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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: January, 2023
Jan 31, 2023

Editor’s note:

A few months ago, my friend Miguel Avila and I thought it would be fun to offer some Behavioral Observations content to Spanish speaking ABA professionals, parents, and other folks who would enjoy it. Thanks to Miguel’s hard work, we have a few shows recorded, and more in the works. Our plan is to release about one episode a month for a few months. If you know folks who would be interested in these episodes, please consider sharing it with them. Lastly, we’d like to thank Essential for Living, which is now available in Spanish, for giving Miguel the time to record these thought-provoking conversations!

Hace unos meses, mi amigo Miguel Avila y yo pensamos que sería divertido ofrecer contenido de Behavioral Observations (Observaciones Conductuales) a profesionales de ABA de habla hispana, padres y otras personas que podrían disfrutarlo. Gracias al arduo trabajo de Miguel, tenemos algunos programas grabados y más en proceso. Nuestro plan es lanzar alrededor de un episodio al mes durante algunos meses. Si conocen a personas que estarían interesadas en estos episodios, consideren compartirlo con ellos. Por último, nos gustaría agradecer a Essential for Living (Esenciales para la Vida), que ahora está disponible en español, por darle a Miguel el tiempo para grabar estas conversaciones que invitan a la reflexión.

En esta sesión, el Dr. Javier Virues Ortega se une a Miguel para examinar el estado de la práctica del análisis de la conducta en los países de habla hispana. El Dr. Virues Ortega ofrece sus observaciones sobre la historia del análisis de la conducta en España y América Latina. A raíz de la salida de la BACB como una certificación internacional, revela algunas de las complejidades del desarrollo y las operaciones de los organismos de certificación y acreditación. El Dr. Virues Ortega y Miguel destacan las iniciativas modestas pero importantes que han observado de profesionales dedicados en Iberoamérica que quieren que la profesión del análisis de comportamiento prospere. También menciona algunos de los recursos y programas que se han puesto a disposición en español hasta el momento. Nos deja un valiosísimo consejo y una gran anécdota sobre la perseverancia.

International certification, accreditation, and regulation of behavior analysts. Initiatives for Spanish speakers with Dr. Javier Virues Ortega

In this session, Dr. Javier Virues Ortega joins Miguel to examine the state of the practice of behavior analysis in Spanish-speaking countries. Dr. Virues Ortega offers his observations on the history of behavior analysis in Spain and Latin America. In light of the departure of the BACB as an international certification, he unpacks some of the complexities of the development and operations of certification and accreditation bodies. Dr. Virues Ortega and Miguel note the modest, but important initiatives they have observed from dedicated professionals in Iberoamerica that want the behavior analysis profession to prosper. He also mentions some of the resources and programs that have been made available in Spanish thus far. He leaves us with invaluable advice and a great anecdote about perseverance.

Jan 23, 2023
I've been asked many times to highlight the work of Registered Behavioral Technicians, and in this installment of the Apollo Case Study Series, we do just that.
 
Dr. Jim Moore, Rachel Packiam (Director of Clinical Excellence), Christina Halverson (RBT Training Coordinator), and Emily Jackson (Lead RBT) joined me to discuss Apollo's unique organizational strategies for onboarding and training their RBTs.
 
As you'll learn in this episode, by the time an RBT works 1:1 with a child, they have had the training and confidence necessary to implement programming successfully. It is important to emphasize that this just doesn't happen by accident. There are many additional hours of supervising and mentoring that happen - hours that go far beyond the basic requirements. And as an outsider looking in, it's impressive to me just how much non-billable time they invest in ensuring their staff are as prepared as possible.
 
If you're a practice owner, or if you have some administrative role, you're going to want to grab a pen and paper to take some notes, because there are a lot of ideas for staff development and support in this podcast. We go over topics including rapport-building with trainees, soft-skills, staff morale, professionalism, teaching and upholding core organizational values, common struggles of trainees, and lots more!
 
If you're an RBT or BCBA, and this model of training and service delivery appeals to you, connect with Jim, or contact the folks at Apollo directly to learn more about potential job opportunities in their Atlanta-area clinics.
 
Jan 17, 2023
Thanks so much for checking out installment number 14 in the Inside JABA Series on Behavioral Observations. Dr. John Borrero, JABA's Editor in Chief, and I are joined by Drs. Brett Gelino and Derek Reed to discuss a novel study that they and their colleagues conducted on the University of Kansas campus.
 
The study, which culminated in the paper, "Tobacco-free policy reduces combustible tobacco byproduct," shows how a group Behavior Analysts teamed up with university policy-makers to craft and evaluate a campus-wide tobacco-free initiative.  
 
On the one hand, policy evaluation may sound like a dry topic. But if you step back and think about this for a minute, this is an example of how we can use Behavior Analytic concepts and principles to solve relevant problems at scale. How many times have you seen well-intended policies produce the dreaded "unintended consequences," because the people who made the policy did not have sufficient expertise in behavioral concepts and principles? 
 
So to my mind, this piece of research is a very exciting and promising development. Long story short, this one is for all my fellow policy-wonks out there, and there are many cool elements to this study when it comes to data collection and analysis.  
 
And here are some links that we discussed:
This podcast will eventually be available for BACB CEUs, and to learn more about how to get continuing education credits for listening to this show, click here
Jan 11, 2023

This was a really fun episode. Dr. Tim Hackenberg joined me to discuss both what we know, and what we don't know about token economies. This conversation was inspired by my interview with Dr. Matt Brodhead in Session 205, where in listening to that show, Tim picked up on a misstatement of mine.

We get into the specifics of this in our interview, but in brief, I made an off-the-cuff comment about token economy research. Thankfully, Tim reached out  to me and offered to discuss this issue in more detail, and more importantly, correct my point of view on this matter. 

And I'm so glad he did just that. I really learned a lot in this episode. In it, we discuss the basics of what constitutes a token economy, the importance of generalized reinforcers, early research in this area, troubleshooting ineffective token economies, and perhaps most interestingly, directions for future research. 

Our discussion centered around Tim's 2018 JABA paper, Token Reinforcement: Translational Research and Application. As I mention in the interview, it's simply an impressive work of scholarship, and I highly recommend taking the time to read through it. 

So whether you're a newly-minted BCBA, or a seasoned pro, I think there's something here for everyone. 

Tim also shared that he, along with Dr. Francesca Delgi Espinosa, created two token economy courses. One is a brief overview course that's free, and there's an advanced course titled, "Token economies: Bridging the gap from research to practice." You can find out more about them here

Session 212 is brought to you by:

  • The University of Cincinnati Online. UC Online designed a Master of Education in Behavior Analysis program that is 100% online and asynchronous, meaning you log on when it works for you. Want to learn more? Go to online.uc.edu and click the “request info” button.
  • Rose Griffin's FREE masterclass, The Power of Joint Attention. This 30 minute will show you how to use books in therapy so your students are running over to listen to you read. The course also covers how to use songs in therapy so that your students are eager to participate and play, and are ready to engage with you every session. Rose shares actionable tips that you can use in your next therapy session, and provides BONUS printiables that you can practice right away. To learn more, go to abaspeech.org, and click the Free Masterclass tab at the top!
  • Behavior University. Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings, including their 8-hour Supervision Course, as well as their RBT offerings over at behavioruniversity.com/observations.
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