Association for Behavior Analysis International

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


15th Annual Autism Conference; Online; 2021

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #4
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Assessment and Treatment of Severe Interfering Behavior via Telehealth
Monday, March 1, 2021
11:30 AM–12:20 PM
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Jennifer McComas, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: JENNIFER MCCOMAS (University of Minnesota)

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

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) consider appropriate assessment procedures to use via telehealth; (2) list precautions to take to prevent injury to participant and caregivers during web-based assessment of severe interfering behavior; (3) identify conditions under which assessment of interfering behavior via telehealth would be inappropriate.
JENNIFER MCCOMAS (University of Minnesota)
My expertise is in the area of functional analysis and treatment of severe challenging behavior and communication of individuals with neurodevelopmental and related disorders. I have applied basic behavioral principles to the effective treatment of challenging behavior maintained by social reinforcers as well as behavior not maintained by any identifiable social reinforcers. In 2014, I launched the Telehealth Behavior Lab (TBL) at the University of Minnesota. We have been using teleconferencing as a means to connect with families and care-providers across the country to provide behavioral consultation to families of individuals with neurodevelopmental and other related disorders and destructive behavior (e.g., self-injurious behavior, aggression, destructive behavior) and to conduct research on functional communication training and maintenance of treatment effects. In addition, the TBL is demonstrating promise for extending our research agenda pertaining to the influence of operant mechanisms on destructive and pro-social behavior.



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