The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria is an interview-based show that features conversations with innovative scientists and practitioners in the field of Behavior Analysis. The podcast covers topics such as Autism, Functional Behavioral Assessment, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Functional Communication Training, Verbal Behavior, and more!
How to Disseminate Behavior-Analytic Technologies: Inside JABA 18
In the 18th installment of the Inside JABA Series, Dr. Dorothea Lerman joins Editor-in-Chief John Borrero and I to talk about her dissemination efforts, which are described in the Winter 2024 issue of the journal. Specifically, we talk about her discussion paper, "Putting the power of behavior analysis in the hands of nonbehavioral professionals: Toward a blueprint for dissemination."
This paper is definitely worth checking out. In it, Dorothy describes some common barriers to disseminating behavioral strategies and how to overcome them. We then talk about the blueprint she offers for dissemination, which is broken down into seven steps.
These dissemination efforts are described in the context of Dorothy's outreach to public school educators, law enforcement personnel, and health care providers, settings where Dorothy and her colleagues have made successful inroads. Not to spoil the show's content too much, but we touch on the alarming stats regarding the percentage of individuals with disabilities who are either sedated or restrained during dental procedures, and what can be done to improve them.
Even if you don't have a desire to bring behavior-analytic strategies to a novel setting, upon listening to the conversation a second time, I think there are lessons from this podcast that you can use in your daily practice. Things like gathering information about a particular culture or setting, describing concepts and principles in plain language, conducting experiments to see if what you're doing is working... you get the idea.
We also spend a decent amount of time talking about sustaining behavioral practices once they've been implemented in new settings.
One of the things that I forgot to mention during the podcast is that if you're really into dissemination, check out the new edited work, "Disseminating Behavioral Research," in which, coincidentally, the ABA Inside Track crew and I contributed a chapter called, "Non Traditional Options for Dissemination." I'll leave it to you to guess what medium we focused on.
Lastly, the Winter 2024 issue of JABA features several moving tributes to Drs. Brian Iwata, Hank Pennypacker, and Ronnie Detrich. Dorothy and Dr. Jennifer Fritz contributed a memoriam to Brian Iwata, and it's well worth checking out. In the first few minutes of the show, Dorothy shared some poignant stories about how Brian influenced her career, and John discussed the responsibility associated with curating the various tributes for this edition of JABA.
Relatedly, for the next three months, all of these In Memoriam articles will be freely available, so in the unlikely event you're not a JABA subscriber, you can still check them out.
Here are the resources we discussed:
Putting the power of behavior analysis in the hands of nonbehavioral professionals: Toward a blueprint for dissemination.
Brian A. Iwata, PhD: A Life Well Lived.
Dorothy's previous Inside JABA appearance (correction: in the podcast, I incorrectly noted that she appeared in the first Inside JABA episode. She appeared in the fourth episode of the Inside JABA Series).
Southwell et al. (2005). Strategies for effective dissemination of the outcomes of teaching and learning projects.
Houston, TX Police Department 2019 Annual Report (check out p. 18!).
Main JABA site where you can subscribe and access selected free articles.
Griffith and Ré (2023): Disseminating Behavioral Research (note: Amazon Associates link).
Critchfield et al. (2017). On the social validity of behavior analytic communication: A call for research and description of one method.
Previous BOP episodes covering law enforcement interventions.
Kramer Davis Healthcare (company I mentioned that specializes in providing medical services to individuals with IDD).
Allgood and Gravina (2021). Branching Out: Finding Success in New Areas of Practice.
Normand and Kohn (2013). Don't wag the dog: ext
AAC Use with adolescents and adults with ASD: Session 254 with Andy Bondy
Fan-favorite Dr. Andy Bondy joins me again to talk about... you guessed it... AAC!
In this episode, we discuss a paper he published last year in the journal, Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, that is titled, "Issues Related to AAC and SGD Use by Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder."
We get into why he felt this paper was necessary to write, how he chose to communicate his thoughts to an audience beyond those of us in behavior analysis, why he likes the term, "under what conditions" so much, what does and does not constitute a "robust" communication repertoire, the role of teaching words like "please" and Andy's nuanced view of this practice, whether the sound from Speech Generation Devices matter, and lots more.
We also got into a really interesting discussion on the distinction between pointing to pictures vs. exchanging them with communicative partners, and how that difference impacts Joint Attention.
We closed the show by talking about two topics that have been receiving lots of discussion as of late: Spelling to Communicate and Gestalt Language Processing. Lastly, ended the show by taking a question from a Patreon member about Andy's thoughts regarding the use of activity schedules, and whether they qualify as prompts, or something else.
Andy's previous episodes (the shownotes to these shows also have many links to great studies germane to this episode). Jason Traver's episode. All things PECS. A critical review of Natural Language Acquisition. GLP is a Fad IG page. SLPs against pseudoscience IG page. This episode is brought to you by:
The University of Cincinnati Online. UC Online designed a Master of Education in Behavior Analysis program that is 100% online and asynchronous, meaning you log on when it works for you. Want to learn more? Go to online.uc.edu and click the “request info” button. HRIC Recruiting. Barb Voss has been placing BCBAs in permanent positions throughout the US for just about a decade, and has been in the business more generally for 30 years. When you work with HRIC, you work directly with Barb, thereby accessing highly personalized service. So if you're about to graduate, you're looking for a change of pace, or you just want to know if the grass really is greener on the other side, head over to HRIColorado.com to schedule a confidential chat right away. ACE Approved CEUs from .... Behavioral Observations. That's right, get your CEUs while driving, walking your dog, doing the dishes, or whatever else you might have going on, all while learning from your favorite podcast guests! Behavior University. Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings, including their brand new 8-hour Supervision Course, as well as their RBT offerings over at behavioruniversity.com/observations.
How to Assess Early Echoic Skills: Session 253 with Barbara Esch
If you've completed a VB-MAPP at some point in your career, you're familiar with the EESA component of the assessment protocol. In today's podcast, I had the chance to talk with Dr. Barbara Esch, who created the Early Echoic Skills Assessment, which has evolved into the stand-alone product called the Early Echoic Skills Assessment and Program Planner.
In this conversation, we talk about how Barb got into Behavior Analysis, she shared some humorous stories from being mentored by Drs. Jack Michael and Jim Carr, why she created the original EESA, who the EESAPP is for and who it's not for, and some fantastic advice for newly-minted BCBAs.
In addition to these topics, we spent a decent amount of time talking about some speech therapy concepts that were definitely new to me, especially the idea of co-articulation. We also talked about the order in which one should target specific skills. To me, this highlights the importance of collaboration, especially if you don't have a strong background in typical speech development.
As a side note, I inadvertently used the acronyms, EESA and EESAPP, interchangeably throughout the conversation, and apologize if this confused anyone.
Barb is giving not one, but two talks at this year's Verbal Behavior Conference. Are you coming? I sure hope so. If you can't make it to Austin on February 29th and March 1st, please consider joining us virtually through the magic of BehaviorLive.com. There's also an amazing conference workshop being taught by the incomparable Dr. Lina Slim on the 28th.
There will be many other amazing speakers and talks at the VBC, so whether you join in person or virtually, I hope to see you there!
Here are some helpful resources from our conversation:
barbaraesch.com. Where to buy the EESAPP. The VBC event schedule. Barb's other podcast appearances, research publications, and more. Other events where Barb is speaking. This show is brought to you by:
Behavior University. Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings, including their brand new 8-hour Supervision Course, as well as their RBT offerings over at behavioruniversity.com/observations. HRIC Recruiting. Barb Voss has been placing BCBAs in permanent positions throughout the US for just about a decade, and has been in the business more generally for 30 years. When you work with HRIC, you work directly with Barb, thereby accessing highly personalized service. So if you're about to graduate, you're looking for a change of pace, or you just want to know if the grass really is greener on the other side, head over to HRIColorado.com to schedule a confidential chat right away. ACE Approved CEUs from .... Behavioral Observations. That's right, get your CEUs while driving, walking your dog, doing the dishes, or whatever else you might have going on, all while learning from your favorite podcast guests!
AAC, Science-Based Treatment, Clinical Judgement, and More: The 2023 Verbal Behavior Conference Panel Discussion
Session 252 is the recording from the 2023 Verbal Behavior Conference Panel discussion. The participants were Troy Fry, Drs. Lina Slim, Sam Bergmann, Sarah Frampton, Einar Ingvarsson, Pat McGreevy, and Andresa de Sousa; and the voice at the beginning and end of the panel is Kelle Rich, who founded and currently leads these great conferences. In this Q and A segment, the panel addressed the following topics:
Considerations moving from vocal-verbal speech to AAC. Focusing one's clinical resources given limited therapy times. The high abandonment rate of AAC devices. The role of clinical judgement. Adapting clinical strategies to varying cultural contexts. The nuances associated with encouraging caregivers to adopt research-based treatments. The role of singing versus speaking... that was a fascinating part of the panel that comes towards the end. As you'll hear in this podcast, when you attend the Verbal Behavior Conference, you'll have numerous opportunities to ask the speakers questions. And not just in the panel itself. If you're there in person in Austin, Texas, you'll very likely have the opportunity to have direct interactions with the speakers between talks, while grabbing coffee, and so on.
What strikes me as unique about these events is that they are purposely small and intimate so that one can have these types of experiences.
What's in store for the 2024 VBC? First, the conference itself takes place on February 29th and March 1st, and it's preceded by a full day workshop from the incomparable Dr. Lina Slim on February 28th.
This year's conference speakers include Drs. Barbara Esch, Eb Blakely, Mirela Cengher, fan-favorite Patrick McGreevy, Alice Shillingsburg, and Hank Schlinger, whom we heard from a few episodes ago.
If you can't make it in person, don't worry. BehaviorLive has you covered. Nobody does virtual events like BehaviorLive, and they will broadcast the entire conference with best-in-class audio and video.
Papers, resources, etc...
The event list for the 2024 VBC. How to register for the VBC. Valentino et al. (2018). Using a Prerequisite Skills Assessment to Identify Optimal Modalities for Mand Training. Thompson et al. (2013). Enhancing Early Communication Through Infant Sign Training. Sigafoos et al. (2000). Identifying Potential Communicative Acts in Children with Developmental and Physical Disabilities. Essential for Living. "Big Mac" buttons. Allen and Warzak (2013). The problem of parental nonadherence in clinical behavior analysis: Effective treatment is not enough. Grow et al. (2017). An Evaluation of Instructive Feedback to Teach Play Behavior to a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Before we get to this episode, I want to let you know that we’re brought to you today by the University of Cincinnati’s Masters in ABA program. This program is 100% online and asynchronous, so that means you log on when it works for you. Want to learn more? Go to online.uc.edu and click the “request info” button.
Also, if you want to earn BACB Approved Continuing Education Units while listening to your favorite Behavioral Observations episodes, go to behavioralobservations.com/get-ceus to see the shows that are available for continuing education. Whether its supervision, ethics, functional assessment, or other topics, there’s something there for just about everyone.
How to Make Career Decisions as a BCBA: Apollo Case Study Series 12
In this 12th and final installment in the Apollo Case Study Series, Dr. Jim Moore joins me along with Lauren Elliott, Jeanne Ambrose, and Dr. Lyndsy Macri.
In the first few minutes of the podcast, Lauren fields some follow up questions from our episode on DRO interventions. Huge thanks to Jenna Mazzillo for sending in these great questions (and by the way, be sure to follow her in Instagram at @abanaturally).
We then moved into a more free flowing discussion of how to make good career decisions as a BCBA. Specifically, when looking for job opportunities, what things should candidates prioritize? From pay to caseloads to benefits and culture, there's no shortage of things to consider.
Also, what about supporting career progression? Work/life balance?
We talk about all of these things and more, and discuss how each of the panelists have navigated these topics in their careers at Apollo.
If you are interested in learning more about Apollo or want to connect with the Founder & CEO, Kim Dean, or Chief Clinical Officer, Jim Moore, you can find them on LinkedIn here and here. To follow Apollo on Instagram, click here, and to learn more about Apollo's locations and services, click here.
2023 Year in Review: Session 250 with ABA Inside Track
Shhh! I'm not supposed to be working this week... However, I am somewhat of a traditionalist, and as such obligated to publish the annual Year in Review show with my friends at ABA Inside Track.
So here's a really quick rundown. As usual, we reviewed the passings of several behavior analysts in 2023. This is always sad, but at the same time, we tried to highlight the achievements and contributions of the behavior analysts we talked about.
We also recognize that Behavior Analysis, with over 60 thousand BCBAs and BCBA-Ds, is a rapidly growing field, and with these larger numbers comes the increased probability of us missing someone in this process, and we apologize if we left anyone out as a consequence of this.
But the Year in Review is not just for remembering the passing of fellow Behavior Analysts. We discussed a few things happening in the field, some updates to our podcasts that we've made and are continuing to make, and talked about the book chapter we collaborated on in the edited text, Disseminating Behavioral Research (note: Amazon Associate link).
Other personal highlights of mine this year include starting a new endeavor with my colleagues Paulie Gavoni and Anika Costa that we've named The Behavioral Toolbox, thanks to the huge contribution from Miguel Avila, providing BOP episodes to Spanish speaking members of the community with the BOP en Español series, invitations to speak at the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis and BABAT, revamping behavioralobservations.com, and probably many more things I'm forgetting right now.
In closing, it's been a great 2023 for me, despite its occasional challenges. The podcast is coming up on its 8th birthday, with almost 5 million downloads, and it nonetheless continues amaze me that people want to tune in. All of this to say that I'm incredibly grateful for your listenership, and I hope you have a happy and healthy 2024!
Resources, etc... mentioned in this episode:
Disseminating Behavioral Research (2023). Check out the new BOP site (grab some CEUs while you're there!). The Behavioral Toolbox. Iwata, B.A., Dorsey, M.F., Slifer, K.J., Bauman, K.E., & Richman, G.S. (1982/1994). Toward a functional analysis of self-injury. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 27, 197-209. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1994.27-197. Johnston, J.M., Pennypacker, H.S., & Green, G. (2020). Strategies and tactics of behavioral research and practice. (4th ed.). Routledge. Twyman, J., Pinkelman, S., Kenyon, S., Heward, W.L., Lattal, K.A., & Critchfield, T.S. (2023). Ronnie Detrich (1946-2023): A versatile behavior analyst who demanded more of behavior analysis and education. Behavior Analysis in Practice. doi: 10.1002/jaba.1043. Griffith, A.K. & Ré, T.C. (Ed.) (2024). Disseminating Behavioral Research. Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-47343-2. Hartley, B.K., Courtney, W.T., Rosswurm, M., & LaMarca, V.J. (2016). The apprentice: An innovative approach to meet the behavior analysis certification board’s supervision standards. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9, 329-338. doi: 10.1007/s40617-016-0136-x. Gingles, D., Watson-Thompson, J., Anderson-Carpenter, K.D., Tarbox, J., & Peterson, S.M. (2022). Leading the charge: A look inside the Behavior Analysis in Practice emergency series of publications on systemic racism and police brutality. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 15, 1015-1022. doi: 10.1007/s40617-022-00759-9.
Perfect for this Niche Listener!
Matt is a warm, genuine host who asks wonderful questions. I love the variety of perspectives and personalities that he brings on this podcast to foster healthy, substantive, and meaningful conversations about ABA.
Love this podcast.
The variety of advanced topics is exactly what I need and I can do it while driving, folding laundry or prepping food for my family.
More Substance Please
Maybe this is just me, but I want more information that I can apply to my business in real time. I thought this would be a podcast that would provide me with insights that o can use to better understand my customers. This podcast seems to be for a very niche group of professionals that specialize in human behavior.