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The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria

This is a podcast about the field of Behavior Analysis. Each episode will feature an interview with a Behavior Analyst where we discuss a specific topic in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Some of these topics include functional behavioral assessment, treating severe behavioral disorders such as aggression and self-injurious behavior, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), behavioral ethics, autism treatment, parenting, and the history of Applied Behavior Analysis.
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The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria
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Now displaying: August, 2020
Aug 28, 2020

Dr. Mary Jane Weiss joins me in Session 128 to talk about the evolution of the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis. This is the second interview that was recorded live during the virtual Behavior Analyst Leadership Council Conference that was held in April 2020.

Mary Jane's accomplishments in the field are too great to list here in their entirety, but this bio-sketch should give you a bit of background:

Dr. Mary Jane Weiss is a Professor at Endicott College, where she serves as the executive director of programs in ABA and autism, and as director of the Ph.D. program in ABA. Dr. Weiss has worked in the field of ABA and Autism for over 30 years. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University in 1990. 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. She serves on the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research, is on the Board of Advisors for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and is a regular reviewer for a variety of professional journals. She is a frequent member of service committees for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, including many years of service on Disciplinary Review Committees and serving as the inaugural chair of the Code Compliance Committee for the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code. Dr. Weiss authored the Ethics Corner column for APBA for over two years. She is a Past President of the Autism Special Interest Group of ABAI, a former member of the Board of the APBA, and a former Board Vice President for Autism New Jersey.

In this podcast, we discuss what ABA practice was like as she came up in her training and early career, and trace that arc up to what she's doing these days as the Executive Director of Programs in ABA and Autism at Endicott College.

We also discuss what Mary Jane would do to change the training of new BCBA's if she had that proverbial magic wand, why she really likes teaching online, what makes for good instructional design, how to improve the quality of ABA training, why it's important to have a broad philosophical and conceptual background in Behavior Analysis, how to work well with other professions, and her thoughts on the Autism-centric perception of our profession. And if you listen to any part of the podcast at all, be sure to listen to her closing advice for BCBA's of all experience levels. In short, if you're interested in where our field is going, this is the podcast for you.

During our conversation, we discussed the following resources:

I'd like to thank long-time listener Jim from Colorado, for helping me prepare for this interview, the BALC for making this opportunity happen, and the following sponsors:

  • The 2020 New Hampshire Association for Behavior Analysis Virtual Conference! NH ABA is only a handful of years old, but for a smallish state, our conference has punched above its weight. The 2020 event will be no exception. This year's speaker list includes Drs. Solanday Forte, Deb Grossett, Bridget Taylor, Alyssa Wilson, Camille Kolu, and Emily Sandoz. NH ABA also acknowledges that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in financial burdens on many Behavior Analysts, so they've decided to use a values-based registration fee, which means that while there are suggested registration fees, you can participate in the event for a lot less if that's appropriate to your financial situation. For more information, check out nhaba.net, and I hope that you choose to join us virtually on September 26th!
  • My friends at Praxis CET have two great ACT and RFT classes coming up that seem really cool (Understanding and Using Relational Frame Theory for Behavior Analysts with Drs. Siri Ming and Tom Szabo and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Parents with Drs. Lisa Coyne and Evelyn Gould). These are live, online courses, where participants can ask questions, get feedback, etc... on the spot. For more information, go to www.praxiscet.com/bopod. If you check it out and decide to enroll, use the code OBSERVATIONS to save some $$$ at registration.
  • Behavior University. Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings and podcast-specific discounts over at behavioruniversity.com/observations.
Aug 22, 2020

As we discussed in the recent Inside JABA Series podcast, Applied Behavior Analysis has a long history of helping people improve their fitness, nutrition, and overall well-being.

In Session 127, Brandon May joins me to delve into this history a little further, while at the same time highlighting some of the amazing research he's conducted in this area (two quick examples of this include teaching college athletes to lift weights with more velocity, and creating a token economy to improve the health and well being of group home residents).

Whether you care about these topics or not, there are a lot of great lessons about applying ABA in non-ASD/DD areas, so I encourage you to listen to the episode in it's entirety, particularly as we go down some really interesting rabbit holes towards the end of the show.

Brandon received his BA in Psychology and Neuroscience from the University of Colorado and his Master's in Social Work and ABA from Saint Louis University. Right now, he's trying to finish up his dissertation in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, all while raising five kids, running his business, Elite ABA, as well as supporting other behavioral agencies and programs where he lives.

In our discussion, we talked about tons of articles, podcasts, and other resources. I've done my best to catalog them here:

This podcast is sponsored by the following:

  • The 2020 New Hampshire Association for Behavior Analysis Virtual Conference! NH ABA is only a handful of years old, but for a smallish state, our conference has punched above its weight. The 2020 event will be no exception. This year's speaker list includes Drs. Solanday Forte, Deb Grossett, Bridget Taylor, Alyssa Wilson, Camille Kolu, and Emily Sandoz. NH ABA also acknowledges that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in financial burdens on many Behavior Analysts, so they've decided to use a values-based registration fee, which means that while there are suggested registration fees, you can participate in the event for a lot less if that's appropriate to your financial situation. For more information, check out nhaba.net, and I hope that you choose to join us virtually on September 26th!
  • My friends at Praxis CET have two great ACT and RFT classes coming up that seem really cool (Understanding and Using Relational Frame Theory for Behavior Analysts with Drs. Siri Ming and Tom Szabo and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Parents with Drs. Lisa Coyne and Evelyn Gould). These are live, online courses, where participants can ask questions, get feedback, etc... on the spot. For more information, go to www.praxiscet.com/bopod. If you check it out and decide to enroll, use the code OBSERVATIONS to save some $$$ at registration.
  • HRIC Recruiting. Barb Voss has been placing BCBAs in permanent positions throughout the US for just about a decade, and has been in the business more generally for 30 years. When you work with HRIC, you work directly with Barb, thereby accessing highly personalized service. So if you're about to graduate, you're looking for a change of pace, or you just want to know if the grass really is greener on the other side, head over to HRIColorado.com to schedule a confidential chat right away.
Aug 13, 2020

I had the honor of conducting two interviews at the Behavior Analyst Leadership Council's 2020 virtual conference back in April. In Session 126, I'm sharing the first one of those conversations, and it is with a name that should be familiar listeners, and that's Dr. Antonio Harrison (@onecoachdoc).

Antonio, as many listeners will remember, was instrumental in pulling together and facilitating Session 120, which was the roundtable discussion with four other African American men and Behavior Analysts in the wake of the George Floyd killing.

Today's episode was actually recorded before Session 120, and Antonio and I discussed topics that were important but admittedly lighter by comparison. Specifically, we discussed his introduction to ABA, how growing up in adverse circumstances actually developed some helpful skills, why Bill Belichick is the best football coach in history, (perhaps I'm adding my input here ;-), and how he maintains a high level of productivity.

That said, I think the most important lesson is the part of our discussion where he talks about how he's made inroads in applying Behavior Analytic interventions in novel settings, such as coaching football. I think that anyone who is considering making a move to practice outside the area of ASD will benefit from this segment of the interview.

We covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time, and here are some links to some of the papers, podcasts, resources, etc... that were brought up:

This podcast is sponsored by the following:

  • The 2020 New Hampshire Association for Behavior Analysis Virtual Conference! NH ABA is only a handful of years old, but for a smallish state, our conference has punched above its weight. The 2020 event will be no exception. This year's speaker list includes Drs. Solanday Forte, Deb Grossett, Bridget Taylor, Alyssa Wilson, Camille Kolu, and Emily Sandoz. NH ABA also acknowledges that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in financial burdens on many Behavior Analysts, so they've decided to use a values-based registration fee, which means that while there are suggested registration fees, you can participate in the event for a lot less if that's appropriate to your financial situation. For more information, check out nhaba.net, and I hope that you choose to join us virtually on September 26th!
  • My friends at Praxis CET have two great ACT and RFT classes coming up that seem really cool (Understanding and Using Relational Frame Theory for Behavior Analysts with Drs. Siri Ming and Tom Szabo and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Parents with Drs. Lisa Coyne and Evelyn Gould). These are live, online courses, where participants can ask questions, get feedback, etc... on the spot. For more information, go to www.praxiscet.com/bopod. If you check it out and decide to enroll, use the code OBSERVATIONS to save some $$$ at registration.
  • Lastly, I want to mention the BOP membership program; think of it as a DIY Patreon… It’s been running for a few years now, and it costs the princely sum of $9/month. Members get access to a private FB group in which they are able to get nearly instantaneous access to the videos of these podcast interviews. The best part is that members get the raw feed. That means no ads, and none of the introductory comments. You just get right to the interview.Another cool thing we do is hold Zoom Hangouts with former guests. We do this about 6 times a year, and it works like this: we schedule a Zoom call, a former guest comes on and joins us, and the members have the opportunity to ask them questions directly.
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