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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Paper Session #19
Collaboration With and Contributions From the Medical Arena
Saturday, May 27, 2017
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 4
Area: CBM
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Daniele Ortu (University of North Texas)

Using an Inter-Professional Education Model to Disseminate Information About ABA to Medical School Residents: Changing Perspectives About Working With Behavior Analysts

Domain: Service Delivery
KRISTA M. CLANCY (University Pediatricians Autism Center), Michelle Fuhr (University Pediatricians Autism Center)

One of the many barriers to treatment in ABA is the perception that lay people and other professionals have regarding our treatment. Not all professionals who are in a position to refer clients for services understand the benefits of ABA, commitment needed by the families, range of clinical populations that can benefit from ABA services, and how to navigate the system to get clients into treatment in a reasonable time frame. Clients and their families report difficulties with access to treatment, a misunderstanding of other professionals of ABA and how it can help them, and poor coordination of care among the professionals they are working with. As Behavior Analysts, we must develop relationships with others in the field who are most likely to refer clients to our services in order to help them better understand the rationale and science behind our treatment. Focusing on the education of those training in these fields may be a way to dispel some of the myths of ABA and ultimately get people into services faster. This presentation will describe the process of the development of a unique training program offered at a center-based ABA treatment facility in combination with the School of Medicine at Wayne State University to be used in training programs for medical residents and students from a variety of other training programs within the university. The Inter-Professional Education (IPE) training model targeting early screening, diagnosis, and ABA referrals for autism will also be discussed. There will be a focus on how behavior analysis has a role in collaborating with other disciplines when training students and professionals in this concept. Further discussion will focus on sustainability of the program and outcome data on the perceptions of interdisciplinary practices of the residents and students following a 5 hour training. This presentation will also include proposed changes to the training model to focus on ways to evaluate changes in practice behavior and the use of Behavior Skills Training within future training models. By using our outcome data and building on what we have learned we may further improve the likelihood that residents and students will make the changes in practice behavior that will get clients identified and into the right services faster.


Shifting the Threshold of Observability: Can Measuring Brain Responses Improve Our Understanding of Complex Human Behavior and Help Patients With Paralysis and Disorders of Consciousness?

Domain: Applied Research
DANIELE ORTU (University of North Texas), April Linden (University of North Texas), Owen James Adams (University of North Texas), Brennan Patrick Armshaw (University of North Texas), Sarah Sumner (University of North Texas), Williams Adolfo Espericueta (University of North Texas), Erendira Morales (University of North Texas)

Neuroscientific tools allow researchers to measure brain responses, and some brain responses have been shown to be sensitive to antecedents and consequences. Uncovering behavior that had been below the threshold of observability has both basic and applied implications. Some of the basic implications may involve a better moment-to-moment understanding of what has been described as memory, together with other learning phenomena described in the Equivalence and Relational Frame Theory literature. Some of the applied implications involve developing training tools to help patients who are paralyzed and patients in comatose, vegetative, minimally conscious and locked in states to interact with the environment by gaining operant control of their brain responses. These patients are in some cases unable to interact with the environment because most of their muscular topographies may be unavailable, but some brain topographies may be preserved, potentially allowing researchers the implementation of shaping procedures to facilitate re-learning. Overall, a radical behaviorist perspective based on the assumption of uniformity across covert and overt behavior allows behaviorists to tie together basic and applied research questions within a relatively parsimonious conceptual framework.




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