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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #153
CE Offered: BACB
Let's Talk About Collaboration and Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 26, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 114
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kristina Gasiewski (Melmark )
Discussant: Melanie Olson Giles (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Kristina Gasiewski, M.Ed.

Interdisciplinary collaboration can be challenging, but necessary in order to meet the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Successful collaborative treatment is predicated on an understanding of the value and expertise offered by different disciplines, and requires mutual respect and professional dialogue. Respect and compassion are important core traits to effective collaboration. The first presenter will discuss their study of 24 behavior analytic professionals who participated in a virtual training-and-coaching sequence to improve collaboration and compassion. Mechanisms impacting collaborative, compassionate practice will be discussed. The second presenter with discuss collaboration experiences between occupational therapy professionals and board certified behavior analysts. Respondents from both professions responded to a survey consisting of questions regarding collaborative interactions, perceived barriers to collaboration, and views of its benefits. Current trends as well as barriers interfering with effective collaboration will be highlighted. Furthermore, the discussant will bring to light collaboration across disciplines to enhance client success.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): behavior analysis, Collaboration, compassion, occupational therapy
Target Audience:

The target audience should have some knowledge and experience working alongside other professions. They should have had some opportunities and experiences collaborating with professionals outside of the behavior analytic profession, including occupational therapists. Data from perspective surveys on collaboration will be presented, and current literature on collaboration and compassion will be discussed with an overall focus on enhancing effective collaboration in order to foster best outcomes for our clients.

Learning Objectives: (1) identify the connection between compassion and collaboration (2) identify strengths and barriers to collaboration (3) identify strategies that may aid in overcoming barriers that interfere with collaboration

“Behavior Analysts Know It All”: A Qualitative Study Exploring Experiences of Behavior Analytic Professionals

ZAHAVA FRIEDMAN (Kean University), Daphna El-Roy (Kean University)

While evidence supporting applied behavior analysis has long been established, the field continues to self-reflect toward improved compassionate care (Rohrer et al., 2021). Interprofessional collaboration, a related concept, is defined as team-based, cooperative approaches among professionals (Friedman et al., 2022). Both collaboration and compassion are built upon social responsiveness and can improve social validity of applied behavior analysis (Kirby et al., 2022; LeBlanc et al., 2020). Despite the philosophical value of interprofessionalism and compassion, currently practicing behavior analytic providers report receiving little to no training in either capacity (Friedman et al., 2022; LeBlanc et al., 2020). The study’s purpose was to describe the lived experiences of twenty-four (N=24) behavior analytic professionals, who participated in a four-month-long, virtual training-and-coaching sequence to improve collaboration and compassion. Recordings of training and coaching sessions were transcribed, then coded independently by a pair of researchers. Qualitative, reflexive thematic analysis revealed three themes: historical perspectives, being harder on one-self than others, and old me vs. new me. This study uniquely describes the experiences of behavior analytic professionals, shedding light into mechanisms impacting collaborative, compassionate practice. Participants perceived their professional training as a barrier to collaboration, and their own hard-driving propensities as limiting to compassionate care.

Behavior Analysts and Occupational Therapists Collaboration: Perspective Surveys
KRISTINA GASIEWSKI (Melmark ), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College), Jennifer Labowitz (Melmark)
Abstract: This presentation will discuss qualitative studies that were designed to gain perspective on Occupational Therapy (OT) professionals and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) collaboration. A two part study provided professional specific surveys. The first surveyed OT professionals through an online survey consisting of questions arranged in the form of multiple response and Likert scale questions as well as two open-ended questions. The survey instrument contained questions related to collaborative interactions, perceived barriers to collaboration, and views of its benefits. Overall, the results from this study highlight what OT professionals report as challenges in collaboration with BCBAs. This direct feedback or criticism from another professional community can support future growth within the BCBA profession, by highlighting areas where reflective improvement and change are needed. The results of the second survey will provide insight as to what BCBAs perceive is occurring in regards to collaborating with OT professionals. By understanding both profession’s views, a more comprehensive analysis can aid in development of an intervention such as a training package to improve interdisciplinary collaboration. Given that the expertise of both OT and BCBA professionals are essential to comprehensive treatment for autism, consumers will benefit from an investment in strengthening this relationship.



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