Association for Behavior Analysis International

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

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48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

CE by Content: Ethics


 

Workshop #W2
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
When Bad Things Happen to Good Providers: Navigating Insurance Coverage for ABA Therapy
Thursday, May 26, 2022
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258B
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jerome T. Chiu, M.A.
AMY WEINSTOCK (Insurance Resource Center/UMass Medical School, EK Shriver Center), JEROME T. CHIU (UMass Chan Medical School ), LISA CROUSER (UMass Chan Medical School), TERRI FARRELL (UMass Chan Medical School)
Description: Insurance coverage for ABA therapy has expanded dramatically over the past decade. This has had a significant impact on the profession. Behavior analysts providing services reimbursed by insurance have to navigate a complex, confusing, and sometimes illogical system. Unfamiliarity and inexperience can result in negative consequences for both the Behavior Analysts and consumers. This can create signficant financial, regulatory, and legal repercussions for individuals, and damage the reputation of the profession. Are you a Behavior Analyst whose services are reimbursed by insurance? Are you thinking about taking insurance? Are you concerned about rejected claims, audits, recoupments, fraud accusations, and other issues? This workshop will give an overview of insurance systems (both public and private), insurance contracting, documentation and compliance requirements, common issues, and tips for successfully navigating insurance coverage.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Determine the insurance coverage in place for ABA treatment for an individual client. 2. Understand what documentation is expected by insurers. 3. Identify requirements for authorizations, and strategies to address denials. 4. Understand financial, licensing, ethical, and legal requirements. 5. Identify processes and resources to ensure clinical, operational, and regulatory compliance.
Activities: Workshop Objectives 1-4, will be met through a combination of lectures, document reviews, and case studies. Workshop Objective 5 will be targeted through facilitated breakout group discussions targeting clinical, operational and regulatory compliance strategies.
Audience: The target audience includes Behavior Analysts currently working in insurance-funded programs or considering working in insurance-funded programs.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Compliance, Documentation, Insurance
 
Workshop #W12
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Serving Diverse Clients: Broader Cultural Impacts and Service Considerations for the Field
Thursday, May 26, 2022
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 152
Area: EDC/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Neil Deochand, Ph.D.
NEIL DEOCHAND (University of Cincinnati), JAMES HAWKINS (University of Cincinnati), MACK S. COSTELLO (Rider University)
Description: As the field of ABA grows its behavioral practitioners are more likely to work with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) clients and families. Unfortunately, there are minimal guidelines (at least from ABA) on how to develop the skills and practices surrounding cultural competency, and there is no required coursework covering culturally responsive behavioral therapy in the verified course sequence (Fong & Tanaka, 2013). There is data that many behavior analysts consider themselves moderately or extremely skilled when working with CLD learners, even without CEU training, employer trainings or explicit coursework related to working with CLD learners (Beaulieu et al., 2019). It seems that the assumption of the generality of behavioral principles has led to the foregone conclusion that behavior analysts can tap into the infinite combinations within the behavioral stream even when they only have a snapshot of their client behavior in one context. A culturally informed behavior plan requires searching for the “missing pieces” within the client’s cultural ecosystem. Individualized assessment sometimes requires an analysis on group interactions, client cultural preferences, active self-assessment of our own values, beliefs, and behaviors (and in multiple contexts). This requires us to pay particular attention to cultural practices whether they are culinary preferences, religious preferences, person-person interactions, or gift-giving. No single person or field is expected to get every element that relates to effective practice correct from the outset, but they must build an evolving framework that is self-corrective. This workshop will encourage attendees to develop their own personal guide to cultural competence, while using real and hypothetical case examples to challenging us to see there are many trajectories to culturally responsive care. Participants should be able to build their own CEU content for the agencies so that they can ensure that they are actively preparing new certificants to deliver culturally competent services.
Learning Objectives: (1) Develop a process for managing a social faux pas graciously, and engaging in continuous self-monitoring process for behaviors not targeted in a behavior plan, but relate to “soft clinical skills” and client satisfaction. (2) Develop a systematic intake process prior to meeting any family but particularly families from another culture. Behavior analysts should know from intake their client's preferred language, name pronunciation, social preferences, as well as become familiar with expected cultural norms by conducting a records review or phone interview to avoid damaging the therapeutic relationship. (3) Be able to discuss actionable steps in developing a personal development plan focused on building a cultural competency guideline. Participants should prepare to be supervisors that are able to actively prepare learning opportunities on culturally competent care for their supervisees before they encounter challenges that limit their access to broader populations. (4) At the conclusion of the presentation participants will be able to create an inclusive environment, and work with multi-disciplinary teams, including translators, to serve the needs of diverse families.
Activities: Participants will learn how to conduct a preliminary review of culturally relevant variables which could influence early family interactions, reinforcer selection, assessment conditions, and goal setting. Participants will learn when developing culturally informed best practices that these require an active self-assessment of their own personal values, beliefs, and behaviors. Case scenarios are offered where a cultural lens is required in order to deliver effective behavioral services, and to facilitate discussion on this topic. A round-table discussion will be used to tap into the experiences of the participants in determining what could be useful for developing a staff training on culturally competent care for their supervisees. A mix of video and lecture material will be used to demonstrate how ABA services can be delivered in a multicultural context, and how these services can be continuously improved. This workshop is presented at a basic instruction level, and is intended for a broad audience.
Audience: Board Certified Behavior Analysts - Doctoral (BCBA-D) Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA)
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): cultural diversity, linguistic communities, perspective taking, social justice
 
Workshop #W18
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Help for BCBAs With Challenging Ethical Dilemmas: Avoiding Multiple Relationships, Confidentiality, and Limits to Confidentiality
Thursday, May 26, 2022
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156A
Area: PCH/CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jeannie A. Golden, Ph.D.
JEANNIE A. GOLDEN (East Carolina University)
Description: Similar to psychologists and other helping professionals, BCBAs have several ethical responsibilities including avoiding multiple relationships, confidentiality, and limits to confidentiality when someone is at-risk for hurting themselves or others or being hurt by others. Although BCBAs may be aware of what these ethical responsibilities are, they may not have had the training to deal with these complicated and sometimes threatening situations. The workshop presenter is a licensed psychologist in addition to a BCBA-D and has had much experience supervising professionals, including BCBAs, who are faced with these daunting situations. This workshop will provide BCBAs and other professionals knowledge of and practice with handling these situations. Workshop participants can bring real or hypothetical ethical dilemmas to process, as well as hear about case scenarios and participate in role-play situations. Behavior Skills Training (BST), which is an evidence-based procedure recommended for use in supervision, will be used to aid participants in becoming more skilled and confident in handling these challenging ethical dilemmas. Participants will be provided with specific tools that might be helpful in solving challenging ethical dilemmas (decision-making model, safety assessment form) and given information on how to use these tools.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: 1. Describe the reasons why ethical dilemmas of avoiding multiple relationships, confidentiality and limits to confidentiality when someone is at-risk for hurting themselves or others or being hurt by others are so challenging 2. Describe the decision-making process for dealing with challenging ethical dilemmas and how it was used in specific case scenarios 3. Describe the use of Behavior Skills Training (BST), including instructions, modeling, rehearsal and feedback, to aid participants in becoming more skilled and confident in handling these challenging ethical dilemmas 4. Describe the use of specific tools that might be helpful in solving challenging ethical dilemmas (decision-making model, safety assessment form)
Activities: Workshop participants will be provided with didactic information, journal articles, self-assessments and case scenarios. They will also participate in role-play with feedback and discussion. Participants will be provided with specific tools that might be helpful in solving challenging ethical dilemmas (decision-making model, safety assessment form) and given information on how to use these tools.
Audience: Participants can include BCBAs, teachers, school administrators, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, counselors, therapists, and social workers. Participants should be familiar with the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
 
Workshop #W23
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Risk-Benefit Analysis of Treatments for Severe Problem Behaviors
Friday, May 27, 2022
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258A
Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Nathan Blenkush, Ph.D.
NATHAN BLENKUSH (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), JASON CODERRE (The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), JOSEPH TACOSIK (Judge Rotenberg Education Center), DYLAN PALMER (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Description: Behavior analysts are often part of multidisciplinary teams that treat patients with severe problem behaviors that are refractory to typical interventions. Professionals within and between disciplines do not always agree on the most appropriate treatment approach for a given person. However, there is general agreement that those providing treatment should provide the most effective and least restrictive interventions available. Unfortunately, risk perception and bias sometimes influence decision making to the detriment of the person receiving treatment. Here, we review decision analysis tools that may help inform decisions made by behavior analysts and interdisciplinary teams when treating severe problem behaviors. We review ethical, legal, and regulatory policies that must be considered in relation to treating people with severe problem behaviors.
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to describe the elements of at least two decision analysis tools associated with treatment selection. 2. Participants will identify at least three potential fallacies or biases associated with risk and clinical decision making. 3. Participants will evaluate at least two treatments using a risk benefit approach.
Activities: The format combines lecture, application of decision analysis, and group discussion.
Audience: Behavior analysts, psychologists, and other professionals who are often confronted with people who emit severe problem behaviors refractory to typical interventions.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Decision analysis, Risk Perception, Treatment evaluation
 
Workshop #W24
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Ethics Regarding Sexuality Issues for Those on the Autism Spectrum
Friday, May 27, 2022
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 252B
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Joanne Sgambati, Ph.D.
JOANNE SGAMBATI (Eden II/Genesis Programs NYSABA), NATASHA TREUMAN (Eden ll/ Genesis Programs), AMANDA HAYES (Eden ll/ Genesis Programs)
Description: This presentation will focus on the treatment intervention and the importance of BACB ethicall standards as it relates to supporting individuals on the autism spectrum and sexuality issues. The workshop will give an overview of ASD symptomolog and sexually related challenging behaviors. It will discuss ethic and sexual consent and related human rights issues.The workshop will discuss case examples and practical ethical solutions to various challenging sexual behaviors. Autism LGBTQIA+ issues will be reviewed along with helpful ethical solutions. Lastly, best practices and advocacy will be discussed. Materials will be supplied and interactive audiance activities will be used for audiance participation. A Q&A session will follow.
Learning Objectives: (1) Participants will learn and review the Current BACB Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts. (2) Participats will learn current sexual issues and challanging behaviors in those with autism based on several case examples and how they were addessed ethically by application of the current BACB ethics and related codes. (3) Participants will have opportunities to ask questions and problem solve through various interactive activities that target ethics, human rights, sexuality , and LGBTQIA+ issues in the autism community.
Activities: Workshop objectives will be met through a balanced presentation of lecture, video observation, small group break out, and group discussion. Core content will be taught through lecture and video demonstrations of strategies will be provided. Supplemental materials for identifying ethical issues and solutions will be provided in order to support participant learning.
Audience: Intermediate level - Partcipants should have rerequisite skills such as a general knowledge of BACB ethical standards and appled behavior analysis as it relates to autism spectrum disorder. This workshop is good for Behavior Anaylsts, Psychologists, Social Workers, Graduate Students, and Educators.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
 
Workshop #W33
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Ethics Without Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is Unethical
Friday, May 27, 2022
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156B
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Natalie A. Parks, Ph.D.
NATALIE A. PARKS (Behavior Leader Inc.; Saint Louis University), CHARDAE RIGDON (Rockwood School District), CHELSEA LAXA (Behavior Leader, Inc.), ELIZABETH HARRINGTON (Behavior Leader)
Description: The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts specifies that behavior analysts should provide services that are culturally responsive, be aware of their own biases, and provide supervision that focuses on developing these skills in trainees. Several behavior analysts have investigated various diversity and inclusion topics including the development of racism, the need for additional diversity and inclusion training in the field, and the discrepancies between behavior analysis and other social science fields. This workshop provides participants with a behavior analytic framework of the principles and concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion, encourages participants to review and reflect upon their own biases and privileges and how these intersect with the delivery of services, and guides participants through the steps necessary to develop culturally responsive services. Participants will operationally define the most common terms in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work, explore how each concept and principle applies to their work as a behavior analyst, and practice developing programming and services that are culturally responsive. Participants will be challenged to examine their own biases and identities and how these intersect with the individuals served. Finally, participants will explore why DEI is necessary to provide ethical services.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Operationally define at least 5 common terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 2. State what it means to have culturally responsive services. 3. Identify their own biases and identity and how they intersect with the delivery of services. 4. Create services that are culturally responsive. 5. Identify why DEI is necessary for the provision of ethical services.
Activities: Workshop objectives will be met through a combination of lecture, video review, small group discussions and activities, individual activities, and large group activities. Core content will be taught through lecture and videos that illustrate examples and models and participants will practice and apply their learning through the various individual, small, and large group activities.
Audience: Participants should be BCBAs, BCaBAs, or BCBA-Ds that have a strong foundational knowledge of concepts and principles in behavior analysis. Background knowledge of cultural practices and interlocking behavioral contingencies will aid in understanding, but not necessary.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): diversity, equity, ethics, inclusion
 
Workshop #W36
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Special Education Law and Ethical Issues for the Practicing Behavior Analyst
Friday, May 27, 2022
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258B
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D.
MELISSA L. OLIVE (Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education)
Description: This day long workshop will focus on the U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) and the many ethical issues that practicing behavior analyst should be apprised of. Participants will learn about federal legal requirements for conducting functional behavioral assessments, writing behavior intervention plans, understanding the term positive behavior supports as used in the IDEIA, and the requirements for independent educational evaluations including FBAs. Endrew F will also be discussed. Participants will learn how state law applies at the local level. Information will be provided in lecture format with case studies as examples. The legal and ethical responsibilities of a behavior analyst will be discussed. Time will be allotted for extensive question and answer. Detailed handouts will be provided.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify the major components of US special education law, IDEIA, which protects the majority of clients served by a behavior analyst. 2. Identify the procedural areas of IDEIA that could result in ethical dilemmas for the practicing behavior analyst. 3. Identify the legal and ethical requirements of an Independent Educational Evaluation completed by a behavior analyst. 4. Identify when a behavior analyst must complete an FBA vs when they should complete one under the IDEIA. 5. Identify when a BIP must be developed by a behavior analysts under the IDEIA 6. Identify what type of data must be collected under the IDEIA 7. Describe the difference between a procedural and substantive error and how ethical blunders could create these types of errors.
Activities: Lectures, Case Discussion, Case Problem Solving, and online menti participation
Audience: BCBAs who work in schools or who are thinking of working in schools and school administrators who employ/supervise BCBAs
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Ethics, Special Education, SPED Law
 
Workshop #W44
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Compassionate Care: A Synthesis of Science and Humanity
Friday, May 27, 2022
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 154
Area: TBA/DEV; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Hillary Laney, M.Ed.
EMILY WADE (Tropical Behavioral Services/Positive Behavior Supports), HILLARY LANEY (Centria Autism)
Description: What do you do when the traditional approaches to challenging behavior aren't resulting in effective and generalizable treatment outcomes? Applied Behavior Analysis has demonstrated the utility of compassionate and trauma informed care through multiple replications of research. Practitioners in the field have increasingly begun to seek out these methods to prioritize clients' emotional, mental, and physical safety in their treatments. Other fields of psychology have also developed compatible and complimentary evidence-based practices which can be aligned with the framework and technology of ABA. Clinicians, however, may need additional training in order to translate these concepts into tools which apply to real world situations in schools, homes, clinics, and communities. This workshop will provide an overview of compassionate care and how it can be used to enhance our current practices. It will discuss 3 empirically validated models of compassionate care and provide practical tools to take away and use in daily practice. Attendees will be provided supplemental materials, in vivo training (behavioral skills training), and active responding opportunities to solidify understanding of concepts.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Define compassionate care and its relevance to the field of ABA; (2) Identify 3 empirically validated models to support compassionate care; (3) Implement at least 4 applied tools related to the 3 models
Activities: This workshop will use lecture, discussion, modeling, feedback, and rehearsal to assist attendees with achieving the learning objectives. In vivo demonstrations of tools will be conducted, along with group discussions and role play to support skill acquisition. Supplemental materials will be provided to support generalization to the natural environment. Active responding using an interaction app will be utilized to optimize participation.
Audience: This workshop will be geared toward behavior analysts, educators, and mental health providers supporting individuals with challenging behaviors. Attendees will require a basic understanding of behavioral principles and have at least 1 year of relevant experience working with the identified population. Participants of any experience level, nominal or extensive, will be challenged to think outside the box when intervening on challenging behaviors.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Extinction alternatives, NDBI, PFA/SBT, Trauma-Informed Care
 
Workshop #W62
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Self Reflective Practices
Friday, May 27, 2022
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 253A-C
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Roxanne Gayle, Ph.D.
NOOR YOUNUS SYED (SUNY Empire State College; Anderson Center International; Endicott College), MARY JANE WEISS (Endicott College), ROXANNE GAYLE (Trumpet Behavioral Health, Endicott College, Pepperdine University), JESSICA PIAZZA (Endicott College ), COLLEEN SUZIO (Center for Children with Special Needs (CCSN))
Description: This workshop will investigate the importance of self-reflection in behavior analytic practice and research. We will review literature on self-reflection and biases both within and outside the field with an emphasis on these concepts as related to social significance and validity. Attendees will review self-reflective frameworks and will use these to create responses to real and contrived ethical scenarios. Finally, we will discuss cultural systems change theories, with an emphasis on metacontingencies as proposed by Glenn and colleagues (2016). Attendees will consider practices to facilitate systems change toward social justice at individual and organizational levels. It should be noted that topics covered in this workshop may be highly sensitive. The delivery of respectful bidirectional feedback, for who those feel comfortable, is highly encouraged.
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of the talk, the attendees will be able to: (1) Discuss behavior analytic frameworks to aid in self-reflective practices.; (2) Identify tools outside of the behavior analytic field that aim to increase humility and reflection.; (3) Describe the importance of engaging in reflective practices to increase social significance and validity of our research and practice.; (4) Analyze ethical scenarios related to biases through a reflective lens.; (5) Review behavior analytic cultural change theories and discuss ways to engage in systematic cultural movement towards social justice.
Activities: Workshop objectives will be met through lecture, guided practice, large group discussion, small group discussion, and individual feedback
Audience: Practitioners and researchers in the field
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): cultural humility, ethical scenarios, metacontingencies, self reflection
 
Panel #22
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Ethical Considerations Regarding Assent and Consent in Behavior Analytic Research
Saturday, May 28, 2022
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156C
Area: PCH/AUT; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Sarah C. Mead Jasperse, Ph.D.
Chair: Sarah C. Mead Jasperse (Emirates College for Advanced Education)
JONATHAN K FERNAND (Florida Institute of Technology)
SHANNON WARD (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by The New England Center for Children)
P. RAYMOND JOSLYN (Utah State University)
Abstract: A core feature of applied behavior analytic research is studying behavioral phenomena within the context in which the behaviors are important and with the people who engage in the behaviors in those contexts. It is incumbent upon applied researchers to protect the rights, safety, and dignity of all individuals who participate in their studies. Indeed, seminal guiding documents have delineated the importance of obtaining fully-informed consent from research participants or their legal representatives. To a lesser extent, expectations also have been put forward regarding the obtainment of affirmative assent from participants when consent has been provided by another party. A review of the literature in 2021 by Morris et al. regarding research with participants with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental disabilities found that very few published articles explicitly described assent procedures used in their studies. In this panel, applied researchers with experience conducting research in a variety of clinical contexts will discuss ethical considerations they have had to take into account when developing consent and assent procedures for their projects. Practical recommendations regarding adherence to laws, regulations, and policies will be discussed and issues relating to assent processes in special circumstances will be discussed.
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience: Basic – Anyone who may participate in or conduct applied behavior analytic research would benefit from attending this panel.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1) identify which documents, laws, regulations, ethics codes, and policies guide the consent and assent processes in applied behavior analytic research; 2) describe what ethical considerations should be taken into account when developing consent and assent procedures for applied behavior analytic research; 3) explain how assent processes could be handled ethically in special circumstances.
Keyword(s): assent, consent, research ethics
 
 
Symposium #45
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Social Justice, Quality of Life, and Other Essential Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis in 2022
Saturday, May 28, 2022
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156B
Area: CSS/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University)
Discussant: Ilene S. Schwartz (University of Washington)
CE Instructor: Sarah E. Pinkelman, Ph.D.
Abstract: Improvement of quality of life and the well-being of humanity is inherent in the spirit of the science of applied behavior analysis. From a human rights perspective, vulnerable persons (e.g., children, persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, marginalized groups) are entitled to special protections to prevent or minimize harm and enhance quality of life. This session will (a) describe why quality of life should be the primary outcome variable of behavioral intervention, (b) explain how a focus on quality of life sets the occasion for ethical behavior analytic practice that upholds the full dignity and humanity of all persons, and (c) outline an abolitionist approach to promoting effective and equitable learning environments and improving quality of life for marginalized groups in a setting that all children experience—schools.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): abolitionism, equity, qualityof life, schools
Target Audience: symposium is being submitted at the "basic" level
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the importance of focusing on quality of life as a primary outcome variable, (2) describe how a focus on quality of life promotes ethical behavior analytic practice that upholds the full dignity and humanity of all persons, and (3) identify ways that behavior analysts working in schools can promote equitable outcomes and enhance quality of life for minoritized groups through an abolitionist approach.
 
Diversity submission Quality of Life for People with Disabilities: Why Applied Behavior Analysts Should Consider This a Primary Dependent Variable
Ilene S. Schwartz (University of Washington), ELIZABETH KELLY (University of Washington)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a natural science dedicated to using behavioral principles to address socially important problems. One area in which behavior analysts have made compelling gains in the last 50 years is in developing, evaluating, and disseminating effective interventions for people with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. As the science of ABA has matured, many practitioners, researchers, and consumers have questioned how our field should define appropriate outcomes of behavioral interventions. We propose an improved quality of life should be the ultimate outcome for consumers receiving behavioral interventions. We explore definitions of quality of life and suggest some strategies that behavior analysts can use to more clearly center quality of life as an outcome variable.
 
Diversity submission Behavior Analysis and Equity in Public Education: An Abolitionist Approach
MALIKA N. PRITCHETT (University of Kansas), Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University), Shahla Susan Ala'i (University of North Texas), Dylan Murphy Zimmerman (Utah State University)
Abstract: It is increasingly clear that black and brown students encounter damaging learning environments that assault the dignity and humanity every child deserves. Behavior analysts working in schools can be part of the collective endeavor to uphold the rights of students by arranging environmental conditions that nurture growth, accelerate progress, and celebrate each child’s unique and valuable contributions. Behavior analysts in schools are often called to action to address “problem behaviors” that result from problematic contingencies. If behavior analysts fail to address problematic contingencies and focus on the result of these contingencies, they become complicit in perpetuating inequities. Behavior analysts can be of best service to students that are likely to be marginalized and excluded from classroom learning opportunities, if they identify, analyze, and dismantle systems that perpetuate inequities. Integrating the spirit and praxis of abolitionism, abolitionist teaching intervenes at a systemic level to dismantle conditions that perpetuate injustices and create systems that promote freedom-dreaming, thriving, and joy (Love, 2019). From an abolitionist view, joy is a directional guide to inclusive well-being. Freedom and liberation depend on designing environments where exposure to new and loving contingencies produces broad shifts, cusps, leading to enhanced quality of life for children and the collective.
 
 
Symposium #67
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Machine Learning Applications for Improving Behavior Analyst Decision-Making in Practice and Research
Saturday, May 28, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 252A
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: John E. Staubitz (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, TRIAD)
CE Instructor: John E. Staubitz, M.Ed.
Abstract:

Machine learning holds great promise for improving behavior analytic practice and research (Turgeon & Lanovaz, 2020). Historically, behavior analysts have collected and analyzed data as a means of making decisions to improve socially significant client outcomes. When analyzing large data sets reflecting organizations-wide outcomes or the complex outputs that can be captured by sensors, there is a possibility for enhancing the decision-making of behavior analysts. Response effort can limit the extent to which humans can complete analyses or make predictions in time to be beneficial. By nature, machine learning can allow for rapid or even real-time analyses that would be impossible for a human. The first presentation will describe how behavior analysts at an educational center are using sensors to collect physiological and behavioral data and applying machine learning to analyze data and inform decision-making. The second presentation will share data from a multimodal model of sensor data collection and machine learning that allows for real-time prediction of behavioral escalation within a modified Practical Functional Assessment. Finally, presenters will describe a machine learning model for analyzing service delivery and satisfaction data across many organizations over the course of multiple years that allows for improvement in organizational decision-making models.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Decision-making, Electrodermal Activity, Machine learning, sensors
Target Audience:

The target audience for this session includes practicing behavior analysts who oversee behavior change programs that address severe problem behavior, or who oversee ABA agencies and are responsible for making organization-level decisions. This session is also intended to be of interest to those interested in the practical or ethical context surrounding the use of machine learning and or sensors.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify ways in which existing technology can enhance their behavior analytic practice (2) Demonstrate basic understanding of how machine learning and signal processing approaches may be helpful to behavior analysts in the future (3) Demonstrate an understanding of the extent to which using a structured, non-dangerous assessment context may limit assessment time, risk, and resources (4) Describe three strengths and limitations to using machine learning to predict patient outcomes
 

Integrating Traditional Behavior Analytic Practices With Emerging Technology to Understand and Treat Challenging Behaviors

JOHANNA F LANTZ (The Center for Discovery), Tania Villavicencio (The Center for Discovery), Corey Olvera (The Center for Discovery), Ali Rad (Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Informatics)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts understand behavior through observation of learners in the environment. Technological advances offer a view of what is happening inside of the learner as well. The presenter will describe a program at The Center for Discovery (TCFD) where students in a specially equipped classroom wear sensors that track physiological and movement data. Video data from this naturalistic setting are aligned with sensor data. The presenter will explain how behavior analysts from TCFD integrate data from the sensors with traditional ABA methodology to design better treatments for learners with autism spectrum disorder and maladaptive behaviors. Physiological and behavioral data representing significant clinical findings will be shared. In addition to using technology to inform clinical decisions, the presenter will describe collaborations between TCFD and computer scientists. These scientists are using machine learning and biomedical signal analysis to analyze TCFD’s rich dataset with the desired outcome of automatic detection and prediction of behaviors. The ultimate goal of this relationship is to develop technology that a.) sends alerts to caregivers that a behavior is imminent or that it is time to re-engage following a behavior and b.) detects behaviors automatically as a potential replacement for live data collection.

 
Predicting Problem Behavior through a Multimodal Machine Learning-Based Predictive Framework
JOHN E. STAUBITZ (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, TRIAD), Zhaobo Zheng (Vanderbilt University), Lauren Shibley (VUMC: TRIAD), Nibraas Khan (Vanderbilt University), Amy Weitlauf (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), David Reichley (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), Johanna Staubitz (Vanderbilt University), Nilanjan Sarkar (Vanderbilt University School of Engineering)
Abstract: Previous research has established the potential for machine learning and physiological data to enhance evidence-based practices for assessing problem behavior. While investigators have demonstrated the capability to predict problem behavior, there are limits to predictive precision, and the assessments needed to build such a model have been time- and resource-intensive, requiring repeated exposures to behavior that poses safety risks to the learner or assessor (Ozdenizci et al., 2018; Goodwin et al., 2019). The practical functional assessment (PFA) allows assessors to efficiently evoke a high number of non-dangerous precursor behaviors in a short period of time. By integrating direct observation data with multimodal data from several sensors capturing the physiological and motion performance of the learner within a modified PFA, we were able to create a model that predicts behavioral escalation with 98.5% accuracy after 1-2 brief assessment sessions. We discuss our process for developing an integrated hardware and software platform with the specific goal of enhancing evidence-based practice in ABA. Additionally, we will connect this promising technology with our existing code of ethics, especially as it relates to minimizing client risk and ensuring informed consent for engagement with technologies that are new.
 

A Machine Learning Analysis of Applied Behavior Analysis Service Delivery Characteristics That Predict Improved Patient Outcomes

DAVID J. COX (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College), Zachary Harrison Morford (Texas Association for Behavior Analysis), Jacob Sosine (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Cora Gnikobou (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence)
Abstract:

The delivery of ABA services involves a complex interaction of behavioral systems. Patients need to be interested in and seek out ABA services; and, once in ABA, to continue improving their quality of life. Employees need to be hired in sufficient numbers, properly trained, adequately resourced, and appropriately matched with patients they are competent to serve. And payors need to see progress being made within reasonable costs and time frames. In this presentation, we discuss how the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence is leveraging machine learning to describe and understand these complex and interacting behavioral systems. Specifically, we leveraged data collected from 500+ organizations over six years to analyze the interaction between ABA organizations’ systems and processes; staff satisfaction and turnover; service delivery (e.g., utilization rates, hours of ABA contacted); and patient satisfaction with ABA services. We also discuss how these data can predict patient reported progress, improvement in quality of life, and changes on norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments. This presentation provides a first look at the variables that might be important to describe and improve the complex interaction of behavioral systems that comprise ABA service delivery.

 
 
Panel #68
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission PDS: Navigating Graduate School as a Student of Color: Recommendations and Considerations From BIPOC in Academia
Saturday, May 28, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205C
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Stacha Leslie, M.Ed.
Chair: Stacha Leslie (University of Kansas)
ANITA LI (Western Michigan University)
MARREN MARIE LEON-BARAJAS (The University of Kansas)
KAREN A. TOUSSAINT (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are underrepresented in graduate school programs and make up only 12% of certified behavior analysts (Behavior Analysis Certification Board; BACB 2020). BIPOC students are often met with challenges such as microaggressions, gaslighting, victim blaming, and other nuanced forms of discrimination. Additionally, the lack of representation may create feelings of isolation among peers and seclusion from community resources. Such challenges have potential to create an unbalanced learning environment in which students are still expected to make reputable contributions to the field. Given this, BIPOC students must have access to additional resources to ensure they are supported throughout their tenure and have the tools they need to confront and disrupt discriminatory behaviors. This panel serves to 1) highlight the importance of community through representation 2) discuss the need for mentorship and allyship, 3) promote self-care strategies that have proven effective at mitigating the effects of discrimination, and 4) offer a safe space and reprieve during an otherwise strenuous journey. The panelists will also share personal experiences and resources that proved successful as they navigated their own journeys through graduate school.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Target Audience: Graduate students (BCBAs), Graduate School faculty (associate and full professors, BCBAs and/or BCBA-Ds), individuals providing supervision services to prospective BCBAs

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Acknowledge the importance of community through representation for BIPOC students (2) Identify specific challenges and discriminations faced by BIPOC students during graduate school (3) Identify self-care strategies and resources to support BIPOC students during graduate school
 
 
Symposium #74
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Adhering to Our Ethical Core Principles for the Promotion of Humanistic Behavior Analytic Treatment
Saturday, May 28, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156C
Area: PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Marla c Nascimento (Nascimento New Directions Inc.)
Discussant: Candace Barrett (University of Miami)
CE Instructor: Elisa M. Cruz-Torres, Ed.D.
Abstract: Controversial treatments and approaches in the delivery of behavior analytic procedures have caused irreparable harm to the individuals they were intended to help and, subsequently, have created an undesirable reputation for the field of applied behavior analysis. Though there have been many notable advancements in the field of ABA over the past several years, including the introduction of ethics standards to help guide the practice and implementation of ABA-based interventions, there is still much room for improvement. With an update to our ethics code (effective January 2022), it is evident that our field is beginning to embrace and promote more humanistic approaches. This symposium combines two presentations focused on identifying necessary skills and competencies to promote humanistic behavior analytic treatment among behavior analysis practitioners. The first presentation will identify skills aimed at promoting an ethical, compassionate, and culturally competent therapeutic repertoire in ABA practitioners. The second presentation will provide practical guidance for training direct care professionals on implementing humane behavior interventions for individuals who engage in severe maladaptive behaviors. Implications for practice will be discussed.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): compassionate practice, cultural competence, Ethics
Target Audience: Intermediate - This presentation is appropriate for behavior analysts who have a full repertoire of behavior change strategies but may benefit from identifying which strategies provide the most benefit and least risks to their clients. This session is also beneficial for behavior analysts who want to understand how to integrate more humanistic approaches into their practice. Lastly, this may be beneficial for behavior analysts who are in supervisory positions and may be tasked with training and supervising staff with less training (e.g., RBTs, paraprofessionals).
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion this symposium, participants will be able to: 1. Identify interpersonal skills required for the development and maintenance of a therapeutic repertoire comprised of empathy, compassion, and cultural competence. 2. Identify relevant competencies for training direct care staff to provide humane, respectful, and beneficial behavior intervention.
 

Compassionate Care: Reconnecting to the "Applied" Dimension in Applied Behavior Analysis

ELISA M. CRUZ-TORRES (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract:

Despite the decades of evidence of the effectiveness of ABA-based procedures for the autism population, critics of ABA continue to express their discontent with our field. From former consumers becoming self-advocates to behavior analysts denouncing the practice of ABA, it is clear that there is some work to do if we want to continue to honor the socially significant dimension of our field and embody the foundational principles of our Ethics Code. This presentation will identify specific interpersonal skills aimed at building a compassionate, empathetic, and culturally competent therapeutic repertoire that can help practitioners build capacity in establishing trust and rapport and promote a collaborative and compassionate therapist-client relationship.

 
Identifying Competencies for Training Direct Care Staff to Implement Humane, Respectful, and Beneficial Behavior Interventions
JESSICA NAOMI CADETTE DUNN (Orlando Health)
Abstract: Behavior analysts working in educational and community settings are often tasked with training and supervising direct care staff (e.g., paraprofessionals, behavior technicians) who work directly with individuals who may engage in moderate to severe maladaptive behaviors. Since behavior analysts are not always available to respond to behavioral incidents that occur, they must rely on these direct care staff to carry out behavioral interventions effectively, while maintaining the safety of the clients and those in close proximity. In addition, behavior analysts have an ethical obligation to ensure that their clients are treated with dignity and respect, and receive treatment that is beneficial and minimizes risk, regardless of the behavioral situations that may arise. Repeated exposure to high stress behavioral situations may weaken direct care staff’s efficacy, resulting in drift, and possibly increasing the likelihood that less humane behavioral interventions may be implemented (e.g., use of physical restraints). This presentation will identify relevant competencies for training direct care staff to provide humane, respectful, and beneficial behavior intervention.
 
 
Panel #109
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Risky Business Reboot: Ethics, Interventions, and Consultation in the Area of Sexuality
Saturday, May 28, 2022
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 252B
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Frank R. Cicero, Ph.D.
Chair: Jessica Demarco (Georgia State University)
FRANK R. CICERO (Seton Hall University)
WORNER LELAND (Sex Ed Continuing Ed)
BARBARA GROSS (Missouri Behavior Consulting; Sex Ed Continuing Ed)
Abstract:

The field of behavior analysis acknowledges our responsibility to ethically provide services that support the autonomy of and maximize reinforcement for our clients, while also maximizing benefit to the community at large. Perhaps in no arena is this responsibility more pertinent than in that of sexual behavior. Cognizance around ethical issues as well as potential legal implications is of highest importance, especially in situations in which our clients have developmental disabilities. This panel will serve as a sounding board for common issues faced in the field as behavior analysts who address potential behavior change surrounding sexual behavior. Panelists will provide anecdotal information to inform best practices, surrounding the ethics of consultation and intervention, and the ethical considerations of each. Past Risky Business panels will serve as a brief touchpoint for this panel, as our panelists continue to bring us new and relevant information in the realm of sexual behavior.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

BCBAs and BCaBAs

Learning Objectives: 1. Identify appropriate scope of competence for assessment and treatment of sexual behavior 2. Identify ethically appropriate goals for addressing sexual behavior 3. Identify the ways that relevant ethical code sections apply to sexual behavior
Keyword(s): developmental disabilities, ethics, sexual behavior
 
 
Symposium #125
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
If You Have to Rely on Coercive Practices, You Are Not a Behavior Analyst
Saturday, May 28, 2022
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205A
Area: EDC/PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Adam Michael Peal (The Behavioral Education Research Initiative; The Walden Learning Collective)
Discussant: Janet S. Twyman (blast)
CE Instructor: Janet S. Twyman, M.A.
Abstract:

Coercive practices can be damaging for the individuals who behavior analysts serve, inflict harm on the reputation of and trust in the scientific and applied endeavors of the field, and negatively impact desired clinical and education outcomes. Despite the growing awareness among practitioners, scientists, community members, and clients to classify coercive practices as harmful and undesirable, these practices persist all too frequently in the application of behavior analysis. The persistence of coercive practices can be examined and understood from a behavior analysis perspective, and thus may be used to help practitioners develop and strengthen new skills for treatment and instruction. Basic and applied behavior analysts can offer clinical and instructional techniques based in positive reinforcement to bypass the use of coercion and instead provide methods for teaching and shaping new behavior.This symposium will discuss historical, theoretical and scientific accounts for coercion rooted in behavior analysis, methods for constructing positive alternatives to coercive parenting, the integration of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) to increase learner engagement in academic settings, and a description of a model that builds the skills of learners and practitioners in the absence of coercive practices.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): coercion, instruction, positive reinforcement, punishment
Target Audience:

Certified BCBAs and BCaBAs must be able to determine the contingencies (e.g., DRA) to develop desirable repertoires and weaken undesirable repertoires. In addition, they must have the ability to select and implement the most appropriate data collection procedures to be able to monitor the outcomes of the programming.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to select positive alternative contingencies (e.g., DRA and Thinning of reinforcement over time) instead of relying on coercive practices. 2. Participants will be able to describe and implement brief, low-effort exercises and tools focused on the core processes of ACT with both staff and consumers. 3. Participants will learn about the “Rights to Effective Education” as developed by the ABA Education Task Force in 1998.
 

A Theoretical Conceptualization of Coercion Rooted in Behavior Science

Abstract:

Israel Goldiamond’s account of coercion, which is empirically and philosophically based in behavior science and theory, has existed in the literature for nearly 60 years. Even though such an account exists, it appears to have not been widely adopted by behavior analysis professionals when determining the degree to which coercion occurs in clinical or education settings. By analyzing behavior-environment relations using Goldiamond’s formulation of coercion, clinicians and educators may be able to achieve a better understanding of the variables that impact the degree to which coercion occurs in a variety of treatment settings. A more detailed and robust account of coercion is likely necessary for behavior analysis professionals to avoid and mitigate deleterious outcomes of coercive practices. This talk will detail Israel Goldiamond’s lesser-known formulation on degrees of coercion (and thus freedom) as well as provide examples and recommendations for clinicians and educators.

 

Constructing Positive Alternatives to Coercive Parenting

GLADYS WILLIAMS (CIEL)
Abstract:

The purpose of this intervention was to intervene in a situation in which given the high rate of aversive exchange between mother and child that was observed, both emotional and physical abuse were potentially probable, although not observed during sessions. The mother was an immigrant of Hispanic origin from a low socio-economic status. The child was a language delayed five-year old boy, who attended a special needs preschool in a large metropolitan area. The pre-school had a strong component of parent training. We provided this intervention at home, and it consisted of a treatment package to build positive alternatives to coercive parenting. The treatment package included prompting, modeling, training in new rules (in part using readings and quizzes), positive reinforcement, fading of instruction, thinning of reinforcement over time, and feedback over video-taped sessions. We used a multiple baseline design across three different settings: (1) Putting toys away, (2) Playing with brother, and (3) Mealtime. The results indicated that child compliance improved substantially, as did the mother’s ability to provide appropriate commands - occasions for compliant behavior, as well as changes in consequences provided by the mother (see Fig, 6). The unexpected results indicated multiple benefits, including breaking the existent coercive pattern of exchanges, and increasing reciprocal positive transactions, including physical affection (see Fig 7). The child became more compliant, the rate of aversives from the mother decreased remarkably while the rate of positive reinforcement increased, leading to a significantly altered relationship.

 

Integrating Acceptance and Commitment Training to Increase Learners’ Willing Engagement in Academic Programming

KENDRA B. NEWSOME (Fit Learning), Donny Newsome (Fit Learning)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts have a responsibility to design interventions that are non-coercive and promote willing engagement from the individuals they serve. Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) is a contemporary behavioral approach that focuses on several core processes that produce psychological flexibility and valued living. Psychological flexibility can be defined as a repertoire of awareness with respect to thoughts and their functions that gives rise to adaptable and effective responses in the presence of those private events. By promoting psychological flexibility in those we serve, we can increase an individual’s engagement in a non-coercive way that accepts an individual’s history and humanity. In this presentation, Fit Learning will share the inductive process and resulting data from our journey in integrating ACT into our organization with staff and the learners we serve to create an empowering context that promotes willing engagement and assent.

 
Developing Competent Learners and Practitioners in the Absence of Coercive Practices
VICCI TUCCI (Tucci Learning Solutions, Inc.)
Abstract: The Competent Learner Model (CLM) implements evidenced-based practices (i.e., ABA, DI, and PT) in the absence of coercive practices with educators and parents all over the world. The CLM Standards were derived from the “Rights to Effective Education” by ABA Education Task Force in 1998. Examples of the standards for practitioners are: 1) Utilize validated curricula and instructional materials to develop learners’ missing repertoires, 2) Instructional conditions are arranged that promote the development of desirable learner social behaviors, 3) Caring and supportive interactions with learners, and 4) Educators/Parents motivate learners to participate in instructional conditions. There are four components of the Big CLM Ideas (i.e., Develop the Missing Learner Repertoires, Just Teach, Keep Learning Environments in Balance, and Keep Learning Environments in Motion by Using the CLM Tool Kit). The Practitioners are taught to formulate, deliver, and monitor the evidenced based programming via an online Teaching Machine. Once each of the 17 Units are completed, the Certified CLM Coach conducts a supportive checkout to assure that the practitioners can apply the content learned in each unit.
 
 
Panel #134
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
In Consideration of Social Validity: Do Others Like What We Do, and Does It Matter?
Saturday, May 28, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 255
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Meka McCammon, Ph.D.
Chair: Meka McCammon (University of South Florida)
JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (University of Georgia)
AMY GRAVINO (A.S.C.O.T Consulting)
Abstract:

The social validity of an intervention encompasses (a) whether consumers/stakeholders believe that the intended outcome of the intervention is desirable, (b) the extent to which consumers/stakeholders consider the procedures for changing behavior to be acceptable in terms of ethics, cost, and feasibility, and (c) whether consumers/stakeholders are satisfied with the outcomes produced by these procedures. Behavior analysts typically assess social validity, at the conclusion of the intervention, by interviewing or asking care providers (e.g., parents, teachers) questions the research team generated for that purpose. This approach limits input to primary care providers, the input of the recipient of the intervention is not gathered, nor is input from the broader community (e.g., other autistic people). In addition, whether the intervention was viewed as acceptable or needed at the start of the intervention (or during intervention) is not known. In this panel we will explore whether typical methods of evaluating social validity are appropriate and if our field should broaden its conceptualization of social validity to include input from others and/or occur at multiple timepoints.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

NA

Learning Objectives: (1) Participants will describe the significance of assessing social validity; (2) State various tools and methods for assessing social validity; (3) Account for the contextual variables that might inform when and how to assess social validity; and (4) State the implications failing to assess social validity throughout service delivery
 
 
Symposium #189
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
A Constructional Approach to Consent and Assent
Sunday, May 29, 2022
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156C
Area: PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Sean Michael Will (Constructional Approach to Animal Welfare and Training)
Discussant: Lucero Neri-Hernandez (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Richele Zvorsky, M.Ed.
Abstract:

Given it’s addition to the BACB 2022 Code of Ethics, the current symposium discusses the hot topic: assent and its implications to human and animal learners alike. The first talk introduces a contingency analysis, followed by a concept analysis of assent, consent, and compulsion. The second talk follows-up on those analyses and introduces relevant examples and nonexamples familiar to clinicians in applied behavior analysis. The third talk introduces strategies to evaluate programs where assent is not present, but the program is needed. It also introduces intervention strategies to gain not only learner assent, but begin to construct the needed repertoires for learner autonomy. Finally, the fourth talk will focus on the animal trainer’s personal background and his experiences with assent. Specifically, how quality of life for the animal improves with experiences where assent is present. These four presentations taken together, will provide a fresh nonlinear contingency analytic informed perspective on assent and consent.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Assent, Constructional, Ethics, Nonlinear
Target Audience:

A solid foundation in the basic principles of Applied Behavior Analysis is required.

Learning Objectives: (1) At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to define consent and assent. (2) At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to discriminate between examples and nonexamples of assent and consent. (3) At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to apply these concepts in practice.
 

A Concept Analysis of Assent

SHEILA KLICK (Endicott College), Anna Linnehan (Endicott College), Jonathan Amey (AIMS Instruction), Richele Yeich (Eastern Florida Autism Center; Great Leaps Academy), Awab Abdel-Jalil (Great Leaps Academy / Eastern Florida Autism Center)
Abstract: Given the inclusion of the core principles and assent to the 2022 BACB code, this presentation will discuss a contingency analysis of consent, assent, and compulsion. A concept analysis will be utilized to identify the critical and variable attributes described by the three coordinate concepts of consent, assent, and compulsion. Critical attributes are features that if absent would produce a non-example, and variable attributes are features that vary across the range of examples of the concept (Layng, 2019; Markle & Tiemann, 1990). Contingencies related to discrete and continuous environmental events will also be discussed. While consent is a discrete event, assent is continuous and should be evaluated moment to moment. This talk will demonstrate how a nonlinear contingency analysis of such complex concepts can inform a concept analysis to clarify and outline what these concepts entail. The aim is to enable clinicians to go beyond topographical definitions of such concepts.
 

Examples and Non-Examples of Assent

JONATHAN AMEY (AIMS Instruction), Richele Yeich (Eastern Florida Autism Center; Great Leaps Academy), Anna Linnehan (Endicott College), Awab Abdel-Jalil (Great Leaps Academy / Eastern Florida Autism Center), Sheila Klick (Endicott College)
Abstract:

Given the critical and variable features of assent, consent, and compulsion discussed previously, this talk will present the rational sets of examples and nonexamples related to each (Layng, 2019; Markle & Tiemann, 1990). The presence or absence of the critical attributes will provide differentiation in example/nonexamples of assent, consent, and compulsion. Within this analysis, variable attributes determine whether criteria are met for true or apparent consent/assent. This critical discrimination between true and apparent is at the heart of ethical clinical practice. Examples of true assent will be contrasted against apparent with a focus on helping the clinician reveal the critical contingencies actually operating at any given moment. An emphasis will be placed on the practical everyday situations encountered by clinicians working with Autism Spectrum diagnosed learners. This discussion will establish a framework that will allow the clinician to determine if true assent has been obtained. Further, this framework can be applied in any setting across all learner types.

 

Practical Applications and Implications of a Contingency Analysis of Assent

RICHELE YEICH (Zvorsky Behaviour Consultants, Inc. ), Awab Abdel-Jalil (Great Leaps Academy / Eastern Florida Autism Center), Sheila Klick (Endicott College), Jonathan Amey (AIMS Instruction), Anna Linnehan (Endicott College)
Abstract:

Given the concept analysis and examples and nonexamples of assent, this talk will examine what clinicians can do when learner assent is not present. It is suggested that clinicians apply a cost/benefit analysis of program participation and nonparticipation to determine if the program benefits a learner’s overall growth and development. If it is determined that the program is beneficial for the learner, clinicians can ask a few guiding questions to help program for program participation. The questions relate to behavioral objectives, entry repertoires, and programming sequences (Layng et al., 1976). The answers will help clinicians create programs that build on learners' entry repertoires that lead to full participation in the program. These programs are individualized for the learner and may include shaping, chaining, the use of conjugate schedules, and streamlining reinforcement systems (Rosales-Ruiz & Hunter, 2019). This talk will present examples of programs that utilize this process to obtain assent.

 
A Constructional Approach to Assent in Zoological Settings
KYLE HETZEL (San Francisco Zoo )
Abstract: In the zoological community, animal keepers routinely face training assignments with learners who have immediate behavior needs, often paired with firm and intractable deadlines. This combination of priorities can create a disconnect in overall training goals. In the zoological field, linear contingency-based training is considered best practice. This training approach can force many animal care specialists to sacrifice their relationships with the learner or create behavior plans that are absent of assent. After witnessing the positive effects of the constructional approach with a severely disabled giraffe, I was inspired to understand the methods used to accomplish the behaviors displayed. Throughout my career in the zoological field, I have deployed the constructional design in helping develop training plans that allow learners to be fully understanding of all of the contingencies, regardless of their history or start of training. In this presentation I will discuss how I create whole life plans where a philosophy of assent is folded into the framework of the training, how degrees of freedom help to create assent based behavior developments, and the application of these practices in behaviors ranging from interactive guest encounters to high stakes invasive medical behaviors.
 
 
Panel #195
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Ethics and the New 2022 Code
Sunday, May 29, 2022
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 253A-C
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jon S. Bailey, Ph.D.
Chair: Jon S. Bailey (Florida State University)
MARY JANE WEISS (Endicott College)
THOMAS L. ZANE (University of Kansas)
YULEMA CRUZ (Rutgers University)
Abstract:

This panel is a continuation of previous presentations at ABAI regarding behavior analysts grappling with ethical issues in the profession. This year we will focus on implications of the new Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts for professionals in the field. For this panel we have brought together four behavior analysis ethicists whose guidance is regularly requested through the ABAEthicsHotline.com To demonstrate the range of approaches used and opinions offered, recent ethics questions from both behavior analysis professionals will be presented, each panelist will offer their guidance, we will then debate the merits of our various and sometimes differing approaches. Toward the end of the session we will open the floor to questions from the audience and again each ethicist will respond so that the range of strategies and tactics will be apparent.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

The target audience is practicing behavior analysts with at least the BCBA certification and some experience implementing the BACB Ethics Code.

Learning Objectives: (1) Members of the audience will be able to list three new additions to the BACB 2022 Code of Ethics (2) Members of the audience will be able to describe the appropriate steps to take if they need to deal with these new additions to the Code. (3) Members of the audience will be able to describe steps to be taken in an organization to make sure that their practices align with agency priorities.
 
 
Symposium #196
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Response Patterns for Individuals Receiving Contingent Skin Shock to Treat Self-Injurious and Assaultive Behaviors
Sunday, May 29, 2022
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 257B
Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Discussant: W. Joseph Wyatt (Marshall University)
CE Instructor: Nathan Blenkush, Ph.D.
Abstract:

A small proportion of patients with intellectual disabilities (IDs) and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit extraordinarily dangerous self-injurious and assaultive behaviors that persist despite long-term multidisciplinary interventions. These uncontrolled behaviors result in physical and emotional trauma to the patients, care providers and family members. A graduated electronic decelerator (GED) is an aversive therapy device that has been shown to reduce the frequency of severe problem behaviors by 97%. Within a cohort of 173 patients, we have identified the four most common patterns of response: (1) on removal of GED, behaviors immediately return, and GED is reinstated; (2) GED is removed for periods of time (faded) and reinstated if and when behaviors return; (3) a low frequency of GED applications maintains very low rates of problem behaviors; and (4) GED is removed permanently after cessation of problem behaviors. GED is intended as a therapeutic option only for violent, treatment-resistant patients with ID and ASD.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): aggression, punishment, self-injury, treatment refractory
Target Audience:

The audience should be familiar with treatment options for severe problem behaviors.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe response patterns that could result from CSS. 2. List alternative treatments that are considered prior to CSS. 3. Weight risks and benefits based on potential results.
 
Response Patterns for Individual Receiving Contingent Skin Shock
NATHAN BLENKUSH (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Miles Cunningham (Harvard Medical School; McLean Hospital), Golnaz Yadollahikhales (Neurology, University of Illinois Hospital at Chicago)
Abstract: Severe aggression and self-injury are devastating conditions. The primary treatments utilized to address severe problem behaviors include applied behavior analysis (ABA), psychopharmacology, and various forms of restraint. n addition, ECT and deep brain stimulation have also been utilized. Taken together, these treatments are not always effective. Some patients do not respond sufficiently to years of function based behavioral treatment. While psychopharmacological treatments are used extensively to treat severe problem behaviors, many patients are drug-refractory. Restraint often only serve to minimize harm rather than to treat the problem behaviors. Finally, ECT and deep brain stimulation are not always indicated or effective for various forms of severe behaviors. Although controversial, contingent skin shock (CSS) is often extremely effective in reducing the frequency of severe, treatment refractory problem behaviors. The risks and benefits associated with skin shock must be weighed against the risks/ benefits other treatments and the risks/benefits of taking no action. Here four common response patterns are presented and discussed.
 
Case Presentations of Contingent Shock Response Patterns
NICHOLAS LOWTHER (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract: Four individual individual cases that exemplify one of four different response patterns to contingent skin shock are presented. For each case, a complete history and summary of previous treatment interventions are described. For pattern 1 (P), the introduction of GED was remarkably effective; however, GED was prosthetic in that it could not be discontinued without recurrence of problem behaviors. For pattern 2 (L), treatment was required over the long term (105 months) as well, but he was able to control his behaviors for various periods of time with the absence of a GED device. For pattern 3 (M), problem behaviors improved initially when GED was added. However, GED lost efficacy and the GED-4 (a stronger stimulus) was required to reduce the frequency of his aggressive behaviors. For pattern 4 (J), GED successfully eliminated severe problem behaviors and was withdrawn without a major acceleration or relapse.
 
 
Symposium #197
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Toward Culturally Responsive and Compassionate Behavior Analysis: A Case for Cultural Humility as it Relates to Neurotype
Sunday, May 29, 2022
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254A
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: David Legaspi (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis)
Discussant: Jamine Layne Dettmering (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, BIOS ABA, National Louis University)
CE Instructor: Jamine Layne Dettmering, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2020) requires certificate-holders to practice within their boundaries of competence (1.05), behave in an equitable and inclusive manner (1.08), involve clients in planning and consent (2.09), and individualize behavior-change programs to best meet the diverse needs, context, and resources of the client (2.14). The ethics code (2020) includes disability in the professional responsibility standard for cultural responsiveness and diversity (1.07). Although the field of behavior analysis has acknowledged the need for culturally responsive practices and made calls to action to improve training programs (Beaulieu, 2019; Couto, 2019; Fong et al., 2017; Miller et al., 2019; Najdowski et al., 2021, Levy et al. 2021) and nearly 73% of certificate holders work in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorder (BACB, 2020), little attention has been given to including disability, neurotype, and ableism in behavior analytic training and practice. This symposium will illustrate the importance of considering neurotype when designing behavior analytic intervention (Dawson, 2004; Lynch 2019), share actions taken by a behavior analytic training program to increase awareness of neurotype, and discuss ethics and future directions.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): ableism, autism, neurotype, risk-driven approach
Target Audience:

Intermediate and/or advanced: BCaBA, BCBAs, BCBA-D

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:1) Identify ethics codes relevant to consideration of neurotype in behavior analytic research and practice. 2) provide an example of how excluding neurotype may be harmful, 3) identify strategies to incorporate neurotype in research and practice.
 
Diversity submission Automatically Maintained Elopement Paper
ELIZABETH ASHTON BENEDICKT (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles), Kelly Vanessa Cruz (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), David Legaspi (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis), Tyler James Arauza (TCSPP)
Abstract: According to seminal texts within Applied Behavior Analysis, “Target behaviors should not be selected for the primary benefit of others,” (Winett & Winkler, 1972). Researchers have suggested the evidence-based practices utilized are in part a result of the values and context which they’re selected, including those of the individual in question, (Slocum et.al., 2014). This paper will discuss a case study whereby a clinician intervened on a target behavior, elopement, with automatic maintenance. A prior clinician trained caregivers across 3 settings to block and redirect the stereotypy to “age-appropriate play”. The “age-appropriate play” was not a functional replacement behavior and amounted to a punishment procedure. Through a Risk Driven Approach, a new clinician who was autistic was assigned, and conducted A functional analysis, that showed the Elopement behavior was maintained by access to uninterrupted stereotypy. The new clinician implemented a differential reinforcement procedure for manding for access to uninterrupted stereotypy. Training was provided to all instructional dyads across 3 settings i.e., Home, school, and the community. The data reflect a total reduction of Elopement from 20/hour to 0/hour across 3 settings which has maintained for over 12 months. Ethical considerations when selecting practices and behaviors to target are discussed.
 
Diversity submission Including Neurotype in Training Programs’ Discussions of Compassionate, Response, and Ethical Practice
LEANNA MELLON (SUNY New Paltz)
Abstract: The behavior analytic field has acknowledged the need for practitioners who engage in compassionate, ethical, and culturally responsive practices to reduce harm and increase effective socially significant service delivery (Beaulieu, 2019; Couto, 2019; Fong et al., 2017; Miller et al., 2019; Najdowski et al., 2021). Guidelines for including training in cultural humility, competency, responsiveness and self-awareness within training programs has been published in behavior analytic journals (Fong et al., 2017; Najdowski, 2021). Criticisms of current and past practices of behavior analysis (Shyman, 2016) and state-level policies that restrict practice to providing services to autistic individuals suggest the importance of including disability, neurotype, and ableism within training programs. This presentation will describe the actions of a behavior analytic training program in New York in including awareness and understanding of the impact of ableism in its curricula and pedagogy. The goal is to train future behavior analytic practitioners to recognize culture, ethnicity and neurotype in selecting socially significant goals, utilizing assessments, selecting contingencies, and use of language in discourse documentation and research. Suggestions for future research and growth related to these issues in training programs will also be discussed.
 
 
Panel #210
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Ethics
To What Extent Does the BACB Code of Ethics Protect Clients and Practitioners?
Sunday, May 29, 2022
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258C
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Justin Leaf, Ph.D.
Chair: Melissa Saunders (Creative Interventions)
JUSTIN LEAF (Autism Partnership Foundation)
AMANDA N. KELLY (BEHAVIORBABE)
ROBERT ROSS (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) was established in 1998 in order to certify individuals who are practicing within the field of behavior analysis. To protect the rights and dignity of consumers, practitioners and society the BACB® has established the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2020). The ethics code is important as a guiding document to early career and seasoned practitioners within the field. The ethical responsibilities set forth by the BACB (2020), though essential, may seem impossible to uphold given the wide spectrum of potential ethical violations. With the increase in social media use for professional activities, there’s an increased likelihood of encountering potential violations. Additionally, how one navigates ethical violations may vary from practitioner to practitioner. Further, the consequences that one faces with ethical violations seems to vary. Thus, the purpose of this panel is to have an open discussion about the code of ethics, how professionals can navigate the code of ethics, and what protection (if any) does the code is provide in protecting our clients/consumers and practitioners. The panel will be interactive between the panelists and audience members.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

The audience members should have in depth knowledge of the BACB cod and the audience members should have completed their supervision training.

Learning Objectives: (1) At the conclusion of this panel, participants will be able to identify three ways which the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts can protect consumers and participants. (2) At the conclusion of this panel, participants will be able to identify three ways to respond to potential ethical violations that occur via social media. (3) At the conclusion of this panel, participants will be able to describe a decision making model of how to respond when an ethical violation has been brought up against them.
 
 
Symposium #213
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Promoting Cultural Sensitivity in Behavior Analytic Practice: Lessons Learned From Service Delivery in Africa and the Middle East
Sunday, May 29, 2022
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 252B
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Loukia Tsami (University of Houston, Clear Lake)
Discussant: Margaret Uwayo (Young Women's Christian Services (YWCA) & KABAS)
CE Instructor: Margaret Uwayo, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Increasingly, applied behavior analytic services are disseminated worldwide. While recipients of behavior analytic interventions continue to increase in diversity, there has been limited literature on the efficacy of culturally adapted services for individuals from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, for practitioners, there is minimal guidance on how to demonstrate cultural sensitivity during assessment, treatment, and staff supervision. In this symposium, presenters discuss a culturally responsive treatment model that may be utilized to promote cultural sensitivity when serving economically and ethnically diverse individuals. Presenters will highlight lessons learned using data from case studies in Liberia, Botswana, Kenya, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Social validity outcomes and recommendations for practitioners will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): cultural sensitivity, diversity, supervision, telehealth
Target Audience:

Intermediate (1) audience should be familiar with the ABA code of ethics, and in particular, understand the importance of scope of practice (2) audience should have a general understanding of culture as defined by B. F. Skinner (1953) and cultural awareness from existing ABA literature

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will able able to: (1) provide at least 2 examples of culturally responsive practices in ABA; (2) discuss at least 1 way culturally responsive practice may impact treatment adherence; (3) state 2 considerations for BCBAs serving diverse populations.
 
Diversity submission Cultural Adaptations and Findings During Behavior Analytic Service Delivery to Professionals and Families in Africa
LOUKIA TSAMI (University of Houston, Clear Lake), Maleshwane Mauco (Africa Behavior Analysis Services), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Provision of behavior analytic services via telehealth from practitioners located in the United States to clients living in other countries has been increasing (Tsami et al, 2019). However, there is limited literature on the need and effectiveness of cultural adaptations required to promote cultural humility. In this project, supported by the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) International Development Grant, behavior analysts located in the U.S. and Middle East conducted online educational presentations to caregivers and professionals who work with individuals with disabilities in Kenya and Liberia, and selected four families to receive individualized parent training via telehealth. Furthermore, through collaboration with a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst in Botswana, 20 teachers and professionals received training both in person and via telehealth to reach Behavioral Technician (BT) competency level. During this presentation, we describe the cultural adaptations and findings needed for the informative presentations, the behavior analytic services provided to the families, and BT competency trainings. Testimonies and social validity data indicate that this cultural adaptation model can be effective in demonstrating cultural humility when services are provided to professionals and caregivers in different countries. The discussion includes recommendations to practitioners in the U.S. for clients with diverse cultural histories.
 
Diversity submission 

Cultural Considerations When Providing Behavioral Analytic Services in the United Arab Emirates

JERBOR T NELSON (Health Innovation of America (HIA))
Abstract:

According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), there are currently 139 active Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), serving a population of over 10 million. Out of the 10 million, about 89% of the population are expatriates, representing more than 50 countries, most notably India, Pakistan, Bangladesh amongst others. With such a large variety of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, BCBAs often need to account for a variety of cultural variables when providing behavioral analytic services. Of the many variables to consider, the behavioral analyst should be mindful of the cultural conditioning as it relates to race, gender, nationality, religious affiliation, economic net worth, cultural values, and more, when providing behavioral analytic services. Furthermore, supervisors should develop a framework for organizational interactions and training that encompasses these cultural considerations. During this presentation, we will discuss the lived experiences of a behavior analyst who was born in Liberia, studied in the US, and is currently practicing in the UAE. We will analyze the cultural adaptations a practitioner should consider and provide potential concessions that should be taken in order to provide sound behavioral analytic services in the UAE.

 
 
Symposium #221
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Consideration of Ethics and Quality Indicators in Supervision and Clinical Practice
Sunday, May 29, 2022
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kayla Randall (Georgia Southern University)
Discussant: Denice Rios Mojica (Georgia Southern University)
CE Instructor: Katherine Brown, Ph.D.
Abstract: Board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) use behavior analytic principles to inform practices in clinical interventions. BCBAs may engage in other activities for which behavior analytic principles are also applied including collaboration with individuals from other disciplines (e.g., speech/language pathologists) and supervisory relationships. The experimental evaluation of the efficacy of clinical interventions and activities is often emphasized; however, a consideration of ethics and quality indicators of such interventions and activities should be pervasive. For example, a practitioner may closely examine the extent to which treatments generalize to natural settings and maintain overtime or the extent to with their treatment is socially valid. Recent changes in the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2020) may impact ethical considerations for a variety of clinical interventions, collaborations, and supervisory practices. Therefore, the inspection of ethical implications and current practices across a wide variety of areas is necessary. This symposium provides an overview of ethical, interdisciplinary, generalization and social validity considerations for the areas of the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders, severe behavior disorders, and the supervision of early-career BCBAs.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ethics, generalization, social validity, supervision
Target Audience: BCBA/Ds, intermediate
Learning Objectives: 1) Identify a variety of areas in which ethical considerations are necessary, 2) Name specific considerations during interdisciplinary collaboration, 3) State the importance of generalization and maintenance of treatment, 4) Name quality indicators as it pertains to clinical assessments
 

Generalization to Stakeholders in the Treatment of Severe Destructive Behavior

ALYSSA HURD (Utah State University), Samantha Nercesian (Utah State University), Sharelene Curry (Utah State University), Katherine Brown (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Stakeholder and generalization training are critical components in the treatment of severe destructive behavior. The Behavior Analyst Certifications Board’s Ethics Code (2020) calls for Board Certified Behavior Analysts to involve stakeholders throughout services and train interventions within contexts appropriate to the client and stakeholders. To assist practitioners, the prevalence of generalization training is needed to identify potential barriers and solutions to conducting generalization training. The purpose of this study was to conduct a consecutive case review of a university-based severe behavior program over a 10-year period to determine the prevalence of generalization training. We reviewed 268 cases for training conducted with parents and professionals, within and outside the clinic setting, and post-discharge during outpatient services. We found the majority of cases trained caregivers to implement intervention procedures whereas only a small portion trained professionals (e.g., school staff). Generalization training within the clinic using novel rooms or novel therapists occurred in less than a quarter of cases and generalization outside the clinic in home, school, or community settings occurred in just over half of cases. Post-discharge training during outpatient services occurred in about a third of cases. We discuss findings in relation to potential barriers, current ethical guidelines, and practice recommendations.

 
An Analysis of Quality Indicators During the Stimulus Avoidance Assessment
KATHERINE BROWN (Utah State University), Alyssa Hurd (Utah State University), Kayla Randall (Georgia Southern University)
Abstract: Researchers have long noted gaps in the punishment literature, one of which is the use of preassessments to aid in the identification and selection of potential punishers. To date, the stimulus avoidance assessment has guided much of the research and clinical practice on identifying and selecting punishing stimuli for severe problem behavior in applied settings. Despite this, there is limited data surrounding the use and outcomes of this assessment. Notably, there no studies have examined important quality indicators for this stimulus avoidance assessment. Some of these quality indicators include social validity, procedural integrity, and outcome correspondence (i.e., the degree to which the results inform a subsequent treatment). The current study summarizes the results of 23 published and 30 clinical cases of the stimulus avoidance assessment. Findings highlight populations who frequently partake in this assessment as well as important quality indicators. We discuss avenues for future research, ethical considerations for identifying and using punishment procedures, and clinical applications.
 
Ethical Considerations in the Assessment and Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
CAITLIN A. KIRKWOOD (Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health), Melanie H. Bachmeyer-Lee (Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health), Connor Sheehan (Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health)
Abstract: Children with feeding disorders represent a unique population of individuals that behavior analysts work with due to the wide range of presenting problems (i.e., difficulty chewing to total food refusal) and complex medication conditions that likely contributed to the feeding difficulty. Failure to treat feeding difficulties may lead to malnutrition, worsening current or developing new medical problems, developmental delays, behavior problems, social-stigma, long-term eating disorders, and increased caregiver stress (Piazza et al., 2017). Behavior analysts working with in home, clinic, or school settings are frequently encountering children with feeding concerns, especially given the high prevalence of feeding difficulties among children with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental disabilities. As a result, they may be presented with potential ethical dilemmas related to the assessment and treatment of feeding difficulties, such as boundaries of competency and the necessity for interdisciplinary care warranted by the complexity of feeding problems and co-occurring medical conditions. We discuss best practices in the assessment and treatment of feeding disorders and related ethical concerns and provide a decision-making model to help ensure ethical practice.
 
A Survey of Supervisory Practices in Junior Board Certified Behavior Analysts
KAYLA RANDALL (Georgia Southern University), Katherine Brown (Utah State University), Denice Rios Mojica (Georgia Southern University)
Abstract: Individuals seeking their board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) credential, or are either a registered behavior technician (RBT) or board certified assistant behavior analyst (BCaBA) are required to undergo ongoing supervision from a BCBA or doctoral level BCBA-D as they engage in behavior analytic activities. After becoming a BCBA/D there are no such formal requirements to receive ongoing supervision or mentorship. The extent to which junior BCBA/Ds (i.e., certified within the last five years) are receiving support in the form of supervision and mentorship is unknown. This may be concerning given that some BCBA/Ds begin their career in highly specialized areas which may require additional oversight because of safety and ethical considerations. Without this oversight, BCBA/Ds may not feel supported nor feel equipped to navigate complex situations (e.g., ethical dilemma). This study presents data on a survey given to BCBA/Ds who were early in their career about their experiences with supervision and mentorship. Specifically, we examined questions related to the current practices, perceptions of supervision, and barriers to supervision. Preliminary data suggest access to supervision following certification is extremely important. Implications for recommendations for the supervision and mentorship of junior BCBAs is discussed.
 
 
Panel #252
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Ethics
Compassion-Focused Applied Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jonathan J. Tarbox, Ph.D.
Chair: Kristine Rodriguez (Autism Learning Partners and Endicott College)
GREGORY P. HANLEY (FTF Behavioral Consulting)
NASIAH CIRINCIONE-ULEZI (ULEZI, LLC; Pivot 2 Inclusion; Capella University)
JONATHAN J. TARBOX (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract: Recent literature has called our profession toward a re-focus of expanded social validity and more robust compassion repertoires. This work poises professionals working in Applied Behavior Analysis to become increasingly effective in serving the world, across populations and areas of emphasis. This is particularly necessary work for behavior analysts who serve in healthcare/helping profession sectors, such as those who work within autism services, but expanding compassion focused-ABA beyond client and caregiver to compassion repertoires toward colleagues and ourselves makes this emphasis universally applicable for addressing problems of great social significance. This panel will explore committed actions behavior analysts can adopt today to infuse compassionate practices into our interactions with clients, caregivers, colleagues, and with ourselves. Panelists will highlight existing tools and resources within the literature, as well as new directions for compassion-focused ABA. In particular, panelists will discuss more compassionate procedures for functional analysis of challenging behavior, extinction, avoiding behavioral escalation, and procedures for honoring assent in treatment.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Practicing behavior analysts
Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to define compassion behavior analytically Attendees will be able to describe common ABA procedures that are often not perceived as compassionate Attendees will be able to describe simple changes to make our everyday procedures more compassionate
Keyword(s): assent, compassion, ethics, extinction
 
 
Symposium #294
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Analyzing Scope of Competence in a Rapidly Evolving Landscape: Ethical Considerations for Practicing Behavior Analysts
Sunday, May 29, 2022
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 257B
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Erick M. Dubuque (The Council of Autism Service Providers)
CE Instructor: Erick M. Dubuque, Ph.D.
Abstract: In contrast to scope of practice, which refers to the range of activities in which members of a profession are authorized to engage, by virtue of holding a credential or license, scope of competence encompasses the range of professional activities of the individual practitioner that are performed with proficiency (Brodhead, et al., 2018). In a field that is growing at a rapid pace, ABA organizations must position themselves to respond not only to market demand, but also to evolving standards related to ethics, quality, clinical practice guidelines, patient outcomes measurement and reporting, and insurance coverage criteria. Failure to adapt to these changes – by providing the organizational supports individual practitioners require to continuously build and maintain new proficiencies – may increase the risk of poor outcomes, harm to patients, or damage to the field. In this symposium, we will discuss current assessment and treatment trends within the field and response strategies to ensure responsible and ethical service delivery in the face of industry change.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Assessment, Ethics, Outcome Measures, Punishment
Target Audience: Behavior analysts within their first 5 years of practice, practitioners, supervisors, and senior leaders.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) differentiate scope of practice from scope of competence; (2) identify ethical codes relevant in the administration of clinical assessments; (3) identify strategies to mitigate risk of practicing beyond the boundaries of competence.
 
Current State of Training on Clinical Assessment Measures: A Survey
KRISTIN M. HUSTYI (LittleStar ABA Therapy), S. Shanun Kunnavatana (Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia)
Abstract: Obtaining a credential or license as a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) can be thought of as an entry-level requirement for practicing in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA). Ongoing professional development is necessary to meet increasingly complex public, payor, and patient needs and standards. Survey research has documented the variability in staff and supervisory training opportunities offered to BCBAs working in applied settings (Reed and Henley, 2015; Columbo, Taylor, and Hammond, 2020; Padilla, 2020). In this study, we partially replicated and extended this line of research by surveying BCBAs working at several unaffiliated ABA organizations on their training experience with clinical assessment measures recommended within the field of ABA, including criterion-referenced assessments, norm-referenced assessments, and functional assessment methodologies. Respondents reported their experience with formal training that met the minimum assessor qualifications to ethically administer, score, interpret, and use the results of each measure as defined by the test publisher and whether they used each measure in their clinical practice irrespective of formal training. Implications regarding boundaries of competence and future directions for research will be discussed.
 
Recommended Strategies to Promote Ethical Administration of Treatment Outcomes Measures
LAURYN TOBY (LittleStar ABA Therapy)
Abstract: Reporting on treatment outcomes is quickly becoming the expectation by insurance providers and patients worldwide. With a focus on improving clinical standards, several organizations have published recommendations on assessment measures that may be used for evaluating treatment outcomes in applied behavior analytic treatment for individuals with autism (e.g., Behavioral Health Center of Excellence [BHCOE], International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement [ICHOM]). In addition, insurance providers have begun to request increasingly diverse sets of data to demonstrate patient progress. Given the scope of the recommended measurement sets, important concerns are raised about practice limitations for behavior analysts. Many of the recommended measures are those traditionally administered by psychologists who may be offered a breadth of training in testing and measurement that is uncommon in behavior analysis. Indeed, research suggests that behavior analysts have limited training and exposure to the some of the measures recommended (Padilla, 2020). Recommendations for building internal infrastructure and clinician training to ensure responsible adoption of new outcome measures will be discussed.
 
The Punishment Review Panel as a Practical Safeguard in the Treatment of Severe Challenging Behavior
JESSE LOGUE (LittleStar ABA Therapy)
Abstract: Punishment should only be used under rare circumstances, such as when behavior must be suppressed rapidly to prevent serious physical harm or when reinforcement-based strategies have been exhausted, and punishment should never be used in isolation. While these guidelines exist, it is estimated that up to 50% of behavior analytic research published on punishment procedures failed to report prior treatment approaches or indicated punishment as the sole component of treatment (Lydon, et. al. 2015). Concerns about the use of punishment are further complicated by the rapid expansion of our field and the need to report significant reductions to continue treatment. Research indicates that new BCBAs are sometimes assigned severe behavior cases without receiving initial training or ongoing supports (i.e., 43% did not receive training; Columbo, Taylor, and Hammond, 2020). The development of a Punishment Review Panel (PRP) is a practical safeguard for evaluating the merit of punishment in practice. The PRP process provides a critical support to BCBAs by identifying alternatives to punishment and ensuring comprehensive assessment prior to treatment, thereby reflecting ethical best practices. Sample data will be discussed, which include only 15% of proposals being accepted.
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #301A
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Healing the Wounds of Racial Trauma: Moving Toward Liberation
Sunday, May 29, 2022
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 102B
Area: DEI; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Elizabeth Hughes Fong (Pepperdine University)
CE Instructor: Thema Bryant Davis, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: THEMA BRYANT DAVIS (Pepperdine)
Abstract:

This presentation will illuminate ways the field of psychology and student services can serve communities who live with the psychological effects of racism. Insights from liberation psychology, decolonial psychology, Black psychology, and womanist psychology will be presented. This 90-minute training is for beginner and advanced clinicians, educators, and administrators, as most training programs have not offered training in addressing racial trauma. The training will encompass both theory and practical application of anti-racism therapy, teaching, and student service. The training also touches on sustainability, self-care, and community-care as clinicians may be affected by vicarious trauma when working with students/clients in the aftermath or continued exposure to racial trauma. Topics discussed will include: • The need for anti-racism therapeutic practice as an ethical mandate given the prevalence of racism-related stress and trauma • The overlapping theoretical frameworks of liberation psychology, decolonial psychology, and anti-racism psychology • Anti-racism in assessment and treatment, as well as education and administration.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Clinicians, educators, and administrators, as most training programs have not offered training in addressing racial trauma.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) List at least three potential mental health consequences of racism; (2) apply decolonial, trauma-informed principles to assessing racial trauma; (3) describe an appropriate liberation, trauma-informed framework to racial trauma intervention.
 
THEMA BRYANT DAVIS (Pepperdine)

Thema Bryant is a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and director of the Culture and Trauma Research Lab.  She is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women and past psychology representative to the United Nations.  The California Psychological Association honored her as Scholar of the Year for her work in the cultural context of trauma recovery and the Institute of Violence, Abuse, and Trauma honored her for mentorship in the field of trauma psychology.  She published one of the first frameworks and models for the treatment of racial trauma and has provided trainings for associations, Universities, counseling centers, and non-profit organizations nationally and internationally.  The APA division of International Psychology honored her in 2020 for contributions to international psychology for her global work on women.  She also gave an invited address at the APA 2020 convention on racial trauma. 

 
 
Symposium #305
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Prioritizing Safety: A Review of Safety, Restraint, and Seclusion Procedures in Clinical Settings
Sunday, May 29, 2022
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 103
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Amanda Mae Morris (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Alison M. Betz (Children's Hospital Colorado, Pediatric Mental Health Institute)
CE Instructor: Alison M. Betz, M.A.
Abstract:

Reinforcement-based interventions that are informed from a functional behavior assessment have been shown to significantly reduce severe destructive behavior in individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. These procedures are highly effective and empirically supported; however, additional behavior management strategies, such as restraint and seclusion procedures, may be warranted during emergent situations or when severe destructive behaviors prove resistant to reinforcement-based procedures alone (i.e., programmed as a punishment procedure). In this symposium, DeBrine and colleagues provide a concise review of the Applied Behavior Analysis International best-practice guidelines on the use of restraint and seclusion (2010). Salvatore and colleagues will discuss the use of function-based training to decrease the use of restraint procedures within a hospital setting. Moretti and colleagues review survey results examining behavioral practitioners’ (RBT, BCaBA, BCBA/BCBA-D) experiences with the use of restraint and physical intervention when working with neurodiverse populations. Romani and colleagues review data from an improvement project aimed at reducing staff injuries within a severe behavior program. Lastly, Dr. Alison Betz will provide comments related to best-practice pertaining to the contexts warranting inclusion of punishment, restraint, and/or seclusion practices.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Crisis Management, Physical Intervention, Restraint, Staff Training
Target Audience:

This symposium is targeted at practitioners who specialize in severe destructive behavior disorders and/or neurodevelopmental disabilities within clinical and medical settings. In addition, this presentation is relevant for any RBT, BCaBA, BCBA, or BCBA-D that regularly encounters crisis situations involving restraint, seclusion, and/or physical interventions.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) evaluate and critically analyze the extent to which published literature on the use of restraint and seclusion procedures during the assessment and treatment of severe destructive behavior aligns with Applied Behavior Analysis International best-practice guidelines on the use of restraint and seclusion (2010), (2) understand the potential adverse responses experienced by patients and practitioners using restraint, seclusion, and physical intervention procedures, (3) identify one way to evaluate and modify crisis procedures to promote staff and patient safety.
 
Restraint and Seclusion Practices in the Assessment and Treatment of Severe Challenging Behavior
JORDAN DEBRINE (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Aaron Christopher White (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Severe challenging behavior can be effectively treated using reinforcement-based intervention. In rare occurrences, severe challenging behaviors are resistant to reinforcement-based intervention and pose an imminent risk of harm to the individual or others, warranting the addition of restraint and/or seclusion procedures. In 2010, Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) published best practice guidelines to advise practitioners and researchers electing to use restraint and seclusion practices within clinical or research practices. The current systematic review aims to analyze behavior change in relation to restraint and seclusion practices documented in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis before and after the dissemination of the 2010 ABAI position statement. Specifically, we 1) examined trends in reported use of restraint and/or seclusion procedures in the assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior, 2) provided an in-depth analysis of alignment with ABAI (2010) best-practice guidelines for selected articles, and 3) provided purposeful action and advocacy steps for practitioners and researchers when considering the use of restraint and seclusion practices within their clinical practice or research.
 

Physician Perspectives on Severe Behavior and Restraint in a Hospital Setting for Patients With Autism

GIOVANNA SALVATORE (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University)
Abstract:

Physicians in hospital settings are treating an increasing number of patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who also engage in severe behavior. Function-based treatments are widely studied and are documented as more effective in producing improved behavioral outcomes than non-function-based treatments. Although the behavioral literature has examined function-based treatment for increasing medical compliance, restraint is commonly used by physicians as a behavior management strategy when severe behavior occurs in hospital settings. Twenty-five physicians and medical trainees from an urban teaching hospital participated in discussions about experiences managing severe behavior in patients with ASD across the lifespan. Thematic analysis of participant transcripts indicated the critical need for physician training in function-based management of severe behavior. Despite moderate knowledge of ASD, participants identified a gap in knowledge specific to behavioral function and practical skills treating patients with ASD who engage in severe behavior, as evidenced by participants attributing severe behavior to internal (e.g., maintaining inner peace) and external (e.g., physical environment) factors and recommending restraint as a management strategy. We will discuss how principles of applied behavior analysis and function-based training may be incorporated into medical curriculum to decrease restraint implementation and promote effective behavior management for neurodiverse patients in hospital settings.

 

Behavioral Practitioners' Experiences With Restraint and Physical Guidance for Managing Challenging Behavior

ABIGAIL MORETTI (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University), Olivia Scattergood (Rowan University), Taylor Pankiewicz (Rowan University)
Abstract:

Restraint is often considered a last resort behavior management strategy to manage severe behaviors. The use of restraint is controversial, with research demonstrating that clients who had been restrained report feeling overpowered and helpless, and consider restraint a form of punishment and humiliation (Hawsawi et al., 2020). This study examines behavioral practitioners’ (RBT, BCaBA, BCBA/BCBA-D) experiences with and feelings about the use of restraint and physical interventions in their work with clients with autism. Participants completed a survey with open and closed-ended response on their experiences with physical and mechanical restraint and with physical guidance, including perceived clients’ reactions. Preliminary results with 94 participants indicate that 58.82% had implemented and 84.72% had observed a physical restraint within the past year. Of these participants, 71.88% managed challenging behavior at least weekly and 48.44% daily. A smaller percentage had implemented (27.69%) or observed (33.82%) mechanical restraint. The majority (88.52%) reported adverse responses from their clients to physical restraint, most commonly physical resistance (25%), vocal responses (23%), and emotional responses (20%). Most participants (71.15%) reported regularly implementing physical guidance, with 81.03% experiencing a client that disliked physical guidance. These results suggest the need for alternative behavior management strategies for clients with challenging behavior.

 

An Evaluation of Variables Contributing to Behavior Technician Injury on a Psychiatric Inpatient Program for Children With Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

PATRICK ROMANI (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus), Merlin Ariefdjohan (University of Colorado School of Medicine), Lyndsay Gaffey (Children's Hospital Colorado), Maria Torres Dominguez (University of Colorado at Denver), Jada Lister (University of Colorado at Denver)
Abstract:

Youth diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disabilities are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior than their typically developing peers. Behavior technicians responsible for the management of these youth are often placed in risky situations that result in personal injury. This presentation will highlight research conducted on technician injury occurring on a psychiatric inpatient unit. To address technician injury, unit leadership supported implementation of a sweeping quality improvement project that affected staff-to-patient ratio, evidence-based staff training procedures on applied behavior analytic assessment/treatment, and use of behavioral personal protective equipment (B-PPE; e.g., Kevlar arm sleeves). The effect of training and addition of B-PPE resulted in a decrease in injuries reportable to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration from 6.6 per 1,000 patient days to 0.4 per 1,000 patient days. During a retrospective analysis of these data, we compared variables including technician-to-patient ratio and use of restraint and/or seclusion to technician injuries occurring from 2016 – 2018. Results showed significant relations between use of restraint/seclusion and injury and not significant relations between staff-to-patient ratio and injury. These data will be used to discuss both ongoing evaluation of and intervention for technician injury within severe behavior programs.

 
 
Symposium #314
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Applying the New Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts Across a Variety of Service Locations: Addressing Cultural Needs and Institutional Challenges
Sunday, May 29, 2022
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 204A/B
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Melissa L. Olive (Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education)
Discussant: Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This session will focus on numerous ethical challenges encountered when providing ABA therapy in a variety of service locations. Each paper will use a case study approach to highlight challenges when working with racially, linguistically, financially, and regionally diverse clients. Presenters will highlight the challenges, present the problem-solving solutions, and discuss strategies for prevention of future ethical dilemmas. ABA teams cannot prepare for every possible ethics scenario, however, using a problem-solving strategy and practicing ethical fitness regularly will help ABA providers be better equipped to respond in the moment to ethical dilemmas.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Ethically Fit, Ethics, Multicultural, Organizational Ethics
Target Audience:

This is intermediate content. This is not for beginner BCBAs. This is for business owners or very seasoned behavior analysts.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to describe key changes in the New Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts. 2. Participants will be able to describe how ethical fitness can be developed in their own ABA practice. 3. Participants will be able to identify the problem-solving process for resolving ethical dilemmas.
 
Diversity submission The 2020 Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts
MELISSA L. OLIVE (Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education)
Abstract: This paper will review the changes from the 2016 BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code to the 2020 Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts. This paper will introduce the term ethically fit (Rosenberg & Schwartz, 2019). This paper will also discuss the role of collaboration and and Coordination of care. Finally, this paper will review the use of the problem solving approach for resolving ethical dilemmas.
 
Diversity submission 

Providing Applied Behavior Analysis Services Internationally: Ethical Considerations, Challenges and Solutions

PAMELA PEREZ (PBS Powered by Cultivate Behavioral Health and Education), Maria Arizmendi (Cultivate Behavioral Health and Education)
Abstract:

Using the case study method, this paper will highlight some of the challenges and creative solutions to providing ABA services internationally. Given that 85% of the world’s population with autism resides in the developing world, there is a great need to provide services and train new clinicians in the developing world. Clinicians serving the developing world may encounter unique considerations and challenges in providing effective and ethical services abroad. This paper will explore how clinicians can best serve and support individuals, families and communities throughout the world to provide services with populations with the greatest needs.

 
Diversity submission 

Providing Applied Behavior Analysis Services in a Diverse Region: Ethical Challenges and Solutions

AMANDA BLOOM (PBS Powered by Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education), Maria Arizmendi (Cultivate Behavioral Health and Education)
Abstract:

This paper will also utilize a case study approach to highlight the ethical challenges of providing ABA therapy in the Miami area. Clinicians working in this part of Florida may encounter racially and linguistically diverse families and their children and this diversity requires that clinicians be well-informed of the populations with whom they serve. The presenters will also discuss common ethical dilemmas associated with fraudulent activities within the field, specifically in South Florida. This paper will highlight how Clinical Directors and Clinical Managers can better support their BCBAs and Technicians in the delivery of ABA services with diverse clients.

 
Diversity submission 

Providing Applied Behavior Analysis in a Large Applied Behavior Analysis Company: Ethical Considerations Across 12 States and 1,000+ Employees

STEPHEN WOOD (Cultivate Behavior Management Corporation ), Melissa L. Olive (Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education)
Abstract:

This paper will highlight specific ethical challenges encountered by large scale ABA organizations. With over 1000 employees in 12 states, we have experienced a unique set of ethical dilemmas that have required both timely and thoughtful consideration. The presenter will highlight how the problem-solving strategy may be used to help clinicians manage ethical challenges within large scale organizations, across a wide variety of culturally, linguistically, and financially diverse families and children. Strategies for incorporating ethical decision making into daily practice are considered with the goal of increasing both organizational and clinician ethical fitness.

 
 
Symposium #333
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Behavior Analysis and Cultural Competence: Bridging Knowledge and Practice
Sunday, May 29, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258C
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Dorothy Xuan Zhang (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; George Mason University; ABA Professional Committee of China Association of Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (ABA-CARDP))
CE Instructor: Dorothy Xuan Zhang, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Over the past few years, there has been a growth of discussion about cultural, diversity, and inclusion (DEI) issues within the field of behavior analysis (Conner, 2019; Fong et al., 2017; Wright, 2019). It is commonly agreed upon that behavior analysts should practice with cultural awareness and humility. However, more research is needed to support such an implementation effort. This symposium contains three presentations that address DEI from the knowledge level leading to two examples of how we can turn the discussion into research-based actions to create behavior analysts who are culturally aware and competent from the lens of supervision and early intervention model development overseas.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): China, Cultural competence, Ethics, Supervision
Target Audience:

The target audience should have knowledge about the ethics code within the field of behavior analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Come up with examples relating to the ethical and practical considerations required for effective cultural competence within behavior analytic services. 2. State the essential component of a training model that promotes effective and ethical supervision. 3. State the essential component of an ethical early intervention model that can be implemented across various cultures.
 
Diversity submission Cultural Competence Among Behavior Analysts
HENRY SESSANGA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Annette Griffith (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Dorothy Xuan Zhang (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; George Mason University; ABA Professional Committee of China Association of Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (ABA-CARDP), Kasey Bedard (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The United States of America is an increasingly diverse society with a minority-majority predicted by 2044 (Colby & Ortman, 2017). These changing demographics increase the likelihood that health services providers will need to work with clients who differ from themselves, across a variety of areas including ethnicity, religion, gender, and socioeconomic status, among others. As such it will be important that behavior analysts equip themselves with appropriate skills to learn about and appreciate the culture and diversity of their clients, to ensure equitable and efficient services for all. To address this important issue, the Behavior Analysts Certification Board, through the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (2022), emphasizes the need for behavior analysts to engage in professional development activities related to cultural responsiveness and diversity, to evaluate the biases of themselves and their trainees, and to do so while working within their scope of practice. Related to this effort, many questions may arise on how to do this effectively. The current presentation will review the literature to discuss the ethical and practical considerations required for effective cultural competence within behavior analytic services, while emphasizing attention on the importance of practicing within our scope of competence.
 
Diversity submission 

From Conceptualization to Empirical Support: A Training Method for Culturally Sensitive Supervision

MELISSA HUNSINGER-HARRIS (Bay Path University), Dorothy Xuan Zhang (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; George Mason University; ABA Professional Committee of China Association of Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (ABA-CARDP), Chrystal Jansz Rieken (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Walter Chung (Eastern University)
Abstract:

Quantitative research on the manipulation of variables to increase culturally aware conversations within the field of behavior analysis, including in supervision, is emerging. The current research seeks to add data to the under-researched area of teaching culturally aware verbal behavior to supervisors. Two participants completed a self-paced online training program focusing on the use of culturally sensitive verbal behavior in supervision sessions while their verbal behavior was monitored in baseline and intervention conditions. Results were evaluated using a multiple-baseline design and showed an increase in the use of culturally sensitive verbal behavior across baseline levels to intervention levels. Additionally, social validity measures indicate the behavior acquired was important, methods were easy to use, and all participants felt they could accurately perform the skill in the absence of additional training.

 
Diversity submission 

Culture Export: From a School's Success to Another

Bijun Wang (ALSOLIFE Academy), Fan-Yu Lin (ALSOLIFE), JIAXIAO LEE (ALSOLIFE Academy)
Abstract:

Bridging theory and practice has the challenge for many new special education teachers, particularly in the field of early intervention. Teachers often find great difficulties in providing curriculum and instruction tailored to the child’s needs. Lack of a standardized curriculum for early intervention may result in the disagreement and even conflict in goal setting and instructional design. Moreover, inadequate pre and in-service training and supervision often lead to burnout and teacher attribution. Taking advantage of technological innovation and cumulated data, we proposed a complete system for early intervention services which include the following components: (1) pre-service training, (2) individualized evaluation and program planning, (3) continuous supervision, (4) frequent teacher-parent communication. Upon receiving the initial success in our own school sites, we implemented parts of this system in two additional early intervention centers. Through surveys and interview data, we found such a standardized system had the potential to improve teachers’ instruction. However, the different operations and dynamics in other schools proposed new challenges that should be taken into consideration when replicating any standardized systems.

 
 
Panel #336
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
There Is No Right Way to Say Goodbye: An Overview of Training and Resources to Support Clinician's in the Discharge Process
Sunday, May 29, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258A
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Candice Colón, Ph.D.
Chair: Candice Colón (LEARN )
ADRIANA (ADIE) ANDERSON (LEARN Behavioral)
ASHLEY WILLIAMS (LEARN/BCI)
JACOB KENNETH DAPONTE (Behavioral Health Works)
Abstract:

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board ® and the Council of Autism Service Providers™ provide discharge and documentation guidelines for Applied Behavior Analytic services, however, guidance regarding the discharge planning process (e.g., discharge fade plans, discussions with the family, evaluating responsiveness to treatment) is often gained through experience which can vary across clinicians. Therefore, continual training and support to help behavior analysts with the medical necessity of services and the discharge process are often necessary. This panel will outline steps that can be taken to close the gap between discharge criterion recommendations and the training and support necessary to execute the discharge process. The use of a decision-making model, training and planning resources, as well as an individualized peer-review process, will be discussed. The tools and trained discussed include taking into consideration the client's individual needs, the clinician’s experience (Kornack et al., 2017), the family’s perspective (Beier, 2018), and managed care requirements and recommendations (Papatola & Lustig, 2016).

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Audience members should have an active BCBA certification, be currently supervising Applied Behavior Analytic services, and knowledge of the updated BACB 2020 ethics code and medical necessity criteria.

Learning Objectives: Objective #1: Describe the components of the discharge planning process and how they relate to the discharge guidelines provided in the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (2022) and the Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Practice Guidelines for Healthcare Funders and Managers (2014, 2020). Objective #2: Describe common barriers related to the discharge process, and identify behavior analytic resources to help resolve such barriers. Objective #3: Outline training procedures and resources that can be provided to support clinicians in the discharge process at a supervisory and/or organizational level.
Keyword(s): BCBA Training, Discharge, Insurance, Medical Necessity
 
 
Symposium #343
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Organizational Cultural Change Begins With Partnership: Lessons Learned in Building Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable Higher Education Programs
Sunday, May 29, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205B
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Elizabeth Hughes Fong (Pepperdine University)
CE Instructor: Noor Younus Syed, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Much discussion has occurred over the last few years regarding the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in behavior analytic research and practice, particularly surrounding the need to engage in sustainable organizational change towards these initiatives. It has become apparent that listening, learning, and responding in partnership are critical tenets in this work and that, to build inclusive organizational environments, we must begin to shape major cultural changes. These presentations will focus on actions taken by higher education programs for equitable cultural shift within their institutions. The first talk will center on DEI initiatives undertaken in an applied behavior analysis (ABA) graduate program, including climate survey dissemination and analysis, required DEI training for faculty, and revising curricula to promote an increased worldview. The second presentation will describe actions taken in shifting higher education climate culture towards the creation of a nuerodiversive inclusive college, and on forming an autistic and behavior analytic partnership to lead this work. Attendees will engage in discussion surrounding actions taken to promote cultural evolution and sustainable DEI movement at organizational levels.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): cultural evolution, DEI, higher education, partnership
Target Audience:

N/A, basic level

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe actions towards building sustainable organizational environments towards DEI in higher education. (2) discuss the importance of partnership and collaboration in addressing challenging behavior analytic issues, such as anti-ABA controversy (3) identify methods to increase DEI through individual and group contingencies, leading to broader cultural change
 
Diversity submission 

Initiatives to Address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Within a Higher Education Applied Behavior Analysis Department

JENNIFER LYNN HILTON (Endicott College), Noor Younus Syed (SUNY Empire State College; Anderson Center International; Endicott College), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College), Lisa Tereshko (Endicott College), Videsha Marya (Endicott College), Kimberly Marshall (University of Oregon; Endicott College), Ksenia Gatzunis (Endicott College), Christen Russell (Endicott College)
Abstract:

Recent events have highlighted the need for behavior analysis to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in service provision and in higher education. There has been a call to action issued, noting the need for cultural humility and cultural responsiveness. An opportunity exists within training programs to ensure that students of behavior analysis are instructed in ways that promote cultural responsiveness and that equip them to serve diverse populations. Additionally, more needs to be done to engineer environments where students of behavior analysis are treated with respect and compassion, and that educational environments promote the comfort and success of all students. This manuscript outlines the initiatives of an ABA department to gather information about DEI on the local level, identify goals, implement change, and evaluate progress toward these goals.

 
Diversity submission Building a Neurodiverse Inclusive College: An Autistic and Behavior Analytic Partnership
NOOR YOUNUS SYED (SUNY Empire State College; Anderson Center International; Endicott College), Lauren Lestremau Allen (SUNY Empire State)
Abstract: The need for diversification within higher education institutions is paramount, and neurodiversity, including autism, is no exception. Most higher education institutions within the United States have traditionally served primarily neurotypical students, with only 84 colleges and universities in the contiguous United States reporting specific supports for autistic students (McDermott et al., 2021). To increase inclusivity and accessibility of resources, SUNY Empire State College is holistically implementing universal and tiered behavioral supports across its 80 campuses and robust online learning platforms through multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) frameworks (Benner et al., 2013). While research has demonstrated that these frameworks (Benner et al., 2013), such as schoolwide positive behavior interventions and supports (SWPBIS) (Sugai & Horner, 2006,) can be successful in improving behavioral and academic outcomes for primary and secondary school students, it has not yet been implemented or investigated in a higher education setting to support students with a variety of needs, including autistic students. Our goal in this initiative is to increase equitability and inclusivity throughout the College by modifying our practices as a whole to be supportive of students with any support needs, and by obtaining continuous stakeholder feedback. Of strongest importance, creation and implementation of this project is guided by an implementation team of behavior analysts working alongside autistic advocates and caregivers in the autism community. This presentation will describe actions taken to date in sustainable organizational development towards diversity, equity, and inclusion through the building of an inclusive college via behavior analytic and autistic partnership. We will share data collected on these initiatives, and describe next steps.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #345
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Ethics
Using Organizational Behavior Management to Develop Ethical and Effective Leaders and Supervisors
Sunday, May 29, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 151A/B
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center; University of Virginia)
CE Instructor: Alicia M. Alvero, Please Select...
Presenting Author: ALICIA ALVERO (Queens College, CUNY)
Abstract:

“ABA techniques can be used to improve and target specific behavior.” Most would agree that this is a common statement among ABA practitioners. It often triggers thoughts of therapists and clients or classrooms and teachers—but the same exact statement can be used to describe the practice of OBM in organizations including the human service industry. This presentation will explore ways in which ABA techniques can improve ethical and effective leadership behaviors. It will also explore why it is critical for leaders and OBM practitioners to practice what they preach. Topics such as feedback, performance evaluation, training and creating an ethical culture will be explored.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: OBM students, practitioners, ABA supervisors, executive leadership of ABA agencies, BACBs serving as supervisors
Learning Objectives: PENDING
 
ALICIA ALVERO (Queens College, CUNY)
Alicia M. Alvero is the Associate Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs at Queens College, The City University of New York. She began her academic career at Queens College in 2003 as a professor of Organizational Behavior Management and she helped streamline workflow within the Department of Psychology to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of processes affecting students, staff and faculty. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University, her M.A. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University (WMU). Dr. Alvero was awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation Fellowship while at WMU for her research in behavioral safety and the effects of safety observations. She has extensive experience teaching leaders across a number of domains, including human service agencies and higher education, how to utilize OBM to help solve organizational challenges and strengthen their leadership skills. She has published in various journals including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Behavior Analysis in Practice, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education and has served on several editorial boards. Dr. Alvero has been an invited speaker across the country and also serves as an organizational consultant in the areas of training, leadership, and performance management.
 
 
Symposium #347
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Ethical Behavior Analysis: A Guide to Being an Evidence Based Practitioner
Sunday, May 29, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 203
Area: TBA/PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Audrey N. Hoffmann (Utah Behavior Services)
CE Instructor: Audrey N. Hoffmann, Ph.D.
Abstract: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a commonly used term in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA); however, disagreement or misunderstanding regarding what EBP is and how to engage in evidence-based decision making persist. In this symposium, we will attempt to clarify the definition of EBP in ABA and we will discuss the role that EBP plays in different domains of ABA. First, Dr. Bethany Contreras will discuss the definition of EBP and will offer specific suggestions on how practitioners can use EBP to guide ethical decision making. Next, Dr. Audrey Hoffmann will discuss how EBP provides a framework for embedding evidence-based decision-making in coursework and supervision in order to improve ethical decision-making in novice behavior analysts. Finally, Dr. Shanun Kunnavatana will discuss challenges to EBP in clinical practice, and potential solutions to promote EBP.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Ethics, Evidence-Based Practice
Target Audience: Practitioners, Supervisors, University Educators
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Define Evidence Based Practice (EBP) of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and describe the three components comprising EBP of ABA; (2) Identify ethical codes aligned with the EBP of ABA; (3) Identify general strategies for engaging in EBP as part of ethical behavior analytic practice; (4) Identify strategies for including EBP in teaching and training of novice behavior analysts; (5) Identify barriers and potential solutions for engaging in EBP in clinical practice.
 
An Introduction to Engaging in Evidence-Based Practice
BETHANY P. CONTRERAS YOUNG (University of Nevada, Reno), Audrey N. Hoffmann (Utah Behavior Services), Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University)
Abstract: Evidence-based practice of ABA has been defined as “…a decision-making process that integrates (a) the best available evidence with (b) clinical expertise and (c) client values and context” (Slocum et al., 2014; p. 44). While several articles and books discuss the importance of EBP for ABA, there is limited information on how a practicing behavior analyst can purposefully engage in EBP. In this presentation, we will discuss the definition of EBP for ABA and will offer suggestions as to behaviors practitioners can engage in to ensure that they are engaging in EBP. We will present specific suggestions for how behavior analysts can ensure that they are using the best available evidence to guide decisions, how to build and maintain clinical expertise, and how to incorporate client values and context into the decision-making process that is EBP.
 

Evidence-Based Practice as a Framework for Training Novice Behavior Analysts

AUDREY N. HOFFMANN (Utah Behavior Services)
Abstract:

Evidence Based Practice (EBP) provides a useful framework for teaching decision-making skills and ethical practice to novice behavior analysts. This presentation will provide a brief introduction to EBP and go over the importance of including EBP within training programs for behavior analysts (both in higher education and in supervised practice). Suggestions for embedding EBP into course sequences and supervision practices will be provided as well as discussing potential barriers to training a complex behavioral repertoire such as evidence-based decision-making. The presentation will highlight the importance of novice behavior analysts basing decisions on the best available research evidence, considering the client values and context, and improving and appropriately utilizing their clinical expertise as ethical behavior analysts.

 

Challenges of Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Practice

S. SHANUN KUNNAVATANA (Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia)
Abstract:

Effective practice requires behavior analysts to be able to make complex decisions that evaluate not only the evidence for certain interventions but also determine whether critical components of the intervention will be possible given an individual’s context and values, as well as those of other stakeholders involved. This approach requires behavior analysts to be both analytical and flexible in their decision making. Although, Evidence Based Practice (EBP) provides a framework for navigating these decisions, the process is often perceived as daunting and not utilized to its full potential. This presentation discusses the potential reasons why EBP is not yet common in clinical practice and how individuals and organizations may overcome some of the challenges to move toward EBP and better clinical decision making.

 
 
Invited Tutorial #365
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Ableism and Apple Pie: Disrupting Majority Culture Assimilation in the Practice of Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2022
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Ballroom Level 3; Ballroom East/West
Area: PRA; Domain: Theory
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Evette Arlene Simmons-Reed, Ph.D.
Chair: Julia H. Fiebig (Ball State University; AGI)
Presenting Authors: : EVETTE ARLENE SIMMONS-REED (Ball State University)
Abstract:

Although not as tasty, ableism is as American as apple pie and is rooted in majority culture identities. Ableism is defined as a pervasive system that oppresses people with differing abilities while privileging people who are labeled as able-bodied. Majority culture refers to the ways in which those in power used the concept of race to create whiteness and a hierarchy of racialized value in order to disconnect and divide white people from Blacks, Indigenous, and other people of color, as well as define who is normal or abnormal (Tema Okun, 2021). The practice of applied behavior analysis inherently operates to perpetuate three main dimensions of ableism and privilege in that we operate to make those with the differing abilities account for their differences, treat them as being less than, and we measure our success on the extent to which the targeted behaviors fall in the “normal range.” The presentation will discuss the Ethical Code for Behavior Analysts, the imperfections of ethical guidelines, and the need for ethical and cultural competencies. Specifically, using examples of real-world behavior plans, publications, and the Ethical Code for Behavior Analysts, I will identify examples of ableism and bias attitudes and provide support for the need for development of ethical and cultural competencies for behavior analysts.

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 disability as a social construct; (2) identify the characteristics and influence of majority culture perspectives in the treatment and education of children and adults with differing abilities in the field of behavior analysis; (3) describe two or more differences between ableism and inclusion of differing abilities in the practice of behavior analysis; (4) describe why ethical guidelines are imperfect and the need for ethical and cultural competencies that promote inclusion and belonging; (5) identify everyday ethical pitfalls and strategies for becoming change agents in the treatment and education of individuals with differing abilities.
 
EVETTE ARLENE SIMMONS-REED (Ball State University)
Dr. Evette Simmons-Reed is an assistant Professor in the Applied Behavior Analysis graduate program, in the Department of Special education, at Ball State University. She was the 2019 President of the Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL) for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Dr. Simmons-Reed, is the program manager for the Disability in Postsecondary Settings Graduate Certificate Program with and Emphasis in Autism, and the director and co-founder of the CAPS2 Mentor Program for Autistic College Students at the Ball State Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder (CASD). She was a special education teacher in Columbus City Schools from 1994 through 1998, before returning to school full-time to pursue her masters. From 2001 through 2011, she served in multiple academic and vocational positions at the Ohio State School for the Blind, where in 2007, she was one of the recipients of the National Teaching Award from DCDT. Prior to joining the faculty at BSU, she was the Program Manager in the Special Education and Transition Department at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, a University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). Dr. Simmons-Reed obtained her Ph.D. in special education and applied behavior analysis from The Ohio State University in 2013. As a tenure track faculty member at BSU, her research and expertise focus on mentoring, improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in and outside the classroom for Black children in particular, and children and youth with dis/abilities in general. Currently, her major research projects involve developing a family and student-centered model program that leverage campus resources, to increase access, persistence, and graduation of autistic college students. Other research projects involve improving the diversity and inclusion of students with dis/abilities in higher education settings including: developing curricula connecting majors and careers, the implementation of the Self-determined Learning Model of Instruction and Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), to facilitate mastery and utilization of academic, personal, and social skills for college students on the autism spectrum. In addition, she is also interested in increasing cultural competence in teacher education programs, improving clinical practices for culturally and linguistically diverse students, and examining the intersections of race, ability, and gender on student and faculty retention.
 
 
Symposium #366
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Teaching Clinical Decision-Making: Instructing Graduate Students in Collaborative and Ethical Decision Making Skills
Sunday, May 29, 2022
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 204A/B
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jessica Rohrer (Endicott College; Center for Children with Special Needs )
CE Instructor: Jessica Rohrer, Ph.D.
Abstract: The field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) relies on the teaching and learning that occurs during graduate programs and supervision experiences to effectively prepare students to undertake independent roles as behavior analysts. Therefore, it is critically important that we evaluate the effectiveness of our teaching procedures and revise them to achieve maximal learning outcomes for students. The studies presented within this symposium evaluated instruction for graduate students of behavior analysis in navigating complex challenges in clinical practice such as ethical decision making. Decision making topics included training in navigating ethical scenarios and translating nonbehavioral treatments. These areas of great importance in the field of ABA are often complex and nuanced, making it challenging to determine whether mastery has occurred. The present symposium explores the effectiveness of traditional teaching methodologies versus competency-based teaching, the use of ethical decision making frameworks, as well as behavioral skills training methodologies to teach skills which will ultimately improve practitioners’ ability to collaborate and make ethical decisions. The results of these studies have far-reaching implications for instructors and supervisors within behavior analysis, particularly with respect to equipping students and supervisees with the skills they need to navigate complex collaborative and ethical scenarios.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): collaboration, decision making, ethics, teaching
Target Audience: Audience members should have a comprehensive understanding of the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (formerly Professional and Ethical Compliance Code) and an understanding of evidence-based practices for teaching skills.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1)describe ethical decision-making skills taught within the studies; (2) identify the importance of teaching complex clinical decision making skills to pre-service clinicians; (3)describe effective ways to train students on behavior analytic ethical skills.
 
Implementing a Training Package to Instruct Aspiring Supervisors to Train Evaluation of Ethical Scenarios
JESSICA PIAZZA (Endicott College)
Abstract: Quality training of individuals pursuing certification as behavior analysts is critical to the continued success of the field of applied behavior analysis. It is equally essential that trainees are competent in implementing interventions, while also receiving comprehensive training in necessary skill sets to support their future success as supervisors of behavior analytic services. The inclusion of effective training packages embedded within supervised experience and university training is crucial to developing a strong repertoire of supervisory practices. Additionally, incorporating comprehensive instruction on complex skills, such as providing a framework for navigating ethical scenarios, is important for trainees to successfully demonstrate ethical practice as clinicians and supervisors. This study assessed the effectiveness of utilizing behavioral skills training (BST) to remotely instruct 9 students, pursuing certification as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), to train a confederate on assessing ethical scenarios using BST. All 9 participants met mastery criteria and maintained mastery over time. These results support that the use of effective training packages can be used to instruct trainees to competently train others on complex topics, such as assessing ethical scenarios.
 
Teaching Graduate Students to Translate Nonbehavioral Treatments into Behavioral Principles
KRISTIN BOWMAN (Endicott College)
Abstract: Behavior analytic translations of nonbehavioral treatments were recommended by Brodhead (2015) as part of a decision-making framework for practitioners working on interprofessional treatment teams. Professionals from different disciplines often have overlapping scopes of practice and competence, yet each recommends interventions according to their discipline-specific worldview and training. Nonbehavioral treatment recommendations may be especially challenging for behavior analytic practitioners who are committed to the science of human behavior and who are also ethically obligated to work cooperatively and in the best interest of the client. Learning to translate nonbehavioral treatments into behavior analytic principles and procedures may function as a valuable means of improving professional judgment, thereby promoting evidence-based practice and effective collaboration. Behavioral translations may expose procedures that are, in fact, conceptually systematic, thus creating more opportunities for behavior analysts to partner in interprofessional care. Using a behavioral skills training package, graduate students of applied behavior analysis were taught to translate nonbehavioral treatments into behavior analytic principles and procedures. All students produced more comprehensive translations following training.
 
Practice Makes Progress: Evaluating Ethics Instruction Using Competency-Based Assessments
CHRISTEN RUSSELL (Endicott College)
Abstract: Ethical decision-making and ethical behavior are a large focus of training for students who wish to pursue careers in behavior analysis. In addition to education and training mandates by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, universities that offer a Verified Course Sequence are required to teach and maintain ethical behavior in students. However, ethical violations and Code enforcement continue to be an issue in Applied Behavior Analysis. In this study, we conducted a prepost group design to assess students’ ethical decision-making through competency-based learning versus typical class structure (e.g., lecture, interteach, study guides). If Verified Course Sequence programs can help students to identify ethical problems early and rectify concerns before they further develop, students and BCBAs can mitigate the risk of engaging in ethical violations. This will decrease the likelihood of the student having to go through Code enforcement or Professional Coaching, and, potentially, being sanctioned by the Board. This paper compares the use of traditional teaching methods to competency-based assessments in teaching ethics and analyzes the utility.
 
 
Panel #409
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Not Just a Buzzword: Conceptual Analyses and Practical Applications of Compassion in Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2022
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Jacob Sadavoy, M.S.
Chair: Hannah Kaplan-Reimer (Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group)
JACOB A SADAVOY (Committed Behavior)
LAUREN ALICIA GOODWYN (Seton Hall University)
MEGAN DUFFY CASSELLA (Private Practice)
Abstract:

Compassion is generally defined as a desire and willingness to alleviate the suffering of others. Though there is no doubt that applied and clinical behavior analysis were founded with such intentions, compassionate behavior has not historically been explicitly analyzed or taught in behavior analytic practice. Though the word “compassion” does not often appear in traditional behavior analytic literature, it is now being employed more regularly in formal contexts and has even found its way into the most recent BACB code of ethics. As scientific practitioners, it is important that behavior analysts establish an agreed upon functional and actionable definition of compassion so that they can effectively plan for, engage in, and train others to engage in, compassionate practices. Behavior analysts have both the technology and the heart to spread compassion far and wide. This panel will discuss the functional conceptual definitions of compassionate behavior so that we can learn to identify it and understand that the topography will vary across individuals, groups, cultures, and contexts. The panel will also address how to plan for and respond with compassion to harmful behaviors. Perhaps most crucially, the panel will discuss compassion’s close relationship with self-compassion, ways to practice self-compassion and strategies aimed at avoiding compassion fatigue.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Beginner

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Define compassionate behavior from a functional contextual perspective; (2) Provide proactive and reactive strategies for promoting compassionate behavior in behavior analytic settings; (3) Describe how cultural and contextual differences influence the topography of compassionate behavior.
 
 
Symposium #428
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Ethical Decision-Making in Applied Behavior Analysis Practitioners: Models, Behavior, and Organizational Culture
Monday, May 30, 2022
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258A
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Videsha Marya (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Videsha Marya, M.S.
Abstract:

Ethical decision-making can be described as involving several components. First, a set of responses that can occur sequentially or non-sequentially and that culminate in a final decision. Second, comparison of that final decision with social standards of 'right' and 'wrong'. Finally, personal and professional contingencies that shape ethical decision-making over time. In this symposium, three presentations describe recent work surrounding ethical decision-making in clinical ABA practice settings. In one presentation, Kinsella and colleagues present the results of a literature review analyzing trends and similarities across 55 ethical decision-making models published across medical and clinical literatures. Next, Almeida and colleagues present the results of an experiment that evaluated the effectiveness and preference for ethical decision models by BCBAs responding to ethical dilemmas. Finally, Woolf and colleagues discuss how organizations can create ethical cultures that align and balance the competing contingencies associated with decision-making that impact care quality and an organization's financial health. Together, the presentations that comprise this symposium highlight the many systems that impact ethical decision-making in ABA practice settings and many avenues for fruitful future research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): decision models, ethical decision-making, ethics, OBM
Target Audience:

General understanding ethical codes, organizational systems, and the basic literature on decision-making.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the symposium, participants will be able to: (1) Describe common components to ethical decision-making models in healthcare and education; (2) Describe how ethical decision-making models can influence the decisions BCBAs make. (3) How organizational leaders and administrative professionals can create systems that balance quality care and financial health.
 
A Systematic Review of Ethical Decision-Making Models for Clinical and Educational Settings
ALAN KINSELLA (Endicott College), Victoria Suarez (Endicott College), Videsha Marya (Endicott College), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Abstract: Ethical decision-making models are sets of verbal stimuli designed to help the user emit behavior deemed “right” or avoid behavior deemed “wrong”. Over the past decade, ethical decision-making models have increasingly been published in behavior analysis journals and books. These models have ranged in focus from specific topics (e.g., responding to changes in medication) to generalized frameworks spanning many contexts. Outside behavior analysis, ethical decision-making models have been studied in related allied fields for decades (e.g., education, medicine). Despite this prominence, the consistency of steps across models and the empirical support for model effectiveness are unknown. In this presentation, we discuss the results of a literature review wherein we analyzed 55 ethical decision-making models from 61 articles across education and healthcare. Through initial review, we identified nine prominent steps and coded articles for whether they included that step as well as the profession; whether it involved problem-solving; and whether it was linearly sequenced. This presentation discusses the resulting trends, the prevalence of each step, and the empirical support for each model. Behavior analysts interested in taking an objective, empirically supported approach to ethical decision-making will benefit from this discussion of the current strengths and limitations of existing ethical decision-making models.
 
An Empirical Study of Ethical Decision Making by BCBAs
DANIEL ALMEIDA (Beacon Services), Lauren Beaulieu (Newton Public Schools), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Abstract: Clinical decision-making models have been proposed in the behavior analytic literature (Colombo et al., 2020; LeBlanc et al., 2016; Rosenberg & Schwartz, 2019; Virués-Ortega et al., 2014) and recently the BACB urged behavior analysts to use a decision model to guide ethical-decision making (BACB, 2020). However, little is known about how these models impact decision making and clinical outcomes. Therefore, evaluating the effectiveness and preference for ethical decision models is important for the field and was the purpose of this study. In baseline, eighty-four BCBAs were presented with scenarios that posed ethical dilemmas and were instructed to use their own method to identify solutions to the ethical dilemmas and factors that led to their decision. Of all participants, 42% of participants relied on the ethical code when making ethical decisions, 38% on professional experience, and 19% on personal experience. Next, participants received brief instructions, a sample of a completed decision model, and one practice opportunity. Lastly, participants were instructed to choose their way or the decision model via a concurrent chains arrangement. During the concurrent chains condition, when asked what method they preferred, 69% selected their own method, while 31% chose the decision model. Implications for practice will be discussed.
 

Organizational Ethics: Establishing an Ethical Culture that Aligns With Business Practices

STEVE WOOLF (Butterfly Effects), Joy Pollard (Behavior Change Institute; Stanford University), Shawn P. Quigley (Melmark)
Abstract:

The business of providing ABA-based treatments to children has increased exponentially over the last ten years. The combination of ASDs’ high prevalence, shortage of providers, nationwide treatment mandates, and other factors set the occasion for robust business opportunities for autism treatment providers and investors. The ASD ABA treatment market was valued at $1.87 billion in 2017 with a projected market valuation of over $2.23 billion by 2022 (Research and Markets, 2017). Balancing competing contingencies of providing quality care, while also reporting to investors who may not have direct knowledge of best practice ABA treatment, can be not only challenging but also create ethical distress among the providers rendering care within the organization. As such, it is important for our field to engage in open dialogue about the ethical dilemmas that may arise and how to promote high-quality, ethically sound ABA treatment within the evolving landscape of applied behavior analysis treatment. To this end, the purpose of this presentation is to focus on organizational ethics as it refers to the ethical issues from an administrative or management perspective within a healthcare organization, rather than addressing ethical issues purely related to clinical practice.

 
 
Symposium #433
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Mixed Behavioral and Pharmacological Interventions: Prevention, Policy, Ethics, and Practice.
Monday, May 30, 2022
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 104A
Area: CBM/BPN; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: M. Christopher Newland (Auburn University)
Discussant: Maria G. Valdovinos (Drake University)
CE Instructor: Jennifer R. Zarcone, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Problem behavior can be treated with applied behavior analysis (ABA) or psychotropic medication, and each carries its own advantages and disadvantages. ABA is resource intensive, requires technically trained personnel, and the benefits may develop slowly but it has none of the side effects associated with psychotropic medications, their benefits are cumulative and often outlive the treatment period. Psychotropic medication’s effects appear quickly, their benefits can be striking, and are thought to be less expensive than ABA interventions. Finally, the educational and practicum training required for the two domains are nearly non-overlapping, so often only one approach is used or both are used with varying degrees of cooperation among practitioners, with impacts on families and clients. The two papers in this symposium examine treatment in this context. Chris Newland compares the costs of ABA with and without psychotropic medications and examines when ABA reduces the future use of psychotropic medication. Jennifer Zarcone discusses communicating with medical providers and families, and the ethical dilemmas presented when balancing their approaches with the therapeutic goals. The discussant, Maria Valdovinos, will examine these topics in the context of recent studies of joint treatment by psychotropic and behavioral interventions.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Cost-Benefit, Medical Providers, Prevent Psychotropics, Psychotropic Medication
Target Audience:

The target audience includes behavior analysts interested in psychopharmacology in applied settings, the use of psychotropic medications, and ethical and practical issues that arise when working with medical personnel. School staff and families will also benefit. Audience members should have a basic understanding of behavior analytic principles, how to read and interpret complex graphs, an appreciation of interdisciplinary service delivery, and at least an elementary understanding of psychotropic medications that are used.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Describe the relative costs associated with interventions that include ABA services and psychotropic medications 2) Describe how ABA interventions can prevent the future use of psychotropic medications 3) Measure medication effects with their clients. 4) Collaborate effectively with interdisciplinary teams, families, and community services.
 

Prevention is Better, and Cheaper, than De-prescribing: How Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions Reduced Future Psychotropic Use Among Children in Foster Care

M. CHRISTOPHER NEWLAND (Auburn University), Anna Kate Edgemon (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Abstract:

We evaluated whether applied behavior analysis (ABA) services for children and youth in foster care reduces the future use of psychotropic medication and yields cost savings. Foster children 2 to 18 years old and their caregivers received ABA services to target specific problem behaviors and to train caregivers in behavior management. Most children were on psychotropic medication but those in the “Prevention Group” had no such history. An “ABA-Matched” group was matched on demographic variables and the severity of problem behavior. The costs of delivering services and medication was compared using these groups. A third group, called the “Medicaid-Matched” group was matched against the ABA-Matched group from a database of children receiving psychotropics through Medicaid. This last matching was based on demographics, medications prescribed on entering Medicaid, and the number of months receiving Medicaid-supported psychotropics. Costs for the older ABA-Matched children (> 12YO) were more than 10X the costs of age-matched prevention children, but costs for younger children (< 5YO) were similar. About half of the Prevention-Group children received no psychotropics in a three-year follow-up and the others received fewer than the ABA-Matched children. Thus, ABA services before commencing psychotropics prevented or greatly reduced the use of psychotropics over a three-year follow-up.

 

Ethical Issues Surrounding the Use of Psychotropic Medications With People With Intellectual Disabilities

JENNIFER R. ZARCONE (The May Institute)
Abstract:

This presentation will focus on some of the ethical issues we face as behavior analysts when collaborating with families and medical providers to measure the effects of psychotropic medication. There are barriers to effective communication for many clinicians and some advice on how to negotiate those barriers will be discussed. In addition, a brief review of common measures (both indirect and based on direct observation) that can be used to assess the effects of medication on challenging behavior will be discussed. For example, we conducted an academic analog assessment with a 10-year-old with autism to assess the effect of an attention deficit disorder medication on off task and problem behavior on an impatient hospital unit. The figure shows that atomoxetine (Straterra) was highly effective in reducing problem and off task behavior. Additionally, we will discuss how we can help behavior analysts become more knowledgeable about behavioral pharmacology and medication effects during their graduate programs as well as via continuing education opportunities.

 
 
Panel #478
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASP — 
Ethics
Diversity submission School-Based Behavior Analysts: Responsive Supports Throughout the COVID-19 Era
Monday, May 30, 2022
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205B
Area: EDC/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Heather Volchko, M.Ed.
Chair: Heather Volchko (Old Dominion University; Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group)
TAMLA LEE (Bard College)
SHEILA WILLIAMSON (Mississippi State University - TK Martin Center; Behavior, Attention, and Developmental Disabilities Consultants, LLC.)
ELENA GARCIA-ALBEA (EGA Consulting, LLC)
Abstract:

In early 2020, schools across the entire world transitioned from traditional school settings to crisis teaching in virtual spaces due to the global pandemic, coronavirus or COVID-19. During this time, equity gaps in digital resources and access to education became increasingly apparent as socioeconomic status and geographical location strongly influenced whether families were able to support remote access to learning opportunities. Yet, students with emotional and behavior disorders (EBD) tend to experience higher rates of peer victimization, struggle to obtain and maintain positive interpersonal relationships, and battle more mental health problems than other special education students. Students who had already been identified as having splintered skills or gaps in their learning history did not have access to interventions provided in the traditional classroom at the same time that all students were expected to engage in much higher forms of executive functioning skills than previously expected. This panel of school-based consultants will share their own experiences working in the schools throughout the pandemic in terms of challenges, steps for addressing challenges, and resources necessary for doing so.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

This session is appropriate for professionals who interface directly with the highly applied school setting. Basic understandings of behavior analysis and varied applications of principles will be assumed as part of this conversation.

Learning Objectives: 1) Participants will learn about different forms of education consultation positioned in diverse (e.g., socioeconomic, linguistic, racial) contexts. 2) Participants will learn how behavior analysis is applied individually, class-wide, and at the systems level of school settings based on the presented needs. 3) Participants will learn how Covid impacted the schools and the rising need for multidisciplinary expertise in the schools.
Keyword(s): behavioral disorders, Covid, education consulting, emotional disorders
 
 
Invited Paper Session #491
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission The Ethical Debate in the Proposition of Cultural Design
Monday, May 30, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Ballroom Level 3; Ballroom East/West
Area: CSS; Domain: Theory
Chair: Kathryn M. Roose (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Camila Muchon De Melo, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: CAMILA MUCHON DE MELO (Universidade Estadual de Londrina (Londrina State University))
Abstract: Culturo-behavior science has been especially dedicated in the last decades to proposing conceptual tools to subsidize interventions that can produce broader impacts on cultures. Since Skinner (e.g., 1948; 1971) there has been a concern that the planning of cultural practices, or of a culture as a whole, should seek a balance between individual goods and cultural goods. Forward-thinking cultures should consider their strengthening as a value, or as the objective of a planning. However, working with cultural practices poses challenges to behavior analysts. This is because cultural practices involve behaviors of many people, interlocking behaviors, often under the control of very different variables. In the field of ethics, it is discussed that social control is largely exercised by control agencies. Agencies, in turn, when handling cultural contingencies generate strengthening consequences for the institution itself, that is, they often operate only for their own benefit. These are some of the elements of the ethical debate that permeate the tension between the descriptive and prescriptive aspects of radical behaviorism. Therefore, this lecture will have the following objectives: (1) to present the possibility of an ethical system based on the philosophical commitments of radical behaviorism; (2) conceptualize the cultural designs and present the challenges of the designs in its technological and ethical aspects; (3) present a community extension project carried out in a Brazilian city, by volunteer behavior analysts, to face the COVID-19 pandemic--an example of cultural intervention driven by values consistent with a radical behavioristic ethics.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Behavior analysts interested in an ethical issues based on radical behaviorism and interested in cultural designs.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify ethical aspects in radical behaviorism; (2) identify and describe the values present in the Skinnerian ethical system; (3) conceptualize what cultural designs are; (4) identify values that may guide cultural interventions.
 
CAMILA MUCHON DE MELO (Universidade Estadual de Londrina (Londrina State University))
Camila Muchon de Melo is a psychologist with a degree from the State University of Londrina/UEL/Brazil (2000). She holds a master's degree (2004) and a Ph.D. (2008) in Philosophy from the Federal University of São Carlos/UFSCar/Brazil. She participated in a split-site doctoral program (2007) at the University of South Australia, under the supervision of Dr. Bernard Guerin. She conducted her postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Science and Technology on Behavior, Cognition and Learning between 2009-2012 (INCT- ECCE/UFSCar) while working with Dr. Julio de Rose. She was formerly an associate editor of Acta Comportamentalia (2015-2019) and is currently an associate editor of the Brazilian Journal of Behavior Analysis/REBAC (since 2016) as well as a reviewer for Behavior and Social Issues. She has been an Adjunct Professor in the Department of General Psychology and Behavior Analysis at UEL since 2012. She was the chair coordinator of the graduate program in Behavior Analysis/UEL (master’s and doctoral degree) between 2019-2021, and has been a supervisor since 2013. Since 2020 she has been a member of the Working Group 86/Theoretical Research in Behavior Analysis at the National Association for Research and Graduate Studies in Psychology (ANPEPP/Brazil). Camila carries out research in the areas of epistemology of radical behaviorism and culturo-behavior science.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #558
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP — 
Ethics
Diversity submission A Risk-Driven Approach to Applied Behavior Analysis Across Ages: Implications for "Medical Necessity"
Monday, May 30, 2022
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258C
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
CE Instructor: Rachel Taylor, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: RACHEL TAYLOR (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the “gold standard” for service provision aimed at helping young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the increased attention to this population may be detracting from the value associated with taking an ABA approach to support individuals of all ages, across a range of diagnoses. Further, the shift to define ABA as medically necessary for individuals diagnosed with ASD (APBA, April 10, 2020) requires effective patient, provider, and payor collaboration, and recent publications have highlighted the need for structured approaches to decision-making based in analytical ethics to support this transition. Accordingly, APBA released guidelines directing practitioners to provide services based on individualized risk exposure requiring a more patient-informed approach to care. The purpose of the current presentation is to outline a collaborative risk-driven approach designed to help guide practitioners to make ethically informed decisions regarding ABA service delivery, regardless of setting, age, or severity. Considerations regarding a potential divide between science and ABA-based service delivery will be addressed, including misconceptions about that which defines our professional and ethical obligations; specifically, how our related responsibilities extend far beyond particular ABA-based clinical programming procedures, necessitating constant empirical evaluation of the overall continuity of care for a given individual (e.g., placement, transition, community-based activities, and more).

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 how ABA services need to be adjusted for individuals across a range of ages and diagnoses; (2) describe the benefits associated with adopting a risk-driven approach to ABA service delivery; (3) identify the defining features of “medically necessary” services and related implications for ABA-based practice across both crisis and non-crisis scenarios; (4) identify several common misconceptions regarding ABA-based practices and procedures and discuss crucial considerations related to established BACB ethical requirements.
 
RACHEL TAYLOR (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Dr. Rachel Taylor (formerly Dr. Tarbox) has supported individuals diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders for more than 20 years. She started her career working in several prestigious institutions including the New England Center for Children and the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is the former Co-Director of Research and Development for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and the former Chief Clinical Offer for Intercare Therapy, Inc.. Dr. Taylor has also held several academic positions including founding Department Chair for the ABA Masters and PhD programs at The Chicago School of professional Psychology Los Angeles, and Faculty member in Psychology at the California State University Los Angeles and Channel Islands. Dr. Taylor is as an Advisor to the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, Scientific Council member for the Organization for Autism Research, and former Executive Council member for the International Association for Behavior Analysis (ABAI), in addition to her longstanding service on the Board of Directors for the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA), most recently as the 2020 Conference Chair. Her interests include 1) protecting against a potential divide between science and practice and 2) demonstrating how ABA produces socially significant improvements regardless of age or diagnosis.
 

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