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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Workshop Details

Previous Page


Workshop #W5
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Standing up for Science: Ethical Challenges and Opportunities for Behavior Analysts Working in the Autism Community
Thursday, May 21, 2020
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
To Be Determined
Area: AUT/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: David A. Celiberti, Ph.D.
DAVID A. CELIBERTI (Association for Science in Autism Treatment), ERIN S. LEIF (Monash University )
Description: There are literally hundreds of interventions for autism, although the vast majority of these lack any scientific support. Unfortunately, approaches that are not grounded in science prevail in many schools and centers, fringe treatments are afforded widespread media coverage distracting consumers and separating individuals with autism from science-based intervention such as ABA, and the internet is filled with misinformation and unsubstantiated claims. This presents ethical challenges and opportunities for behavior analysts. Science and scientific methods are not only relevant to discussions surrounding autism treatment selection but should serve as the foundation upon which treatments should be chosen, implemented, and evaluated. This workshop will highlight the role that behavior analysts can play in helping consumers, consultees, supervisees and other colleagues choose interventions, implement those interventions with high degrees of fidelity and transparent, as well as in objectively evaluating outcomes. Strategies for promoting science and the scientific method in both practice and in communication will be discussed throughout the workshop as they interface with our ethical responsibilities and what is known about evidence-based practice.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, workshop participants will be able to: 1. identify and describe red flags in autism treatment, recurring media misrepresentations, and diverse perspectives on treatment selection and explain the ethical concerns that result; 2. demonstrate a broader conceptualization of how the tenets of applied behavior analysis can be both a model and a framework for delivering science-based education and treatment regardless of discipline and highlight the implications conceptually and procedurally; 3. describe challenges for behavior analysts related to interdisciplinary collaboration, consumer education, and interacting with members of the media community and describe strategies for avoiding or reducing the impact of these challenges; and 4. identify specific and sustainable contributions that can be made to promote science in the treatment of autism across disciplines, as well as within interactions with the media community and consumers
Activities: Instructional strategies will include lecture, small group exercises, and follow up feedback and discussion. Original source material from the media will be incorporated in the workshop and discussion. Very brief role plays will be included as warranted.
Audience: The workshop level is intermediate but would be suitable for behavior analytic teaching faculty, BCBAs involved in supervision and consultation, as well as BCBAs working with multi-disciplinary teams.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh