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

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W28
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission How to Be an Advocate: Understanding and Managing Cognitive Decline in Adulthood
Friday, May 26, 2023
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2B
Area: CBM/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jacqueline Pachis, M.A.
JACQUELINE PACHIS (Eastern Michigan University ), KAYLA RINNA (Eastern Michigan University), SAMANTHA JO ZOHR (Eastern Michigan University), CLAUDIA DROSSEL (Eastern Michigan University)
Description: The loss of acquired repertoires or skill sets in adulthood, including difficulties thinking, remembering, reasoning, or problem-solving that present a change from baseline, are the topic of this workshop. In our culture, these difficulties intersect with assumptions about aging and unquestioned pseudoscience. As a result, taking appropriate action and mitigating the difficulties are less likely, and many people with cognitive loss live in social and physical conditions that hasten decline. This workshop will address cognitive decline as a social justice issue and teach attendees to become effective advocates by (1) drawing attention to the intersection of ageism and ableism; (2) understanding cognitive decline in adulthood from an evidence-based perspective and detecting pseudoscience; and (3) giving guidelines for action and advocacy, including preventing and managing behavioral or emotional changes. Content also applies to cognitive decline with pre-existing disorders (e.g., neurodevelopmental, such as autism spectrum disorder or trisomy 21, or persistent behavioral disorders, such as schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders). Attendees will engage in didactics, discussions, and targeted exercises. Videos will illustrate theoretical concepts.
Learning Objectives: The workshop will introduce attendees to ethical standards and practice guidelines related to cognitive decline. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will (1) apply a behavior analytic framework to ageism and ableism; (2) identify common etiologies of cognitive decline; (3) list the best-practice steps for assessing cognitive decline and preventing or managing associated behavioral changes.
Activities: Workshop objectives will be met through lecture, videos, exercises, and group discussion. Access to a digital workbook will be provided to support participant learning.
Audience: The workshop is open to people of all instruction levels including basic, intermediate, and advanced.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): ableism, ageism, dementia, repertoire decline



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