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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

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Symposium #44
Two Years Later, The Development of a Private Residential School Based on the Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, What Does the Data Tell Us?
Thursday, November 29, 2001
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Carnelutti Hall
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysts have been effective in ameliorating a variety of unsafe behavior for consumers. The literature is replete with examples of individual treatment strategies for a myriad of disorders and problems. Despite the effectiveness of our practices, there is little information on the “how-tos” of overall organizational development for new programs. That is, research has documented effective technologies, but these reports have typically focused on very specific target behaviors. Less documented is the undertaking of new program development in an educationally based community settings. This symposium will provide an overview of the first two years of a start up private school whose foundation is based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. The purpose of this symposium shall be to address this critical dimension of behavior analysis: the development of empirically based, field-tested, and disseminable technologies, which demonstrably enhance students' quality of life. The presenters will address progressive strategies focused in the areas of the development of Clinical Infrastructures within a new organization, staff development and Quality Improvement. Each presentation will provide specific data on the outcomes of program development.
Developing Behaviorally Based Interdisciplinary Teams: Application with Community-Based Program Development
FRANK L. BIRD (Melmark New England), Rita M. Gardner (Melmark New England), Helena L. Maguire (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The presentation will review the application of Applied Behavior Analysis principles in conjunction with Interdisciplinary teams. Specifically, the clinical intervention infrastructure that requires the clinical staff members to enter into an on-going partnership addressing personal and environmental assessment, skills training, social-interpersonal skill development, behavior management and the provision of additional supports during crisis situations. An emphasis was directed toward establishing a foundation of Applied Behavior Analysis principles with all team members. A clinical and supportive environment was developed that enabled students to actively participate in all aspects of their life, while ensuring a focus on improving the student's capabilities and skill competencies. Programming included developing in vivo interventions with a focus on everyday life problems and challenges, establishing peer support and peer lead rules committees, providing core helping skills and identifying social supports and networks to promote inclusion within the community. These program objectives were implemented within a behavioral paradigm, emphasizing functional analysis, comprehensive individualized treatment for behavior disorders and the teaching of alternate functional skills. The success of this approach will be contrasted to a historical review of past strategies that were ineffective with these students, including the reliance of a pharmacological perspective and the application of mechanical restraints.
Improvement Programs: The Application of Continuous Quality Improvement Practices During Initial Program Development
RITA M. GARDNER (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate practical, data-based methods of quality assessment and improvement. The goal is for administrative and clinical managers of human service agencies to understand that data-based operational standards need to be maintained throughout their organization, not solely in the development of individual behavioral strategies. The process of designing and maintaining a quality assessment and improvement process specific to the needs of human service agencies will be demonstrated. Specific tools and data-collection samples that can be universally adapted to agencies serving persons with behavioral impairments will be displayed. The presentation will also reflect on leadership development, provision of services, and responsiveness to the internal and external customers of the organization. The impact of utilizing assessment of program quality and its resulting improvements in an organization will be demonstrated. Methods for disseminating this information for staff development and public awareness and education will also be presented.
Developing Quality Services During Initial Program Development--The Use of Performance-Based Training Systems
HELENA L. MAGUIRE (Melmark New England)
Abstract: This presentation will describe a performance-based staff-training program in the framework of initial program development. The training program was established during early program development to establish specific guidelines for direct service in the programs. An important function of any organization is the training of staff and interns to provide services to individuals who experience a range of disabilities. The program presented will discuss the training of staff by providing initial orientation and task-analyzed checklists to be used to train while they worked in their assigned positions. Initial steps involved the identification of specific tasks relevant to the role of the Special Education and Residential teachers, such as: case management, behavioral interventions, IEP development, off-grounds trips, and emergency procedures. The schedule of training was arranged with the most essential, work performance tasks trained first. Tasks repeated frequently throughout the first six months to maintain the most critical skills for program management. Training on all identified checklists is the responsibility of an employee's immediate supervisor. If criterion is not met, a series of steps are followed to ensure mastery. Corrective feedback was provided immediately to the employee, indicating which areas of the checklist were performed well and which areas need improvement. This represents the core of the training program. Mastery is required in order to achieve salary changes after the first three months of employment. In this way, the checklist system serves a dual purpose, training and evaluation.



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