A Nice Dose of ABA!
By Suzanne Murphy, ASD and ABA Consultant
The reality of providing ABA services in educational settings is that, at times, one can feel like a lone soldier, standing among but apart from professionals from other disciplines. We try to ensure contact with other ABA professionals but the reality of fast-paced life in schools and other demands greatly affect our ability to do so. Attending ABA conferences and trainings is a wonderful way to immerse oneself in our field of choice and soak up the energy from a room filled with like-minded people.
In January 2015, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) held its Ninth Annual Autism Conference: Innovative, Science-Based Approaches and pre-conference workshops in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. The pre-conference, conference and poster sessions offered a wealth of information relevant to the field of autism.
As different invited speakers shared their experiences and findings, a common theme weave its way through their presentations, apart from the concrete findings they were presenting. Behaviour analysis is not static. It is a dynamic approach to behaviour guided by seven dimensions* identified almost fifty years ago. What behaviour analysts strive to do is provide interventions based on the most current research available, research that can suggest doing things differently or as Dr. LeBlanc stated, opposite to what most people do. This is what sets Behaviour Analysis apart from other fields, the ability to learn and then take what is learned and apply it in a meaningful way to socially significant behaviour. To illustrate, two presentations will be shared, the first by Dr. Linda LeBlanc and the second by Dr. Robert Koegel.
In her pre-conference workshop Early Intervention for Young Children with Autism: Best Practices for Receptive Language Instruction, Linda LeBlanc, Ph.D., BCBA-D spoke to an article she co-authored with Laura Grow titled Teaching Receptive Language Skills: Recommendations for Instructors. The purpose of this article was to make literature more user friendly for everyday practitioners. Recommendations related to several decades of work in the area of early intensive behavioural intervention (EIBI), in particular receptive language programming. In addition, potential negative effects of deviating from recommended strategies were described. To read the entire article click here.
As Dr. LeBlanc shared her recommendations about receptive language instruction, several key messages were heard loud and clear.