2020 Conference

Jump to breakout sessions at:

Note: All Presentations will be in Room Number:206

8:15 – 9:00


9:00 – 9:15

Opening Address

9:15 – 10:30

Re-thinking the Place of Research in Advancing Behaviour Analysis (and Changing the World)

Dr. Adrienne Perry – York University

Presentation Abstract

As behaviour analysis folks, we pride ourselves on being research-oriented. It’s a big part of how we define our identity and see ourselves as being different from other professions. We value data for making clinical decisions, big and small. During our education, we learn about and maybe implement our own research studies. Our field has its own set of special methods, single-case research designs, with their own rigour and elegance (even though not well understood by others). The purpose of this keynote talk (or workshop) is to help us critically evaluate our knowledge and assumptions about research in a broader way, using examples from Ontario autism research and from the literature in various areas. What research methods are appropriate (and which are not) for addressing different kinds of research questions or for different purposes or for different audiences? (making individual treatment decisions, testing theories, assessing client opinions, comparing techniques, evaluating an agency’s programming, informing government policy, etc.). How do we get the right people to know about and understand research and use it to guide practice and inform policy? Although there are no simple answers to such questions, there is value in grappling with them in such a way that can benefit our field

10:30 – 10:45
10:45 – 11:45

Presentation Abstract

Toileting skills are a developmental milestone achieved by typically developing children as they start school. However, children diagnosed with autism or other developmental disabilities experience challenges in the acquisition of this behavioral cusp with caregivers often delaying the teaching of these skills. This study taught four caregivers a 24-step toilet training program aimed at teaching their child daytime dryness. Results of this study showed that the four caregivers learned and maintained the performance of the 24-step procedure at 96% for one and 92% for the other three caregivers, when it was transferred to the home environment with their child. The multi-component toilet training package was effective in teaching three of the four children to learn the daytime dryness skill, and social validity affirms the success of the program also training for bowel movement success, for three of the four participants.

11:45 – 1:00
1:00 – 2:00

Presentation Abstract

Behaviour Analysts have an ethical code that follows basic principles of competence, integrity, professional responsibility, rights of the client and social responsibility. Within these guidelines, Behaviour analysts strive to engage in best practices but face ethical dilemmas every day. In our daily interactions, we are faced with complex challenges that requires knowledge of the BCBA guidelines, while ensuring we interpret it accurately. This presentation will present the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts as a resource for dealing with ethical dilemmas while prioritizing the client’s best interest and well-being. It will show how organizations can help develop an ethical culture. Maintaining an ethical organizational culture may improve the quality of care and protection for consumers (Broadhead, M.T et al 2018). Participants will be guided through scenarios such as working with an interdisciplinary team and other examples with identification of relevant codes and options for resolution. Participants will leave with strategies that help promote an ethical culture within organizations and with peers, and tools on how to problem solve ethical dilemmas.

2:00 – 3:00

Teaching Learners with Autism to Engage in verbal Mediation during Complex Tasks CEU

Lisa Kota (MADS, BCBA), Pam Lawrynowycz (MA, BCBA) – AlphaBee

Presentation Abstract

Verbal mediation is presumed to be the mechanism by which complex tasks can be performed. Research has shown that engaging in related verbal behaviour increases correct responding for a variety of complex tasks, and conversely, the blocking of verbal behaviour has the effect of deterioration of performance. Joint control is a type of verbal mediation that is presumed to be occurring during complex listener tasks. Verbal mediation is also implicated in arbitrary matching to sample, comprehension, sequencing, recall, observational learning, and problem-solving tasks. Many children with autism require intensive teaching to establish the prerequisite repertoires of tact, selection, echoic and self-echoic behaviour. Following the establishment of pre-requisite repertoires, instructional arrangements can lead to the interaction of those repertoires, and the reinforcement of multiply controlled responding.

This presentation will review procedures to teach mediating strategies such as rehearsal of an instruction and acting on a self-echoic, tacting items and actions in the current environment for later recall, and learning to ask oneself questions as a complex problem-solving technique. A joint control procedure to interrupt perseverative behaviour will also be reviewed.

Participants will be led through activities that demonstrate joint control and verbal mediation for problem solving with common examples.

AlphaBee has been implementing these procedures for over 4 years with great success with many learners, and is excited to share program samples and video illustrations of program implementation!

Learning Objectives for Participants:
• Participants will identify pre-requisite skills for verbal mediation
• Participants will identify examples of jointly controlled responding
• Participants will describe the role of verbal mediation in complex problem-solving
• Participants will list examples of how verbal mediation can improve specific skill repertoires.

3:00 – 3:15
3:15 – 4:15

Enhancing Parent Engagement in ABA Treatment Programs Through Compassionate Care CEU

Nancy Marchese (M.A., C.Psych., BCBA) – Breakthrough Autism

Presentation Abstract

Some view empathetic and compassionate characteristics as “intrinsic” in nature and therefore not teachable (Hardee, 2003; Spiro, 1992). This may be why behavior analysts have been reluctant to define and teach these skills. However, a growing body of evidence from other healthcare disciplines demonstrates that empathy and compassion can be defined in terms of specific behaviors and can be acquired through comprehensive training programs (Coulehan et al., 2001; Epstein, Campbell, Cohen-Cole, McWhinney, & Smilkstein, 1993; Koya, Anderson, Sice, 2017; Norfolk, Birdi, Walsh, 2007; Norfolk, Birdi, & Patterson, 2009; Platt et al., 2001; Pounds, 2010). Training in compassionate and empathetic skills may help behavior analysts learn how to develop rapport with caregivers of individuals with ASD and may lead to improved outcomes for both families and individuals with ASD. At this time, training in these skills is not typically an area of focus in behavior analytic graduate programs or in professional training of behavior analysts (Taylor, LeBlanc, & Marchese, 2019). This talk will explore how compassionate care skills can be defined behavior analytically, how clinicians may be trained in developing these skills, and how this training may ultimately lead to enhanced family engagement and treatment outcomes in individuals with ASD.

4:15 – 4:30

Closing remarks