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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W30
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
CANCELED: Autism, Imitation, and the Reciprocities: Emotional, Social, Communication, and Motor Exchanges
Friday, May 25, 2012
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
613/614 (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Bob Ellis, Ph.D.
BOB ELLIS (The Resource Center)
Description: Autism is characterized by compromises in an individual's ability to reciprocate at the emotional (i.e., empathy), social, communication, and motor levels. It has been suggested by several experts that these compromises are the result of an inability, possibly of a genetic origin, to imitate. The discovery of the class of neurons called mirror neurons, and the finding that they are compromised for those on the spectrum, appears to provide a neurological foundation for that suggestion. Evidence for the argument that that compromise of the mirror neuron system is the key to the imitation problems in autism is controversial and will be reviewed. Finally, new developments in the use of imitation as a motivational tool for those on the spectrum will be introduced and reviewed, including the Blank Face Protocol (Nadel) and Reciprocal Imitation Training (Ingersoll).
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

Describe the role of compromised reciprocities in autism

Describe the role of imitation in making the reciprocities possible

List the basic steps of the Reciprocal Imitation Training protocol

Activities: Participants will describe their experience with autism and their efforts to motivate/activate their students on the spectrum, and they will discuss their experiences using imitation as a teaching tool.
Audience: This workshop is appropriate for special education teachers, BCBAs, consultants, ABA professionals, academics, and clinical professionals.
Content Area: Theory
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Mirror Neurons, Reciprocal Imitation



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