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 #93
On Being Open
Saturday, May 27, 2017
4:00 PM–4:20 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom F/G
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Sharon Estill Older (Adapt Behavioral Services)
On Being Open...
Domain: Service Delivery
SHARON OLDER (Adapt Behavioral Services)
Abstract: Many of the earliest applied behavior analytic studies published were with “typically developing” children with behavioral excesses (AKA “clinical” population). As ABA became known for being one of the most effective treatments for individuals with developmentally disabilities, the proportion of behavior analysts serving “clinical” children and research with this population dwindled. When funding for ABA treatment for Autism became easily available in large amounts, behavior analysts working with this population exploded and behavior analysts treating “clinical” children became few and far between. Did ABA reach maximum benefit for the “clinical” population, or did we, as a field, get sucked into the high-density reinforcement schedule (e.g., being renown as “the best,” getting quick results in skills training, having more cooperative and involved parents) and financial rewards of treating a “niche” population? This presentation will examine why our profession needs to be open. Open to getting out of our “niche” comfort zone and expanding ABA treatment to more “clinical” populations. Open to inspiration and learning from other disciplines, who are sometimes very effective. Open to conducting research to discover new understanding of and effective treatment for more complex personal and interpersonal problems. Open to expanding the reach of our profession by making a positive impact with a wider audience.



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