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 #471
CE Offered: BACB
Parent-Led Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Programs: Empowering Parents and Caregivers in Their Child’s Treatment
Monday, May 27, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 113 B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kalina Hatzell (Easterseals Hawai’i and Northern California)
CE Instructor: Viridiana Sanchez, M.A.

Research consistently demonstrates findings that highlight the essential role of caregiver involvement in the treatment for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Parent-led Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) places caregivers at the forefront of their child's therapeutic journey. In this approach, clinicians provide structured training to caregivers, equipping them with the necessary skills to incorporate ABA into their child's daily routines. When caregivers take an active role, positive results emerge in individuals with autism, including improvements in communication and social skills, along with a reduction in problem behaviors. This symposium will present the evidence-based foundation for well-structured caregiver training and how fostering this collaboration empowers caregivers, instilling them with confidence to implement their children's treatment plans, ultimately leading to positive treatment outcomes for their kids. It will also review how the model can be implemented via telehealth or hybrid, how to support neurodivergent caregivers in the model, and fidelity checklists or tools currently used to support caregivers.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Caregiver Mediated, Parent Led-ABA, Telehealth
Target Audience:

Individuals who have at least a bachelor's degree in applied behavior analysis or related field and two or more years experience in applied behavior analysis

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the rationale for the Parent-Led ABA model and establishing caregivers as the primary implementer in treatment; (2) Describe the benefits and challenges of implementing Parent-Led ABA over telehealth; (3) Identify different ways to support neurodivergent caregivers in the Parent-Led ABA model.

Parent-Led Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Programs: Empowering Parents and Caregivers in Their Child’s Treatment

JANESSA CANILAO (Easterseals NorCal)

Imagine a world where ABA starts at home, in the natural environment, with a caregiver building connection with their neurodiverse child for the first time. In this world, caregivers are empowered to use strength-based approaches to behavior analysis by learning ABA strategies and procedures to implement directly with their child and receiving real time feedback on implementation. In the same world, providers can pass on knowledge that allows caregivers to enhance their understanding of ABA, neurodivergence and their role in their child's life. This system is known as Parent-led ABA and has allowed a reimagining of closed-door clinic practices that make it challenging to support caregivers in a culture of belonging. By opening the door to parent-led ABA caregivers are now empowered to share their knowledge, practice ABA skills in applied environments, and work in collaboration with providers to become their own expert in ABA for their neurodivergent children. By placing caregivers as the primary implementers of ABA in the Parent-led ABA model, this system allows a direct access line to the lived experience and places emphasis on caregivers' knowledge and abilities to strengthen all aspects of applied behavioral analysis services.


Parent-Led Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Telehealth

AMANDA BOLGREN (Easterseals Hawaii)

Staffing shortages at the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) level and clients residing in an out of service area (OOSA) pose significant delays and challenges to the delivery of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services. This results in autistic individuals, those with disabilities, and their families, not receiving the medically necessary treatment they need and deserve to build communication, daily living, and social skills. When access to services is constrained, belonging is hindered. At Easterseals our purpose is to foster equity so that people with developmental disabilities can receive services to live independent and fulfilling lives. Breaking down barriers to access and belonging is possible by reconceptualizing ways that effective treatment can be provided. The Parent-led ABA service model is a caregiver-mediated, intensive ABA model for both comprehensive and focused treatment in which the caregiver acts as the direct service provider for their child. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) use Behavior Skills Training (BST) to train parents in ABA concepts and strategies, and provide real-time observation and feedback via telehealth as the parent implements the treatment program with their child. Utilizing BCBAs and telehealth, combats the RBT staffing shortage and allows families outside of service areas to receive ABA treatment, leading to enhanced communication and social skills, and appropriate coping and alternative behaviors as replacement for maladaptive behaviors. This presentation will outline how the Parent-led ABA model increases accessibility through telehealth.

Supporting Neurodivergent Caregivers
VIRIDIANA SANCHEZ (Easterseals Northern California )
Abstract: The Parent-led ABA model allows practitioners to train caregivers on applied behavior analysis strategies while also being sensitive to their unique needs. This is especially important for neurodivergent caregivers, who may have unique challenges in treatment. The focus of this presentation is to showcase how the reimagining of systems and practices can effectively be individualized to the conditions and unique behaviors of neurodivergent individuals and their caregivers, fostering a culture of belonging with three learning objectives. First, by working towards eliminating the stigma of harmful societal norms. Next, by empowering neurodivergent individuals and their caregivers. Finally, by implementing solutions to improve cultural competency within the neurodivergent service delivery field. This presentation will identify concerns beyond access to services, provide a platform to better understand the stigma associated with societal norms and provide solutions that empower neurodivergent caregivers and to ensure the efficacy of service delivery to promote the inclusivity of all members of society.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh