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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #335
Utilizing Behavioral Principles for Building a Statewide System of Care for Persons with ASD
Monday, May 26, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Continental A
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Georgia Winson (The Hope Institute for Children and Families)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis has made significant contributions to the treatment of autism. Allied models such as the Transactional Systems Model advocate behavioral change for this population through coordinated interventions directed towards the individual as well as critical, contextual elements: family, school, and community. Through shaping of elements in the environmental context, a more facilitative environment can be produced thereby supporting better outcomes for the individual and family. There is data indicating that the system of care is failing to meet the needs of children with autism. The success of behavioral and transactional models in modifying outcomes at the level of the individual suggests that application of these approaches may be successful at the system level. The Autism Program developed a Transactional Systems Model for instantiating system change. The model involves assessment of the system, its component parts and linkage and targets system behaviors and contextual elements to produce enduring change in the system of care for children with ASD. This symposium will detail the model including interventions to address maladaptive elements of the system and expand the system repertoire supporting consensus, evidence-based practice, workforce development, public policy and evaluation. Administrators, clinicians, families, and policy makers will benefit from this symposium.
Applying a Transactional Systems Model to Autism Services.
LORI VALLELUNGA (The Hope Institute for Children and Families)
Abstract: To increase the likelihood that treatments for the children with ASD be effective, interventions should be derived from sound theory and research evidence. Although atypical, the development of children with autism should be considered initially from the perspective of the same variables that affect the development of typical children. In addition, the developmental deviations that characterize autism must be considered when developing intervention programs. Behavioral systems models describe both typical as well as atypical development, and emphasize dynamic multidirectional person-environment transactions. The environment is viewed as having multiple levels, from the individuals with autism, themselves, to larger societal and cultural levels. Behavioral systems models of human development can be generalized to a transactional systems model of services for children with autism. This presentation will describe a specific approach to development of programs for children with autism and their families to illustrate the application of the model to multiple levels of the social ecology that forms the basis of the statewide system of care in Illinois. This presentation will be of interest to administrators, clinicians, policy makers, families and anyone interested in utilizing behavioral principles to undergird the development of programs and system-level interventions.
Building a Coordinated, Statewide System of Care for Persons with ASD.
GEORGIA WINSON (The Hope Institute for Children and Families)
Abstract: The system of care for children with autism spectrum disorders is fragmented, poorly coordinated, and hindered by a lack of trained providers and by policies that are not sufficiently aligned with the needs of this population. The approach to system development utilized by The Autism Program is the result of a dynamic assessment of the existing system. Salient elements of the system were targeted, including: (1) consensus, (2) workforce development, (3) evidence-based care and, (4) policy. Consensus initiatives are encompassed in Consensus for Autism. Consensus for Autism incorporates a guiding principles statement, which provides a baseline for discussion and action, with a community planning program resulting in regionally relevant plans for communities across the state. Workforce development advances through a variety of training and consultation venues educating parents, physicians, early interventionists, educators and support providers. Evidence-based care is promoted through training, publication of research, demonstration and the dissemination of model programs. Policy is affected through legislative outreach. The symposium will include an explication of the initiatives outlined above and discussion of the initial effects on the system and on children and families receiving services through the system. This presentation will be of interest to administrators, clinicians, parents, and policy makers.
Impacting Public Policy through Legislation and System-Level Advocacy Efforts.
JOSEPH E. NYRE (The Hope Institute for Children and Families)
Abstract: The discipline of applied behavior analysis (ABA) deserves wider acceptance in the system development and credentialing arenas. Without question, these two arenas are directly driven by public policy. Impacting public policy is often a stated desired outcome but rarely achieved in substantive form. This presentation will highlight a successful approach to impacting system development and credentialing for ABA providers via advancement of a statewide, state-funded system of care for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families and through associated focused, coordinated legislative and advocacy efforts. Specifically, this presentation will highlight how, with ABA as the centerpiece, The Autism Program (TAP) – Illinois built the largest statewide system of care for children with ASD and their families. Strategies to building legislative awareness, programmatic consensus, and common goals will be articulated. Further, this presentation will highlight a successful approach to workforce development, credentialing and reimbursement for behavior analysts, and system of care development for children, families, and adults with ASD. Clinicians, policy makers, academicians, and administrators will benefit from the information presented.
Evaluating a Statewide System of Care.
DAVID CAIN (The Hope Institute for Children and Families), Lori Vallelunga (The Hope Institute for Children and Families)
Abstract: The Autism Program (TAP) has been committed to the development of a statewide system of care for children with autism and their families and measuring the progress of the resultant system. To accomplish this, TAP has imbued the process of building a network of care with demonstrably effective and efficacious business principles. Utilization of the business model approach has allowed for the construction of the principle elements of measurement and accountability, public relations and information dissemination, and strategic planning aligning actions with the overarching mission. This presentation will describe the process of assessing a system of care from a program evaluation and performance management perspective, through a discussion of various elements of the evaluation process: pre-assessment measurement procedures; application of a logic model to the program development and evaluation; and a review of the practical application of the principles of strategic planning including the balanced scorecard process. This presentation will be of interest to administrators, evaluators, and policy makers who are charged with evaluating system level inputs and outcomes.



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