Recent Advances in the Functional Assessment and Treatment of Destructive Behavior

In this workshop, Dr. Fisher will show how Functional Analysis methods have increased our understanding of how environmental antecedents and consequences affect destructive behavior; facilitated the development of novel and effective treatments, and produced simpler and more efficient interventions.  Next, he will show how descriptive data can be used to develop alternative functional analyses for idiosyncratic functions of destructive behavior displayed by individuals with autism.  Finally, he will focus on recent research on establishing-operation manipulations that can be used to prevent extinction bursts when treatment is initiated; stimulus-control procedures that can be used to promote the rapid transfer of treatment effects to novel therapists, contexts, and caregivers; and the use of behavioral momentum theory to prevent resurgence of problem when caregivers do not implement treatment procedures with high procedural integrity.


Treating Severe Problem Behavior: A focus on strengthening socially important behavior of persons with ASD

The success of treatments for problem behaviors associated with autism like meltdowns, self-injury, or aggression is largely dependent on whether the treatment is based on the function the problem behavior serves for the person with autism. But because of the seemingly obligatory focus on detecting the impact of single variables in good behavior analytic research, effective behavioral technology is often fractured across studies, resulting in a dearth of studies showing socially valid improvements in these problem behaviors and an absence of studies illustrating the treatment process from start to finish. In this session, an effective, comprehensive, and parent-validated treatment process for the problem behaviors associated with autism will be described.

Severe Behavior30 minutes

Preventing Severe Problem Behavior: A focus on strengthening socially important behavior

Considering both the challenges in marshaling the resources necessary for conducting a scientifically sound and ecologically valid functional assessment process and the numerous risk factors for developing problem behavior, preventing the development of problem behavior in young children is important. A class-wide and small group curriculum for teaching skills shown to prevent the development of problem behavior will be described in this brief session.


Enhancing the Social Validity of Treatments for Severe Problem Behavior

Applied Behavior Analysts have a well-developed repertoire of assessments, measures, and treatment procedures for reducing severe problem behaviors. Much of this methodology can be traced back to the advent of systematic functional analysis (FA; Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman).  Since that seminal paper much of the research on the assessment and treatment of problem behavior has focused on refining these techniques to increase precision and effectiveness. However, there have been accusations that the feasibility and social validity of such interventions were secondary concerns. This talk will present some of the current directions in the field that address this claim. In particular, some of the current practices in the clinics and services of the Severe Behavior Programs at the Marcus Autism Center will be presented.

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