June 13, 2022

Each year, the Association for Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) holds its international conference that brings together the world’s top ABA researchers. This May, the 48th annual conference was held at the Boston Convention Center in the Seaport, where more than two dozen researchers and staff from The New England Center for Children (NECC) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by NECC in Abu Dhabi (MRC-NECC) shared findings from ongoing research projects at NECC.

“The ABAI conference is the largest annual gathering of behavior analysts and is an opportunity for NECC staff to showcase their research,” said Bill Ahearn, PhD, BCBA-D, Director of Research. “The convention is an important event from which our staff to not only share our work but to also have a chance to learn from others in the field. Many of our collaborators also present at the conference and this is an important opportunity for us to meet and further our relationships as well as to embark upon new projects.”

The annual ABAI conference is also an opportunity for NECC recruiters to talk with potential staff, and a place where staff alumni can reconnect with NECC and their former colleagues. Many of these staff alumni are currently leader agencies, teaching at universities, or have opened clinics of their own, none of which would have been possible without the foundation of knowledge and experience they collected while working at NECC.

ABAI is also an opportunity for NECC to share information and successes regarding its ACE® ABA Software System, which provides behavior analysts, teachers, and direct care staff crucial evidence-based technology and a data-driven curriculum that maximizes learner progress.

Below is a list of NECC staff who presented at workshops, participated in symposia, and shared papers during the four-day conference:

Dr. Ahearn and Haley Steinhauser, PhD (former staff)
Automatic Reinforcement: Applying the Literature and Individual Considerations to Assessment and Treatment Strategies

Sydney Berkman, PhD, MS, MSEd, BCBA, LABA
The Effects of Consequence Discrimination Training and Differential Observing Response Training on Observational Learning During Group Instruction

Stephanie Bonfonte, MS, BCBA, LABA
Establishing Discriminative Control in a Multioperant Setting

Julie Dunbar, MS, BCBA, LABA
Symposium chair: Complex Overt and Covert Behavior; Paper: Review of Methods for Conducting Research on Covert Events

Shemariah Ellis, MS, BCBA
Teaching Helping to a Child with Autism Using a Multiple-Exemplar Matrix Model and Video Modeling

Chelsea Fleck, MS, BCBA, LABA
Concurrent Schedules of Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior in the Treatment of Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior without Extinction

Shawn Janetzke, MS, BCBA, LABA
Symposium chair: Increasing Compliance with COVID-19-Related Preventative Health Measures; paper: Increasing Compliance with Nasopharyngeal Swab Procedures

JR Landestoy
Increasing Cooperation with Activity Transitions

Rebecca MacDonald, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA
Symposium chaired: Teaching Social Skills Repertoires to Children with Autism

Kayla Minehart
A Remote Application of the Matching Law to Social Dynamics

Lauren Palmateer, MS, BCBA, LABA
The Effects of Variability Constraints, in the Form of Lag Schedules, on Structure Diversity in a Virtual Block Building Environment

Jackie Rogalski, MS, BCBA, LABA
Negative Reinforcement of Caregiver Behavior: A Contingency Analysis and Function-Based Solutions

Morgan Scully, MS, BCBA, LABA
Assessment and Treatment of Stereotypy in Infants at Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Julia Touhey, MS, BCBA, LABA
Examining Procedural Variations of Delivering Competing Stimuli in the Treatment of Stereotypy

Shannon Ward, PhD, BCBA-D, MRC-NECC clinical director
Ethical Considerations Regarding Assent and Consent in Behavior Analytic Research

Victoria Weisser, MS, BCBA, LABA
Treatment Outcomes for a Sibling Identified as Symptomatic for Autism at Eight Weeks Old

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