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Lenwood Gibson, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Using iPads and other computer-based technology to help enhance the learning and life-skills of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Selecting apps that incorporate behavior analytic principles

The use of computer technology to enhance the lives of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is at an all-time high. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to remote instruction. With advances in mobile technology and the continual improvement of educational applications (apps) for devices such as the iPad, incorporating computer-based instruction is a growing demand. Although there are many different apps available, it may be difficult for educators to know which apps are likely to be the most effective. The potential for these apps to help children cannot be denied; however, it is important to distinguish apps that are supported by evidence from those that simply do not work as advertised. From a behavior analytic perspective, apps need to include strategies that are based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of a decision-making model for educators to use when selecting iPad apps to teach children with ASD. This model focuses on the following factors: identifying skills sets that need to be taught, identifying specific behavior analytic principles that are incorporated, and measuring the effectiveness of the apps. We focus on apps that can be used to enhance communication, social skills, activities for daily living, and academics. Special attention is given to apps that are evidenced based and/or supported by the research literature.

Get to know Lenwood Gibson

Dr. Lenwood Gibson Jr. is an Associate Professor of Special Education and the Coordinator of the BCBA VCS at Queens College of The City University of New York. He received his M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University and his Ph.D. in Special Education from The Ohio State University. Dr. Gibson’s area of expertise is in the identification and treatment of maladaptive behaviors for high-risk student populations. His current research interests include: (a) the use and effectiveness of computer-assisted instruction as a supplemental tool for students at-risk for academic failure, particularly in urban schools; (b) closing the academic achievement between minority students and their non-minority peers; (c) closing the research to practice gap between effective, research-based strategies and the degree to which special education teachers use them with their daily instruction.

Jonathan Ivy, ph.D., BCBA-D

The Inner Workings of a Token Economy: An Applied Tutorial

A token economy is a complex system of reinforcement in which tokens are presented (or removed) and exchanged for reinforcers. Although this system of reinforcement is prevalent across most areas of clinical application, the inner behavioral mechanisms of a token economy can be easily overlooked. In this respect, a token economy is often treated like a black-box; that is, a technology in which the inner workings are unknown to the user. The purpose of this presentation is to define, describe, and illustrate each inherent component of a token economy. Additionally, research, both basic and applied, relevant to the creation of a token economy will be discussed.



Response-Contingent Exchange Production Token Economy: Construction, Implementation, and Maintenance

A token economy is a complex and highly customizable system of reinforcement. A commonly used token economy arrangement includes a fixed number of tokens and a token board. In this type of token economy, the opportunity to contact back-up reinforcers is contingent on either accruing tokens or engaging in a certain amount of behavior. The purpose of this presentation is to provide practitioners with guidelines and considerations for construction, implementing, and maintaining a response-contingent exchange production token economy. Attendees are encouraged to first complete The Inner Workings of a Token Economy: An Applied Tutorial.


Get to know Johnathan Ivy


Jonathan W. Ivy, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is an associate professor of psychology at The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg. Dr. Ivy received his doctorate in applied behavior analysis and special education from The Ohio State University in 2011 and a master's degree in applied behavior analysis from The Pennsylvania State University in 2005. He has worked with individuals who engage in severe challenging behaviors, at the group and individual level, for nearly two decades. He has helped parents and professionals develop and implement comprehensive behavior change programs designed to increase functional skills and decrease challenging behaviors. He has served as a consultant for school districts, youth residential programs, behavioral health agencies, and partial hospitalization programs to address a wide range of needs. In 2013, Dr. Ivy was nominated president of the Pennsylvania Association for Behavior Analysis (PennABA). After serving his term as President of PennABA, the Executive Council asked Dr. Ivy to serve as the Director of Outreach and Strategic Planning. In this role, Dr. Ivy has been closely involved in initiatives to license behavior analyst, including speaking at the press events. Dr. Ivy regularly gives professional presentations at national conferences and has an active research agenda with multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals. His areas of interest include complex systems of reinforcement (e.g., token economies), group-oriented contingencies, innovative interventions to teach functional skills or treat problem behavior, and teaching behavior analysis.  Dr. Ivy also enjoys following the research interests of his students.



Ifat Bilitzer, BCBA

Parent Training: The Ins & Outs and Everything About

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) works; specifically, the science of behavior works to effectively treat behavior excesses and deficits displayed by children. Most of the clinical work and research; however, is conducted with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities. Additionally, services are often provided directly to the individual. A critical component of ABA treatment for child behavior problems is caregiver training - to ensure generalization and transferring of treatment. Nowadays, many ABA organizations still focus mainly on providing direct services to individuals (center or home-based) and spend less time and resources on caregiver training. The presenter will suggest a model that emphasizes caregiver training during the provision of ABA services for neurotypical individuals who engage in challenging behaviors at home and at school (e.g., noncompliance, aggressive behavior, disruptive behavior, off-task, poor sleeping habits).  The model often incorporates evidence-based strategies from acceptance and commitment training (ACT) to enhance caregiver adherence to the implementation of treatment.

From Cairns to Perth, can ABA Services be Just a Zoom Call Away? [YES]

The vast majority of research on applied behavior analysis (ABA) has shown the effectiveness of direct, in-person services to treat child behavior problems.  The restrictions and requirements for social distancing and mask-wearing imposed by COVID-19 have created a new reality and a major challenge for ABA practitioners all around the world.  During this time, the need for services and support remained the same or even became greater. Virtual service delivery, or telehealth, may be a viable option when direct services are not feasible (e.g., client lives far away from a center). The purpose of this presentation is twofold. First, the presenter will describe how and when to translate therapy into a virtual service delivery model. Second, the presenter will describe a distinctive benefits of virtual services, specifically as it relates to parent training and instructional control. Although COVID-19 is under better control and countries are gradually lifting restrictions, it is useful for ABA practitioners to consider incorporating remote therapy it into their offered services.

Get to know Ifat Bilitzer

Ifat Bilitzer moved to the U.S. from Israel in 2001.  Her professional career began in 2002. She discovered the powerful impact of applied behavior analysis  (ABA) while working with a clinical psychologist to help parents and teachers improve challenging child behavior.  The positive impact in families’ lives made her realize that ABA was her calling.   Mrs. Bilitzer became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2012.  She trained at Kennedy Krieger Institute Neurobehavioral Programs–both on the Inpatient Unit and Outpatient Clinic—where she worked with an interdisciplinary team to assess and treat severe challenging behavior displayed by individuals with various developmental disorders.  Her clinical experience and interests include: developing and implementing behavior plans to improve challenging behaviors for individuals of varying ages, functioning levels and diagnoses; training caregivers to implement behavioral strategies; developing skill-acquisition programs for individuals who demonstrate skill deficits; supervising individuals who are working towards becoming Behavior Analysts; and incorporating Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) throughout the process to allow for a more meaningful change and increase adherence to implementation of treatment. Currently, Bilitzer is the owner and clinical director of Everything Behavior, LLC, a boutique ABA company that provides assessment, treatment, and caregiver training services to typically developing individuals who exhibit skill deficits and challenging behaviors.


Christopher Perin, Ph.D., BCBA-D


Ethical Considerations when Conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment


Functional behavior assessment (FBA) is crucial to the successful treatment of challenging behavior. As such, much time in both the preparatory and continuing education of behavior analysts is devoted to FBAs. Often this training focuses on methodology and the supporting literature. Perhaps to a lesser extent is a discussion of the ethical considerations involved in FBAs, despite section 3.0 of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2014) being devoted to assessing behavior. When conducting an FBA, behavior analysts must make a number of decisions (e.g., procedures for obtaining consent, selection of assessment procedures) each of which involves ethical considerations. The purpose of this presentation is to provide a discussion of some of these considerations.  


Get to Know Christopher Perrin

Christopher J. Perrin, Ph.D., BCBA-D is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Georgian Court University.  He received a B.A. in Biology and M.S.Ed in Applied Behavior Analysis from Temple University before receiving his doctorate in Special Education/Applied Behavior Analysis from the Ohio State University.  Dr. Perrin has extensive experience providing and supervising behavior analytic services for individuals with disabilities in intensive residential programs, homes, and schools.  He has published articles and book chapters on a variety of topics including functional analysis and treatment of severe problem behavior, behavioral treatment of ADHD, habit reversal training, and use of behavioral principles to improve academic performance of college students. 

Jade Fountain


Untapped PETential: A focus on ABA principles for changing behaviour in companion animals

Animals we share our lives with can show behaviours that are less than desirable in our human lifestyles. Dogs jumping up, pulling on lead, barking, cats scratching the furniture and spraying outside the litter tray, birds screaming and biting are all behaviours encountered day to day with the animals we care for. Challenging behaviours can be detrimental for the human-animal bond and lead to breakdowns in caregiver relationship, relinquishment to shelters or rehoming. The strategies we use every day to develop new behaviours or move toward desired behaviours can apply equally in an animal context for interventions. With a focus on these principles and highlighting their uses during consultation case studies with companion animals, this talk aims to explore possibilities with applied animal training and how we can live happily with the animals we share our lives with. 


Get to know Jade Fountain

Jade founded animal behaviour consultancy, Animal Behaviour Matters, in 2010 and has a passion for training animals and humans to improve behavioural welfare. As a behaviour consultant she works with animals and their caregivers (pet owners, zookeepers, animal handlers) to improve outcomes in homes and animal care settings. She has worked with a multitude of species from marsupials, sea lions, and big cats to fish, goats and dogs. In her career she has worked extensively with animals and lead behaviour teams in shelters, trained dogs and cats for film and tv, training with endangered species, training service dogs for assistance roles (autism, PTSD, mobility) and detection dogs for conservation. Jade has been working in conservation-based recovery programs at zoos and wildlife parks throughout Australia and overseas and spends her time between Australia, the USA, Scandinavia and Africa, teaching and training across the applied animal behaviour, behavioural ecology and conservation biology fields.


Jade holds a BSc degree in Zoology/Psychology from the University of Tasmania, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behaviour Analysis (Griffith University) and a MSc degree in Zoology (Animal Behaviour) from University of New England. Currently, Jade is working toward a second Masters in Applied Behaviour Analysis (Griffith University). She has conducted research on reward pathways in the brain during learning in laying hens and aggressive behaviour in native birds. She is a Certified Canine & Feline Behaviour Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants and graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Behaviour & Training

 

Michelle Kelly, Ph.D., BCBA-D

ABA in the Gulf: History, Successes, Challenges and Collaborative Dissemination

This presentation will provide an overview of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Middle East, namely the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I will focus on the UAE where I reside and coordinate the only Verified Course Sequence in the country. The aims of this presentation include: (i) introduce attendees to the history of ABA in this region; (ii) outline the successes across the domains of teaching, research and service, with a focus on advocating for the licensure of behavior analysis;  (iii) discuss the challenges faced as behavioral ambassadors in the region; and (iv) describe collaborative dissemination efforts which may motivate behavior analysts working in culturally diverse settings to become more effective ambassadors for our science. 

Get to Know Michelle Kelly

Dr. Michelle P. Kelly is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a Chartered Psychologist of the Psychological Society of Ireland (C. Psychol., Ps.S.I.) She obtained her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) diploma in Melbourne, Australia and taught neurotypical children, teenagers and adults in Seoul, South Korea, Tanzania, East Africa, and Barcelona, Spain before working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Kelly moved to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the day after submitting her PhD thesis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2012 and has lived in the Middle East ever since. She is currently an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the ABA Master of Education and Postgraduate Diploma in the Counseling, Special Education and Neuroscience division at Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In 2015, she registered ECAE as an approved continuing education (ACE) provider with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and has served as the ACE coordinator since then providing regular professional development opportunities to behavior analysts. Dr. Kelly co-founded and serves as the current President of the Association for Behavior Analysis- United Arab Emirates (ABA-UAE), an affiliated chapter of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, registered with the Dubai Association Center. She is an active researcher who publishes in top ranking, peer-reviewed journals and has an ongoing, strong commitment to community outreach. She founded and runs two very active Facebook groups, ABA Ireland and ABA Middle East which together have over 15,000 members. Dr. Kelly chaired the taskforce that developed the Professional Standards for ABA, time allocation for Applied Behavior Analysts (ABAs), and Professional Development Framework for ABAs in the UAE. She has been awarded an International Development Grant by the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis and an International Dissemination Grant from the Dissemination of Behavior Analysis- Special Interest Group. 

Bobby Newman, Ph.D., BCBA-D


Moving into Adulthood, Relationship and Sexuality Considerations for People Diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum


When considering the Autism Spectrum, an extremely wide range of social and language difficulties may be present.  This complexity requires that we consider many issues when discussing adult and sexual relationships for such individuals.  We will consider many of these core issues, with an eye on maximizing individual autonomy while still providing information and protective actions as needed.


Get to know Bobby Newman

Bobby Newman is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Licensed Behavior Analyst in New York and Tennessee, and Licensed Psychologist. Affectionately known as the Dark Overlord of ABA, Bobby is the first author on thirteen books regarding behavior therapy, the philosophy of behaviorism, the autism spectrum disorders, utopian literature, and fitness. He is the Executive Director of Clinical Services for Proud Moments ABA. He has published over two dozen articles in professional journals, as well as numerous popular magazine articles and has hosted two series of radio call-in shows. Bobby is the Past-President of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment and the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis. A popular speaker, Bobby also provides direct treatment, staff training and consultation around the world, and has been honored for this work by several parents and professional groups. Bobby is also a certified personal trainer, obstacle course racer and marathoner and is an Ambassador for the Great Sportsmanship Programme. Bobby teaches non-violent crisis intervention philosophy and techniques for agencies and families. Bobby was a final four finalist for the 2016 For Those Who Would Humanitarian Award.

 

More Speakers to be announced soon!

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