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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Paper Session #386
Myths and Autism Intervention: Hey, Whose Ritual is That? Part II
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:20 PM
W186 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)

Myths and Autism Intervention: Hey, Whose Ritual is That? Part II

Domain: Theory
MARY JANE WEISS (Endicott College), Andy Bondy (Pyramid Educational Consultants)

In ABA intervention for autism, there is an emphasis on the use of evidence-based practices. Instructional approaches emphasize the use of empirically supported procedures. Many elements of instructional approaches have indeed been empirically supported, and many approaches have been empirically verified to be effective. However, a number of instructional emphases and approaches are based on clinician preferences and on training experiences that are not grounded in research. Ten years ago, we visited these "myths and rituals." We called behavior analysts to action in this context. Now, a decade later, we review where we stand on such rituals. We will explore which myths and rituals persist, which have been debunked, and which new ones have emerged. Ten years later, progress has been made. However, practices continue as a result of clinician familiarity and comfort. Many such "rituals" or rules of instruction are passed on through training, and are thus perpetuated. We will examine how myths and rituals continue to shape service delivery for individuals with autism. In particular, we will explore issues in the use of reinforcement and prompting and in the selection of targets of instruction.




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