Disseminating Behavior-Analytic Procedures to Non-Behavioral Professionals

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About the presentation: 

Behavior analysts have a long history of training non-behavioral professionals to implement behavior-analytic procedures. However, the most effective training modalities are often the least efficient, which may prohibit the dissemination of our science to large numbers of professionals and encourage trainers to rely on largely ineffective approaches. The presenter will discuss research and practice in this area with two types of professionals. First, the presenter will describe research from her lab that aimed to train law enforcement officers to interact more successfully with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Results suggested that abbreviated behavioral skills training (BST) provided in a group format was highly effective and a necessary supplement to more traditional forms of instruction. Next, the presenter will describe ongoing research from her lab that aims to train dental and medical professionals to promote compliance when providing routine exams to adults with NDD. Results thus far suggest the efficacy of brief BST provided in a virtual group format.  The presenter will conclude with implications of the findings and directions for future research.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe behavior-analytic procedures recommended for law enforcement officers and medical professionals to engage successfully with individuals with NDD 
  • Participants will be able to discuss challenges related to training non-behavioral professionals
  • Participants will be able to identify potentially more efficient yet effective training approaches

About the presenter:

Dorothea Lerman is currently a Professor of Behavior Analysis at the University of Houston – Clear Lake, where she chairs the master’s program in behavior analysis and serves as Director of the UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD). She received her doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Florida, specializing in behavior analysis. Her areas of expertise include autism, developmental disabilities, early intervention, functional analysis, teacher and parent training, and treatment of severe behavior disorders. She currently oversees several programs at CADD, including a focused intervention program for children with autism, a vocational program for adults with disabilities, a student support program for college students with autism, and a teacher training program for local school districts. Dr. Lerman has published more than 100 research articles and chapters, served as Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice and has secured more than $2 million in grants and contracts to support her work. She was the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Contribution to Applied Behavioral Research Award and the 2001 B.F. Skinner Award for New Researchers, awarded by Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She also was named a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis-International in 2008. Dr. Lerman is a Licensed Behavior Analyst and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.