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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W15
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Pica: From Research to Practice
Friday, May 27, 2016
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Zurich B, Swissotel
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Deborah L. Grossett, Ph.D.
DON E. WILLIAMS (Don E. Williams, Ph.D., BCBA-D), PETER STURMEY (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York), DEBORAH L. GROSSETT (The Shape of Behavior)
Description: Pica is the consumption of non-nutritive items. Although observed in other populations and contexts, pica is common among individuals with profound intellectual disabilities and is sometimes dangerous and even lethal. Functional analyses have almost always identified the function of pica as automatic positive reinforcement, hence, it is difficult to treat and manage pica without resorting to positive punishment. This workshop will describe methods for conducting functional assessment and analysis of pica, describe non-punishment interventions and the ethical role of positive punishment, describe other treatments and environmental management strategies, describe the evidence for effective treatment of pica,and finally, describe issues related to staff training, management, supervision and organizational behavior management.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: (1) state the definition of pica and describe its associated risks; (2) describe methods for conducting functional assessments and analyses of pica; (3) describe strategies to prevent pica; (4) describe strategies to teach alternate behaviors; (5) describe the situations in which positive punishment may be ethically justified; (6) name evidence-based practices for pica; (7) describe issues related to staff training, management, supervision and organizational behavior.
Activities: Instructional strategies will include lectures, reading case studies, small group break out, and discussion and feedback.
Audience: BCBAs in training; BCBAs; other professional staff and administrators working with clients with pica; applied researchers.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ethics, evidence-based practice, functional assessment, pica



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