Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #476
CE Offered: BACB
Professional Collaboration Between Behavior Analysts and the Rest of the World: It's Not So Tough
Monday, May 29, 2017
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2A
Area: PRA/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Thomas L. Zane, M.S.

Much has been written in the field of behavior analysis concerning collaboration with professionals in other disciplines. The general hypothesis of this literature focuses on how behavior analysts often come across as dismissive of other disciplines, using language that drips heavily with technical terms, and with an attitude of how we know best. Many suggestions have been made to behavior analysts as to how to be perceived in a more positive light and thus have better working relations with these other professionals. Some of these suggestions include monitoring our language more carefully by speaking at the level of the listener, act more open to ideas from other disciplines, and to become a conditioned reinforcer to make other professionals more receptive to our ideas. One of our biggest strengths is that of adhering to an analytic process when confronted with a behavior problem that is not easily solved. This analytic process (involving case formulation, operational definition of key terms, careful assessment, protocol development, implementation with carefully constructed data instruments, evaluation of the data, and ultimately changing the treatment protocols if not successful) is a process that most disciplines understand and implement to some extent. The purpose of this symposium is to present case studies of successful collaboration between behavior analysts and professionals from other disciplines. Specific strategies for behavior analysts to use in similar collaborative opportunities will be highlighted to aid in the accomplishment of the objectives of such cases.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): adults, autism, collaboration, community

Issues in Behavioral Collaboration With Other Disciplines: Applying Our Way of Thinking to Working With Others

(Service Delivery)
Gloria M. Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Jessica Zawacki (PAAL), Kaitlin Ross (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Lauren Erion (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), THOMAS L. ZANE (University of Kansas)

Behaviorism and the philosophy of science dictates a set of attitudes and practices to which behavior analysts adhere in their work. Our approach to solving human behavior problems - operational definition of the problem to solve, careful assessment of its current state, functional assessment identifying the reason(s) for the problem, and a 3-term paradigm describing different potential approaches to solutions � has been shown to be effective when applied to a wide range of human endeavors. Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) noted that, �A society willing to consider a technology of its own behavior apparently is likely to support that application when it deals with socially important behaviors, such as retardation, crime, mental illness, or education.� However, to have that impact in all areas of society requires collaboration with professionals in these other disciplines and areas. Collaboration is a set of behaviors for which behavior analysts have been criticized. We often come across as too technical; hesitant to take into consideration the suggestions of other disciplines; and adhering to a philosophical position (of behavior) that is not held by many others in society or other professional fields. This presentation will discuss how behavior analysts can collaborate in ways that makes us more influential with other disciplines and, at the same time, permits the adherence to our philosophy and approach towards solving human problems.


Using Preference Assessments to Increase Physical Activity of Youth in an After-School Program

(Service Delivery)
PRIYA VANCHY (KU Work Group), Courtney Moore (University of Kansas), Jomella Watson-Thompson (University of Kansas)

Physical activity is important to child and adolescent health and development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that youth between 6 to 17 years participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Healthy People 2020 objectives aim to increase the proportion of youth meeting the federal physical activity guidelines. This study examines if identifying and providing opportunities for youth to engage in preferred activities increases participation in leisure-time physical activity. Study participants were youth ages 5 to 15, who resided in a low-income housing complex and participated in an after-school program. The Assessment of Preferred Leisure Alternatives for Youth was used to identify highly preferred activities that were made available through the youth program. A reversal design using momentary time sampling was used to evaluate whether access to highly preferred activities increased the percentage of youth engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity. Preliminary data suggest an increase between baseline (M = 6.5%, range, 0% to 13%) and intervention phases (M = 66.4%, range, 25% to 85%). Results will be discussed to better examine the efficacy of using online preference assessments and interventions to increase youth physical activity in community-based settings.


A Data-Based Protocol for Reducing High Levels of Medication in Adolescents and Adults With Autism

(Service Delivery)
JESSICA ZAWACKI (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Gloria M. Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)

Medication is often used solely or in conjunction with behavioral procedures to treat behavior problems in individuals with autism. However, the synergetic effect of multiple medicationsmay evoke otherdifficult challenges that must be addressed in addition to the original dangerous behavioral concerns. Data based decisions and consistent behavioral programming can be used in conjunction with medical oversight and review to systematically reduce medication use so that the individual over time is demonstrating appropriate behavior on the smallest level of medication necessary. This case study demonstrates a formal protocol used when reducing the number and amount of medications used with two adolescents with autism. They demonstrated such serious self-injurious and aggressive behaviors that they were dangers to themselves and others, and that resulted in both being on a cocktail of several different medications tomanagespecific problematic behaviors as well as other alleged psychiatric issues. The number and dosage of these medications were such that these two individuals were sedatedwhichinterfered with skill acquisition. Close collaboration with their medicalneurologists,along with consistent behavioral programming and comprehensive data collection, resulted in gradual reduction and elimination of medications along with continued low-to-no rates of the original target behaviors. The protocols were successful due to the collaboration, gradual pace of medication reduction, consistent implementation of the behavior intervention plans, and the systematic collection of behaviordata.




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