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.


Second Annual Autism Conference; Atlanta, GA; 2008

Event Details

Previous Page


Invited Paper Session #3

Because Our Kids Are Worth It: A Parent’s Perspective on Behavioral Interventions at Home and School

Saturday, February 9, 2008
8:15 AM–9:15 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
MARY BETH WALSH (Caldwell College)
Mary Beth Walsh is the mother of two children, a 9 year old who has autism, and a 13 year old, who does not. She is on the Board of Directors of The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) and is currently serving a one year term as the Consumer Representative on the Board of the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis. She has presented on strategies for successfully including individuals with autism in faith communities at conferences sponsored by both the New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community (COSAC) and NJABA. Working with the Autism and Faith Task Force of the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, she is co-editor of a resource booklet for inclusion of individuals with autism in communities of faith. She holds a doctorate in theology and ethics from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, teaches in the Master of Arts Program in Pastoral Ministry at Caldwell College, works as a Pastoral Associate at St. Joseph’s Church in Maplewood, New Jersey, and co-chairs the Special Education Parent Teacher Organization in her town.

Parents play a critical role in all behavioral interventions for children with autism. From getting the child up and dressed each morning to putting the child to bed at night, parents spend a tremendous amount of time with their children and are presented with countless opportunities to reinforce (or undermine) their children’s learning and skill acquisition throughout each and every day. It is in the best interest of children with autism for their parents to know the contours of the science of applied behavior analysis so that their children can make all possible progress. Partnering successfully with teachers and behavior analysts requires parents to acquire some new skills, see beyond certain myths, commitment themselves to learning how to measure progress, and learn to work effectively with various professionals and educational systems. Teachers and behavior analysts can be more effective and will see better data if they learn how to work with parents. Children with autism are capable of so much more than was once thought – we parents have a unique role to play in bringing out their individual potential.

Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: N/a



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh