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2022 Agenda

AzABA 2022 Annual Conference
October 28-29, 2022

Friday, October 28

8:00 – 9:00am
Registration

9:00 am – 12:00 pm | Workshop
Practical Functional Assessment & Skill-Based Treatment
Alexandra Beckwith, M.Ed., BCBA and Kelsey Ruppel, Ph.D., BCBA

The presenters will describe a contemporary and compassionate approach to assessing and treating dangerous behavior. The Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-Based Treatment processes were first described by Hanley and colleagues (2014), based on years of prior research, and have since been replicated by research groups nationally and internationally. Science, however, is iterative; we continue to learn each time we use these processes. Therefore, the presenters will provide a description of the processes and highlight the latest updates and refinements. They will emphasize strategies for maximizing safety and holding central client values and priorities.

Learning Objectives:

– Describe the practice of relying on synthesized reinforcement contingencies when functionally analyzing problem behavior
– Describe how to develop replacement skills within an open-door model that minimizes the possibility of escalated problem behavior.
– Describe values- and performance-based decision-making.

12:00 – 1:00pm
Lunch

1:00 – 5:00 pm | Workshop, continued
Practical Functional Assessment & Skill-Based Treatment
Alexandra Beckwith, M.Ed., BCBA and Kelsey Ruppel, Ph.D., BCBA

The presenters will describe a contemporary and compassionate approach to assessing and treating dangerous behavior. The Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-Based Treatment processes were first described by Hanley and colleagues (2014), based on years of prior research, and have since been replicated by research groups nationally and internationally. Science, however, is iterative; we continue to learn each time we use these processes. Therefore, the presenters will provide a description of the processes and highlight the latest updates and refinements. They will emphasize strategies for maximizing safety and holding central client values and priorities.

Learning Objectives:

– Describe the practice of relying on synthesized reinforcement contingencies when functionally analyzing problem behavior
– Describe how to develop replacement skills within an open-door model that minimizes the possibility of escalated problem behavior.
– Describe values- and performance-based decision-making.

7 CEUs will be available for the workshop

5:00 – 6:00pm
Networking Reception

Sponsored by:

Saturday, October 29

8:00 – 8:30am
Registration

8:30 – 9:00am
Opening Remarks

9:00 – 10:00 am | Keynote Session
LBA Caring Hearts at the intersection of Autism and Culture
Shahla Ala’i Rosales, Ph.D., BCBA

What are the relations between science, ethics and progress in Applied Behavior Analysis? How does this relate to Autism? To explore this question, we look at the progression of intensive interventions in autism. This will include: an overview of the changing foundational premises of our discipline; the emergence, impact and metamorphosis of early intervention configurations; the rapid expansion of services and service providers; and, the concerns voiced by people of color and autistic people. The proliferation of behavior analysis in autism services has brought both growth and growing pains. When facing the painful dimensions of growth, we can either choose to be complacent or humbly act to progress as an applied science that cares deeply for the people we serve. Concepts complementary to our science can offer meaningful ways to strengthen our caring hearts to honor individual and the collective.

Learning Objectives:
– Identify the relations between science, ethics and progress in ABA
– Identify growth and growing pains.
– Identify voices that are entering the dialogues in our field, and in the world.
– Identify ways to advance caring and progressive scientific practices in ABA.

1 CEU

10:00 – 10:30am
Networking Break

10:30 – 11:30 am | General Session
The Effect of Trauma and Resiliency in Black American Women- How to Create Safe Spaces for Supervisees
danyelle s. goitia beal, Psy.D., BCBA

This study explored the effects of trauma and resiliency among 10 Black women across the United States. Participants’ ages ranged from 27 to 82, and all had experience living in foster homes in their childhood. The goals of this research were to: (a) explore participants’ experiences with childhood trauma; (b) identify particular resilience factors as described by each participant; and (c) offer insight for identifying particular factors for resilience and coping strategies among Black American women.

A transcendental phenomenological research design was used. This type of study allowed for a phenomenon to be researched through the participants’ lived experiences, those data were then examined and interpreted through the lens of resilience theory (Garmezy, 1991).

The findings suggest that participants were able to survive their childhood experiences because they had access to community resources, such as community pools, public libraries and people who invested in them. In an effort to move past their childhood trauma, these participants accessed higher education and, in those systems, endured more injury. Black women must be protected in these environments. Studies show that Black women often carry the responsibility of protecting themselves (Masten, 2014). Further exploration demonstrates that when Black women who have suffered trauma operate in environments that don’t share that responsibility, there is a potential for further harm. The misnomer “strong Black woman”, or the superwoman archetype (Woods-Giscombé, 2010), can prove to be harmful for her healing journey. The goal of this research is to teach practitioners to use culturally responsive tools to support Black women supervisees and the families they serve.

Learning Objectives:

– Define trauma and understand the potential effects of that trauma. List and define the 5 foundational concepts of Resilience Theory as outlined by Norman Garmezy (1991)
– Identify 5 behaviors that are commonly mislabeled and learn the true nature of those specific behaviors that may be seeped in trauma
– Describe how cultural responsiveness impacts the supervision of Black clinicians and service delivery within the Black community

1 CEU

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch and Annual Business Meeting

12:30 – 1:30 pm | Concurrent Sessions
Fostering Supervisee and Trainee Relationships That Aren’t Horror Stories
Shane Spiker, Ph.D., BCBA

Supervision is a wonderful process that allows for systematic implementation of teaching procedures. The relationship you develop is already established to take years, but it can continue on for much longer if you are intentional about how you foster said relationship. In this discussion. Dr. Shane T. Spiker discusses key features of healthy and effective supervisory relationships and what you can do, as a supervisor, to ensure that supervision doesn’t turn into a horror story.

Learning Objectives:
– Identify key features of supervisors in trainee relationships
– Determine the balance required to be a compassionate supervisor
– Establish a process for meaningful supervisory practices

1 CEU

Outcomes, assessment, framework, measurement tools
Ellie Kazemi, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Transparency and accountability surrounding patient outcomes call for a uniform approach to the assessment of treatment outcomes. Reporting on quality outcomes is rapidly becoming the norm and expected by healthcare patients worldwide. For behavior analysts, this increased attention on treatment outcomes calls for practitioners to demonstrate that their treatments work and to become more accountable for the costs of treatment. In this presentation, I will propose a systematic approach to assessment by reviewing the best available research evidence and summarizing expert opinion regarding instrument selection for assessment and treatment planning for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Learning Objectives:
– Explain why behavior analysts need to adopt a framework for outcomes assessment
– Describe what it means to take a comprehensive approach to assessment
– Describe the three components that influence the selection of assessment tools for individuals with ASD.
– Identify which assessment is best suited for measuring treatment outcomes based on the patient’s demographics and reasons for referral.

1 CEU

1:30 – 2:00 pm
Networking Break

2:00 – 3:00 pm | Concurrent Sessions
Creating Happy Learners: An Introduction into Measuring Assent and Assent Withdrawal
Chrissy Barosky, M.A., BCBA, LBA (RI, TX, UT), LABA (MA) and Simone Palmer, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA

The new codes of ethics for BCBAs took effect this year in 2022, and one of the codes covers obtaining assent from clients if applicable. As many ABA companies obtain informed consent from the families or caregivers during their general client on-boarding process, how can we also obtain assent from individuals with communication deficits? The common challenges could include difficulties with honoring assent or programming with assent withdrawal and potential risk of increasing escape -avoidance behaviors that interfere with the productivity of therapy. This presentation discusses the definition of assent and assent withdrawal, how to identify them with learners with communication deficits, and possible measurement strategies.

Learning Objectives:
– Describe the definition of assent and assent withdrawal
– Describe the importance of assent-based interventions within ABA therapy
– Review some practical examples of assent withdrawal
– Review some measurement strategies of assent withdrawal

1 CEU

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Social Validity in Telehealth Delivered ABA
Kristina McGinnis, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

It has been close to 50 years since Montrose Wolf published his foundational article defining social validity in JABA (Wolf, 1978). Over the years, behavior analysts have attempted to incorporate various social validation practices in an effort to capture the essence of the social significance of interventions. At the same time, our field has evolved at a rapid pace, with telehealth-delivered interventions increasing exponentially in recent years. Taken together, there is space for an evaluation of the best social validity practices within telehealth-delivered interventions. For example, traditionally, social validity measures in our field are predominately researcher-created and administered to caregivers. However, caregivers are only one of the consumers of our services. Individuals with developmental disabilities can, and should, be included in each step of intervention development, including social validity assessments. This presentation will provide attendees with concrete strategies for including stakeholders (e.g., clients, caregivers, siblings) in the development and implementation of our services to promote sustainable and socially significant outcomes.

Learning Objectives:
– Describe the total construct of social validity and how it can be applied to the development and implementation of behavior analytic services via telehealth.
– Gain the skills to incorporate the perspectives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers when developing and implementing interventions.
– Learn about the social validation practices employed within two current research studies delivered via telehealth.

1 CEU

3:00 – 3:30 pm
Networking Break

3:30 – 4:30 pm | General Session
Panel Session
Mari Cerda, Ph.D., TR-BA, BCBA, LBA, Diana Davis-Wilson, DBH, LBA, BCBA, danyelle goita beal, Psy.D., BCBA and Ellie Kazemi, PhD, BCBA-D

1 CEU

4:30 – 5:30 pm | General Session, Symposia
The Effects of Acceptance Commitment Therapy-Based Language on Functionally Communicative Responses and Psychological Flexibility for Children with Autism during Functional Communication Training
Symposia
Pilar Bonilla, M.S., BCBA, LBA

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Functional Communication (FCT) are two interventions that have been used in research to reduce maladaptive behaviors, however no published studies have combined these treatments to increase functional communicative behavior. In the current study, the researcher investigated the effects of ACT-based language on functionally communicative responses (FCR) and psychological flexibility for children during Functional Communication Training (FCT) using a multiple baseline experimental design. Additionally, this research study pursued comparison data between traditional FCT and ACT-based FCT. During baseline, participants were exposed to individualized IISCA test and control conditions to identify the function(s) of each respective maladaptive behavior. During the traditional FCT condition, participants were taught a functionally equivalent communicative response (FCR) as an alternative to the maladaptive behaviors. The second intervention condition was conducted similarly to the traditional FCT condition with the exception of the inclusion of Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) experiential activities and replacing the traditional FCR with ACT-based language that was also functionally equivalent. The results showed that both traditional FCT and ACT-based FCT were successful in decreasing engagement in maladaptive behaviors across all participants. In addition, only the ACT-based FCT condition demonstrated increases in psychological flexibility and additional socially appropriate responding. These results demonstrate ACT-based FCT may be a beneficial alternative to traditional FCT for children with autism.

Learning Objectives:
– Discuss previous research on ACT and FCT
– Describe current research incorporating ACT into traditional FCT
– Identify future research directions

0.5 CEU

Shifting Perspectives through Changing-Criterion Design
Kyla Bernal-Christenson, B.S., RBT and Madison Theis, M.S., BCBA

The changing-criterion design is an experimental design that promotes systematic, gradual changes in target behaviors. Interventions that utilize this gradual approach can serve as a helpful tool in increasing engagement in pivotal behaviors and behavioral cusps within a client’s repertoire due the designs’ ability to reinforce systematic increases in the demonstration of a target skill. Additionally, a changing criterion design may serve as an effective design choice when participants’ preferences and personal values are considered. The study at hand examined archived and current data of a male with autism across a time span of four years. The data presented compare the rate of acquisition of various target skills across traditional intervention designs and changing-criterion designs. Traditional mastery approaches were utilized for the client from 6-9 years of age, and changing criterion design began at 9 years of age. These data suggest that the changing-criterion design was effective in increasing independent levels of responding across all targeted skills and may serve as an appropriate design choice when participants’ preference and personal values are considered.

Learning Objectives:

– Observe differences between traditional 80% mastery criterion and those using changing-criterion design
– Discuss decrease in withdrawal of assent and increases in client involvement

0.5 CEU

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