEMULLER (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health)
Description: Competing priorities, last minute referrals, and large caseloads can make consultant feel like they are always putting out fires. In this workshop, attendees will learn strategies for providing systematic, effective, and ecologically-valid behavioral consultation. The presenters will review research on evidence-based practices for special education populations, including learners with autism and students with intensive special needs. Attendees will learn how to incorporate evidence-based practices into classroom consultation protocols, including how to create data-based observation systems and provide behavioral skills training to teacher s and classroom staff. The presenters will discuss processes for addressing the needs of high-risk students who continue to exhibit problem behavior despite consistence implementation of evidence –based practices. Strategies for effective coaching in the classroom will be emphasize, including how to build rapport, work with staff from different backgrounds, communicate effectively and identify interventions that are feasible and contextually appropriate. The presenters will also discuss how to monitor progress, fade supports, and build capacity within the school environment.
Learning Objectives: (1) Identify evidence-based classroom practices for special education populations, including learners w/ASD and students with disruptive behavior disorders. (2) Develop a structured classroom observation system, including data collection strategies and a plan for implementation and sustainability. (3) Demonstrate how to effectively use behavioral skills training to teach classroom staff how to consistently use evidence-based practices. (4) Discuss key practices for effective consultation, including building rapport, working within the resources of the environment, communicating clearly, and consistent documentation.
Activities: Instructional strategies will include: -Didactic training and demonstration of targeted skills. –Sharing and discussing data on current implementation in public schools. –Presentation of templates for developing data-based observation systems and implementation plans. – Small group discussion to develop implementation plans. –Opportunities to practice coaching and providing performance feedback.
Audience: Participants should have experience developing behavior intervention plans. Participants should have experience working in schools or working with staff without a background in ABA.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Workshop #W21
CE Offered: BACB
Become the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Leader Your Team Deserves: 7 Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) Strategies That Can Immediately Level-Up Your Leadership
Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2C
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: John Austin, Ph.D.
JOHN AUSTIN (Reaching Results), JONATHAN MUELLER (Ascend Behavior Partners)
Description: Leadership is a verb not a noun. It’s not merely a title. In fact power and influence derived from your designated job title or description is the weakest form. Nor is leadership a bag of tricks to pull out when the team needs a pick-me-up….although there are techniques which can boost happiness, optimism, performance, and even retention. A sneak peek at the things you’ll learn during this highly interactive workshop: • “Leadership” is a set of behaviors (governed by the same laws as all behavior) that you can learn, practice, master, and use for good. We will share the most impactful behaviors we’ve learned from our careers (+ handouts, worksheets, learning aids that you can immediately put into practice). • Effective leaders are self-managers as well as task- and people managers. Our observation is that self-less ABA leaders are the last to put on their mask, not the first (as airlines recommend), and this has a detrimental effect on their effectiveness, their teams, and their health. We’ll help you look in the mirror on your self-management strategies. • Effective leaders create follower-ship: through strong relationships with their peers, maintaining high standards of performance, and coaching/mentoring to bring out the best in their teams. We will discuss elements of these response classes plus key behavioral and financial metrics that can keep you focused on the right actions. “Oh is that ALL”, you ask? Your facilitators will endeavor to coach and present with fun and humor (because if we’re not all having fun, what’s the point??!?!). With John's 30 years of OBM research and coaching and Jonathan’s 10+ years experience as an ABA executive and cofounder of two successful autism-service organizations, the facilitators will bring together their real world experiences and knowledge & passion of the science of OBM. Evidence-based does not have to mean BORING. Not in our book, anyway. We will seek to engage the audience and learn together while discussing real world applications of techniques that you can immediately implement to rapid improvement.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to describe at least one tactic each they could apply at work for 1) self management; 2) people management; and 3) performance management.
Activities: The format of this workshop will include lecture, facilitated discussion, small group exercises, anonymous polling, and some surprises.
Audience: This workshop will be especially relevant to anyone who leads a team at any level in any organization, especially executives and Sr managers. However, our examples will be tailored to ABA service organization leaders. Individual contributors in such organizations will also benefit from attending.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Leader behaviors, Leadership, OBM, Performance improvement
Workshop #W22
CE Offered: BACB — 
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 #W24
CE Offered: BACB
Change Inner Behaviors--Thoughts, Feelings, and Urges
Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3B
Area: VRB/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Heather Eisel, Ph.D.
ABIGAIL B. CALKIN (Calkin Consulting Center), HEATHER EISEL (University of Oklahoma )
Description: Based on Skinner’s philosophy, behavioral work and writings, on Lindsley’s seminal work and research in identifying, counting, and analyzing inner behavior, and on the 1,000-plus research-based inner behavior projects, this workshop looks at thoughts, feelings, and urges as behaviors a person can observe, count and change. Previously used in 13 research studies, including military and other venues for those with post-traumatic stress disorders, and university masters and doctoral theses, the workshop takes the participants on a journey to some of their own and their clients’ potential inner behaviors. It includes some charts of people who have counted their inner behaviors in the past years. The workshop also teaches, or reviews, how to use the standard celeration chart to record the frequencies and analyze the changes of any inner behaviors. Articles based on research have been peer-reviewed and published in US and European journals. All publications, from theses to journal publications, have met all ethical, legal, statutory, guidelines and standards.
Learning Objectives: (1) Name, define, and give at least 10 examples each category of inner behaviors, including various thoughts, feelings, and urges; (2) Name and state the findings and locations of at least four of the research projects named and reviewed; (3) State in outlined or noted detail how the participant will use this with a specific client or student.
Activities: • instructional strategies and their tactics will include lecture, discussion, timings, small group breakouts, and notes for written plans for future implementation. • Various readings will be reviewed in the workbook with a reference list also provided. • The final format for the participants will be a written plan for a specific person or a group that the participant has.
Audience: Intermediate prerequisite skills: 1. Familiarity with the standard celeration chart and the ability to use it for the client or student; 2. Very strong interest and some work with inner behavior.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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