Using the Science of Behavior to Teach Compassionate Skills for Working with Families

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This talk was filmed at the 2019 CCBS Autism Conference in Buellton, CA

About the presentation:

Meeting the needs of learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder requires a comprehensive approach that integrates the needs of all family members. Autism impacts families substantially, and service providers must prioritize the family’s needs as well as those of the individual with ASD. Barriers to effective treatment include inadequate understanding of family impact, selecting interventions that the family will not succeed in implementing, and conveying judgement in the context of treatment. In this talk, we will review familial impact of autism, discuss the gaps in treatment/service delivery, and focus on enhancing outcomes by increasing compassionate care. Operational definitions of compassionate skills will be offered, along with suggestions for teaching and training such skills to service providers.

Learning objectives: 
1. Attendees will describe the impact of having a special needs child in the family
2. Attendees will list the main skills involved in providing compassionate care to families of learners with ASD and other special needs
3. Attendees will be introduced to strategies for teaching compassionate care skills to trainees and supervisees.

About the presenter:

Mary Jane Weiss, PhD, BCBA-D is a Professor at Endicott College, where she directs the Master’s Program in ABA and Autism. Dr. Weiss has worked in the field of ABA and Autism for almost 30 years. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University in 1990 and she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2000. She previously worked for 16 years at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University, where she served as Director of Research and Training and as Clinical Director. Her clinical and research interests center on defining best practice ABA techniques, evaluating the impact of ABA in learners with autism, teaching social skills to learners with autism, training staff to be optimally effective at instruction, and maximizing family members’ expertise and adaptation.