7:30-9 AM Registration and Breakfast Ballroom Prefunction
Thank you to our breakfast sponsors!
8:00-8:45AM SIG Meetings
Come learn about SC ABA SIGs! You don't have to already be a member of the SIG to come to this meeting!
Ballroom A: DEI SIG and Business Owners SIG
Ballroom B: OBM SIG and Collaboration SIG
Ballroom C: School-Based ABA SIG
9-11:45AM Ballroom A: What you Teach and How you Teach Matters: Implementing an Applied Verbal Behavior Approach (3 Learning CEs)
Presenter: Dr. Alice Shillingsburg, PhD BCBA-D
Abstract: Children with autism present with a wide range of strengths and needs. Many children with autism benefit from intensive intervention to learn critical skills such as communication, play, social, and daily living skills. Designing treatment plans that prioritize meaningful skills and implementing effective and efficient procedures that achieve these goals is critical. The applied verbal behavior (AVB) approach is an approach to intervention that prioritizes a strong, positive, therapeutic relationship, active child engagement, socially motivated interactions, and efficient programming to produce meaningful outcomes quickly. This presentation will provide an overview of the components of the AVB approach and outcomes of a systems-wide implementation of AVB in classrooms serving children and adolescents with autism and related developmental disabilities.
Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will describe the applied verbal behavior approach. 2. Attendees will describe the importance of rapport in instruction. 3. Attendees will describe the importance of prioritizing efficient teaching procedures.
9:00-11:45AM Ballroom B: ACT For Yourself… For Others – Applying ACT Personally as an Access to Using it with Clients, Families, and Supervisees (3 Supervision CEs)
Presenter: Dr. Scott Herbst, PhD BCBA
Abstract: The intention of this workshop is to expand your capacity to interact with the people in your life in ways that work toward what you and they authentically want, and to do so with greater ease. To do that, we’re going to explore what it is to live life as a being with language. Together, we’ll do a fun and engaging exercise to introduce the basic terminology of Relational Frame Theory (RFT). Whether you remember the terminology at the end of the talk or not, you will see crystal clear how the behavior of language necessitates an approach like that of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT). After demonstrating the need for ACT, we will introduce several commonly used practices including present-moment awareness, acceptance, values, and committed action. Then, we will immediately begin practicing as we introduce a tool called the ACT Matrix. You will select an area where you a) experience dissatisfaction, frustration, or resignation, b) find that circumstances persist despite your best efforts and c) keep getting the same or similar results. You will have the opportunity to apply these practices to that area of life as we work through the ACT Matrix together. Following that, we practice a few coaching exercises you can use with yourself and the people in your life to move toward what matters to you. With some of them, you will likely leave thinking, “There’s no way that will work…” Later, you will be surprised at how easy communication can be when you apply a little ACT to yourself so as to communicate just a little bit differently.
Learning Objectives:1. Participants will state the three basic features of a “Relational Frame” and identify an instance of framing relationally from their own life. 2. Participants will practice identifying how three ACT processes relate to Relationally Framing. 3. Participants will identify a personal instance of relational framing and assess the impact that behavior has on how they interact with a person from their own life. 4. Participants will practice leading a colleague through an awareness and acceptance exercise. 5. Participants will practice using a complaint to identify a value with a colleague during a role-play.
9:00-11:45AM Ballroom C: Digging Deeper into Diversity-Affirming Evidence-Based Practice
Presenter: Dr. Susan Wilczynski, PhD BCBA-D
Abstract: Practitioners are often pulled in different directions when they learn about different ways to practice behavior analysis because many new themes are emerging in the literature. In this workshop, attendees will learn how the diversity-affirming evidence-based practice (DA-EBP) decision-making model can incorporate these new themes while still firmly adhering to the science of human behavior. Beginning with a brief overview of cultural humility and diversity affirmation, attendees will learn how to use response interruption and redirection if their overt or covert verbal behavior limits their client’s opportunities for skill development and a higher quality of life. In addition, they will learn how to revise, reject, or retain the referral concern to better meet their clients' needs. Next, strategies for reconsidering the strength of evidence supporting an intervention based on comprehensive reviews and the client’s previous or current assessment results will be addressed so that attendees can gain perspective about why social validity needs greater emphasis in the intervention selection process. Finally, ways to incorporate social validity as well as person-centered, assent-based, and compassionate care to optimize client outcomes and minimize unintended harm when selecting interventions or when deciding to adapt or change interventions will be discussed. Practical examples will be incorporated throughout the workshop, with attendees applying these concepts to their work.
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to explain how current themes in ABA can be meaningfully included in the intervention selection process to produce benefits and minimize harm. 2. Participants will be able to Identify at least five ways they will be able to apply behavioral principles in a more positive way than in their current practice. 3. Participants will be able to describe how to use response interruption and redirection to support their own behavior change so they can select interventions that are a better fit for their clients.
11:45-1:15PM - LUNCH
Ballroom A: Improving Compassionate Care Skills through Motivational Interviewing Training: A Group Design, Callie Plattner, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Abstract: In the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), there is a recognized need for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) to demonstrate improved empathy and communication skills when interacting with caregivers. In other helping professions, motivational interviewing (MI) is frequently used to enhance these therapeutic skills and improve clinical outcomes, yet this approach has not been evaluated in the field of applied behavior analysis. In this randomized control trial study, 51 behavior analysts were randomly assigned to either waitlist control or to receive the Brief Motivational Interviewing (BMI) training, which focused on situations which BCBAs often encounter when interacting with caregivers. Findings demonstrate that the brief virtual MI training results in statistically significant improvements in core MI skills including an increase in the use of open-ended questions, affirmations and reflections as well as improvements on a measure of MI knowledge. Measures of social validity confirm the feasibility, acceptability and usefulness of MI training for BCBAs and should be used to inform future modifications to graduate, practicum and ongoing continuing education. Future studies should focus on additional training modalities, teaching complex MI skills, ongoing maintenance of skills taught and demonstration of skills by BCBAs in-vivo with parents. Overall, the curriculum fills the recent call for improvement from both parents and clinicians to address BCBA skill deficits with an approach that results in stronger therapeutic relationship building skills.
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to describe the four core skills associated with motivational interviewing as well as times during parent interaction in which they would be useful. 2. Participants will be able to identify two tools which can be utilized during supervision of students and early career BCBAs to assess skills related to compassionate care. 3. Participants will be able to identify at least three ways in which behavior analysis can continue to explore the use of motivational interviewing in practice and how it can be integrated into graduate and practicum training curriculum.
2:15-2:30PM Break: Thank you to our break sponsor, Aspire!
Ballroom B: Current State of the Behavior Analytic Feeding Interventions Literature, Laura Seiverling, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Abstract: In a recent project, Dr. Seiverling, along with colleague Dr. Keith Williams, reviewed the current behavior analytic feeding intervention literature with a goal of highlighting studies found to be important recent contributions in the following areas: food selectivity, chewing, packing, and food refusal/tube weaning. Based on the recent literature, suggestions for future research and clinical work in these areas will be provided. Several current topics such as the consideration of innovative service-delivery models, the importance of tracking long-term outcomes, and lastly, ethical issues to consider in the designing and implementation of behavioral feeding interventions and training of practitioners in our field in hopes to further advance research and clinical practice will also be discussed.
Learning Objectives: 1.Attendees will become familiar with recently published studies that successfully treated food selectivity without the use of escape extinction. 2. Attendees will receive a brief overview of recently published intervention studies in the areas of chewing, packing, and food refusal/tube weaning. 3. Attendees will be provided with suggestions for future research and clinical work when treating each of the above feeding problems.
Ballroom C: Grown-up ABA: Shifting to Assent-Based Treatment with Adults, Kelly Bryson, M.A., BCBA, & Beth Ann Daily, M.Ed., BCBA
Abstract: Paralleling the shift to person-centered planning in residential services, the approach of many behavior analysts in residential supports with adults is shifting to compassionate care rather than focusing on compliance. Compassionate care centers supporting people in reaching individual goals, interacting with people in ways to ensure safety, and teaching in ways that would only make the news in a heartwarming human-interest piece. Presenters will review trends in JABA publications from 1999 (the year the Supreme Court gave the Olmstead Decision) through 2022 on assent and self-determination. Information on the impact of procedural choices from interviews with people with disabilities will be shared. Some procedures commonly used with children will be re-evaluated from the perspective of adult acceptability and human rights, teaching and promoting self-determination as a protection against abuse and neglect, and the importance and process of gaining assent for treatment procedures.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to identify changes in regulations effecting adult services over the last 30 years, identify procedures that do not meet standards for promoting autonomy and respect of human rights.
Ballroom A: A Spectrum of Services: Autism Resources in South Carolina, Stephanie Turner, MPH, LMSW, BCBA
Abstract: In this interactive breakout session we will delve into the essential topic of "Autism Resources Across South Carolina." As Board Certified Behavior Analysts, it is crucial to understand the available resources to comply with the BACB’s Ethics Code by providing effective treatment (2.01), practicing within our scope of competence (1.05), collaborating with colleagues (2.10), and consulting with other providers (3.06). Through an engaging presentation, we will explore diagnostic assessments, early intervention, case management, Medicaid Waivers, behavioral health services, DSS services, Mobile Crisis, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, safety resources, assistive technology, and more. By the end of this session, attendees will be equipped with an understanding of the resources available to support individuals with autism and their families, enabling them to uphold ethical practices.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify the range of autism resources available across South Carolina, including diagnostic assessments, early intervention, case management, Medicaid Waivers, behavioral health services, DSS services, Mobile Crisis, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, safety resources, and assistive technology. 2. Examine how utilizing these resources aligns with ethical principles of the BACB's Ethics Code. 3. Apply knowledge gained during the interactive presentation to real-world scenarios, enhancing the ability to integrate appropriate autism resources and support services for individuals with autism and their families.
Ballroom B: A Model for Providing Comprehensive Assent-Based Practice, Jillian Dawes, Ph.D., NCSP, BCBA-D
Abstract: Comprehensive assent is a critical process that involves seeking permission from a client before proceeding with and throughout treatment. This process is designed to show respect for the client's autonomy and dignity, which can foster trust and collaboration between the therapist and the individual seeking services. Establishing a positive therapeutic relationship is crucial for successful therapy outcomes, as it enables the client to feel comfortable and invested in the treatment process. Despite ethical guidelines surrounding consent, assent, and involving stakeholders and learners in therapeutic planning and evaluation, many autistic individuals and disability rights advocates have cited a lack of social validity in their experiences with ABA. To build on existing research on assent, this presentation proposes a preliminary procedure for practitioners using a functional behavior approach. The procedure is presented in three sections: prior to starting the therapeutic relationship, during functional behavior assessment, and during behavioral analytic treatment. The procedure utilizes a traditional FBA approach to identifying assent and dissent behaviors, evaluating the function of those behaviors, and providing functionally matched interventions to honor dissent behaviors while addressing behavioral excesses and deficits targeted for change. By following this procedure, practitioners can ensure that they obtain comprehensive assent at every stage of the therapy process, which can help to promote a positive therapeutic relationship and increase the likelihood of successful treatment outcomes.
Learning Objectives: Attendees will: Learn the ethical and social significance of providing comprehensive assent-based practice; Utilize an FBA approach to identify and functionally evaluate assent and dissent behaviors in practice
Ballroom C: How Effective Collaboration Can Be Your Superpower as a Behavior Analyst, Shaunita Grase, RBT, & Lauren LeJeune, Ph.D., BCBA
Abstract: Changing and managing behavior can be hard at times, but it does not have to be! This interactive workshop will cover the basic principles of change management and stakeholder engagement to support the successful development and implementation of behavior-change procedures in a variety of settings. An emphasis will be placed on key stakeholder engagement strategies as the presenters discuss change management research (Al-Haddad and Kotnour, 2015) and describe the 3 I’s of stakeholder engagement: Influence, Interest, and Impact (Hollebeek et. al., 2022; Kujala et. al., 2022) Presenters will draw from their extensive backgrounds in research-based and implementation-based behavior-change programs within educational and organizational settings to provide participants with a framework on stakeholder engagement as it relates to the implementation fidelity of behavior-change procedures. We will first describe a theoretical change management framework and demonstrate how behavior analysts can lead behavior-change programs to support social and sustainable change with clients. Then, we will provide examples of how we engaged key stakeholders (e.g., educators, health professionals) using research and practice within educational and organizational settings. Finally, we will provide ABA professionals with evidence-supported stakeholder engagement strategies to inform the implementation of behavior-change procedures in any setting.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: Describe change management frameworks, Discuss the importance of engaging key stakeholders in the development of behavior change procedures, Create a stakeholder engagement plan.
Ballroom A: Why Didn't They Teach Us That in Grad School? A Curriculum for Ethical Practice and Leadership Skills Amidst Rapid Growth, Callie Plattner, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Abstract: The rapid evolution of our field has presented many benefits to the clients we serve while also allowing the development of thousands of clinicians. However, this expansion has been coupled with challenges associated with high-speed growth which indicates a need to maintain the standards within our Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts within clinical practice (“The Code”; BACB, 2020). The first few years as a behavior analyst should be focused on establishing a skill set sufficient to provide effective clinical services, however many are placed into leadership roles early in their careers without the opportunity to learn or demonstrate the skills necessary for success. Therefore additional training to ensure BCBAs are able to effectively execute increased responsibilities with competence is critical. In order to address the needs of our early career practitioners, a curriculum has been developed which allows BCBAs to establish the skills necessary for long-term success and professional growth. This curriculum sets the standard for excellent clinical care, compassionate interactions, leadership, management and the successful implementation of research in applied clinical settings. This presentation will include a discussion of the ethical implications of the rapid growth of our field without sufficient training programs, a suggested curriculum to meet this need and a review of feedback from 40 clinicians who have completed the training program.
Learning Objectives: Identify at least 3 ethical implications associated with the rapid growth of our field. Identify at least 3 ethical codes which may be impacted by clinicians' lack of skills in the areas of supervision, management, and applied research.
Ballroom B: Quality of Life as a Guiding Construct for Service Provision, Aaron Check, MS, BCBA
Abstract: A defining characteristic of the field of ABA is its focus on socially significant behavior. Behavior analysts are ethically responsible to provide services to address socially significant behavior with the ultimate intent of improving long-term outcomes such as an individual’s quality of life (QoL; Bahry et al., 2022). QoL is a complex social construct, sensitive to context and circumstances at both individual and environmental levels (Schalock & Verdugo, 2002). Though defining QoL is reliant on the individual, there are research-based frameworks comprised of common domains and indicators (Schalock, 2004) for practitioners to utilize when attempting to define and assess the construct for their clients. Commitment on the part of a practitioner to use available QoL frameworks to guide delivery of services may help ensure those services address relevant, socially significant behaviors and improve QoL for the individuals being served (Schwartz & Kelly, 2021).
The presenter will share findings of a recent literature review in which he investigated single-case research targeting skills that improve QoL. This review will provide insight into the skills behavior analysts are targeting when aiming to improve QoL and what efforts are being taken to ensure they have in fact achieved that goal. Second, the presenter will describe current QoL frameworks and assessments available to practitioners. Finally, the presenter will synthesize these resources in the form of a brief QoL questionnaire intended to guide behavior analysts to align provision of services with improving QoL for the individuals they serve.
Learning Objectives: 1. List the prevalent characteristics of single-case research literature claiming to address QoL. 2. Discuss common domains and indicators for Quality-of-Life assessment. 3. Given a case study example, participants will use available frameworks and tools to justify whether a targeted skill may lead to improved quality of life.
Ballroom C: Should I Select a Goal Because an Assessment Told Me To? AnnaMarie Stoudenmire, MA, BCBA, & Kaelynn Partlow, RBT (not offering CE credit)
Abstract: Social significance should be at the center of all the services our clients receive. A focus on social significance should include goals that are meaningful to that learner, taught in a way that is acceptable, and that results in a positive outcome (Wolf 1978). Within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, a large body of literature supports interventions that are empirically validated. When considering the use of empirically validated interventions, clinicians must understand and evaluate the unique needs of the individuals they serve.
Behavior analysts have access to a wide variety of assessments and curricula (VB-MAPP, EFL, AFLS, Card SKILLS, PEAK, etc.) in addition to specific therapeutic approaches (SBT, ACT, RFT, etc), and must be conscious of their selection of assessments and corresponding goals to put the focus on the well being of the learner instead of simply choosing “the next step.”
At the heart of social significance is individualization for the specific challenges, barriers, and goals of the learner and their caregivers. In this presentation, Kaelynn will draw from her own experiences as an autistic person, a recipient of behavior analytic support, and a provider of behavior analytic services to provide actionable recommendations for selecting meaningful skills that align with learner assent and family values. She will provide case examples to illustrate these considerations. Additionally, AnnaMarie will discuss the ethical considerations of meaningful goal selection, and how to prioritize goals based on assessment results.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to identify: how to determine if a goal is socially significant when considering learner assent and caregiver values, ethical considerations in prioritizing goals that promote independence and interdependence, and how to individualize chosen goals to align with caregiver and learner values in addition to assessment results.