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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.

12th Annual Autism Conference; Miami, FL; 2018

Program by Day for Monday, February 5, 2018


 

Special Event #2
Opening Remarks
Monday, February 5, 2018
8:15 AM–8:30 AM
Regency Ballroom
Chair: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
The conference co-chairs will present opening remarks.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #3
CE Offered: BACB/PSY/QABA
Assessing and Teaching Job-Related Social and Problem Solving Skills to Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, February 5, 2018
8:30 AM–9:20 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Dorothea C. Lerman, Ph.D.
Chair: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
DOROTHEA C. LERMAN (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Carolyn Grob (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Natalie Villante (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Channing Langlinais (University of Houston- Clear Lake)
Dorothea Lerman is currently a Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston - Clear Lake, where she directs a master’s program in behavior analysis and serves as Director of the UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She received her doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Florida in 1995, specializing in the experimental analysis of behavior. Her areas of expertise include autism, developmental disabilities, early intervention, functional analysis, teacher and parent training, and treatment of severe behavior disorders (e.g., aggression, self-injury. Dr. Lerman has published more than 80 research articles and chapters, served as Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice and has secured more than $2 million in grants and contracts to support her work. She was the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Contribution to Applied Behavioral Research Award and the 2001 B.F. Skinner Award for New Researchers, awarded by Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She also was named a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis-International in 2008. Dr. Lerman is a Licensed Psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Abstract: Adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have substantial difficulties obtaining and maintaining employment. Challenges with job-related social and problem solving skills, such as asking for help, locating missing materials, and responding appropriately to feedback, are likely barriers to positive employment outcomes. Research is needed on objective and efficient methods for assessing these skills and on interventions to improve performance in job settings. In this presentation, I will describe the outcomes of an assessment that involved contriving on-the-job experiences in a clinic setting with five individuals, aged 19 to 27 years. Assessment results were useful for identifying skills to target for intervention. The efficacy of a training package for improving social and problem solving skills that are critical to job success will be presented for three participants. The therapist combined initial behavior skills training with stimulus (text) prompts to promote generalization from the clinic to a simulated job setting. Results indicated that training improved the targeted skills and that text prompts ensured successful generalization across settings and supervisors. These findings have important implications for preparing individuals with ASD to function successfully on the job.
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) State important job-related social and problem-solving skills; (2) Identify gaps in the literature on assessment and training of job-related social and problem-solving skills for individuals with ASD; (3) Describe a general methodology for assessing job-related skills in a clinic setting; (4) Describe the components of behavioral skills training; (5) Discuss strategies to promote generalization of intervention effects.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #4
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
Promoting Quality in Adult Services for People With Autism: Evidence-Based Strategies
Monday, February 5, 2018
9:30 AM–10:20 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Dennis H. Reid, Ph.D.
Chair: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
DENNIS H. REID (Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center)
Dr. Dennis Reid has over 40 years of experience as a clinician and supervisor in educational, residential, and community support settings for people with autism and other developmental disabilities, and has consulted with human service agencies in the majority of states of the United States as well as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He has published over 140 refereed journal articles and book chapters focusing on applied behavior analysis and authored or co-authored 11 books and three training curricula. In 2007 he was awarded Fellowship status in the Association for Behavior Analysis International and in 2006 received the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities International Research Award. Dennis is the founder and current director of the Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center in Morganton, North Carolina, USA. His company has employed people with autism and other severe disabilities in a supported work capacity for 22 years.
Abstract: This presentation will describe critical, evidence-based strategies for promoting and maintaining quality within services specifically for adults with autism. The strategies to be presented are based on over four decades of behavior analytic research and application in residential and day-support settings for adults with autism and other severe disabilities. Topics to be discussed include the fundamental differences in goals for services for adults versus children, basic skill sets required of support staff, key performance responsibilities of staff warranting regular attention and action by supervisors, characteristics of environments that promote meaningful and enjoyable daily routines, and supervisory performance expectations and skills necessary for ensuring day-to-day quality in service provision. The most common obstacles to quality services will also be presented along with research-based means of overcoming the obstacles.
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify two key areas of staff performance warranting supervisory monitoring and feedback in residential services for adults with autism; (2) Describe the current professional consensus regarding most and least meaningful activities for adults with autism in center-based, day-support settings; (3) Identify three generic skill sets required of support staff that are necessary for providing quality adult services.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #5
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
Behavioral Skills Training: Recent Trends and Implications for Practice
Monday, February 5, 2018
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Peter Sturmey, Ph.D.
Chair: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
PETER STURMEY (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Professor Peter Sturmey is Professor of Psychology at The Graduate Center and the Department of Psychology, Queens College, City University of New York. He is also resident speaker at the Applied Behavior Analysis Center; Director of Research at Long Island Applied Behavior Analysis; Consultant for the Instituto Walden, Rome, Italy; and a member of the Scientific Committee of The Italian Association of Applied and Basic Behavior Analysis, Italy. He gained his Ph.D. at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and subsequently taught at the University of the South West (Plymouth) and University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He then worked for the Texas Department of Mental Retardation from 1990–2000 as Chief Psychologist at Abilene and San Antonio State Schools during a Federal class action law. Professor Sturmey has published 26 edited and authored books, over 200 peer reviewed papers, over 60 book chapters and over 270 presentations nationally and internationally, including recent presentations in Canada, Brazil and Italy. He has an active lab of mostly working on developing and evaluating effective and efficient ways of training caregivers using modeling and feedback to use applied behavior analysis with children and adults with autism and other disabilities. He specialized in autism and other developmental disabilities; especially in the areas of applied behavior analysis, dual diagnosis, evidence-based practice, and staff and parent training He has recently expanded his interests to include research on violence and aggression in a wide range of contexts.
Abstract: Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is a skills training package consisting of instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. Originating in psychotherapy training to teach accurate empathy, researchers have used it in many contexts, including services for individuals with autism. This presentation will review the components of BST; the range of target behaviors; its effectiveness in changing behavior in Tier 1 (supervisor), Tier 2 (caregivers) and Tier 3 (individuals with autism). The presentation will then identify issues in making BST more efficient, including maximizing generalization of Tier 1 and Tier 2 skills training, teaching multiple skills, and reducing training time. Future directions for research and practice will be outlined.
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 rationale for using BST; (2) Identify the four components of BST; (3) Describe evidence for the effectiveness of BST for all three tiers; (4) Describe three ways to make BST more efficient.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #6
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
Brain Connectivity and Cognition in Autism
Monday, February 5, 2018
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Jonathan J. Tarbox, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
LUCINA UDDIN (University of Miami)
After receiving a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the psychology department at UCLA in 2006, Dr. Uddin completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Child Study Center at New York University. For several years she worked as a faculty member in Psychiatry & Behavioral Science at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She joined the psychology department at the University of Miami in 2014. Within a cognitive neuroscience framework, Dr. Uddin’s research combines functional connectivity analyses of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data and structural connectivity analyses of diffusion tensor imaging data to examine the organization of large-scale brain networks supporting social cognition and executive functions. Her current projects focus on understanding dynamic network interactions underlying cognitive inflexibility in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Dr. Uddin’s work has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Cerebral Cortex, JAMA Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, PNAS, and Nature Reviews Neuroscience.
Abstract: Brain structural and functional development underlies the maturation of increasingly sophisticated cognitive abilities. High-level social and cognitive processes rely on the integrity of, and dynamic interactions between, several core brain networks. Our research program characterizes the development of brain networks in autism and examines relationships with social cognitive and repetitive behaviors. We find that brain connectivity changes across the lifespan in autism, and suggest ways in which age-dependent brain network properties can be understood to contribute to the emergence of specific behaviors.
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: (1) understand the current status of the field of neuroimaging of autism; (2) name specific brain regions and networks that are implicated in symptoms of autism; (3) understand questions and caveats/limitations of current approaches.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #7
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
Using Behavior-Change Medications to Benefit People With Autism: An Overview
Monday, February 5, 2018
2:30 PM–3:20 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Alan D. Poling, Ph.D.
Chair: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
ALAN D. POLING (Western Michigan University)
Al Poling is a Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University. He received his B.A. from Alderson-Broaddus College, his M.A. from West Virginia University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. A Fellow of Divisions 3, 25, and 28 of the American Psychological Association and of the Association for Behavioral Analysis International, Al has published 12 books and over 350 articles and book chapters and served as the research advisor of 36 Ph.D. recipients. They, and he, have conducted research and done conceptual work in several areas, including behavioral pharmacology, clinical psychopharmacology (with special emphasis on the effects of psychotropic drugs in people with autism spectrum disorder), applied behavior analysis, gender issues, animal welfare, quantitative analysis, learning processes, research methods, and scent detection. Their work has been published in more than 50 different journals. Al was recognized as a Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Western Michigan University in 1996 and as a Distinguished Alumnus of West Virginia University in 1999. In 2003, he received the Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Achievement in Research and Creative Activity Award. In 2016, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Association of Behavior Analysis, a Translational Research Award from the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and an International Humanitarian Award from the American Psychological Association.
Abstract: Two drugs, risperidone (Risperdal) and aripiprazole (Abilify), are FDA-approved for treating “irritability” in young people with autism and are often used for this purpose. Several other drugs also are commonly prescribed in the hope of improving behavior. This presentation will overview the use of behavior-change drugs in people with autism. Topics to be considered include the prevalence of drug use, the rationale for drug use, research findings, and what behavior analysts can do help in ensuring that medications are used wisely and effectively.
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) specify why psychotropic drugs are often prescribed for people with autism; (2) state the prevalence of psychotropic drug use in people with autism, the kinds of drugs commonly administered, and the kinds of behaviors that those drugs typically are intended to change; (3) describe and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the research literature concerned with the pharmacological treatment of people with autism; (4) summarize the conclusions supported by the research literature concerned with the pharmacological treatment of people with autism; (5) specify and describe two ways in which behavior analysts can contribute to ensuring that psychotropic drugs are used appropriately.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #8
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
Funding ABA: The Intersection of Law and Applied Behavior Analysis in Evidence-Based Autism Treatment
Monday, February 5, 2018
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Jonathan J. Tarbox, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
JULIE KORNACK (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Julie Kornack is the director of public policy for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Her work includes identifying, developing, and supporting state and federal initiatives that increase access to autism treatment, as well as analyzing the impact of federal and state legislative and regulatory developments on access to autism treatment. She co-authored A Response to Papatola and Lustig’s Paper on Navigating a Managed Care Peer Review: Guidance for Clinicians using Applied Behavior Analysis in the Treatment of Individuals on the Autism Spectrum, recently published in Behavior Analysis in Practice, and is the author of The History, Pitfalls, and Promise of Licensure in the Field of Behavior Analysis, due to be published this fall. Her analysis of the economics of autism treatment was published in the Handbook of Early Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders: Research, Policy, and Practice, and she is an editor of Evidence-Based Treatment for Children with Autism: The CARD Model. She serves on the board of directors of the National Coalition for Access to Autism Services, as well as several state and national advisory committees and task forces.
Abstract: With applied behavior analysis (ABA) joining the mainstream of medically necessary treatments, insurers and managed care organizations have moved to introduce policies intended to influence treatment decisions – critical decisions about how many hours of ABA are medically necessary, which locations are allowable, and who must participate in treatment. Arbitrary policies that constrain behavior analysts from designing and implementing the most effective treatment plan are often indicative of an overreach by the funding source. With no statutory definition of medical necessity governing commercial insurance, behavior analysts are in a position to shape funding practices by understanding the laws and regulations that underpin patient rights in the determination of medically necessary treatment. This presentation seeks to empower behavior analysts to challenge improper policies, stand by their clinical recommendations, and ensure that behavior analysts – not funding sources – set the standard of care for ABA.
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the variables that should contribute to determinations of medical necessity; (2) identify the difference between educational and medically necessary ABA; (3) recognize improper limitations and discriminatory practices of funding sources; (4) protect patient rights to medically necessary treatment; and (5) preserve and shape the standard of care in the field of ABA.
 
 
Special Event #9
Autism SIG Update
Monday, February 5, 2018
5:00 PM–5:15 PM
Regency Ballroom
Chair: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
The purposes of the Autism Special Interest Group (Autism SIG) are to (1) promote evidence based practices in regard to treatment for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); (2) promote best practices as it relates to procedures/interventions based upon the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as it relates to individuals diagnosed with ASD; (3) help individuals diagnosed with ASD, families of individuals diagnosed with ASD, and consumers to identify components of evidence based practices, quality behavioral intervention, and effective treatments; (4) help protect individuals diagnosed with ASD and their families from ineffective, non-evidence based, and/or potential harmful treatment(s); (5) serve as a scientific and professional reference and networking group for its members; and (6) organize an annual meeting to provide a forum for discussion of the affairs of the SIG. In this talk we will briefly describe recent developments that have occurred within the Autism SIG as well as future plans in the upcoming year.
 

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