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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #471
CE Offered: BACB
The Process Teaches You: Using Information Gained from the Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-Based Treatment to Reach Meaningful Outcomes for Adolescents and Adults With Autism
Monday, May 30, 2022
11:00 AM–11:25 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254B
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Mara Vanderzell (Upstate Cerebral Palsy)
CE Instructor: Mara Vanderzell, Ph.D.

The Process Teaches You: Using Information Gained From the Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-Based Treatment to Reach Meaningful Outcomes for Adolescents and Adults With Autism

Domain: Service Delivery
MARA VANDERZELL (Upstate Cerebral Palsy), Brianna Elsasser (State of Michigan), Kelly Marie Gallagher (Upstate Cerebral Palsy), Jon Horn (Upstate Cerebral Palsy), Erik Jacobson (Upstate Cerebral Palsy)

Many researchers have replicated Practical Functional Assessment (PFA) and Skills-Based Treatment (SBT) procedures with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder; however, this has typically involved younger children, often who are language able. Currently, there is a gap in the literature involving adolescents and adults with severe disabilities attending residential programs. This presentation aims to discuss the lessons learned from the process of conducting PFA and implementing SBT with adolescents and adults with long and complex learning histories and how the practice has changed based on client performance. In addition, this presentation will also highlight a cultural shift of a school and residential program from its long history of using a caregiving approach with this population to a nationally-recognized program using evidence-based practices focused on safety, dignity, and rapport, to alter the life trajectories of the individuals that it serves. Participants will have the opportunity to view videos of program participants in their analysis and meaningful skill acquisition process as well discuss problems and solutions discovered along the way.

Target Audience:

The audience should be familiar with functional assessment, synthesized contingency analysis, and skill-based treatment procedures

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will learn ways to modify skill-based treatment to meet the needs of populations less frequently represented in the literature 2. Participants will observe videos of adolescents and adults engaging in skill based treatment and learn ways to improve instruction and achieve meaningful outcomes 3. Participants will learn about global outcome indicators that are impacted when skill-based treatment is implemented across a division and agency



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