Noor Syed – Towards an Ethical Behavior Analytic Organization: Compassion Cultural Humility, and Sustainability

About the presentation: 

This presentation will describe lessons learned and research utilized in building and maintaining
an ethical insurance based behavior analytic organization (namely, a university-based autism
clinic) and practicum site. Having a background in behavior analysis programming and
supervision is critical, but also vital is knowledge of leadership, business, and sustainability
practices. Of paramount importance is dedication at all levels within an organization on
creating cultures of ethical operational practices which subsequently lead to sustainability.
Further, a strong emphasis is placed on compassion, collaboration, and cultural humility — and
always admitting mistakes! To better understand all aspects, we formed verbal communities,
solicited stakeholder input (i.e, community members, caregivers, staff, and students), and
engaged in continuous evaluation of our methodologies throughout development of the clinic
and practicum coursework. We will also learn from leaders in the field who have built local and
global organizations in behavior analysis, discovering common themes across their businesses,
as well as unique. Finally, tools will be provided that can guide your own development of an
ethical, sustainable organization and practicum framework.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of the presentation, the participants will be able to:

• Describe and engage in methods to build a culture of ethics, compassion, cultural humility, and sustainability within a behavior analytic organization
• Gain an understanding of how to build a hierarchical and sustainable practicum framework
• Identify challenges and potential solutions in developing a behavior analytic organization and local and broader levels

About the presenter:

Noor Syed, PhD, BCBA-D is faculty with and the Clinical Director of Lehigh University Autism
Services (LUAS). She is also a Research Coordinator and Clinical Consultant with the Global
Autism Project. Prior to this, Dr. Syed was an Assistant Professor of Special Education with
Manhattanville College. Dr. Syed is a certified general and special education teacher, birth
through grade six, and a licensed behavior analyst in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
She has worked with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and developmental
disabilities for over 10 years from early intervention through adulthood. Dr. Syed received her
undergraduate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis under Dr. Raymond G. Romanczyk in the
Institute of Child Development at Binghamton University and completed her PhD in ABA with
Dr. R. Douglas Greer at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Syed has consulted for autism clinics around the world, including in Uganda, India, Romania,
Antigua and Barbuda, and Indonesia and currently serves as the international and school-based
expert on ABAEthicsHotline.com with Dr. Jon Bailey. Her research interests lie in effective
supervision as well as ethical, sustainable, and culturally humble practices. Most recently, Dr.
Syed authored a set of criterion-referenced proficiency standards for RBTs and BCBA trainees.
Dr. Syed is also currently engaging in international research collaborations with clinical sites in
the Czech Republic, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic.

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