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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #473

Angry Love and Ruthless Compassion: Repairing Attachments in Early Childhood

Monday, May 28, 2018
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom DE
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: John M. Guercio, Ph.D.
Chair: John M. Guercio (Benchmark Human Services)
Stephen P. Zwolak is the founder and CEO of LUME Institute and Executive Director of University City Children’s Center (UCCC), LUME’s lab school. Steve has more than 45 years experience working in the field of early childhood. He is recognized for leading the conversation on the impact and future of early childhood education in St. Louis and beyond. His years as a classroom teacher, a leader in various educational arenas, and a student of children, drove him to develop the LUME Approach, for which there is growing evidence of closing the racial and socioeconomic achievement gap. The LUME Approach brings together theoretical, observational, and neuroscientific research that affirms that the emotional development of children is critical to academic success and lifelong positive outcomes. As a young teacher, Steve studied at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute, an educational center for which he now periodically serves as an instructor for others in child- and family-serving professions. In 2015, he received the American Psychoanalytic Association Educational Achievement Award. Today, Steve is recognized for his visionary thinking and entrepreneurial ability to create, enhance, and expand programs and develop infrastructure. He develops curricula which includes understanding the importance of children’s sexual development and addressing angry love with ruthless compassion in the classroom and home. As a speaker and educator known for his warm demeanor, Steve skillfully challenges and motivates teachers to develop reflective practices in their daily relationships with children and families and to be prepared to administer therapeutic triage using a multi-disciplinary approach.

What can you do to support children who are aggressive and disruptive? Through an interactive Prezi presentation, paired with case studies, research, and a group discussion, participants will explore Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), attachment, temperament, emotional milestones, expulsion, and early childhood mental health consultation.

Target Audience:

Mental health professionals, school psychologists, and educators who work with young children.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) analyze the roots of challenging behavior (ACEs, attachment, temperament) and why isolation and expulsion are harmful to children; (2) identify strategies to reduce power struggles with children; (3) examine ways to foster the emotional development of children.



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