Today, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a recommended treatment for children with an ASD diagnosis because of its effectiveness. This effectiveness is based not on a specific nor popular procedure but upon a scientific methodology characterized in a seminal article by Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) entitled “Some Current Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis.” That article described seven characteristics that, when applied, distinguish the professional practices of applied behavior analysts from the professional practices of other professions, e.g., teachers, occupational therapists, social workers, and speech pathologists. In 1968, behavior analysts numbered in the hundreds and were conducting research in institutions and university settings. By contrast, today there are thousands of behavior analysts with thousands of other teachers and clinicians implementing behavioral programs in schools, clinics, and home settings for children with ASD. This current widespread implementation of programing and procedures in the name of applied behavior analysis presents ethical and practical challenges to the behavior analytic field and, in particular, to those behavior analysts and teaching staff implementing and marketing those programs as applied behavior analysis. This talk will review the seven characteristics described by Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968, 1987), the professional practices informed by those characteristics, and what it means to be behavior analytic. Barriers to implementing those practices will be discussed, with attention to classroom and clinical applications. Special attention will be given to data reliability and treatment integrity and their importance to practicing behavior analyst and teaching staff implementing behavioral programs. Practical procedures to collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and responding to these data will be discussed.
August 6 – 9, 2018
The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center
State College, Pennsylvania