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 Annual Autism Conference; New Orleans, LA; 2016

Program by Continuing Education Events: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Manage My Personal Schedule


Invited Paper Session #10
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

CPT Training Update

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
8:30 AM–9:20 AM
The Celestin Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Wayne W. Fisher, Ph.D.
Chair: Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
TRAVIS THOMPSON (University of Minnesota)
Dr. Travis Thompson received his doctoral training in psychology at the University of Minnesota and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Maryland with Joseph V. Brady and at Cambridge University (UK) with Robert Hinde. His earliest work dealt with the relations among concepts from behavior analysis, ethology, and pharmacology. He was director of the John F. Kennedy Center for Human Development at Vanderbilt University and Smith Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center before returning to Minnesota in 2003. Dr. Thompson co-authored, with Charles R. Schuster, the first textbook in behavioral pharmacology and has done basic and applied interdisciplinary research in developmental disabilities, including genetics, pharmacology, and neuroscience. He was involved in developing one of the first large-scale behavioral intervention programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and for the past several years has directed home-based early intervention services for young children with autism in Minnesota. Dr. Thompson's publications include 225 articles and chapters and 29 books. A total of 48 doctoral students have completed their training under his mentorship. He has received numerous awards, including the APA Division 1 (Society for General Psychology) Ernest Hilgard Award, Division 25's Don Hake Award, and the Division 33 (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) Edgar Doll Award. He is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

For the past several years, ABAI has been working with the American Medical Association (AMA) to establish new billing procedures for ABA-related services for children and youth with autism. Recently, the AMA adopted Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Category III codes. The AMA codes recognize that applied behavior analysis is an empirically supported and medically necessary intervention. Dr. Travis Thompson, who was instrumental in the approval of these codes, is the instructor for this training, which will explain the how the new codes define procedures and services performed by behavior analysts. These codes will improve access to ABA services for families of children with autism and severe behavior disorders and reduce financial burdens on these families. Additionally, these codes will result in systematic and standardized valuation of ABA services and will simplify and streamline the billing and collection processes for ABA services (e.g., facilitate electronic billing).

Invited Paper Session #11
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

What's the Emperor Wearing These Days?: Communication, Speech Generating Devices, Apps, and the Picture Exchange Communication System

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
9:30 AM–10:20 AM
The Celestin Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Andy Bondy, Ph.D.
Chair: Grant Gautreaux (Nicholls State University)
ANDY BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
Andy Bondy, Ph.D., has more than 40 years of experience working with children and adults with autism and related developmental disabilities. For more than a dozen years he served as the director of a statewide public school program for students with autism. He and his wife, Lori Frost, pioneered the development of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). He designed the Pyramid Approach to Education as a comprehensive combination of broad-spectrum behavior analysis and functional communication strategies. He is a co-founder of Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc., an internationally based team of specialists from many fields working together to promote integration of the principles of applied behavior analysis within functional activities and an emphasis on developing functional communication skills.

Over 25 years ago, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed and used a training protocol that incorporated Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior to help rapidly establish manding and other key verbal operants in students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental issues. Many research reviews describe PECS as an evidence-based practice, including a recent publication in Pediatrics. In that 2012 publication, which supported the strong evidence in support of ABA, it also noted that there was as yet no evidence for the effectiveness of "AAC devices." However, with the advance of technology involving the use of speech generating devices (SGDs) and iPad apps, many parents and professionals are convinced that the technological advances and the voice associated with such devices will help lead to better communication skills as well as speech. This talk will review recent research regarding such devices as well as apps; it will also review why the PECS protocol is effective with regard to the rapid development of verbal behavior under the stimulus control of the audience (or listener). A similar analysis will then be usedto review whether some of the uses of SGDs and apps ensures that verbal behavior is being established.Finally, the presentation will point out some simple ways to demonstrate whether an electronic device is being used as a toy or as part of a communication strategy.

Invited Symposium #12
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Global Autism Public Health Initiative and Autism Researchers Without Borders
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
The Celestin Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kara Reagon (Autism Speaks)
Discussant: Andy Shih (Autism Speaks)
CE Instructor: Kara Reagon, Ph.D.

This symposium will discuss applied behavior analysis as it relates to autism globally.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: TBD

Behavior Analytic Introduction to Global Autism Public Health Initiative and Autism Researchers Without Borders

KARA REAGON (Autism Speaks)

This presentation will use Stokes and Baer's 1977 seminal article on generalization and Wolf's 1978 paper on social validity as platforms to discuss why behavior analysts should consider a public health framework for dissemination of ABA principles in the treatment of autism globally and correcting some of the misconceptions of behavior analysis. Strategies and tactics for promoting acceptance, implementation, and dissemination of evidence-based practices in low-resource settings will be reviewed. Theories of why global acceptance of ABA has not occurred and more importantly why behavior analytic fallacies still exist in the world will be examined. Strategic planning steps for students, families, practitioners, researchers, and organizations to influence public health policy and educational reform will be outlined. The need for both single-subject design research and randomized-controlled trials will be proposed in evaluating low-intensity/large scale programs, and the training of non-specialist facilitators in low-resource settings to meet the treatment gap needs of individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

Developing a Parent Skills Training Program for Non-Specialist Facilitators in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
STEPHANIE SHIRE (University of California, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Review of epidemiological data demonstrates that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a global public health matter (Elsabbagh et al., 2012). Although intervention science has led to the development of efficacious parent-mediated early intervention programs, these services are resource intensive and available to a select few of the many who could benefit from them. For children with ASD who are growing up in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), few if any services may be available to target the core social communication challenges experienced by many children with ASD. This presentation will focus on the process of development of a parent skills training program designed to be delivered by non-specialist facilitators in LMICs. Considerations and challenges regarding the development and scientific evaluation of the trainer intervention model will be discussed.

Improving Developmental Trajectories of Toddlers With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Strategies for Bridging Research to Practice

AMY WETHERBY (Florida State University)

The need for community-viable evidence-based intervention strategies for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a priority with earlier diagnosis. The Early Social Interaction Project (ESI) uses the SCERTS curriculum to teach parents of toddlers with ASD how to embed evidence-based intervention strategies and supports in everyday activities in natural environments to promote their child's active engagement. Research findings from the randomized controlled trial of ESI, funded by Autism Speaks and NIMH, will be presented. Plans for rolling out Autism Navigator, a collection of web-based courses and tools that uses extensive video footage to bridge the gap between science and community practice will be highlighted.




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