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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: September, 2023
Sep 27, 2023

Rich Brooks returns to the podcast to talk about how he's grown as a business owner. And while he's in a different industry, there are tons of parallels to what we do in the world of Applied Behavior Analysis. 

Rich has historically discussed all things digital marketing (see here and here), but this is a more personal story of how he had to step out of his role as a website designer and marketer in order to effectively lead and grow his business, Flyte New Media

Also, I've finally taken my own advice and had his team tear down Behavioralobservations.com and rebuild it from the ground up. Yes, I finally had to invest in myself, just like Rich has done, and I couldn't be happier with the outcome!

If you want to learn more about digital marketing, check out Rich's upcoming conference, The Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference, which is going down in Portland, Maine on October 4th and 5th, and will be available virtually for those who aren't in striking distance of one of the coolest cities in the country. He also has a great podcast, which you can find at that site as well. 

If you have questions for Rich about anything digital marketing, or even restaurant recommendations in the greater Portland area, hit him up on LinkedIn

Sep 20, 2023

Anika Costa and Dr. Paulie Gavoni joined me in Session 239 to discuss their latest book, Quick Wins: Using Behavior Science to Accelerate and Sustain School Improvement. In our conversation we talk about why they felt this book was necessary, who represents their ideal reader, and whether we ask too much of school leaders. That last point is something I've been thinking about a lot recently, as we oftentimes ask people with no background in behavior analysis to engage in complex activities like pinpointing performance indicators, diagnosing performance problems, and so on.

We also talk about the distinction between leading and lagging indicators, viewing relationships as accomplishments, their Quick Walk protocol, and what things leaders should do before providing corrective feedback to staff members.

Paulie and Anika are presenting what sounds like a great talk at this year's Stone Soup Conference, which by the way, if you decide to attend, you can save on your registration by using the promo code, PODCAST.

Lastly, the three of us engaged in a little shameless self-promotion by talking about the project we've been working on called The Behavioral Toolbox, which is essentially an e-learning site we built for school-based professionals who are interested in learning how to improve student behavior in educational settings. 

We just launched our first course, Ready, Set, Consult! and we have many more in various stages of development. If you work in these types of settings, please check it out. I should also note that the courses we're designing aren't just for Behavior Analysts. We've done our best to communicate in plain English rather than behavioral jargon so that the content is as accessible as possible. To stay up to date on all things toolbox related, be sure to sign up for The Behavioral Toolbox's newsletter on LinkedIn

 
Sep 14, 2023

What exactly is Joint Attention? How does Joint Attention interact with Eye Contact? What does the literature say about these repertoires, and how does that coincide with self-reports of the aversive nature of eye contact from Autistic people? 

These have been a few of the questions rolling around in my head for some time. A few years ago, we briefly touched on this subject with my guest today, Dr. Francesca Degli Espinosa, but it was in the backdrop of a larger panel discussion at the 2022 Verbal Behavior Conference. 

Fast forward to 2023, I recently heard Francesca on Dr. Mary Barbera's show talk about Joint Attention in great detail, so I asked her to join me to extend the conversation. 

In this show, we cover:

  • What people mean when they use the term Joint Attention
  • How JA typically develops in infancy and beyond
  • Why 'attention' may not be an especially helpful term
  • Some of the neuroscience and eye tracking studies that have examined the development of eye contact in typically developing and Autistic populations
  • How to increase the value of looking at peoples' faces
  • Why eye contact should be thought of as a reinforcing consequence 
  • Some strategies to foster JA in the context of learner assent
  • The difficulty of integrating the findings of different literatures that publish research in the area of Autism
  • What she's talking about at this year's Stone Soup Conference (spoiler alert: She's going to go deep into this topic, and remember, save on your registration by using the promo code PODCAST)
  • The problem associated with teaching eye contact via the 'look at me' method

Here are some of the links to the many resources we discussed:

This podcast is brought to you by:

The Stone Soup Conference, which is taking place on October 20th. Use code PODCAST to save on your registration as well.

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 brand new 8-hour Supervision Course, as well as their RBT offerings over at behavioruniversity.com/observations.

Sep 5, 2023

While I don't personally use TikTok, I am aware of the considerable influence it has across a range of topics. As many listeners can imagine, Autism is one of those topics that generates unfathomable amounts of content on the platform. 

Unlike other forms of medical and scientific dissemination, there are really no barriers to saying whatever one wants, not only on TikTok, but on any other internet-based media platforms, podcasts included of course. And as you might imagine, this brings with it lots of variability in terms of information accuracy.

Today's guests, Drs. Elisabeth Sheridan and Giacomo Vivanti, along with their colleagues Diego Aragon-Guevara and Grace Castle, took up the challenge of analyzing the accuracy of Autism-related content on TikTok. They published their results in a recent issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders in a paper titled: The Reach and Accuracy of Information on Autism on TikTok. 

In this interview, we discuss the audience scope on TikTok - spoiler alert: it's massive, why they decided to undertake this study, how they categorized the veracity of the TikTok videos they reviewed, what type of content creators had more and less accurate videos, what were some commonalities to the inaccurate videos they surveyed, and lots more. We also spent some time talking about the reaction to this paper, which has been considerable. 

Here are the links:

Thanks so much for supporting the BOP on Patreon! If you have friends and colleagues who'd also enjoy getting these ad-free episodes, let them know how they can join too!

This podcast is brought to you by:

  • The Michigan Autism Conference, which is taking place on October 11-13 in Kalamazoo, and online as well. We’ll hear more about this event later on in the show, but if you’re impatient like me, to go michiganautismconference.org, and use the code MAC10 to save $10 at checkout.
  • The Stone Soup Conference, which is taking place on October 20th. This is an amazing event, benefitting a great cause, all for a very reasonable price. Use code PODCAST to save on your registration as well.
  • 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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