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.

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47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #469
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Ethics
Service Delivery in ABA: Are We Following Our Values and Our Heart?
Monday, May 31, 2021
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Online
Area: DDA/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice)
Discussant: Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental)
CE Instructor: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The purpose of this symposium is to discuss issues in behavior analysts training and practice. In the first presentation, authors discuss how empirically supported interventions are sometimes viewed as more important than client context and values. Authors discuss that contingencies must be analyzed, including those that generated the systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and a solid behavior analytic training should be the focus, instead of replicating different packaged interventions. In the second presentation, authors will discuss possible problems that the indiscriminate and non-analytical use of manualized interventions might bring to our field, such as the decreased probability of new problem-solving responses when it comes to clinical practice. In the third presentation, authors will discuss if the problem posed by Michael in 1980, the shift in?emphasis, away from the general concepts and methods of the science of behavior, is still a current problem in behavior analytic training and practice. In the fourth presentation the authors will discuss the selection and definition of behavioral goals as part of a process that should value family culture and what they consider important for themselves and their child/adolescent/adult with developmental disabilities. Questions raised by all presentations bring forward the need for reflections about practices that would allow us to provide culturally competent and socially valid services, within a radical behaviorist perspective.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): behavior analysis, radical behaviorism, service delivery, social validity
Target Audience:

Audience should have at least basic knowledge of Skinner`s articles and books on Radical behaviorism. They should also be updated on evidence-based practices for autism spectrum disorder. They should be service providers for developmental disabilities and be in a graduate program in Behavior Analysis, Psychology or Education.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the differences between empirically supported interventions and evidence-based practices (2) discuss how a superficial education, not focused on analytical skills, might increase the probability of using evidence-based and manualized interventions in a harmful or unethical way (3) describe why the indiscriminate use of manualized interventions can lead to the decrease in response variability in the practitioners repertoire (4) discuss how complicated procedures and explanations can harm our field of behavior analysis (5) describe how cultural competencies and social validity can be part of an ethical practice
 

Highly Complicated Explanations and Procedures: Where is Parsimony?

(Service Delivery)
CINTIA GUILHARDI (Cintia Guilhardi Serviços de Psicologia Comportamental), Helena Furan Duran Meletti (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo), Thais Martins Sales (ABA Braços Saúde Comportamental), Cássia Leal Da Hora (Paradigma - Behavioral Science and Technology Center), Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice), Ariene Coelho Souza (Universidade de São Paulo - Brasil), Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental)
Abstract:

Parsimony is a concept that must guide the behavior of all scientists, not only behavior analysts. This concept means that we should select the simplest and most logical explanation for the phenomenon under study, instead of competing views or interpretations. It does not mean that we investigate simple things or explain it simple, but that we should use the simplest account of the phenomena before moving on to more complex interpretations. In 1980, Jack Michael made a “state of union” message, alerting our community about clinicians or eclectic professionals adding behavior analysis to their techniques. These new professionals learned and practiced Behavior Analysis without knowledge of basic research methodology and without commitment to behaviorism as a world view. In Michael’s opinion, this fact resulted “… in ‘packaged’ independent variables of such complexity that they simply can’t be analyzed into behavior components, especially when they involve highly verbal subjects.” (p.9). In this presentation the authors aim to discuss if the problem posed by Michael in 1980 (the shift in emphasis, away from the general concepts and methods of the science of behavior), is still a problem in ABA research and practices for autism.

 

On Evidence, Standards, Authority, andFaith

(Service Delivery)
CÁSSIA LEAL DA HORA (Paradigma - Behavioral Science and Technology Center), Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice), Ariene Coelho Souza (Universidade de São Paulo - Brasil), Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental), Cintia Guilhardi (Cintia Guilhardi Serviços de Psicologia Comportamental), Helena Furan Duran Meletti (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo), Thais Martins Sales (ABA Braços Saúde Comportamental)
Abstract:

Professional providers and consumers of services for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often warned about the need to base decisions regarding the choice of intervention on evidence-based practices (EBPs). These interventions can be labeled “evidence-based”, “best practices”, etc., when they meet criteria specified by certain individuals. This type of intervention has a authority impact on people’s behavior. Thereby, implementing EBPs in addition to trying to fulfill the seven dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), seems to be acquiring more importance in the decision-making process than context and values of the client, especially when these practices and dimensions are implemented superficially. There should not be a set of rules that, dogmatically guides the decision-making process of a practitioner (or scientist), mainly because there is not one single set of rules that is impartial. Trustable guidelines that favor good professional practices should not function as “objects of faith”. Education and training in behavior analysis that favors solid analytical skills and that take into consideration both clients context peculiarities and the available evidence, could increase the probability of professional providing socially valid services that are compatible with the behavior analytic philosophy.

 

Manualization of Procedures: Where Did the Analysis Go?

(Service Delivery)
HELENA FURAN DURAN MELETTI (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo), Thais Martins Sales (ABA Braços Saúde Comportamental), Cássia Leal Da Hora (Paradigma - Behavioral Science and Technology Center), Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice), Ariene Coelho Souza (Universidade de São Paulo - Brasil), Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental), Cintia Guilhardi (Cintia Guilhardi Serviços de Psicologia Comportamental)
Abstract:

Behavior analytic services have seen an increase in demand, especially in the last two to three decades. Most of this increase is due to service delivery for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One of the issues with this increase has been training and education for new professionals. In an attempt to regulate the profession, ensure the quality of intervention and avoid harmful mistakes, different certifications, standards, training packages and manualization of procedures have been set forth. This manualization can be advantageous to some degree, as it increases the probability that the behavior analyst will perform all the necessary steps when implementing a procedure. However, this standardization may also lead to narrow education and training of professionals in our field. In this presentation we will discuss these issues that might result from standardization and manualization, such as a lower probability of practitioners' response variability and of new responses when problem solving is needed. Additionally, we will discuss how standardization and manualization may result in less focus on the analytical skills.

 
Applied Behavior Analysis Service Delivery Models for Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Parents and Caregivers
(Service Delivery)
THAIS MARTINS SALES (ABA Braços Saúde Comportamental), Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental), Cássia Leal Da Hora (Paradigma - Behavioral Science and Technology Center), Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice), Ariene Coelho Souza (Universidade de São Paulo - Brasil), Cintia Guilhardi (Cintia Guilhardi Serviços de Psicologia Comportamental), Helena Furan Duran Meletti (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo)
Abstract: One of the important dimensions of an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Service for children/adolescents/adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is parent or caregiver participation. Parents/caregivers are often trained on problem behavior management procedures, self-help skills teaching procedures, procedures to promote positive relationships between the client and other family members, such as siblings, and on procedures that favors generalization of skills to out of session contexts (CASP, 2020). However, the participation of parents/caregivers in selecting intervention goals and procedures may vary. Brookman-Frazee (2004) distinguishes between two models of relationship that might be established in service provision: the expert model, in which the professional defines goals and solutions to the demands of the family, and the partnership model, in which goals and procedures are defined collaboratively between family and professionals. In this presentation, the authors will discuss these two models of caregiver participation. The discussion about caregiver participation in the selection of goals and procedures seems important if we aim to provide culturally competent and socially valid services.
 

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