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; Online; 2020

Program by Special Events: Sunday, May 24, 2020

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Special Event #158
Behavior Analysis in the Domain of Psychology
Sunday, May 24, 2020
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Domain: Theory
Chair: Peter R. Killeen (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Peter R. Killeen, Ph.D.
Panelists: ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute), MICHAEL DOUGHER (University of New Mexico), ALAN KAZDIN (Yale University), MARK MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago), DEREK REED (University of Kansas), SUSAN SCHNEIDER (Root Solutions)

Whereas behavior analysts take due pride in the unique characteristics that distinguish us from mainstream psychology, those characteristics also distance us from psychology, cheating us of attention, recognition, support, and employment opportunities. Is it possible to remain true to our behavioral tenets, while improving our communication and presence in the larger intellectual community? If so, how do we go about it? We are fortunate to have Dr. Alan E. Kazdin, an early pioneer of behavior modification and expert in single case (N of 1) research designs in clinical and applied settings. He has succeeded in what we aspire to do--formulating and validating empirically grounded behavioral interventions, in particular for children and teenagers. He has been embraced by psychologists in general, having served as the president of APA and winning the APA gold medal for lifetime achievement. He also has a significant public audience (e.g.; and ). In this panel he will discuss with leaders in our field his thoughts about ways in which we can advance our agenda, and regain a seat at the table of empirically-based behavioral psychology writ large.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist at Oregon Research Institute. He is the author of The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve our Lives and Our World.   Dr. Biglan has been conducting research on the development and prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior for the past 30 years. His work has included studies of the risk and protective factors associated with tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; high-risk sexual behavior; and antisocial behavior. He has conducted numerous experimental evaluations of interventions to prevent tobacco use both through school-based programs and community-wide interventions. And, he has evaluated interventions to prevent high-risk sexual behavior, antisocial behavior, and reading failure.   In recent years, his work has shifted to more comprehensive interventions that have the potential to prevent the entire range of child and adolescent problems. He and colleagues at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences published a book summarizing the epidemiology, cost, etiology, prevention, and treatment of youth with multiple problems (Biglan et al., 2004). He is a former president of the Society for Prevention Research. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention, which released its report in 2009 documenting numerous evidence-based preventive interventions that can prevent multiple problems. As a member of Oregon’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission, he is helping to develop a strategic plan for implementing comprehensive evidence-based interventions throughout Oregon.
MICHAEL DOUGHER (University of New Mexico)
Dr. Michael J. Dougher is professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico, which is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to describing the breadth and crosscurrents of teaching, research, and service in his distinguished career. Trained at the University of Illinois, Chicago as a clinical psychologist, his career exemplifies the scientist-practitioner model of that discipline. He has published widely on the analysis and treatment of such clinical problems as pain, depression, and addictive behavior. His research, however, has extended far beyond the traditional boundaries of clinical psychology. He has brought creative basic analyses of verbal behavior and stimulus equivalence to bear on the understanding of not only the origins of clinical syndromes, but also new possible lines of approaches to their treatment. These complementary analyses of basic and applied research earned him the APA Division 25 Don Hake Award. Along these same lines, it is telling to note that Dr. Dougher served concurrently on ABAI's Practice Board and as the experimental representative to its executive council. His record of service also includes terms as president of ABAI and APA's Division 25, and on numerous boards and task forces related to professional issues in psychology. On these boards and task forces, he consistently has been a strong, thoughtful, and diplomatic representative of a behavior analytic perspective.   These same adjectives characterize his editorial contributions to behavior analysis, as editor of The Behavior Analyst, associate editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and as a member of the editorial boards of six other journals. In addition, Dr. Dougher has provided equally exceptional service to his students and university. This mentor of 25 doctoral students has received several teaching awards, including being named the University of New Mexico Teacher of the Year in 1995. Prior to his present appointment, he served as the department's director of clinical training and also department chair, then associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences, and thereafter as the University of New Mexico's associate vice-president for research.
ALAN KAZDIN (Yale University)
Alan E. Kazdin. Ph.D., ABPP, is Sterling Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry (Emeritus) at Yale University. Before coming to Yale, he was on the faculty of The Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. At Yale, he has been Director of the Yale Parenting Center, Chairman of the Psychology Department, Director and Chairman of the Yale Child Study Center at the School of Medicine, Director of Child Psychiatric Services at Yale-New Haven Hospital.   Kazdin’s research has focused primarily on the treatment of aggressive and antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. His 750+ publications include 50 books that focus on methodology and research design, interventions for children and adolescents, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatment, parenting and child rearing, and interpersonal violence. His work on parenting and childrearing has been featured on NPR, PBS, BBC, and CNN and he has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News, 20/20, and Dr. Phil. For parents, he has a free online course (Coursera), Everyday Parenting: The ABCs of Child Rearing (ABCs = Antecedents, Behaviors, Consequences).   Kazdin has been editor of six professional journals (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Psychological Assessment, Behavior Therapy, Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice Current Directions in Psychological Science, and Clinical Psychological Science). He has received a number of professional awards including the Outstanding Research Contribution by an Individual Award and Lifetime Achievement Award (Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies), Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology Award and Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology (American Psychological Association), the James McKeen Cattell Award (Association for Psychological Science), and the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology (American Psychological Foundation). In 2008, he was president of the American Psychological Association.
MARK MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
Mark Mattaini, DSW, ACSW, holds an emeritus appointment at Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he was previously director of the doctoral program. He has developed, implemented, and researched behavioral strategies for individual, family, organizational, community and policy level interventions in the US, Canada, and Latin America, increasingly emphasizing advocacy, accompaniment, and activism in recent years. Consistent with that emphasis, his recent scholarship has focused on nonviolent action supporting social justice, and behavioral systems science at the cultural level. He is a research affiliate of the UIC Center for Research on Violence, and has chaired 25 dissertations related to responses to social issues. Most of his Ph.D. graduates are engaged in research and practice with marginalized populations, including those victimized by—and perpetrating—violence, and in developing evidence-guided supports for young people experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. Dr. Mattaini is author or editor of 13 books, two of the most recent being Strategic Nonviolent Power: The Science of Satyagraha, and Leadership for Cultural Change: Managing Future Well-Being, as well as numerous other publications. Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Behavior and Social Issues, Dr. Mattaini has served on the editorial boards of multiple journals in behavior analysis and social work. ABAI Convention Program Board Coordinator from 2013-2017, he has also been a long-time member of the Board of Planners for Behaviorists for Social Responsibility, the oldest ABAI SIG.
DEREK REED (University of Kansas)
Dr. Derek Reed is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas where he directs the Applied Behavioral Economics Laboratory. Derek received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Illinois State University and his Masters and Ph.D. in School Psychology from Syracuse University. He has served as Associate Editor for Behavior Analysis in Practice and The Psychological Record, and guest Associate Editor for The Behavior Analyst, Journal of Behavioral Education, and Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. He serves as a reviewer on the editorial boards of The Behavior Analyst, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Derek has published over 80 peer reviewed papers and book chapters, coauthored three edited books, and was the 2016 recipient of the American Psychological Association Division 25 B. F. Skinner Foundation New Applied Researcher Award. He is presently working on a new textbook titled “Introduction to Behavior Analysis” with his coauthors Greg Madden and Mark Reilly. Derek recently served on the ABAI Science Board and is presently the Executive Director of the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior. Derek's research translates the behavioral economics of addiction to understanding ultraviolet indoor tanning dependence in college populations.
SUSAN SCHNEIDER (Root Solutions)
Dr. Susan M. Schneider’s involvement in behavior analysis goes back to high school when she read Beyond Freedom & Dignity and wrote B. F. Skinner, never dreaming that he would reply. They corresponded throughout her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Brown University, her engineering career, and her stint in the Peace Corps. At that point, Schneider bowed to the inevitable and switched careers, obtaining her Ph.D. in developmental psychology in 1989 from the University of Kansas. A research pioneer, she was the first to apply the generalized matching law to sequences and to demonstrate operant generalization and matching in neonates. Her publications also cover the history and philosophy of behavior analysis and the neglected method of sequential analysis. Schneider has championed the inclusive “developmental systems” approach to nature nurture relations, culminating in reviews in the Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior and The Behavior Analyst, and she has served on the editorial boards for both of those journals. Her book, The Science of Consequences: How They Affect Genes, Change the Brain, and Impact Our World, summarizes the field of operant behavior, its larger nature-nurture context, and its full range of applications. It earned a mention in the journal Nature, was a selection of the Scientific American Book Club, and won the 2015 Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Award for Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media. In recent years, Schneider has focused on the climate crisis through writing, speaking, and organizing. She is a consultant for Root Solutions, a sustainability nonprofit, and serves on the Board of Idle-Free California, another nonprofit.
Special Event #177
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
CPT Billing Codes: An Update From the ABA Billing Codes Commission
Sunday, May 24, 2020
10:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Chair: Katherine Mahaffy (Association for Behavior Analysis International)
CE Instructor: Katherine Mahaffy, Ph.D.

CPT Billing Codes: An Update From the ABA Billing Codes Commission


In the 18 months since the 2019 CPT I billing codes for adaptive behavior took effect, members of the ABA Billing Codes Commission have worked to disseminate information, resolve problems, address concerns, and identify next steps. This presentation builds on the information presented in the workshop ABA Billing Codes Commission Presents: Is That Billable? Understanding How to Bill Ethically and Effectively. This presentation will provide an update on the work of the ABA Billing Codes Commission and will address recurrent questions, including the effort to increase uniformity in how the codes are interpreted; the proper use of Medically Unlikely Edits; the process to value codes; and the next steps in the Commission’s effort to bridge the gap between billable services and ABA that reflects best practices.

JULIE KORNACK (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), STEPHEN GILLASPY (American Psychological Association)
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the purpose of CPT billing code descriptors; (2) discuss the appropriate use of Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs); (3) state the difference between codes that are valued and codes that are carrier priced; (4) discuss the role of multi-disciplinary collaboration in the billing codes process.
Special Event #229
CE Offered: BACB
International Task Force on Education in Behavior Science and Application
Sunday, May 24, 2020
2:30 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Domain: Theory
Chair: Peter R. Killeen (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Peter R. Killeen, Ph.D.
Panelists: ILANA GERSCHLOWITZ (Star Academy), AGUSTIN DANIEL GOMEZ FUENTES (Universidad Veracruzana), GLADYS WILLIAMS (Centro CIEL; LearnMore, Inc.), MARTHA HUBNER (University of São Paulo), JENNA MRLJAK (Association for Behavior Analysis International)

The ABAI Task Force on International Education has been working since January to create a model to improve educational opportunities and develop formal recognition of behavior analysts that could be adapted for individual countries. Constituents from Brazil, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain will provide an update on the task force’s progress.We welcome the attendance of all those interested in this effort.


Ilana Gerschlowitz lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is the mother of three boys. She completed her B.Com (LLB) (commerce and law degree) in 1998 at the University of the Witwatersrand and was subsequently admitted and practiced as an attorney. In 2004 when her oldest son, David, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 20 months, she immersed herself in research to find solutions.

In 2009 she hosted the landmark Challenging Children Conference, which successfully provided a platform for the introduction of ABA to South African parents and professionals.

Ms. Gerschlowitz is the founding director of the Star Academy (Star), an affiliate of the US-based Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Now 10 years old, Star has provided access to ABA programs to more than 230 children around the country with autism or related disorders, as well as to children in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Mauritius, and Zambia. Other Star projects include providing ABA instruction to underprivileged children in Johannesburg and a program called Catch Up Kids, which helps children overcome learning challenges, including those with ADHD.

In 2015 Ms. Gerschlowitz was recognized for her work in education with the CEO Global Award for Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government in the Education and Private Sector for Region, Country, and Continent. In 2018 she was a finalist for the Europcar Jewish Women in Leadership Award. She is the author of Saving My Sons: A Journey With Autism, published in 2019 and which helps light the way for many parents coping with autism or learning difficulties in Africa.

AGUSTIN DANIEL GOMEZ FUENTES (Universidad Veracruzana)

Dr. Agustín Daniel Gómez Fuentes has a degree in psychology from Universidad Veracruzana, a master’s in psychology (behavior analysis) from Western Michigan University, and a doctorate in behavioral science from the University of Guadalajara. Dr. Gómez Fuentes has been recognized as a National Level I Investigator by the Mexican National System of Investigators of the National Council of Science and Technology. In addition, he has a PROMEP profile and has been director of more than 80 theses on psychology and education, as well as published more than 16 articles in specialized scientific journals on those same topics. Additionally, he has published 10 book chapters and 3 specialized books on behavioral science and education. His research interests are mainly focused on linguistic modes and their relationships, as well as historical and philosophical analysis of psychological concepts.

Dr. Gómez Fuentes was a member of the program committee for the 2013 ABAI International Conference in Mérida, Mexico, and truly instrumental to its success and subsequent positive effects encouraging the growth of behavior analysis in Mexico. He promoted the conference and its call for papers among his colleagues at Universidad Veracruzana, gave a talk as part of a symposium, and chaired two other sessions.

GLADYS WILLIAMS (Centro CIEL; LearnMore, Inc.)

Gladys Williams leads the program on autism and verbal behavior at David Gregory School in New Jersey. She is the founder and director of Centro CIEL in Barcelona and Oviedo, Spain, and of LearnMore, Inc., an institution that promotes effective teaching strategies. She earned her doctoral degree in special education and behavior analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she was a recipient of the Fred S. Keller Research Grant to study language development and autism. She has won several awards for her contributions to the field of applied behavior analysis. Dr. Williams has published 18 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the American Journal on Mental Retardation, Teaching Exceptional Children, and others. She has been a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior and Social Issues, and The Behavior Analyst. She is a frequent guest speaker in Europe and South America. Dr. Williams’s main objective is to implement effective strategies to teach functional verbal language to nonverbal children and to investigate strategies and techniques to facilitate social skills and functional language acquisition. Her quest is to use behavioral technology to benefit children around the world.

MARTHA HUBNER (University of São Paulo)
Dr. Hubner is a full professor of experimental psychology at the Institute of Psychology, University of São Paulo, Brazil. She was coordinator of the graduate program in the experimental department from 2004 to 2010. She is also past president of the Brazilian Association of Psychology (2002 to 2005), of the Brazilian Association of Behavioral Medicine and Psychology (2008 to 2011), and past president of the Association of Behavior Analysis International (2015 to 2017), serving also as International Representative at ABAI (2009 to 2014). She conducts research at the Institute for Science and Technology (INCT) on learning and conducts research at the Laboratory for the Study of Verbal Operants (LEOV) involving processes in the acquisition of symbolic behaviors such as reading, writing, and verbal episodes. She is currently invited professor at the Psychiatry Institute of USP, Chair of Psychology Section at the University Hospital at USP and she is immersed in three areas of research, teaching and application: empirical relations between verbal and nonverbal behavior, control by minimal units in reading, and verbal behavior programs for children with autism spectrum disorders.
JENNA MRLJAK (Association for Behavior Analysis International)
Jenna Mrljak earned her Ph.D. in psychology (behavior analysis) along with her MA and BS degrees from Western Michigan University, under the advising of Dr. Richard Malott. Throughout her graduate career she taught and supervised numerous undergraduate and graduate psychology courses. She trained and supervised over 65 graduate student instructors. She also has experience with OBM and helped develop extensive systems for performance management and continuous-quality improvements within those courses. She has several years of experience in early intervention for children with autism and has provided BCBA supervision for four years in early childhood special education classrooms. Additionally, her research included teaching critical prerequisite skills for children with autism and improving staff training systems in the classrooms. Her interests spread across many areas including early intervention, instructional design, technology, social justice, and behavioral systems at the cultural level. She is dedicated to researching and delivering high-quality educational programs for all learners. Dr. Mrljak is currently the Education Manager for the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
Special Event #296
CE Offered: BACB
The ABAI Licensing Committee: Why? When? What? Who? Where?
Sunday, May 24, 2020
7:00 PM–7:50 PM EDT
Domain: Theory
Chair: Gordon Bourland (Trinity Behavioral Associates)
CE Instructor: Gordon Bourland, Ph.D.
Panelists: MICHAEL F. DORSEY (Amego Inc.), GRANT GAUTREAUX (Nicholls State University), GORDON BOURLAND (Trinity Behavioral Associates)

The ABAI Licensing Committee was established in the last 3 years to serve as a resource for behavior analysis organizations interested in licensure of behavior analysts. The Committee is a component of the Affiliate Chapters Board. The members are highly experienced behavior analysts who have experience in effectively addressing public policy issues in state government,especially pertaining to behavior analyst licensure. The reasons for the establishment of the committee, its history, operation, previous, current and anticipated activities, and the resources that it offers behavior analytic organizations will be described. The presentation will address, also, the fit of Committee activities with a behavior analytic perspective on social institutions (e.g., how its activities are relevant to metacontingencies effecting social institutions, exemplify Skinner's perspective regarding behaviorists engaging with issues relevant to a culture, incorporation of behavior analytic principles in addressing public policy issues, and promote ethical behavior in the culture). Audience participation will be encouraged

Target Audience:

LBAs, BCBAs/BCBA-Ds, leaders of state behavior analysis organizations, persons interested in public policy issues including behavior analyst licensure

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will state the function of the ABAI Licensing Committee, 2. Attendees will state how assistance of the ABAI LIcensing Committee may be obtained, 3. Attendees will describe 2 types of resources available from the ABAI Licensing Committee.
GRANT GAUTREAUX (Nicholls State University)
GORDON BOURLAND (Trinity Behavioral Associates)



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