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.

15th Annual Autism Conference; Online; 2021

CE by Type: PSY


 

Workshop #W2
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Research and Practical Application of Telehealth Practice of ABA
Sunday, February 28, 2021
1:30 PM–4:30 PM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Stephanie Peterson, Ph.D.
STEPHANIE PETERSON (Western Michigan University), REBECCA ELDRIDGE (Western Michigan University), JESSICA DETRICK (Western Michigan University ), KELSEY STAPLETON (Western Michigan University)

Stephanie M. Peterson, Ph.D., is Professor Psychology and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University. She earned her doctorate in Special Education at The University of Iowa in 1994. Previously, she taught at Gonzaga University, Utah State University, The Ohio State University, and Idaho State University. Her primary research interests are helping to decrease chronic severe behavior problems in children with developmental disabilities. Specifically, she studies choice making in the treatment of problem behavior, functional communication training, reinforcement-based interventions for children with problem behavior, concurrent schedules of reinforcement in the treatment of severe problem behavior, functional analysis of problem behavior, and teleconsultation. She also has interests in applications of behavior analysis to educational interventions and teacher/behavior analyst training. She has served on a variety of editorial boards, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice. She also served as a Senior Editor for Education and Treatment of Children for many years and now serves as a Consulting Senior Editor. She recently completed the second of two 3-year terms on the Board of Directors for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and has now been appointed to the Michigan Board of Behavior Analysts, Michigan’s licensing board for behavior analysts.

Dr. Becky Eldridge, BCBA-D, is the Clinical Director of WMU’s Kalamazoo Autism Center.  She obtained her master’s degree from the University of Chicago focusing on disability studies, and her Ph.D. in behavior analysis from Western Michigan University, under the supervision of Dr. Stephanie Peterson.  She has worked in homes, clinics, and school settings with professionals and parents from diverse backgrounds to implement effective interventions for children and young adults with autism and other developmental disorders.  Her research interests include functional behavior assessment of severe problem behavior, functional communication training for individuals with developmental disabilities, decision making behavior of behavior analysts, evidence-based training for practitioners in the field of developmental disabilities, telehealth as an evidence-based service modality, and teacher training and collaboration.  She is most passionate about teaching and training in community settings to increase capacity for effective behavior analytic intervention. 

Jessica J. Detrick, M.A., BCBA, LBA, is a first-year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Western Michigan University. She received her B.A. (2016) from the University of Iowa and M.A. (2018) from the University of Missouri. Jessica is a Project Coordinator and Clinical Supervisor of the Psychological Assessment and Treatment Services (PATS) team. PATS is a team of BCBAs working with Integrated Services of Kalamazoo who provide consultative services to adult and children consumers with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and emotional behavior disorders who engage in challenging behaviors. PATS conducts functional behavioral assessments, develops behavior treatment plans, provides parent and staff training on the plan, and monitors treatment progress.
Kelsey E. Stapleton, M.A., BCBA, LBA, is a second year doctoral student in Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University (WMU). She received her B.S. (2017) and M.A. (2019) from WMU. Currently, Kelsey is a Project Coordinator and Clinical Supervisor of the Psychological Assessment and Treatment Services (PATS) team. PATS is a team of BCBAs working with Integrated Services of Kalamazoo who provide consultative services to adult and children consumers with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and emotional behavior disorders who engage in challenging behaviors. PATS conducts functional behavioral assessments, develops behavior treatment plans, provides parent and staff training on the plan, and monitors treatment progress. Kelsey is specifically interested in reducing the need for restrictive and intrusive procedures and developing systems to fade their use.
Description: The year 2020 presented great challenges and opportunities for behavior analysts. Finding themselves in the midst of a global pandemic, many behavior analysts began using telehealth services for the first time. We have been engaging in telehealth practice for several years before the pandemic arouse. In this workshop, we will discuss best practice for designing telehealth practice in behavior analysis as it relates to the assessment and treatment of young children with autism. First, we will review the behavior analytic literature regarding telehealth as a service modality. Following this, we will discuss specific strategies for utilizing telehealth as a modality to assess both skill repertoires and behavioral excesses using behavior analytic assessments. Next, we will discuss how to use telehealth to provide behavior analytic treatment to clients through consultation, parent training, or direct implementation of behavioral interventions. Finally, we will discuss current funding issues with insurance and Medicaid for telehealth ABA services, as well as the role behavior analysts can play to promote funding for and access to this effective service modality.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) describe research-based interventions that have been used in telehealth studies, ethical guidelines for telehealth practices, and the appropriateness of telehealth as a service modality; (2) describe evidence-based assessment strategies for telehealth, as well precautions and parameters for assessment via telehealth; (3) describe the differences between teleconsultation, telehealth parent training, and telehealth direct implementation, as well as risks and benefits to each type of telehealth treatment; (4) describe behavior change procedures that could be effectively and appropriately implemented through telehealth, as well as ethical considerations for providing intervention through telehealth; (5) describe common misconceptions about telehealth from funders and policy makers and state at least one thing they can do as a practitioner to help advocate for and support policy development that allows for telehealth practices.
Activities: Instruction will consist of lecture and discussion, along with small group guided practice.
Audience: Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Invited Paper Session #2
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASP
Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education: Blending Approaches to Meet the Needs of Preschool Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, March 1, 2021
9:10 AM–10:00 AM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Ian Melton (Endicott College; Journeys Behavior Learning Center)
CE Instructor: Ilene Schwartz, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: ILENE SCHWARTZ (University of Washington)
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysis is hands down the most effective treatment for young children with ASD. Many children with ASD receive ABA services at private clinics or from private providers who work with them at home. Many children with ASD, especially those from low income homes, only access the services to which they are entitled through IDEA (the federal special education law). There are often conflicts between behavior analysts who work for behavioral health agencies and teachers and behavior analysts who work for public schools about what services should be provided to young children with ASD and how these services should be provided. The purpose of this presentation is to describe how private BCBAs and public school personnel can work together to meet the needs of young children with ASD. I will describe a school based early intensive behavioral intervention that has sustained in Washington state for over 20 years and provide strategies that can be used to ensure that all children with ASD receive the quality of services to which they are entitled.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
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 differences and similarities of special education and applied behavior analysis service delivery systems; (2) discuss the types of skills and behaviors and instructional strategies that can be used to support student learning across environments; (3) discuss the social contexts of the different environments in which students spend time.
 
ILENE SCHWARTZ (University of Washington)
Ilene Schwartz, PhD, BCBA-D (Principal Investigator, Washington Site – 10% FTE). Dr. Ilene Schwartz is a professor in the Area of Special Education at the University of Washington and the Director of the Haring Center for Inclusive Education at UW. She earned her Ph.D. in child and developmental psychology from the University of Kansas and is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA-D). Dr. Schwartz has an active research and professional training agenda with primary interests in the area of autism, inclusive education, and the sustainability of educational interventions. She has had consistent funding from the U.S. Department of Education since 1990 and serves on a number of editorial review boards including the Topics in Early Childhood Special Education and the Journal of Early Intervention. Dr. Schwartz is the director of Project DATA, a model preschool program for children with autism that has been in operation since 1997 and was started as a model demonstration project with OSEP funding. She is currently working on projects to improve the quality of instruction students with disabilities receive in charter schools and strategies that can be used to improve access to services for young children with ASD in under resources areas.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #3
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Early Brain and Behavioral Development in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Implications for Intervention and Clinical Outcomes
Monday, March 1, 2021
10:10 AM–11:00 AM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Britany Melton (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Annette Estes, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: ANNETTE ESTES (University of Washington)
Abstract: Infants with older siblings with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a high likelihood of developing ASD. Research with infants with a family history of ASD has opened a window into the early developmental course of ASD. New information about brain and behavioral development and evidence-based clinical practices suggests changes could be on the horizon regarding traditional targets and methods of early intervention with young children with ASD. The potential for improved early identification and clinical outcomes based on this emerging evidence will be explored.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
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 symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in young children and recent research on behaviors that precede the onset of ASD symptoms in the first year of life; (2) identify new research on neurobiological signs of ASD that emerge before behaviorally-based autism symptoms can be detected; (3) discuss how early biological and behavioral markers may inform new approaches to clinical intervention for autism spectrum disorder; (4) recognize the impact of early autism intervention on parents and the potential transactional relationship between parental functioning and intervention outcomes.
 
ANNETTE ESTES (University of Washington)
Annette Estes directs the University of Washington Autism Center and is a Research Professor at the University of Washington. She holds the Susan & Richard Fade Endowed Chair. She is a licensed psychologist in the State of Washington. Dr. Estes conducts research to understand the early behavioral and biological signs of autism and to use this information to improve outcomes for children and families with autism. Dr. Estes leads the behavioral assessment core for a national network of researchers studying brain and behavioral development in infants with a family history of autism. She has conducted intervention studies for very young children with autism and is especially interested in the role of the family in supporting positive intervention outcomes.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #4
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Assessment and Treatment of Severe Interfering Behavior via Telehealth
Monday, March 1, 2021
11:30 AM–12:20 PM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Jennifer McComas, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: JENNIFER MCCOMAS (University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

Unfortunate and unbelievable as it may seem, individuals with ASD who engage in severe interfering behavior have limited, if any, access to effective assessment and intervention if they live in rural areas. Telehealth has emerged as a promising delivery mechanism for behavior analytic approaches to teaching skills and functional communication. Yet tactics for addressing severe interfering behavior such as self-injury and aggression of adolescents have yet to be fully developed. This presentation will feature discussion of tactics for addressing severe interfering behavior and case examples as well as considerations for future research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) consider appropriate assessment procedures to use via telehealth; (2) list precautions to take to prevent injury to participant and caregivers during web-based assessment of severe interfering behavior; (3) identify conditions under which assessment of interfering behavior via telehealth would be inappropriate.
 
JENNIFER MCCOMAS (University of Minnesota)
My expertise is in the area of functional analysis and treatment of severe challenging behavior and communication of individuals with neurodevelopmental and related disorders. I have applied basic behavioral principles to the effective treatment of challenging behavior maintained by social reinforcers as well as behavior not maintained by any identifiable social reinforcers. In 2014, I launched the Telehealth Behavior Lab (TBL) at the University of Minnesota. We have been using teleconferencing as a means to connect with families and care-providers across the country to provide behavioral consultation to families of individuals with neurodevelopmental and other related disorders and destructive behavior (e.g., self-injurious behavior, aggression, destructive behavior) and to conduct research on functional communication training and maintenance of treatment effects. In addition, the TBL is demonstrating promise for extending our research agenda pertaining to the influence of operant mechanisms on destructive and pro-social behavior.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #6
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASP
Using a Behavioral Community Approach for Social Validation Through Multisector Collaboration
Monday, March 1, 2021
2:20 PM–3:10 PM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Jomella Watson-Thompson, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: JOMELLA WATSON-THOMPSON (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

There is increased attention to addressing problems of significant societal concern, which disproportionately affects marginalized populations and communities. Disparities in autism diagnosis, access to services, and cultural adaptations for underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minorities will be discussed. The importance of collaborating to address social determinants of health or underlying factors that may serve as antecedents for a range of issues is explored. The application of behavioral community approaches to advance community change through multisector collaboration is examined as a method of social validation. Opportunities are presented for cross-sector and multidisciplinary collaboration between applied behavior analysis and other disciplines including community psychology, prevention, and public health. The presentation examines strengths, challenges, and opportunities to contribute to change and improvements in population-level outcomes, including disparities in autism diagnosis and services, through multisector collaboration.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
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 importance of addressing social determinants and disparities in autism diagnosis and treatment; (2) explain the importance of multisector collaboration to support change and improvement in population-level outcomes; (3) identify examples of the application of behavioral approaches to address social issues through cross-sector collaboration.
 
JOMELLA WATSON-THOMPSON (University of Kansas)

Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science, and the Director of the Center for Service Learning at the University of Kansas. She is also affiliated with the Center for Community Health and Development. She attained a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology and a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. She applies behavioral science methods and interventions to improve how communities address issues related to community health and development. Her research has focused on behavioral-community approaches to neighborhood development, substance abuse prevention, and youth and community violence prevention. Dr. Thompson supports community-engaged scholarship using participatory approaches to address social determinants or factors that may contribute to disparities, particularly for marginalized groups and communities. She has researched the effects of community-based processes and behavioral-community interventions to promote mobilization and change in communities.  Dr. Thompson has co-authored articles on community capacity-building, youth development, and prevention and received numerous federal, state and local funding awards.  She is as an Associate Editor with Behavior and Social Issues.  Dr. Thompson has extensive experience providing training, technical support and evaluation for coalitions and community-based initiatives.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #7
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Reimbursement for ABA Services: Progress, Challenges, and the Future
Monday, March 1, 2021
3:40 PM–4:30 PM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Ian Melton (Endicott College; Journeys Behavior Learning Center)
CE Instructor: Stephen Gillaspy, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: STEPHEN GILLASPY (American Psychological Association)
Abstract:

Reimbursement for ABA services is vitally important but significant challenges continue to exist. This presentation will provide an overview of the process for developing and valuing CPT codes, describe the purpose of Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs), review billing and coding issues associated with the provision of ABA services using telehealth, provide an overview of reimbursement challenges with ABA services, and discuss the work of the ABA Billing Codes Commission.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Providers utilizing the ABA CPT Codes.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the process for developing and valuing CPT codes; (2) describe the purpose of Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs); (3) discuss the provision of ABA services using telehealth; (4) state current reimbursement challenges with ABA services.
 
STEPHEN GILLASPY (American Psychological Association)
Dr. Stephen R. Gillaspy is a licensed psychologist and since August of 2019 has served as the Senior Director for the Office of Healthcare Finance within the Practice Directorate at the American Psychological Association APA). Prior to joining APA, Dr. Gillaspy was a Professor of Pediatrics within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center since 2005. He completed his graduate training in Clinical Psychology at Oklahoma State University and completed his Clinical Internship and a Post-doctoral fellowship in Primary Care and Health Psychology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Within the Section of General & Community Pediatrics he served as the Associate Section Chief, Director of Research, and Director of Clinical Psychology. Dr. Gillaspy also serves as the Director of the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. He has been an active researcher in the areas of pediatric obesity, tobacco control, mental health screening, health disparities, and medical education. At the state level Dr. Gillaspy has served on the Board of the Oklahoma Psychological Association and served as President. Nationally, Dr. Gillaspy has served as the American Psychological Associations Advisor for the Health Care Professional Advisory Committee to the American Medical Association’s Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) and served as a Division 54 (Pediatric Psychology) Representative to the Interdivisional Health Committee (IHC).
 
 
Invited Panel #12
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASP
Leadership in Applied Behavior Analysis: Perspectives from Women
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
9:40 AM–10:30 AM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Shahla Ala'i (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Erin Rasmussen, Ph.D.
Panelists: DENISHA GINGLES (Signature ABA Therapy), DENISE ROSS (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), DOREEN GRANPEESHEH (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), EZIAFAKAKU NWOKOLO (Shades of Life Care Limited), ERIN RASMUSSEN (Idaho State University)
Abstract:

This interactive panel discussion will focus upon leadership challenges facing women in applied behavior analysis in general and autism service delivery in particular. The panel members will share reflections from their own lives and career and offer strategies for how other scientist practitioners can behave with cultural humility and combat systemic biases facing women professionals.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
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 common challenges facing female leaders in our field; (2) implement strategies for combating gender biases that they may encounter in their professional endeavors; (3) discuss ideas for promoting cultural humility in their own work and lives as well as those of colleagues.
DENISHA GINGLES (Signature ABA Therapy)
Denisha Gingles is a passionate behavior scientist and master-level trained mental health therapist. Denisha is the Clinical Director and CEO of Signature ABA Therapy, a group practice in Baltimore. Ms.Gingles is a futuristic thought leader and liberation-centered clinician dedicated to collective social change and the creation of sacred spaces that promote wellness and awareness of self. She is a pioneer, integrating behavior analysis and social justice by unapologetically shining a light on inequities of the world, while simultaneously making it infinitely better, exuding integrity and authenticity. With the ability to be adaptable and flexible, Denisha stays true to her values and works to encourage all humans to bring attention to their own private self-defeating and community-hindering thoughts and overt behaviors, in the service of evoking committed action oftentimes outside of their immediate comfort zone.
 
Denisha Gingles is a leading researcher and practitioner synthesizing social justice work with contemporary behavioral science. Ms. Gingles brings a rich experience in community organizing and activism to bear on evidence-based approaches to behavior change in the science of behavior analysis, incorporating innovative approaches to complex human behavior, such as relational frame theory and acceptance and commitment training. Ms. Gingles’ work takes a radically compassionate approach to igniting the behavior change needed to produce systemic social change in support of justice and equity. Ms. Gingles works tirelessly for social justice on multiple fronts, including community organizing, co-founding and producing the Beautiful Humans platform, providing professional workshops and trainings, scholarly writing, professional conference presentations at both the national and international level, and leadership in scholarly journals, including serving as Guest Editor for the Emergency Series on Police Brutality and Systemic Racism at the peer-reviewed journal Behavior Analysis in Practice.
DENISE ROSS (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Denise E. Ross, Ph.D., BCBA-D is Chair of the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Urban Education. In this role, she develops partnerships between urban school districts and schools of education to prepare PK-12 educators to teach in diverse school districts – a focus of her career for more than 20 years. Her scholarly work translates research in applied behavior analysis to language and literacy instruction in schools, and it has been published in both education and psychology journals. Dr. Ross is the co-author of Verbal Behavior Analysis: Inducing and Expanding New Verbal Capabilities in Children with Language Delays (Pearson, 2008). She received her Ph.D. in special education from Columbia University in 1998 and her B.A. in English from Spelman College in 1993.
DOREEN GRANPEESHEH (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh is the Founder and CEO of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and the Founder and President of the Board of Autism Care and Treatment Today (ACT Today). Dr. Granpeesheh received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA under the mentorship of Professor Ivar Lovaas. She is licensed by the Medical Board of California and the Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Virginia, Michigan and Oregon State Boards of Psychologists. Dr. Granpeesheh holds a Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, doctoral level, and has been providing behavioral therapy for individuals with autism since 1979. She has been a member of numerous scientific and advisory boards including the US Autism and Asperger's Association, the Autism File journal, Autism 360/medigenesis, the 4-A Healing Foundation, and the Defeat Autism Now coalition. In addition, Dr. Granpeesheh has served on the National Board of Directors of the Autism Society of America, the practice board of ABAI, as well as the Autism Human Rights and Discrimination Initiative Steering Committee, the Early Intervention Taskforce of the Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders, and the Oversight Committee of the Department of Developmental Disabilities.     Dr. Granpeesheh has co-authored the book Evidence-Based Treatment for Children with Autism and numerous peer reviewed publications on issues concerning the diagnosis and treatment of Autism. She was awarded the George Winoker Clinical Research Award from the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists for her publication titled: Retrospective analysis of clinical records in 38 cases of recovery from autism. Together with her colleagues at CARD, Dr. Granpeesheh created Skills® for Autism, a web-based software tool that creates comprehensive treatment plans for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, and founded the Institute for Behavioral Training, an online platform for training professionals and families on the principles of ABA.    
EZIAFAKAKU NWOKOLO (Shades of Life Care Limited)

With over 20-years’ experience in the Oil and Gas industry, Eziafakaku Nwokolo retired from her full-time job with Chevron Nigeria Limited in 2014 to pursue a new interest in the field of developmental disabilities. She has an MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis-Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and is currently the only resident Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®) in Nigeria. She is also a Qualified Behavior Analyst (QBA). 

 

Eziafakaku is the Founder/CEO of Shades of Life Care Limited; a company that provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities. She sits as a member of the International Standards Committee of the Qualified Applied Behavior Analysis (QABA) Credentialing Board and is the Secretary of the Association for Behaviour Analysis in Nigeria (ABAN).

 

She has given presentations of her work at different conferences – the Association of Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) 44th International Conference in San Francisco and the 5th European International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) Conference in Athens, at the inaugural International School for Disability Studies (ISDS) conference for IDD in Abuja, Nigeria and the first-ever Pan African Congress on Autism (PACA) conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

Currently, she is a PhD researcher whose interest lies in validating screening tools for Intellectual Disability (ID) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Nigeria. Her research focuses on screening for ID and ASD in Nigerian adolescents.

 

She is a mother of three whose middle child has autism.

 

ERIN RASMUSSEN (Idaho State University)
Dr. Erin B. Rasmussen received her Ph.D. in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior with a minor in behavioral pharmacology and toxicology from Auburn University under the direction of Dr. Christopher Newland. She is currently a professor of psychology at Idaho State University. The work from her animal and human laboratories has generated over 50 peer-reviewed publications. Most recently, she conducts research on the behavioral economics of food reinforcement in the context of obesity. Her latest series of studies, funded by the NIH, examines delay discounting in food insecure populations. She has served on the Science Board of the ABAI and is a past Associate Editor of Perspectives on Behavior Science (formerly The Behavior Analyst).
 
 
Invited Paper Session #13
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Defining and Assessing the “Therapeutic Relationship” as a Means of Optimizing Staff Training Practices from a Behavior Analytic Perspective
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
10:40 AM–11:30 AM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Ian Melton (Endicott College; Journeys Behavior Learning Center)
CE Instructor: Angeliki Gena, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: ANGELIKI GENA (University of Athens, Greece)
Abstract:

The epidemic increase in the prevalence or the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the great demand for skilled therapists who can work effectively and efficiently with young children with ASD, using the principles and the technology of applied behavior analysis, raises the need for optimizing our staff training practices. This presentation aims to present some preliminary findings, and to raise a number of questions, about the therapeutic style of the therapist working with young children with ASD. The first findings in this line of research are interesting and thought provoking. Specifically, they help us to provide answers to the following questions: (a) Why is it important to study the therapeutic relationship between children with ASD and their therapists? (b) How do we define the therapeutic relationship from a behavior-analytic perspective and how does it relate with other aspects of the therapeutic intervention? (b) How do we evaluate the therapeutic relationship and how should we aim to improve it? This line of research developed from the need to optimize staff training practices and offers a preliminary analysis for the systematic study of a variable that is considered to be critical for the therapeutic outcome – that of the therapeutic relationship. There are clear indications, from the evaluation of these preliminary findings, that the concept of a therapeutic relationship can be empirically defined and assessed and can lend itself toward improving our staff training practices for therapists who work with young children with ASD within the epistemological framework of behavior analysis.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) assess the concept “Therapeutic Relationship” and its operational definition within the framework of behavior analysis; (2) describe how a therapists can establish a therapeutic relationship with a learner with ASD; (3) compare the critical variables that differentiate between a well-established therapeutic relationship between child and therapist and a not-so-well-established one; (4) assess the impact of establishing a good therapeutic relationship on child progress; (5) describe how the establishment of a therapeutic relationship improve staff-training practices.
 
ANGELIKI GENA (University of Athens, Greece)

Professor at the School of Philosophy, Department of Philosopsy-Pedagogy-Psychology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (EKPA). She received her BA in Psychology and Sociology, her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and her Ph.D. from the “Learning Processes” program of the Psychology Department of the City University of New York. She conducted her Doctoral Dissertation at the Princeton Child Development Institute, in Princeton, New Jersey. She worked in various institutes in the USA and became the director of the Alpine Learning Group, a prominent center for children with autism in Alpine, New Jersey. She also taught as an adjunct professor at the City University of New York. In Greece she started her teaching career at the University of Thessaly, was elected at the University of the Aegean, and since 1998 teaches at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is the director of the Laboratory of Special Education and Family Counselling. Her research is predominantly in behavior analysis and its applications for early intervention in children with autism spectrum disorder and their families. She was general secretary of the Association of Behavioral Research for 11 years, is an associate of the Institute of Behavioral Research and Therapy, and a founding member and current president of the Institute of Systemic Behavior Analysis. She has served as an elected member of the Senate of EKPA, since 2016 she is a member of the board of trustees of IKY--National Organization of Scholarships, Greece--has been appointed to national committees of the Greek Ministry of Education, and has served on the board of various non-for-profit organizations. She has received several scholarships and awards for distinguished research and clinical practices addressing children with autism and grands from the European Commission and various Greek Ministries and organizations. She has published numerous books, empirical and theoretical articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as book chapters. The main focus of her current research is in systemic behavior analysis and its applications for children with ASD and their families.  

 
 
Invited Paper Session #14
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Exploring a Continuum of Options for Food Selectivity Issues: The Use of Modeling and Reinforcement to Expand Food Acceptance
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
12:30 PM–1:20 PM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
Chair: Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: MARY JANE WEISS (Endicott College)
Abstract:

Feeding issues are prevalent and difficult to treat in individuals with ASD. Escape extinction has been determined to be an evidence based approach for addressing food selectivity and food refusal issues in this population. While this procedure is effective and often necessary, it can also be difficult for patents to tolerate and for caregivers to implement. This presentation will describe the use of alternative procedures that may have merit for treating less serious issues in food selectivity. Specifically, a method for the extension of observational learning procedures to food preferences will be presented, along with the possible utility of this procedure in addressing food selectivity. In addition, a case study utilizing visual cues and positive reinforcement within a remote telehealth model will be reviewed. These procedures will be discussed in the context of effective treatment, with an emphasis on the ethical obligations of practitioners.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
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 feeding issues in individuals with ASD, as well as levels of severity and safety concerns that may dictate the options considered in feeding interventions; (2) describe ways to use modeling to build tolerance for interacting with foods; (3) identify ways to systematically build ranges of foods and amounts ingested through the use of shaping, reinforcement, and changing criterion requirements.
 
MARY JANE WEISS (Endicott College)
Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA, is a Professor at Endicott College, where she has been for 9 years, and where she serves as the Executive Director of ABA and Autism Programs, including the master’s programs in ABA and the Ph.D. Program in ABA. Dr. Weiss also does research with the team at Melmark. She has worked in the field of ABA and Autism for over 35 years. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University in 1990 and she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2000. She previously worked for 16 years at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University. Her clinical and research interests center on defining best practice ABA techniques, exploring ways to enhance the ethical conduct of practitioners, teaching social skills to learners with autism, training staff to be optimally effective at instruction and at collaboration, and maximizing family members’ expertise and adaptation. She serves on the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research, is on the board of Association for Science in Autism Treatment, is a regular contributor to the ABA Ethics Hotline, and is an advisor to the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. She is a regular reviewer for several professional journals, and is a frequent member of service committees for a variety of organizations.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #15
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
A Short Story About Cultural Competence in Practice
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
1:30 PM–2:20 PM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Britany Melton (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Sarah Lechago, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: SARAH LECHAGO (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract:

As behavior analysts, we have a great deal of responsibility as autism treatment developers and providers to the people that we serve. Chief among our responsibilities are the ethical and compassionate treatment of the families that we serve, and a dedication to scientifically robust treatment interventions. One other important feature to practice that has recently settled in the forefront of our field’s consciousness is a dedication to cultural competence. In this presentation, I will present on my own experiences that have influenced my research on bilingualism in autism treatment, my own lessons learned and lessons taught to my graduate students in introducing ABA to an underserved community at the border between Mexico and Texas, and my research on training clinical competence in graduate students in behavior analysis.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
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 key features in training employees or graduate students’ cultural competence in service provision; (2) identify behavior analysis research publications on bilingualism and cultural competence in autism treatment training; (3) identify steps in introducing themselves into and working with a community outside of their own.
 
SARAH LECHAGO (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Dr. Sarah Lechago is an Associate Professor in the Behavior Analysis master’s program at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL). She directs the UHCL Verbal Behavior Clinic (VBC) and the VBC telehealth clinic, and co-directs the UHCL Connecting the Dots program. Her research interests include verbal behavior, student and caregiver training, motivating operations, and diversity, inclusion, and equity. She has published in numerous journals including JEAB, JABA, and TAVB. She serves as the founder and chair of the Texas Association for Behavior Analysis’ (TxABA) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity for Everyone (EDIE) Committee.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #18
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASP
Some Principles of Instructional Design for Academic Skill Building: Component-Composite Analysis and Concept Analysis
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
4:50 PM–5:40 PM EST
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Kent Johnson, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: KENT JOHNSON (Morningside Academy)
Abstract:

Component-composite analysis is vital to the success of teaching and building academic skills. These procedures break down higher level, real world, composite performances into their components and tool skills, which guide the teacher to the appropriate place to begin instruction: with the learner’s entering behavior. When instruction begins at the learner’s entering behavior level, their escape and avoidance behaviors and the need for behavior reduction procedures are minimized. This presentation will provide many examples of component-composite analysis, and identify key areas for completing component-composite analyses in reading, writing, and math. It is also important to sort academic skills into those that teach procedures and those that teach concepts. This presentation will outline the necessary components for teaching a concept in any domain. Once these components are created, a teacher is ready to develop an instructional sequence tasks that include context-setting descriptions, rules, examples, and non-examples.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define the three levels of skills involved in a component-composite analysis of an instructional objective; (2) describe how component-composite analysis is a relative process; (3) given an instructional objective, identify its tool skills, component skills, and a composite repertoire of which it is a part; (4) define and give examples of conceptual behaviors; (5) illustrate the requirements for both assessment and fluency practice in designing instruction to teach a concept.
 
KENT JOHNSON (Morningside Academy)
Kent Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of Morningside Academy and Co-Founder of Headsprout, received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1977. Morningside Academy operates a scientifically driven “catch-up” program for children and youth with learning and attention problems and a “get-ahead” program for average and above-average middle school youth, as well as provides a laboratory for developing instructional methods and materials. Morningside’s exemplary science-based approach has had global impact and serves as a beacon of hope for many, transforming lives and demonstrating what high-quality behavior analytic education can offer. Dr. Johnson’s commitment to and success in developing and disseminating innovative and highly effective behaviorally based educational practices have been recognized by his receiving the Award for Public Service in Behavior Analysis from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, the Edward L. Anderson Award in Recognition for Exemplary Contributions to Behavioral Education from the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, the Ogden R. Lindsley Lifetime Achievement Award in Precision Teaching from the Standard Celeration Society, and the Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association.
 

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