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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: May, 2023
May 25, 2023

In the 15th installment of the Inside JABA Series, Editor and Chief Dr. John Borrero and I chat with Drs. Lesleigh Stinson and Jesse Dallery about their novel application of a Contingency Management intervention. In this case, they used CM procedures to reduce excessive social media use. 

Lesleigh is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Florida's Center for Behavioral Economic Health Research, and Jesse is a Professor of Psychology, also at UF. 

If you're not sure what Contingency Management is, don't worry, Lesleigh and Jesse cover the basics of it in this show. For additional information, you can also check out Jesse's previous appearance on the Inside JABA Series, where he and his colleagues used smartphone mediated technologies in conjunction with CM to reduce cigarette smoking. 

This is a truly "Under the Dome" paper, and in our discussion of it, we touch on topics that include Internet Addiction, the recent APA Health Advisory on social media use, motivational interviewing, stages of change, and the benefits of single-case designs. 

This podcast, as with all other Inside JABA Series shows, is available for continuing education. To learn more about that, click here. If you want to subscribe to JABA, click here

We mentioned many resources and studies during this podcast. I've done my best to list them all below:

May 22, 2023

Problemas Pediátricos de la Alimentación con la Dra Varsovia Hernández Eslava

Aunque el tema de este episodio se centra en problemas pediátricos de la alimentación, la Dra Varsovia Hernandez Eslava nos comparte una muy interesante trayectoria profesional y un panorama e historia del análisis de la conducta en México. De aquella mirada inicial pasamos a una nueva panorámica muy detallada de los problemas pediátricos de la alimentación empezando por describir qué son y de ahí a conocer los procesos de evaluación y sus subsecuentes intervenciones. Son importantes los detalles y aclaraciones que la Dra Varsovia nos ofrece acerca del proceso evaluativo como también los varios componentes y etapas durante la intervención (los dejamos con intriga para que lo escuchen con detenimiento). Fue fascinante apreciar todas las sutilezas que un profesional competente considera a nivel clínico y de validez social. Esa importancia de las experiencias supervisadas, el obtener y mantener competencias fue claramente enfatizado. Dado el profesionalismo y responsabilidad que describe la Dra Varsovia para con las partes interesadas, no fue sorpresa escuchar de los altos niveles de adherencia, participación y satisfacción para aquellos que han interactuado con ella en estos contextos. Un modelo para nosotros seguir. Nos deja con la reflexión de buscar mentores y una búsqueda constante por nuevos y más profundos aprendizajes; de ser éticos y humildes.

Pediatric Feeding Issues with Dr. Varsovia Hernández Eslava

Although the theme of this episode focuses on pediatric feeding problems, Dr. Varsovia Hernandez Eslava shares with us a very interesting professional career and an overview and history of behavior analysis in Mexico. From that initial look, we move on to a new, very detailed overview of pediatric feeding problems, beginning by describing what they are and from there, learning about the evaluation processes and their subsequent interventions. The details and clarifications that Dr. Varsovia suggests that the evaluation process is important, as are the various components and stages during the intervention (we leave you intrigued so that you are prompted to listen carefully). It was fascinating to appreciate all the subtleties that a competent professional considers at a clinical and socially validity level. The importance of supervised experiences, obtaining and maintaining competencies was clearly emphasized. Given the professionalism and responsibility that Dr. Varsovia describes with regard to the relationship with stakeholders, it was not surprising to hear of the high levels of adherence, participation, and satisfaction for those who have interacted with her in these contexts. A model for us to follow. It leaves us with the reflection of looking for mentors and a constant search for new and deeper learning; to be ethical and humble.

May 15, 2023

In Session 225, Shira Karpel and Shayna Gaunt from How To ABA return to the show to discuss a recent webinar that they provided for their online community (note: see here for their first appearance on the podcast). 

Their talk discussed code element 1.10, from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board's Ethics Codes for Behavior Analysts. For a quick recap, it reads as follows:

1.10 Awareness of Personal Biases and Challenges

• Behavior analysts maintain awareness that their personal biases or challenges (e.g., mental or physical health conditions; legal, financial, marital/relationship challenges) may interfere with the effectiveness of their professional work.

• Behavior analysts take appropriate steps to resolve interference, ensure that their professional work is not compromised, and document all actions taken in this circumstance and the eventual outcomes.

In the spirit of this code element, Shira and Shayna discuss how they define these  biases, and how they can potentially occur in practice. More importantly, they discuss steps for detecting and responding to such biases when they do surface. 

This podcast will be available for BACB Continuing Education (1.0 Ethics Credits). To learn more about how to obtain, click here. If you want to learn more about the great community that Shira and Shayna are leading, click here. In the meantime, be sure to check out their blogfree resources, and podcast. If you decide to join their community, use the promo code, BOP, when signing up to save on your membership!

May 5, 2023

Many-time guest Dr. Andy Bondy returns to the podcast for a fun chat. Our conversation centered around a recent talk he gave which was titled, "Verbal Behavior: Myths and Misconceptions."

What myths and misconceptions are we talking about here? Well, I certainly don't want to spoil the podcast, but we did manage to cover a wide variety of topics, including:

  • PECS' Certified Classroom process.
  • The conceptual rather than data-based nature of the Verbal Behavior book itself.
  • Recall versus recognition.
  • Aided versus unaided communication systems.
  • Selection versus topography-based communication systems.
  • The more subtle aspects of the autoclitic.
  • Whether PECS limits improvised communication.
  • The topic of Matching-to-sample vs. Tacting in PECS.
  • The nature of prompts.
  • Constructional aspects of learning.

As many of my chats with Andy have gone, this is a podcast that could've been twice as long. Good news though: we've already scheduled a follow up interview for later on in the summer. If you have questions based on this podcast, perhaps we can feature an "Ask Andy Anything," segment.

Keep an eye on the BOP emails for future announcements.

Andy grounded his points in many empirical studies (and of course the OG text, Verbal Behavior). I've done my best to capture all of them below:

  • Kuhn's, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
  • Potter and Brown (1997). A review of studies examining the nature of selection-based and topography-based verbal behavior.
  • Tincani (2004). Comparing the Picture Exchange Communication System and Sign Language Training for Children with Autism.
  • Tincani et al. (2006). The Picture Exchange Communication System: Effects on Manding and Speech Development for School-Aged Children with Autism.
  • Marckel et al. (2006). A preliminary analysis of teaching improvisation with the picture exchange communication system to children with autism.
  • Chaabane et al. (2009). The effects of parent-implemented PECS training on improvisation of mands by children with autism.
  • Schreibman and Stahmer (2014). A randomized trial comparison of the effects  of verbal and pictorial naturalistic communication strategies on spoken  language for young children with autism.
  • See here for Andy's previous appearances on the BOP.

Find out more about PECS' services, products, and trainings here.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • ACE Approved CEUs from .... Behavioral Observations. That's right, get your CEUs while driving, walking your dog, doing the dishes, or whatever else you might have going on, all while learning from your favorite podcast guests!
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