Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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.

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40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Workshop Details


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Workshop #W10
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
CANCELED: Developmental Perspective on the First Three Months of Behavioral Intervention for Youngsters With Autism: Working With Children and Their Parents
Friday, May 23, 2014
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
W176a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DEV; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Monika M. Suchowierska, Ph.D.
MONIKA M. SUCHOWIERSKA (University of Social Sciences and Humanities), LINDA S. HEITZMAN-POWELL (The University of Kansas Medical Center), PAUL W. STEPHANY (Stanislaus County Office of Education)
Description: The first three months of early intensive behavioral intervention are a crucial period for a young learner with autism. It has been recommended that the behavioral intervention take into account a developmental perspective, especially as it relates to behavioral cusps leading to autistic development. We will examine several related skills that may be present or absent in young children with autism: stimulus overselectivity, facial recognition, mutually responsive orientation, joint attention, and social referencing. Based on this information, we will propose major therapeutic goals for the first three months of intervention, together with teaching strategies to accomplish those goals. Moreover, since the first three months of therapy are also important from the perspective of working with the parents, we will present a training program for parents of young children with autism. Teaching Skills for Success is a structured instructional package where behavior analysts work directly with the parents to develop an effective behavior management plan for the child. The program consists of seven units that include the basic principles of ABA, environmental supports, and strategies for shaping a successful behavioral repertoire and for using powerful contingencies. Teaching Skills for Success is accompanied by a workbook that provides a series of exercises for the parents, on which a behavior management plan is developed. The workshop will conclude with suggestions for combining working with the child and working with the parent, as both of those "pieces of the puzzle" fit within the developmental systems approach to treating autism.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to (1) list developmental concepts that relate to early behavioral intervention, (2) characterize skills that are present or absent in young children with autism and that are behavioral cusps for autistic development, (3) list major therapeutic goals for the first three months of intervention as they relate to the precursors of autism, (4) describe teaching strategies to accomplish the major therapeutic goals for the first three months of intervention, (5) characterize the elements of the Teaching Skills for Success program, (6) complete the exercises within the training workbook, and (7) design an educational plan for a young child with autism based on responses to the exercises in the training workbook.
Activities: During the course of the workshop, participants will have an opportunity to analyze videos of typically developing children and autistic children to search for the behavioral cusps discussed in the workshop as well as to plan—based on videos of autistic children—goals for the beginning of their therapy. Small group activities relating to the Teaching Skills for Success program will be conducted.
Audience: This workshop is designed for BACB certificants, licensed psychologists, and behavior analysts who work with families of young children with autism and are responsible for programming therapeutic goals for their pupils, as well as for training parents.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism, developmental perspective, EIBI, parent training

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