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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #352
CE Offered: BACB
Beyond Autism: Expanding Our Scope of Practice by Examining Licensing Laws, How to Broaden Our Scope of Practice, and Results of ABA Intervention on Typically Developing Children
Sunday, May 27, 2018
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom C
Area: PRA/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Shannon Shea McDonald (Endicott College; WCI - Work, Community, Independencce)
Discussant: Michael Weinberg (Amego, Inc)
CE Instructor: Shannon Shea McDonald, M.S.

ABA has made a name for itself as a treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders, while excluding itself from being viewed as an accepted treatment of psychiatric disorders or to promote general behavior change in typically developing individuals. Behavior Analysts have a unique, valuable perspective to contribute regarding behaviors associated with psychiatric disorders and widespread behavior change. ABA need not be limited to the treatment of individuals diagnosed with intellectual or developmental disabilities (ID/DD). A review of the subjects in JABA articles from 1968-2013 will be presented, with an analysis of current trends in ABA licensing. Additionally, data will be presented on the effective use of ABA to treat typically developing children diagnosed with PTSD, ADHD and ODD. A discussion of future directions for ABA applications, such as analyzing meta-contingencies to address group behavior and expand potential populations served, climate change, increasing healthy behaviors, and so on.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): clinical, licensure, psychiatric disorders, scope
Target Audience:

Basic to intermediate level BCBA or BCaBA practitioners.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to evaluate the current scope of practice and discuss future directions for ABA as a profession. Participants who attend this talk will be able to use conceptually systematic language to refer to emotional instability and other mental health issues in clients, as well as identifying metacontingencies that shape challenging behavior in marginalized populations and subsequent appropriate interventions.

The Narrowing Scope of Practice in Applied Behavior Analysis

(Applied Research)

ABA as a profession is growing rapidly, largely due to the rising number of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. As BCBAs grow in number to meet this need, research and application of ABA to behaviors associated with psychiatric disorders and general behavior change with typically developing individuals has been largely ignored. A review of journal articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis was conducted to evaluate trends in ABA research and subjects of interest. Behavior Analysis has a unique, valuable perspective to contribute regarding these behaviors. ABA need not be limited to the treatment of individuals diagnosed with intellectual or developmental disabilities (ID/DD). However, if we are to expand our scope of practice beyond Autism, we must do it quickly as our profession matures.


An Effective Use of ABA to Improve the Social Skills of Severely At-Risk Youth

(Applied Research)

While students with Autism diagnoses are likely to have ABA consultation and services included in their IEPs, students with Social-Emotional Disabilities and related psychiatric and mental health disorders are often only provided counseling services to generate behavior change. Typical school interventions include CBT and Psychotherapy, with OT interventions becoming more popular in recent years. As ABA works to improve its public perception, there are many valuable contributions to be made in both general and special education with the growing number of Emotionally Impaired students. Data will be presented showing an effective use of the Good Behavior Game to decrease out-of-class time in a therapeutic classroom for students who have diagnoses of PTSD, ODD, ADHD, as well as mood and other conduct disorders. Further implications for use of radical behaviorism to create efficacious interventions for children and adults with trauma histories, as well as improve general education practices, are discussed.




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