Autism Society records most keynote and concurrent sessions at their annual conferences. You can see and hear those recordings by purchasing full online access, or individual recordings.
In some situations, the person with autism is without an official behavior support plan (BSP) that addresses behavioral excesses and deficits and caregivers are therefore relying haphazardly on an unorganized system of care and treatment.
In other situations, the person with autism has a BSP, but when this is the case, unfortunately, one of two things often occurs. Sometimes, the BSP has been produced by someone who has little understanding of, or allegiance to, the science of human behavior, and therefore is “incomplete” or structurally weak. At other times, a behavioral engineer who is highly trained in behavioral technology may have written and provided to the community-based provider (licensed residential facility, family, or school system) a scientifically sound BSP, yet it is impractical as it includes terminology to which the readers are unfamiliar, is so lengthy that it is not read in entirety, and calls for actions that are beyond the scope of what the community care-provider has resources to accommodate.
Iowa’s Program Assistance Response Team (I-PART), which is a non-profit program funded by the Iowa Department of Human Services provides on-site behavioral consultations, via mobile teams, for individuals who are both intellectually delayed and have mental illness or autism throughout Iowa. The consultations take place in family homes, schools, hospitals, and licensed residential facilities, etc. While the behavior support plans (BSP’s) produced by I-PART are rooted in the science of human behavior, they are intended to have a contextual fit with both the environment in which they are trained and to the readers/caregivers who often have little background knowledge in applied behavior analysis. These behavioral support plans often result in the person with autism avoiding psychiatric hospitalizations, being involuntary discharged from their current residential setting, being arrested, and formally applying for admission to a state resource center.
Although the format is a “work in progress” and changes periodically as data suggests it should, the currently used BSP format and consultation process have resulted in high social validity as well as measurable improvements in the persons served via I-PART.
In the proposed presentation, Ms. Smith will explain the above in more detail, and then walk participants through the 2-page BSP, talking both to the technical function and topography behind each section. The discussion will include preference assessment, functional assessment, hypothesis development, treatment rational statements, antecedent and consequence-based strategies, data collection methods, communication charts, document formatting and competency-based training. Susan will make herself available for questions following the presentation and upon individual’s request, provide an electronic template of the BSP for the convenient use of others.
The presentation is geared toward “best-practices” as behavior analysis clearly has been demonstrated to be effective for a variety of developmental disabilities and has specifically been recommended for autism treatment by a wide variety of credible sources, including the U.S. Surgeon General.
Exposing other professions to the conversion of behavioral technology into a topography that is practical to those using it is beneficial to the field of autism as it increases the probability that they too may adhere to the science of behavior while developing behavior support plans for individuals with autism.
Participants will be able to identify one reason why the need for community-based behavioral programming exists.
Participants will be able to discuss methods of functional assessment.
Participants will be able to prepare a communication chart for an individual with autism.
Participants will be able to identify describe components of competency based training.
Participants will be able to identify at least 3 things to avoid when producing a behavior support plan.
Content Area: Behavior
Susan M.S. Smith, BCBA, LMHC
Director, Iowa's Program Assistance Response Team (I-PART)
Woodward Resource Center