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 #469
CE Offered: BACB
School-Based Systems and Procedures for Addressing Early Childhood Development and Anxiety Disorders
Monday, May 28, 2018
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Coronado Ballroom DE
Area: DEV/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)
CE Instructor: Jessica Singer-Dudek, Ph.D.

The effects on children's developmental trajectory other than phylogenetic can be environmental, like the effects of the poverty and post- war outdated systems of health and education in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H). The goal of "EDUS- Education for All", a non-for-profit organization in B&H was the advancement of early childhood development for children with developmental delays and disorders through science of behavior. Through partnership with USAID, UNICEF-B&H and relevant ministries, EDUS was able to work on developing whole systems of Early Detection and Intervention for B&H. This included creating standardized screening and assessment tools and training for professionals who were to deliver services to children identified with developmental disorders. Professional staff in health clinics and governmental day-care programs with appropriate standardized tools and training became providers of an early detection and intervention services throughout the country, while EDUS teachers trained to be strategic scientists, became the trainers and mentors. In this symposium, we will present first two steps in the system creation, development of early detection standardized tool and training protocols for the teacher trainers-mentors. The two studies were both done in order to advance skills of the professional staff and therefore children they work with in the B&H. The importance of the science of behavior in developing such tools and trainings and the data-driven systems as the key for monitoring and evaluation of all the steps will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

graduate level students, professionals, supervisors, program coordinators, college professors, teachers of teachers


School-Based Prevention and Intervention Programs for Anxiety Disorders: Current Issues, Future Directions, and Evidence-Based Interventions

(Service Delivery)
CELAL PERIHAN (Texas A&M University), Mack D. Burke (Texas A&M University)

Anxiety disorders are the most common of internalizing problems, and current studies show that one in five children in every classroom is at risk to develop high levels of anxiety (Boyd et al., 2000). Because these students are more likely to be quiet and follow the directions (Herzig-Anderson et al., 2014), teachers do not pay attention until they become more serious. As a result, they are usually left unidentified and untreated in school settings (Kendall, 1994). Placing these children without treatment may cause a significant adverse impact on children?s relationship with peers and teachers (Bittner et al., 2007), and can cause the lack of interest in learning (Beidel et al., 2000). This study will present specific issues with identification, prevention and treatment of high levels of anxiety in school settings. The paper will provide an overview of addressing anxiety in school settings, and guidance on how to identify students with or at risk for high levels of anxiety within the Multi-Tiered System of Supports?(MTSS). Then, key issues related to teachers and parents in treatment will be provided. At the end of the study, evidence-based interventions for each tier of MTSS with appropriate measures of anxiety will be demonstrated.


Teacher as a Scientist: Application of Protocol for Analysis of Student's Learning and Teaching Decisions Making as a Tool for Advancement of Novice Teachers

(Applied Research)
Nirvana Pistoljevic (EDUS; CABAS and Teachers College, Columbia University), Stanislava Majusevic (EDUS- Education for All), JESSICA SINGER-DUDEK (Teachers College, Columbia University)

Teaching novice teachers to analyze data and make correct teaching decisions in order to improve students? outcomes in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) was the goal of the study. We measured the effects of the mastery of the teacher decision protocol on the acquisition of new skills by students diagnosed with developmental disorders. Twenty-seven teachers from nine EDUS experimental ABA Early Intervention, Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms participated in the study. They had no previous formal ABA training or education, EDUS had to train them and create strategic scientist in order to provide services for children that had no other options for education. Since teacher training is one of the main components of CABAS? and EDUS systems, this study was a systematic replication of several CABAS? publications. In this presentation I would like to analyze and discuss some of the trials and stipulations I encountered providing teacher training in B&H according to the very high CABAS? standards. How trying to change an education system that is outdated and communist past heavy, is not an easy task even when you have science on your side. With this data summary of the past year of teacher training, I would like to show you that change is possible. We will discuss concrete teacher training steps and the effects they had on the numbers of skills sixty students acquired pre and post the intervention. We were able to create teachers who were strategic scientist and therefore increase numbers of objectives achieved across all the classrooms.


Developing Early Detection and Intervention Systems for a Country: How Behavioral Science Can Help

(Applied Research)
NIRVANA PISTOLJEVIC (EDUS; CABAS and Teachers College, Columbia University), Eldin Dzanko (EDUS- Education for All)

Children's optimal development is hampered by risks in the child's environment that get exacerbated by poor economic and social systems like the ones in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H). Good systems detect risk factors and atypical development, and support the individual needs of families and young children through parent education and direct early intervention in the first few years of the child's life. Such systems rely on science, data, and use validated measuring tools. With the support of USAID and in partnership with UNICEF and the relevant ministries in B&H, EDUS worked on developing such systems, which can provide evidence-based early detection and intervention based on the science of behavior. We created and standardized a behavioral developmental tool for early detection and monitoring of early childhood development on the sample of 1100 children with and without disabilities. Throughout the process, we compared development of matched pairs of children with disabilities vs. typically developing children vs. low-SES children in B&H. Once published, this tool with the intense training of the professionals enabled a creation of Early Detection System in the country. In the phase II of the project, with the funding from the USAID, we were able to develop an App for early detection and monitoring of the development of children birth through six years old. The behavioral screening and behavioral intervention tools were then used in EDUS Early Intervention and Preschool ABA programs and those pre-post data will be presented. The data show the effectiveness of behavioral developmental approach for early detection and intervention in B&H. I will talk about promoting early childhood development through concrete steps, measures, tools and applications, all utilizing the science of Applied Behavior Analysis in B&H.




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