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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Paper Session #272
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Interventions for the Treatment of Autism
Sunday, May 26, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 113 A
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Angela Capuano (University of Michigan)
CE Instructor: Bryant C. Silbaugh, Ph.D.

Witchcraft, Wizardy, Voodoo, & Magic: Identifying Pseudoscientific Practices for Behavior Analysts

Domain: Service Delivery
ANGELA CAPUANO (University of Michigan), Kim Killu (University of Michigan - Dearborn)

With no known cause and no known cure, the treatment field for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is ripe with fad, unproven, and pseudoscientific practices. Applied behavior analysis practitioners should anticipate encountering these practices and be ready to identify and confront them. The BACB® Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2020) requires registered certificants to be knowledgeable about pseudoscientific practices that could pose risk of harm to their clients and to advocate for the most effective treatment for their clients. Pseudoscientific practices have the potential to harm clients and the field of behavior analysis by wasting valuable resources such as time, money, and effort that could be better spent on evidence-based, effective interventions. This presentation will cover common characteristics of pseudoscientific practices and how to identify them through many examples of these practices that are currently and readily available. The presentation will also address how to avoid falling for pseudoscientific claims.


A Practical Approach to Controlling Behavioral Intervention Quality in Autism Service Delivery

Domain: Service Delivery
BRYANT C. SILBAUGH (Tx Behavioral Supports)

The quality of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services for individuals with autism depends in part on the quality of our behavioral interventions. Behavioral intervention quality can be conceptualized as the extent to which behavioral interventions are implemented with high treatment integrity and high interobserver agreement, over time. Research on practical and scalable methods for consistently assessing and improving treatment integrity and interobserver agreement in practice is lacking. In this paper the speaker will describe a practical model of managing for the quality of behavioral interventions using quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement which any Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®) can implement. Additionally, the speaker will describe an estimation approach to treatment integrity assessment developed to make the model efficient; and eight months of data collected across eight Registered Behavior Technicians® and eight clients with autism, during routine clinical practice. This paper will conclude with steps any BCBA supervisor or director can take immediately to begin more effectively controlling the quality of their behavioral interventions with the current model.




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