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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #355
CE Offered: BACB
Implementing an Evidence Based Educational Program for Children with Autism: What are the Characteristics of a Good ABA Classroom?
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Regency V
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michael F. Dorsey (Vinfen Corporation & Simmons College)
Discussant: Patricia A. Gonzalez (U.S. Department of Education)
CE Instructor: Michael F. Dorsey, Ph.D.

The primary focus of this symposium will be to discuss the concurrence between the federal regulations requiring evidence-based practices found in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2003, as well as in the 2001, the U.S. Department of Educations Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) report by the National Research Council on the education of children diagnosed with autism, and the generally accepted educational practices of Applied Behavior Analysis. The participants will first to operationally define evidence-based, and second to describe an externally validated process by which a research literature might be reviewed systematically. Next, a review of the evidence base and present survey data on the types, characteristics, intensity, and combinations of services approved, as opposed to recommended, will be presented for very young children. Finally, an objective measurement system for evaluating educational services, based on current literature, will be presented with examples taken form actual assessments. The Discussant, from the Education Sciences -- U.S. Department of Education, will comment on the implications of these regulations on special education services for children with Autism.

Evidence-Based Practice in Autism: Why We Need It and What it Is.
JOSEPH N. RICCIARDI (National Autism Center)
Abstract: Over the past several years the demand for educational and intervention services for children with autism and related conditions has risen. A range of approaches are presently popular and widely available. However, few of these approaches are supported by scientific evidence, though most claim such. In addition, a veritable “cottage-industry” of interventions and products with claims of efficacy and even cure for autism has emerged. No doubt, a rationale for identifying what constitutes evidence of effectiveness would help families, educators, and policy-makers. The purpose of this presentation is to 1) operationally define evidence-based, 2) describe an externally validated process by which a research literature might be reviewed systematically and with care to reduce bias, in order to identify evidence-based interventions, and 3) to report current thinking on which programmatic and procedural interventions for autism presently meet criteria as “evidence-based”. This presentation includes both theoretical/conceptual material, service delivery recommendations, and data.
Evidenced Based Practices in ABA: Application to Early Intervention and Preschool Programs.
RAYMOND G. ROMANCZYK (Institute for Child Development), Jennifer M. Gillis Mattson (State University of New York, Binghamton)
Abstract: Prior to participation in ABA classrooms, many children receive services as part of Early Intervention programs, home programs, and preschool programs. Great controversy exists as to which treatment approaches, and what treatment intensities, are appropriate for very young children. We briefly review the evidence base and present survey data on the types, characteristics, intensity, and combinations of services approved, as opposed to recommended, for very young children. Appropriate program characteristics are presented in the context of the rapid developmental changes for children 1-5 years of age. ABA programs for children in this age group are critiqued for poor goal selection and poor repertoire assembly, as well as poor procedural integrity. Supposed evidenced based programs must meet the boundary conditions of the research protocol if use of the now ubiquitous self-promotion of ‘evidenced based practice’ is to be claimed. Quality control indicators for consumers are presented.
The Use of Applied Behavior Analysis in the Education of Children With Autism: What is a “Good ABA Classroom?”
MICHAEL F. DORSEY (Simmons College), Katherine A. Johnson (Advances Learning Center and Simmons College)
Abstract: The use of Applied Behavior Analysis is widely recommended for use in the education of children with autism, including: support from the United States Surgeon General, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education, the National Science Foundation, the New York Department of Health Clinical Practices, among others. Educational services for children diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder/Autism, requires consistent attention to detail, including the application of scientifically validated educational approaches (No Child Left Behind Act of 2003). However, in a review of the current literature, no objective definition of what constitutes the critical components of such services is found. This presentation will attempt to clarify this issue, by combining various recommendations from numerous publications and other sources. In addition, an objective assessment tool for the evaluation of classrooms will be presented for use by teachers, administrators and evaluators.



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