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.


10th International Conference; Stockholm, Sweden; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #42
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Training Needs of Educators for Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavioral Interventions
Sunday, September 29, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, Level 2, C1
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Anuradha Dutt (Nanyang Technological University)
CE Instructor: Anuradha Dutt, Ph.D.

The use of functional behavior assessment (FBA) and positive behavioral interventions in the management of challenging behavior within the school systems, has gained empirical support over the last few decades. FBA is grounded in the discipline of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and it aims to understand the underlying function of behavior to inform behavioral intervention planning. In this symposium, three teams will discuss their process of training educational staff in various FBA and behavioral intervention technologies. The first two papers will address methods that help to guide steps that ABA consultants take when working in public schools. Specifically, Peterson et al. describe a tool for evaluating the classroom environment that can guide whether a consultant should focus on an individual student or on the effective teaching and classroom management. Bassingthwaite et al. will discuss a method of reviewing functional behavior assessments that can guide decisions made related to developing assessment skills in FBA. Finally, Staubitz et al. presents a training model that has helped to improve the assessment practices of educators that they have worked with in Tennessee public schools. Together, these papers will serve to provide guidance for creating systems change in public school settings through evaluation and training.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Behavior Interventions, Classroom Management, FBA, Teacher Training
Target Audience:

The event is aimed towards professionals and educators in the field.

Considerations of Baseline Classroom Conditions in Conducting Functional Behavior Assessments in School Settings
STEPHANIE M. PETERSON (Western Michigan University), Kathryn M. Kestner (West Virginia University), Rebecca Renee Eldridge (Western Michigan University), Lloyd D. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Research has shown that environmental classroom variables affect academic performance and student behavior, and appropriate behavior is often related to the presence of effective teaching practices and classroom management. For behavior analysts consulting in elementary education, some referrals for assessment and treatment of individual student behavior can be resolved by helping teachers establish effective class-wide practices. For this reason, some researchers suggest that behavior analysts should assess baseline classroom conditions as part of a functional behavior assessment. Through a literature review on effective classroom practices, we identified four specific classroom variables that have large effects on both learning outcomes and student behavior; we suggest consultants consider these four variables in baseline classroom assessments: (1) rates of active student responding, (2) appropriateness of the curriculum, (3) feedback and reinforcement, and (4) effective instructions and transitions. In this paper, we will discuss each of these variables, describe how they can affect classroom behavior, and provide recommended targets from the research literature. We also provide a data-collection form for practitioners to use in their assessments of baseline classroom ecology, and for situations when these practices are not in place, we suggest potential resources for antecedent- and consequence-based interventions to decrease challenging classroom behavior.
Evaluating Rigor of Assessment in Functional Behavior Assessments to Guide Training Decisions
BRENDA J. BASSINGTHWAITE (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Tory J. Christensen (University of Iowa), Jayme Mews (University of Iowa), Julie St. John (University of Iowa), Brooke Natchev (University of Iowa)
Abstract: The Iowa Department of Education has been contracting with behavior analysts from the Center for Disabilities and Development at the University of Iowa to increase the skills of school-based behavior teams. One goal of the contract was to create school-based behavior teams who were able to perform experimental analyses and other assessments for planning behavioral interventions. Over the past 10 years, 19 behavior teams received training. Graduates of the training reported using the targeted skills frequently in practice, passed a knowledge exam, and demonstrated independent implementation of target skills on two occasions. Forty-five individuals met criteria for completing the training. These team members also devised training for other staff within their agency and school district to support advances in behavior assessment practice in the state. Since the beginning of the training initiative, the number of functional behavior assessments (FBAs) conducted in the state has grown from approximately 7,000 to 16,000. Trainers developed a rubric to evaluate the rigor of assessment in FBAs, and found it useful in highlighting areas for additional training needs. This presentation will focus on discussion of the rubric and the data that it provides.

Intensive Partnership for Behavior Intervention: Connecting Consultant Actions With Trainee and Target Student Outcomes

JOHN E. STAUBITZ (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, TRIAD), Michelle Mahoney Hopton (Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN), Aislynn Kiser (Vanderbilt University Medical Center - TRIAD), Lauren A. Weaver (Vanderbilt University Medical Center TRIAD), Will Martin (Vanderbilt University Medical Center- TRIAD), Becky Shafer (Vanderbilt University Medical Center- TRIAD), Kathleen Simcoe (Vanderbilt University Medical Center- TRIAD), Lauren Shibley (Vanderbilt University Medical Center- TRIAD)

Few educators who serve students with disabilities report having adequate training to apply tertiary interventions for students who present with challenging behavior. One difficulty related to pre-service training and professional development on this topic are the idiosyncratic resources and needs at the tertiary level across students, educators, and schools. Funded by a contract with the Tennessee Department of Education, we train 12 school-based teams per year (50 educators annually) through our Intensive Partnership for Behavior Intervention (IPBI) program. Over the course of 5 to 9 months, BCBA consultants deliver training through workshops and online learning platforms, as well as through on-campus and remote assessment, coaching, and consultation sessions. Our BCBAs deliver a customized training program designed to improve each school-based team’s capacity to assess, decision-make, and deliver tertiary-level behavioral interventions. Throughout the program, the BCBA serves as a consultant to the team as they address the school-based team’s self-selected goals, and the needs of 1 to 3 targeted students per school. Data generated over the last two years allows for an analysis of team participant roles and goals, target student profiles, trainee implementation and student behavioral improvement as a product of the specific quantities and types of consultant effort invested.




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