Friday, November 20th, 2020 – Workshops


8:15 – 8:30AM

Welcome – Opening Remarks from GABA’s President, Colin Muething, Ph.D., BCBA-D


8:30 – 11:30AM

Workshop 1: A Behavioral Systems Approach to Ethics Training and Supervision

1.5 Ethics CEUs 1.5 Supervision CEUs

Presenter: Matthew T. Brodhead, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Abstract: Professional and ethical behaviors are critical for high quality care and consumer protection. By using behavioral systems, behavior analysts may increase the probability of employees engaging in professional and ethical behaviors. This presentation will survey the basic components of behavioral systems analysis (BSA). Then, it will provide examples of how behavior analysts may use BSA to develop and implement their own behavioral systems to improve ethical behavior of employees and to ultimately increase the quality of care they provide, including an example system designed to mitigate risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the end, this workshop aims to provide a pragmatic, solutions-oriented, and socially-valid approach to ethics that focuses on teaching employees “what to do” in certain situations, instead of using a punitive “how not to behave” approach.


11:30-12:30PM – Lunch Break


12:30 – 3:30PM

Workshop 2: Culturally competent and humble practice in behavior analysis: Key elements, core skills, and methods for measurement

3 CEUs

Presenter: Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Abstract: Behavior analysis has recently been focusing on delivering services in culturally competent and culturally humble ways.  In this workshop, we will review key terms and concepts in order to identify components of these skill sets.  Attention will be given to competence (for the assessment of skill demonstration) and humility (to emphasize the continual honing of this sensitivity). Resources from other disciplines and from within behavior analysis will be reviewed, to focus on ways to refine the definition and measurement of these component skills.  Scenario review will be explored as an instructional strategy.  Effective methods for teaching and training these skills will be discussed. In addition, strategies for supervising clinicians in these skills will be highlighted. 



5:00 – 6:00PM – Student Social

This year our student social is going virtual! Grab your favorite beverage and join us for a fun hour of Team Trivia (with PRIZES). This will be a great opportunity to network with other students and professionals in the field.




Saturday, November 21st, 2020

8:00 – 8:15AM

Welcome – Opening Remarks from GABA’s President, Colin Muething, Ph.D., BCBA-D


8:15 – 9:05AM  

Title: Modeling and Mitigating Relapse of Problem Behavior

1.0 CEU

Presenter: Christopher Podlesnik, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Abstract: Persistent problem behavior with a propensity to relapse poses challenges to behavioral practitioners to develop more effective and durable treatments. Designing better treatments is difficult because a wide range of events contribute to relapse. Translational research offers a wide range of tools for isolating the processes involved in recurrent problem behavior and exploiting those processes when developing treatments. Basic research geared toward understanding problems of practical significance offers well-controlled conditions from which to assess systematically and thoroughly the behavioral processes underlying treatment failures and successes. I will discuss how my colleagues and I have used basic research to understand the processes involved in the challenges of treating clinically relevant behavior.


9:15 – 10:05AM

Title: Mastery Criterion Effects on Skill Acquisition and Durability of Learning

1.0 CEU

Presenter: Daniel Fienup, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Abstract: What does it mean when we say a child “mastered” some task? This talk will discuss mastery criterion – or the rules instructors follow to determine when a particular phase of teaching is completed and the instructor should change his or her teaching behavior. Despite the ubiquity of including mastery criteria as a component of skill acquisition programming, there is surprisingly little research to support our practices. During this talk, the concept of mastery criterion and its components will be defined. Relevant past research will be discussed as well as new research that examines how different components of mastery affect learning and how variations in how we apply criteria to different students and types of responses affect the durability of those responses. The talk will end with suggestions for future research and a call to join in on conducting your own research on this topic.


10:15 – 10:30AM – Break


10:30 – 11:20AM

Title: Ethical Implications of a Biobehavioral Approach to Functional Analysis

1.0 Ethics CEU

Presenter: Jennifer Zarcone, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Abstract: This presentation will focus on a variety of biological, medical and psychiatric conditions that may act as setting events or establishing operations for challenging behavior. Specifically, the role that psychotropic medication can play in addressing the mental health needs of individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities will be discussed. In addition, we will look at some “alternative” biological interventions that may or may not be promising in the treatment of problem behavior.


11:30 – 12:00PM – Lunch


12:00 – 1:00PM – Student Panel

The purpose of this session will be to learn more about attending graduate school and obtaining certification from a panel of current and former graduate students working on obtaining their certification. Individuals on the panel represent a range of pathways for obtaining both coursework (e.g., traditional, online) and field experience (e.g., clinics, schools). The majority of the session will focus on the panel fielding questions from attendees.


12:30 – 1:30PM – Poster Session and Exhibitor Booths


1:30 – 2:20PM

Title: Regulation of the Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis

1.0 CEU

Presenter: Gina Green, Ph.D.

Abstract: Laws, policies, and structures for regulating practitioners of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been proliferating in recent years. This presentation describes the most common forms of professional regulation and pressures to increase government regulation of the practice of ABA. Current laws to license or otherwise regulate ABA practitioners are reviewed, followed by discussion of their implications for consumers, practitioners, and the profession.


2:30 – 3:20PM

Title: Behavioral Skills Training: Recent Research & Guidelines

1.0 CEU

Presenter: Jason Vladescu, PhD, BCBA-D

Abstract: Didactic approaches are commonly employed to train staff despite limited evidence to support their use. On the other hand, behavioral skills training (BST) has been successfully used to teach a range of trainees a variety of skills. Moreover, trainees seemingly value BST components. As such, BST represents a drastic departure from didactic training in both form and function. Knowledge of and proficiency implementing BST is important given the need for behavior analysts to train personnel to competently perform assessment and intervention procedures. To this end, this presentation aims to provide an overview and description of each individual component of BST, the research base supporting the efficacy of BST, and implications for practice. Additionally, recommendations for training staff using BST and directions for future research are described.


3:30 – 3:45PM – Break

3:45 – 4:45PM

Title: Get moving! A programmatic line of behavioral research on physical activity with young children

1. 0 CEU

Presenter: Matt Normand, Ph.D.

Abstract: Physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle for children and adults.  Conversely, physical inactivity is risk factor associated with a host of medical problems, including hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and, more generally, obesity. To mitigate these risks, current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization state that children should engage in at least 60 minutes of MVPA per day. Unfortunately, recent estimates suggest that few children are this active. Various behavioral interventions have been developed to increase physical activity in children, but with mixed results. This talk will describe a programmatic line of research that begins with the validation of direct measurement strategies for MVPA, progresses to pre-intervention experimental analyses of the environmental variables functionally related to MVPA, then to intervention evaluations based on the outcomes of the pre-intervention analyses, and finally the development of group interventions for children in school settings. The results of these studies suggest that physical activity can be accurately measured, pre-intervention functional analyses can be used to identify specific variables that promote MVPA, and that this information can be used to develop interventions to increase MVPA.


4:45 – 5:45PM

GABA Business Meeting

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