I just finished attending the 34th annual ABA convention, this year held in Chicago. 3394 participants from 23 countries presented research and discussed issues, all of which were open for critique by other behavior analysts. Just a few of the various topics for discussion included: marriage and divorce, economics, workplace environments, bullying at school, and interventions for children with autism. Perhaps the most enlightening talk I heard was from Dr. Per Holth of Norway who demonstrated how behavioral descriptions of joint attention are helping develop and refine effective strategies for teaching these critical skills to children with autism.

Attending the conference with thousands of behavior analysts also made me realize yet another stark contrast between behavioral treatment and other interventions for children with autism. While other autism treatments may travel the country and put on a large number of conferences to advertise their techniques, I know of no other intervention where professionals from throughout the world gather on a consistent basis (in the case of ABA, since 1974) specifically to review and advance methods and strategies for the benefit of children with autism.

I’m curious if anyone else who attended the conference gained a specific insight they would like to share.

By Vince LaMarca, M.A., BCBA, Editor
Lovaas Institute - Indianapolis

Comments

I attended the conference and was impressed by the amount of seminars discussing training. This included 1:1 instructor training, teacher training, and parent training/consultation. I appreciated the interest in ensuring that we as professionals continue to provide high quality service and are able to effectively train future behaviorists in addition to educating other professionals on our techniques and relevant research.


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