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 #W11
CE Offered: BACB — 
Creating Happy Learners: An Introduction to Measuring Assent and Assent Withdrawal
Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Fumi Horner, Ph.D.
CHRISTINA BAROSKY (Bierman Autism Centers), SIMONE PALMER (Simmons University and Bierman Autism Centers), FUMI HORNER (Bierman Autism Centers)
Description: Obtaining client’s assent as applicable has been included in the most recent version of the ethics code for behavior analysts (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2020). Many companies providing ABA-based services to learners have in their standard practice obtaining informed consent from families and caregivers as a part of the client onboarding process. Given the recency of this topic (new code became effective in January 2022), many professionals are questioning how to also obtain assent from learners, especially if they display communication deficits. Additional challenges may include difficulties with honoring assent or programming for assent withdrawal and the concern of increasing escape/ avoidance behaviors that interfere with the productivity of therapy or instructional time and treatment outcomes. This workshop will review the definition of consent, assent, and assent withdrawal, how to identify assent from learners with communication deficits, how to program for assent-based intervention, and discuss possible measurement strategies.
Learning Objectives: Review the definition of consent, assent, and assent withdrawal Describe the importance of assent-based interventions within ABA therapy Review some practical examples of assent withdrawal Review some measurement strategies of assent withdrawal Describe some strategies/ treatment goals when assent withdrawal is identified
Activities: Identifying examples and nonexample of assent based interventions by looking at the behavior intervention plans or videos. Conducting visual analyses to identify when assent withdrawal has occured. Identifying some strategies to remediate the issues instead of implementing escape extinction.
Audience: Any BCBAs who are interested in learning how to implement assent based interventions for children with autism
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Assent, Autism, Staff training



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