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 #83
Obtaining ABA Services for People with Autism: A View from the Trenches
Friday, November 30, 2001
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Little Theatre Hall
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: David L. Holmes (The Eden Institute, Inc.)
Discussant: Paul A. Potito (Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community, Inc.)
Abstract: It has been the experience of many families who require intense behaviorally-based services for their child/adult with autism that such services are hard to convince government authorities of their importance and/or to defend their costs. This symposium will address a significant number of court cases that have been litigated by members of this symposium for children and adults with autism with significant cognizant and behavioral challenges. Representatives of the symposium have either litigated for appropriate services and/or offer appropriate services based upon an applied behavior analysis model of service delivery. Symposium members will describe specific cases where they have been successful in receiving appropriate day programming based upon discrete trial intervention strategies, residential services founded upon the principles of applied behavior analysis, and intensive initial diagnostic and treatment services designed to determine the causes of behavioral concerns and effective behavior intervention strategies to mitigate the effects of such behavior. Discussion will include the legal rights of individuals with autism and their families for effective service, and will also describe the full range of behavioral intervention strategies that have proven effective with individuals along the autism spectrum. Opportunity will be available for audience participation regarding how to prepare for litigating for appropriate services, how to develop effective intervention strategies for individuals with autism with significant behavioral and cognitive challenges, and how to maintain such services over time for as long as the individual with autism requires them.
Litigating for ABA Services for Children and Adults with Autism
HERBERT HINKLE (Law Offices of Herbert Hinkle)
Abstract: Throughout the course of a country's history, laws are written to protect the rights of its citizenry. In addition, the United States also passed laws to specifically protect the rights of its citizens with disabilities. The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) protects the rights of children and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) protects the rights of adults. These laws have resulted in the promulgation of regulations that are utilized by governmental agencies to more precisely define those rights. Although such laws and regulations have very precise conditions to protect the rights of children and adults with disabilities, these rights are occasionally abridged by governmental agencies for reasons of convenience, cost, and/or philosophical differences. When such actions occur, the matters may end up in court with attorneys arguing for a "lawful" interpretation on behalf of their respective clients; experts testifying on their view of appropriate treatment as I affects their respective clients; with judges and juries deliberating and determining a final verdict. When it comes to issues pertaining to children and adults with autism, the courts have proven to be a significant vehicle for access to programs and services utilizing applied behavior analysis as their foundation for delivery. In our presentation we will be describing a variety of cases that have resulted in affirming the rights of children and adults with autism to receive ABA based programming at the infant and toddler level; school age day school services; respite services; summer day ad residential services; extended day program/ home programming; 40 hour discrete trial therapy; residential school services; adult employment services; adult residential services; and other associated behavioral therapies. Actual testimony from national experts in the field of applied behavior analysis will be discussed, as well as specific details pertaining to the provisions of IDEA and ADA which reinforce the use of applied behavior analysis in service and program provision. The use of expert witnesses and how to prepare experts for testimony will also be discussed.
Offering ABA Based Services Day and Residentially for Children with Adults with Autism
GEORGE W. NIEMANN (President, Bancroft NeuroHealth Services)
Abstract: Bancroft NeuroHealth Services offers international programming for children and adults with autism utilizing applied behavior analysis as its foundation for service delivery. Facing the tremendous challenges of applying the principles of applied behavior analysis 24 hours per day with individuals presenting significant cognitive and behavioral challenges, Bancroft has established a team that is internationally recognized, and services that meet the full spectrum of behavioral intensity, I.e., from discrete trial to generalization training, to incidental teaching. At our Lindens Program, we offer intensive behavioral analyses of life threatening behavior such as self-injury, assaultiveness, and lack of awareness of danger, and we utilize a significant behavior management model that includes representatives from a variety of disciplines such as education, psychology, neurology and psychiatry. This team of experts operationally defines the behaviors to be investigated; baselines are established; frequencies and durations of the behavior are charted; antecedent behaviors are identified; environmental conditions are measured; and behavioral intervention strategies are plotted, and their degrees of effectiveness measured, followed by a remedial action plan that is carried into the child or adult's day and residential programs. Throughout our array of services, teams of behavior analysts ensure consistency across programs and troubleshoot behavioral strategies that may appear to be less effective than desired. Throughout our presentation discussion will ensue around preparing faculty and staff for subpoenaed testimony, both through deposition and witness stand activity. There will also be discussion around dealing with governmental agencies which may have contracts with the service agency. Finally, issues off licensing and credentialing will also be addressed.



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