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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W4
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethical Approaches to Teaching Social Skills for Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Thursday, May 23, 2019
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Swissôtel, Lucerne Ballroom Level, Alpine 1
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Joseph H. Cihon, M.A.
JUSTIN B. LEAF (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), JOSEPH H. CIHON (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), CHRISTINE MILNE-SEMINARA (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), JULIA FERGUSON (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Description: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in social skills, including, but not limited to, social communication, interaction, and reciprocity. To address these deficits, there are a myriad of social skills interventions available to the behavior analyst. Unfortunately, many of these interventions lack methodologically sound empirical support for their effectiveness, while others could be considered pseudoscientific and/or antiscientific. Behavior analysts who provide or oversee these interventions have an ethical obligation to select and provide effective intervention. Therefore, it is essential for behavior analysts to have a firm understanding of effective social skills interventions as well as the skills necessary to identify social skills interventions that lack empirical support and may be ineffective or harmful. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce practicing behavior analysts to the empirical evidence of several popular social skills interventions, provide examples of how to identify and research potentially pseudoscientific interventions, and outline the importance of understanding the evidence and identification of pseudoscientific interventions as it relates to ethical obligations to clients.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants will be able to: 1. identify and describe several evidence-based social skills interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD 2. identify and describe at least two commonly used social skills interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD that lack empirical support or align closely to a pseudoscience 3. describe the ethical implications of using social skills interventions that lack empirical support
Activities: Workshop objectives will be met through a balance of presentation methods including, but not limited to, lecture, video observation, discussion, small group break out, target reading, and guided practice.
Audience: This workshop is intended for any behavior analysts providing social skills interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD. Standardized competencies (e.g., BCBA) are suggested but not required.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): evidence based, pseudoscience, social skills



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