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 #481
CE Offered: BACB — 
Diversity submission Teaching Trainees and Supervisees Collaboration and Soft Skills
Monday, May 27, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon AB
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Cheryl J. Davis (Russell Sage College; SupervisorABA)
Discussant: Susan Ainsleigh (Bay Path University)
CE Instructor: Susan Ainsleigh, Ph.D.

This symposium will review two current studies and share applied experience related to teaching practitioners collaboration and soft skills within our field. These skills are necessary and currently required by the BACB on both task list 5 and test content 6, as well the ethics code. However, current literature reports that the majority of credentialed behavior analysts may not have receive training in these skills as part of their direct education or training (Callahan et al., 2019; Conners et al., 2019; LeBlanc & Marchese, 2020; Sellers et al., 2019). In addition, the BACB fieldwork standards require these skills be taught to competency in supervision. This is particularly important as the number of BCBAs has increased rapidly in the last few years, and more technological skills are often the focus of supervision hours. Our field is often viewed by other disciplines, as well as familes, as uncaring and "business like". To improve the interactions with those we work with, it is imperative that those certified demonstrate both collaboration and soft skills so others want to interact with us.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): collaboration, diversity,, soft skills,, supervision,
Target Audience:

This event is designed to increase basic, intermediate, or advanced skills in providing supervision related to soft skills and collaboration to practitioners in the field of ABA. Attendees should have experience providing supervision to trainees, BCaBAs, RBTs, or direct care staff, as well as want to increase their own skills in this area. In addition, these more nuanced skills will be explicitly reviewed using objective measures, and concrete ways to teach them will be provided.

Learning Objectives: Participants will identify the component of teaching collaboration skills with those they supervise Participants will be able to describe how to teach soft skills to others in our field Participants will be able to discuss current best practices related to assessing skill acquisition with related to collaboration and soft skills Participants will be able to describe opportunities of how to practice teaching these skills during supervision
Diversity submission 

Let’s Work Together: Using Interprofessional Education and Behavior Skills Training (BST) to Prepare Graduate Students in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Occupational Therapy (OT) to Collaborate on Treatment Teams

HEATHER M. BAIROS (Bay Path University)

Autism spectrum disorder is complex and multifaceted, and individuals with this diagnosis benefit from an interprofessional approach to treatment (American Psychiatric Association, 2022; Cox, 2012; LaFrance, 2019). Unfortunately, many individuals who provide services to individuals with ASD report feeling ill-equipped to provide services collaboratively with one another (Kelly & Tincani, 2013; Friedman, et al., 2022). The present study sought to explore whether graduate students in an occupational therapy (OT) program and an applied behavior analysis (ABA) program demonstrated several key collaborative behaviors that have been identified as being crucial to interprofessional collaboration (IPEC, 2016). The study implemented a training program and demonstrated that these key skills could be taught. This study utilized a combination of interprofessional education and behavioral skills training to teach key collaboration skills to students preparing to practice in the fields of ABA and OT. Participants worked in dyads with participants from another discipline to create recommendations for assessment and treatment for case studies. The demonstration of key collaborative behaviors during these sessions increased for all participants, suggesting that a combination of BST and interprofessional education are effective in teaching key collaboration skills to graduate students in OT and ABA. This provides graduate training programs with a potential format for incorporating collaboration training into their programs to better prepare their students to collaborate on interdisciplinary treatment teams as practitioners.

Diversity submission 

The Use of Behavioral Skills Training to Develop Soft Skills in Trainees

CHERYL J. DAVIS (Russell Sage College; SupervisorABA), Jessica Donnelly (Capella University / Positive ABA), Kelly Brock (Damien University), Bryan J. Blair (Consultant)

This symposium will review the effectiveness of behavior skills training (BST) to develop rapport building, interpersonal, and feedback delivery skills in trainees was examined to provide supervisors with a systematic, evidence-based approach to teach trainees soft skills. This is a necessary skill in our field based on the task list 5 and test content 6 requirements, as well as to engage our clients and families in meaningful ways. A multiple baseline across skillset design was implemented with five trainees and included baseline teaching observations, BST rehearsal, post-BST teaching observations, and a generalization teaching observation. The average across participants and skillsets during baseline was 17.1%, BST 91.78%, teaching observations 86.1%, and generalization 88%. There was a significant effect reported using the Tau statistic across participants. Social validity scores indicated that the intervention was valuable to the participants. The interobserver agreement mean was 93.1% across 34.5% of all sessions, demonstrating that the data were reliable. The research study demonstrated that soft skills were taught utilizing BST to trainees effectively.




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