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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #202
CE Offered: BACB
Unique Ethical and Legal Responsibilities for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) Working in School Settings
Sunday, May 28, 2023
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center 403/404
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Susan R Copeland (University of New Mexico)
CE Instructor: Susan R Copeland, Ph.D.
Abstract: Schools are a unique work setting for many Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). BCBAs’ skills and knowledge can facilitate provision of effective intervention and instructional programs for students, yet BCBAs may have limited training specific to these complex settings. The presence and unique status of students with disabilities in schools, the legal rights of those students and their parents, and the laws that govern school personnel actions present unique ethical and legal responsibilities that affect behavior analysts' work in schools. Some of the aspects of practice that are unique to schools and relevant to behavior analytic practice include: mandated collaborative teams, overlapping specialty practices, contractual individual education programs, consent, parent participation, assessment, least restrictive environment, student discipline processes, manifestation determinations, student self-determination, and non-discrimination. Symposium presenters will discuss significant contextual factors that influence the role of behavior analysts in school settings, provide recommendations for specific preparation needed for BCBAs to be effective, collaborative team members within these settings. and outline areas for future research to strengthen and expand the use of behavior analysis within school settings.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): school-based practice
Target Audience: The target audience for the presentation are BCBAs and BCaBAs practicing in or considering practicing in school settings and individuals who teach in BCBA/BCaBA preparation programs. Audience members should have prerequisite skills in understanding the goals of behavior analysis, understanding the responsible conduct of behavior analysts (found in Professional and Ethical Compliance Codes) and have skill in collaboration with others who support/provide services to students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify four contextual factors that limit effective provision of behavior analysis in school settings. (2) Describe three strategies or approaches to address these factors and facilitate effective practice in school settings. (3) Identify three areas of specific knowledge/skills that could strengthen preparation of BCBAs to work in school settings.
Professional Responsibility and School Collaborations
(Service Delivery)
RUTH LUCKASSON (University of NM)
Abstract: Professional responsibility includes the exercise of evidence-based practices, professional standards, ethics, and clinical judgment. Different professions and different cultures may, however, interpret professional responsibility in different ways. As behavior analysts increasingly work in schools, and collaborate with school teams that include special educators, general educators, diagnosticians, administrators, and students and their families, new professional tensions may emerge in serving students with disabilities. One way to analyze these tensions is to consider the varying ways that school collaborators interpret their professional responsibility. By anticipating these “tensions of interpretation” we may be able to avoid disputes rooted in miscommunication about professional responsibility. In this presentation I will compare and contrast professional responsibility among relevant professions, review recent legal cases that provide guidance about ABA in schools, and suggest areas for improved alignment.
The Case for Including Behavior Analysts in Inclusive Education
(Service Delivery)
ERIC ANDERSON (Bowling Green State University )
Abstract: The majority of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive their education in settings other than the general education classroom (Morningstar et al., 2017), thereby missing out on the academic and social benefits of inclusion in the general education classroom (Shogren et al., 2015). At the same time, the majority of BCBAs and BCBA-Ds report their primary area of professional emphasis as working with individuals on the autism spectrum, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or in education (BACB, 2022). Behavior analysts are uniquely positioned to design interventions to address barriers that commonly prevent inclusive placement (e.g., deficits in communication/social skills and disruptive/challenging behavior) and support these students to access the general education classroom. This presentation will review nationally representative and longitudinal data on the prevalence of separate placement, common barriers used to justify that separate placement, and behavioral interventions that can ensure these students access inclusive environments.

Implementation Science in Behavior Analysis: What Can We Learn From Theory and an Applied Study?

(Service Delivery)
DEIRDRE M. MULDOON (The College of Saint Rose)

Implementation science focuses on barriers and supports that educators, including behavior analysts, need when implementing evidence-based practices (EBP) in clinics and classrooms. Implementation science arose from the need to understand the research-to-practice gap that exists in the delivery of EBPs. It is a dynamic framework designed to increase understanding of how to improve and increase use of EBP. Damschroder et al. (2009) devised a Consolidated Framework for Implementation Science (CFIR) that has five domains: intervention characteristics, outer setting, inner setting, characteristics of the individuals involved, and the process of implementation. Using the constructs of the CFIR this presentation will address the recent successes and barriers of an applied single case experimental study designed to teach minimally-verbal, preschool children with ASD receptive vocabulary.




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