Partners in Applied Behavior Analysis Conference

March 1, 2024

Welcome to the 2024 Partners in Applied Behavior Analysis Conference

Everyday ABA: Advancing Quality of Life and Advocacy

Register to attend the virtual conference.

March 1, 2024, 9:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. ET

Up to 6 CEs and 2 CTLEs will be available.

Recordings can be viewed up to 30 days afterward.

Keynote speaker: Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D.; Executive Director of The EPIC School

Presentations and panels include everyday applications of ABA to promote self-advocacy and quality of life across clinical, educational, home, and community settings. Emphasis will be placed on self-determination, dignity, and affirming practices in ABA support, service delivery, and research. Speakers and panelists will include individuals of various backgrounds and identities. Please check back regularly for updated speaker and session information.

Join for welcome, accessibility, logistics, and continuing education information.

Transitioning to Adulthood with Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., executive director of The EPIC School.

Dr. Gerhardt has more than 30 years experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of individuals with autism spectrum disorders in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. Dr. Gerhardt is the author or the coauthor of many articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with ASDs and has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. Dr. Gerhardt is the founding chair of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) and currently sits on numerous professional advisory boards including Behavior Analysis in Practice, the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts, and the Autism Society of America. He received his doctorate from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Education.

Assent & Social Validity with Joy Johnson, M.Ed., M.S., BCBA, IBA

Beyond Basics: Elevating Performance through Behavior Skills Training in the Workplace

Amanda Adams, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Anderson Center for Autism

Abstract: As organizations strive for innovation and adaptability, the focus on traditional workplace learning proves insufficient. This conference presentation, titled "Beyond Basics," delves into the practice of Behavior Skills Training (BST) and its pivotal role in elevating employee performance within the workplace. Key topics covered include the design and implementation of effective behavior skills training programs, assessment methodologies, and real-world case studies showcasing successful integration into diverse workplace environments. Practical tools and strategies will be shared to empower participants to take their organizations beyond the basics, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and enhanced performance. Join us for an engaging exploration into the realm of behavior skills training, where we will unravel the untapped potential within your workforce and chart a course for organizational success that goes far "Beyond Basics."

Learning Objectives:

  1. **Mastering Training Program Design:** - Objective: Equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to design effective behavior skills training programs tailored to their organization's unique needs. - Learning Outcomes: Participants will gain insights into the key components of training program design, including identifying specific skill sets, structuring training modules, and developing a customized approach to address workplace challenges.
  2. **Strategic Assessment Techniques:** - Objective: Provide participants with a toolkit of assessment methodologies to gauge the effectiveness of behavior skills training programs and measure individual and team progress. - Learning Outcomes: Participants will learn to implement strategic assessment tools, understand the importance of ongoing evaluation, and adapt training initiatives based on feedback to ensure continuous improvement.
  3. **Real-world Integration Strategies:** - Objective: Explore successful case studies illustrating the seamless integration of behavior skills training into diverse workplace environments. - Learning Outcomes: Participants will analyze real-world examples, discovering best practices for overcoming challenges and leveraging the strengths of behavior skills training. Practical tools and strategies will be shared to empower participants to apply these insights within their own organizational contexts, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and enhanced performance.

Early Childhood Skills Development Group-Building a Framework to Disseminate ABA Principles in Public Schools
Beth Hayre, Ed.D., BCBA, LBA & Yvonne Alleyne, M.S., BCBA, LBA

Beth Hayre, Ed.D., BCBA, LBA

 

Beth is a Special Educator with over 25 years of experience. She has spent her career serving students and families in Prince George’s County Public Schools as a special education teacher and in her current role as a Family and Community Engagement Specialist. Beth is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. She enjoys supporting families of children with challenging behaviors.

Yvonne Alleyne, M.S., BCBA, LBA 

Yvonne Alleyne was born in Kumasi, Ghana, and immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was about 8 years old. Yvonne currently lives in Maryland with her husband and their two children.  Yvonne received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Saint Mary’s College of Maryland and a Master of Science in Special Education with a specialization in mild to moderate disabilities from Johns Hopkins University.  She is a certified special educator in the state of Maryland, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst (Maryland). Yvonne has over 23 years of extensive experience working and consulting for school districts in Maryland and Washington DC, the Maryland Autism Waiver Program, individual home Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs locally and internationally, and various adult service agencies for neurodivergent individuals.

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the landscape of education. During the pandemic, families were faced with working, teaching, and learning from home. While dealing with the uncertainties and stressors of the pandemic, parents were actively seeking additional support to help their children navigate the new normal.

Young children who would have qualified for early intervention services missed the opportunity to receive traditional services in the schoolhouse. To bridge this gap The Early Childhood Special Education - Skills Development Group (ECC-SDG) was created to support students with challenging behaviors.

The ECC-SDG is a Saturday school program for students with disabilities. This program is based on the principles of ABA and has a required parent training component. During this session, families learn how to support their children with disabilities while their students receive ABA-based instruction in small class settings. Most recently, the program has joined forces with Special Olympics to expand our structured play component of the program

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will understand the goals of the ECC-SDG program and how the family training serves as the foundation for the program.
  • Participants will understand who the stakeholders are and how their involvement is critical to the success of the students within the program.
  • Participants will understand how the program is helping to disseminate ABA throughout the school district.

Cultural Diversity in Autism Support: ABA and Evidence-Based Approaches in Malawi, Africa

Andrina Simengwa

Andrina Simengwa, an International Behavior Therapist with a degree in Public Health and a Diploma in Rehabilitation, brings 10 years of expertise in supporting children with neurodiversity, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays. She holds an RBT Certificate from the BCAB in New York and an International Behavior Therapist Certificate from IBAO. Having trained at the Anderson Center for Autism in New York, USA, this experience has uniquely positioned Andrina, enhancing her confidence to train others in her home country. In a field that is both new and rare, she is contributing significantly by raising awareness and conducting community sensitization. Andrina is actively involved in parent and teacher training programs, striving to bridge gaps in understanding and support for neurodiverse individuals. Her dedication goes beyond direct therapy, making a lasting impact on both individuals and the broader community.

Abstract: The prevalence of autism in Africa mirrors that of other regions, yet challenges persist in diagnosis and treatment accessibility. Factors such as a shortage of specialized healthcare professionals, limited resources, low awareness among healthcare providers about autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and cultural stigma impede access to care (Aderinto, N., 2023). In Africa, including Malawi in Central Africa, various therapies, such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Social Skills Training, are commonly employed to enhance the lives of individuals with ASD. ABA, a behavioral therapy, involves breaking down tasks into smaller steps and reinforcing positive behaviors to improve communication, social, and self-help skills. Contrastingly, in Malawi, the predominant therapies for neurodiverse individuals are occupational therapy and speech and language interventions, often provided in limited numbers. Most individuals receive special education needs, posing a disadvantage for Malawi given the increasing demand for support amid restricted services. Applied Behavior Analysis, a recognized standard approach for supporting neurodiverse individuals, is less prevalent and applied in Malawi compared to other regions. Based on my experience and training at the Anderson Center for Autism, I recognized the need to share my knowledge within my community. This led to training sessions for teachers, parents, and therapists on evidence-based approaches, understanding behaviors and their functions, and interventions aligned with the functions of behaviors. Initiatives such as sensitization and public awareness campaigns, including appearances on national television, were implemented to enhance understanding of autism and evidence-based practices. In terms of successes, strides have been made in autism awareness. Awareness campaigns have been implemented, and an online social forum created by parents, teachers, and therapists provides a platform for discussing topics related to autism and other learning disabilities. Additionally, autism walks, especially on Autism Awareness Day, contribute to increased visibility and understanding of autism within the community. These achievements signify a positive shift towards increased awareness, collaboration, and support for individuals with autism and their families. However, challenges remain, particularly regarding cultural beliefs impacting the acceptance and implementation of certain therapeutic approaches, such as ABA, highlighting the need for continued efforts to address cultural nuances in supporting individuals with autism.

Learning Objectives:

  1. comprehend autism prevalence and awareness in Africa, specifically in Malawi
  2. analyze the various support mechanisms implemented for neurodiverse individuals in addressing the unique challenges associated with autism
  3. acknowledge cultural obstacles that impede the effective implementation of evidence-based support approaches for autism

Compassionate Behavioral Support

Jennifer Brager, BCBA, LBA
Anderson Center for Autism Consulting

Jennifer is a consultant with Anderson Center Consulting and Training (ACCT) and has over 20 years experience working with children and adults with autism, developmental disabilities and other neurodiversities. She has a master's degree in Psychology from Marist College, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and NYS Licensed Behavior Analyst. Currently, she is studying Mental Health Counseling at SUNY New Paltz. Jennifer provides services through ACCT’s Family Support Services program, school-based consultation and Autism Supportive Programs. She is passionate about supporting children and families to have the best quality of life possible.

Abstract: Behavioral function is important in understanding why individuals engage in challenging behavior, but as practitioners we must do more than identify functions. It’s imperative that we develop a better understanding of why some individuals engage in difficult or challenging behavior and what underlying skill deficits one might have as well as possible contributing factors.  Skill-building also must include flexibility, persistence, and regulation. Compassionate and supportive approaches are shared, including preventative measures and problem-solving strategies that are mindful of individual needs.  Being able to stay true to behavioral practice, while also remaining compassionate and respecting the personal preferences of the individuals we support must be at the forefront of behavioral support.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To develop one’s understanding of why individuals may engage in challenging behavior by considering skill deficits and problematic situations 
  2. To understand the relevance of individual differences and contributing factors
  3. To know how to implement behavioral interventions with integrity while remaining compassionate

Why Access to Medical Care Matters: How Behavior Analysts Can Address Health Equity for Individuals With Complex Neurodevelopmental Profiles

Amanda P. Laprime PhD., BCBA-D, LBA (NY)

Director of the Intensive Behavior Team (Inpatient: GCH & Psychiatry; Outpatient: Complex Care Center)

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Division of Transitional Care Medicine

Department of Pediatrics

University of Rochester Medical Center

Dr. Amanda Laprime is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University Of Rochester Medical Center. Since coming to URMC, Dr. Laprime developed the first, intensive behavioral team (IBT), an enterprise-wide consultation and service provider for patients with neurodevelopmental, mental health, and other needs. This team specializes in interdisciplinary approaches to trauma informed models of behavior analytic intervention for those patients who struggle to access their medical care, or experience challenges with behavioral stability while accessing medical care. Dr. Laprime studied at Northeastern University and Simmons University under the guidance of Gary Pace, Judah Axe, Ron Allen, and Vince Carbone. She is the assistant to the executive director and a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and previously served as a board member for the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Treatment (BABAT). She serves as a committee member for the OPWDD DDAC, and as a member of the public policy committee for the National Council of Severe Autism. She is a part-time lecturer for Northeaster University, and a subject matter expert for the BACB. Dr. Laprime is the PI on numerous grants related to health equity, education, and training on evidence-based interventions for those with I/DD. She has been invited to speak nationally about issues related to crisis care and systems analysis for individuals who experience overutilization of psychiatric and hospital services. She has published in several journals, and presents regularly at regional and national conferences on system-wide challenges for those with complex behavioral needs.

Abstract: Approximately 4.5 million people in the United States have a developmental disability. Persons with developmental disabilities require and deserve the same access to quality healthcare as anyone else; despite this, as a group, they are at increased risk of medical and/or psychiatric conditions as compared to the general population. Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) report inequities in healthcare including less health satisfaction, shorter life expectancy, less access to preventative care, higher rates of diagnoses such as obesity, disabilities, arthritis, and asthma, poorly managed chronic health conditions, over utilization of psychotropic medications, and higher rates of mortality (State of Nebraska, 2020). Importantly, individuals with disabilities who need behavior supports to effectively engage in healthcare experience higher rates of these disparities than the rest of the disability population. As such, individuals with I/DD are 9 times more likely to experience an inpatient hospitalization than their peers. Once in the hospital, gaps in understanding of the impact of I/DD on medical, behavioral or mental health needs, often results in diagnostic overshadowing, overmedication, increased length of stay, and at worst, crisis events. More often than not individuals with I/DD and their caregivers report high levels of dissatisfaction with emergency or inpatient care. Collectively, these data suggest the extreme health inequity for those with disabilities. Behavior analysts are uniquely posited to support system-wide approaches for training, assessment, and intervention across hospital systems that result in better access to healthcare for those with I/DD. Practicing in hospital environments requires an ability to modify our practice to meet the needs of nurses and providers, while simultaneously acting as an advocate for the disability community. The purpose of this talk is to review the impact of health inequity on behavioral stability, and provide an overview of how BCBA’s can increase access to healthcare for those with complex neurodevelopmental and behavioral profiles.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will list the behavioral presentations that contribute to healthcare access challenges
  2. Attendees will describe environmental conditions associated with crisis events during an inpatient or emergency medical stay
  3. Attendees will provide 2 examples of functional assessment
  4. Attendees will identify the primary themes for behavioral skills training for nurses and providers around complex behaviors

Incorporating Social Validity Into Practice: Treatment Progression Across Paediatric Feeding Skill Domains

Tessa Taylor, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Founder, Behaviour Analyst, Clinical Psychologist, Paediatric Feeding International (Australia)

University of Canterbury/Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (New Zealand)

Dr. Tessa Taylor obtained her Master’s degree in 2001 from Southeastern Louisiana University and her PhD in clinical psychology in 2010 from Louisiana State University. After completing her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine/Kennedy Krieger Institute, Dr. Taylor remained on as a faculty in the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program. This programme is the original and largest, and one of the few interdisciplinary behaviour-analytic programmes of its kind, supporting the most severe and complex children from all over the world. She also interned on the Neurobehavioral Inpatient Unit (NBU-IP) for severe problem behaviour (e.g., pica, self-injury). Dr. Taylor has authored nearly 60 peer-reviewed research publications and 3 book chapters, and has nearly 70 professional presentations internationally (USA, Australia, Japan, Italy, France, Greece, Maldives, Ireland, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Philippines). Her research spans both group and single-case experimental designs as well as statistical analysis. She is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, Christchurch, New Zealand in the Department of Psychology, Speech & Hearing | Te Kura Mahi ā-Hirikapo and School of Health Sciences | Te Kura Mātai Hauora. She founded Paediatric Feeding International in 2015. Dr. Taylor has nearly 25 years of experience spanning a variety of ages (from toddlers to older adults), settings (homes, schools, group homes, developmental centres, hospitals, outpatient clinics), conditions (e.g., complex neurological, medical, and genetic conditions), and interdisciplinary team coordination areas (psychiatry, paediatrics, gastroenterology, allergy, dietetics, social work, speech therapy, occupational therapy, child life, education).

https://www.paediatricfeedingintl.com/about-us/

Dr. Taylor’s CV

Abstract: A small but growing body of research in paediatric feeding disorders asserts the importance of comprehensively measuring social significance of goals, procedures, and effects of intervention, and incorporating social validity into practice to inform treatment. This report sought to extend this literature by detailing procedures to measure and improve social validity during a clinical case of a 3.5-year-old during a home-based intensive feeding programme. A multiple baseline design demonstrated effectiveness of nonremoval and re-presentation added to a treatment package. Repeated choice via direct child preference assessments informed demand fading and gradual progression across six feeding skill domains (medication, cup drinking, independence, texture, volume, variety) and arrangements of response effort (preference, skill) with layers of reinforcer parameters (quality, magnitude, rate, immediacy). Indices of happiness definitions were modified, and extinction bursts examined. Fostering a collaborative approach, caregivers provided detailed input on social validity measures pretreatment, at discharge, and long-term follow-up (6-months, 1-year), inclusive of both qualitative and quantitative responses, written and verbal communication, and permanent product data. Further implications for practitioners included detailing the process for caregiver training and generalisation to family meals with siblings and community settings, and providing adaptable full-text guidelines for free access/choice contexts.

Learning Objectives:

  1. List 3 benefits of the controlled consecutive case design and modified Brinley plots.
  2. List 3 outcome measures in pediatric feeding treatment.
  3. List 3 methods to assess social validity including one objective direct observation measure and how these can be incorporated into practice.

Sponsorships

Harding Automotive in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

If you have any questions or would like to reach out to us about participation in this event, please email autism@sunyempire.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration

1. Where do I register?

2. How do I register multiple people with the same form of payment?

3. When do I need to register by?

  • Registration will remain open through 4:00pm EST on Thursday, February 29, 2024. 

4. I want to register, but I can't watch the conference live, can I watch the recording later?

  • Yes! The conference will be available to view asynchronously for registrants following the event and available for six months following. You will be sent a link via email to the email address that you used to register for the conference. It will include the link to access the conference recordings.

5. I want to watch the conference asynchronously, but can I still earn BACB CEs and New York State Continuing Teacher and Leader Education Hours?

  • Yes! You will be sent a link via email to the email address that you used to register for the conference that will include the link to access the conference recordings. To earn the CEs, you must download the CEU Helper application and complete the conference survey within one week of viewing the session(s). Beginning two weeks before the conference, you will receive an email with the conference Zoom link and information about how to download the CEU Helper.

6. How will I virtually attend the conference?

  • You can join synchronously through the link you will receive to the email you used for registration. You will receive a Zoom link for the session and there will be one link for the full conference. All sessions will be offered through this link.

Continuing Education and CEU Helper

1. Is Continuing Education available for this conference?

  • Yes! There is an opportunity to earn 6 BCBA Learning CEs (2 Ethics) and 2 New York State Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (NYS CTLE) Hours. Attend the conference synchronously or watch it afterward asynchronously. To earn the CEs, you must download the CEU Helper application and complete the conference survey within one week of viewing the session(s). Beginning one week before the conference, you will receive an email with the conference Zoom link and information about how to download CEU Helper. You must complete a post-conference survey and answer three questions about each session for which you are seeking CEs or NYS CTLEs in order to be awarded the credits.
  • Please remember to enter the event code at the start and end of each event. Then, after you are done collecting CEs, please remember to "Leave the Conference" in CEU Helper. 
  • You will receive your certificate in approximately 2 weeks. 
  • If you have any questions about your CEs, please contact Autism@sunyempire.edu 

Technical Troubleshooting

1. My link to the conference isn't working. What do I do?

  • Do you have Zoom installed on your device? If so, try closing out Zoom re-opening it.
  • If you don't have Zoom installed on your device, try installing it and then logging on.
  • If both of these don't work:

2. I am having trouble with Zoom, the platform for the conference. What do I do?

Accommodations

  • Captions available for both synchronous and asynchronous viewing.
  • If you would like to request other accommodations, please contact autism@sunyempire.edu with information on the support(s) that are needed.
  • Copies of PPT slides will be made available to attendees during the event. 

About SUNY Empire State University

SUNY Empire State University educates more than 16,000 students per year in person, online, and through a blend of both, at locations in every region of New York and at 8 international sites worldwide. Together with one of SUNY Empire's more than 600 faculty mentors, each student designs their own individualized pathway to a college degree that accommodates their schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. SUNY Empire awards approximately 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, more than 96,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans, and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, visit www.sunyempire.edu and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.

About Anderson Center for Autism

Anderson Center for Autism's core philosophy is that all people deserve to live a life of quality. Anderson has the expertise, resources and technology to enable the agency to optimize the quality of life for all people with autism, around the world.

Anderson's Mission: Optimizing the Quality of Life for Individuals with Autism

To learn more, visit andersoncenterforautism.org.