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

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W66
Developing Community Partnerships: A Model for Integrated Care in Early Childhood and Special Education
Friday, May 24, 2024
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Meeting Room 403
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor:
TIFFANY KRISTIN MRLA (Learning & Behavior Consulting; Integrative Learning Consultants; Bridging Autism Services)
Description: Early childhood and special education programs face a multitude of limiting factors that negatively impact outcomes in child development and learning, particularly when serving children with developmental delays and disabilities, children who have been victims of crime and abuse, impacted by significant trauma or neglect, or children living in lower socio-economic status communities. Funding constraints and competing contingencies lead to limited resources to fully engage in and deliver effective interventions and instruction, minimal opportunity to provide integrated services, and inconsistent, often disconnected, staff development models. This is exacerbated by limitations in educator preparation courses, reduced post-secondary education requirements, and accelerated certification processes. Current early intervention models result in segregated programs and services, removing children from inclusive environments, away from their natural environment and peers, during a critical developmental period. This is perpetuated throughout the educational process as children progress into special educations programs and alternative learning environments, similarly constrained, resulting in disconnected learning experiences. Participants will explore literature, legislative and regulatory guidance from a variety of fields of study and geographical regions, engaging in independent and small groups activities followed by whole group discussions to analyze and synthesize information with the goal of creating sustainable, innovative, fully integrated models which access a wider range of existing funding streams, to bring back to the communities they serve.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: 1) Identify key components of effective community partnerships in early childhood and special education programs to ensure optimal outcomes. 2) Evaluate current educational models and synthesize the information presented to develop innovative systems of care utilizing a variety of funding streams, integrating service providers and educators, to reduce or eliminate existing barriers to accessing medically necessary care. 3) Conduct a behavioral systems analysis to facilitate a change initiative within their communities.
Activities: The workshop will incorporate a variety of activities to support all learners. Experiential learning opportunities will occur in individual, small group, and large group activities and discussions following brief periods of lecture by facilitators. The facilitators will provide guiding questions, at times developed by the group, to support learners of all levels prior to small or large group activities. Participants will have the opportunity, through guided practice, to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate current practices derived from the literature and legal review. The work will be used to inform the development of partnerships within their communities to assist in creating meaningful change for the children and educators of their hometowns.
Audience: The target audience is practitioners and/or directors at service organizations who assist with organizational development initiatives, or those who provide direct services to children across settings, students of behavior analysis, or new behavior analysts. These may include executive team leaders, clinical directors, supervisors, and similar positions and titles, as well as higher education professionals. Participants should each have a minimum of three years’ experience to best incorporate information from the workshop.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Community Partnerships, Early Childhood, Integrated Services, Special Education



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