2022 Autism Symposium

APRIL 6, 2022 | VIRTUAL

Event Information

Join us for The Autism Program of Illinois’ 2022 Autism Symposium featuring both National and State-level autism experts. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Wayne Fisher, BCBA-D, will present about recent advances in the functional analysis and treatment of Severe Destructive Behavior. 

Our lineup of featured speakers are statewide experts who are associated with TAP and will be presenting their research finding about current evidence-based therapeutic trends.

The Symposium is Free to attend. If you would like to claim the provided CEU’s, there is a $40 fee that can be paid upon registration. If you have any questions regarding CEU’s, please contact Shannon Dyson at sdyson@hope.us. 
BCBA CE’s will be provided by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. CEU’s will be provided by the Institute on Disability and Human Development at University of Illinois Chicago.

Featured Speakers

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM | Introduction and Keynote – Dr. Wayne Fisher, BCBA-D, Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services (RU-CARES)

10:45 AM – 11:45 AM | Applying Behavioral Systems Analysis to Improve Interprofessional Collaboration at Autism Clinics
Lilith Reuter-Yuill, M.S., BCBA, CCC-SLP, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Lesley Shawler, Ph.D., BCBA, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Innovative Approaches to Assessing and Treating Life Skill Deficits in Autistic Individuals
Dr. Mark R Dixon, Ph.D., BCBA-D, University of Illinois at Chicago
Zhihui Yi, BCBA, University of Illinois at Chicago
Jessica M Hinman, BCBA, University of Illinois at Chicago
Amanda Chastain, University of Illinois at Chicago

1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | Using Telepractice to Build Capacity Within Families and Communities
Hedda Meadan, PhD, BCBA-D, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Symposium Program

Dr. Wayne Fisher, RU-CARES

Keynote Speaker

Or Scan the QR code with your phone to register!

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Introduction and Keynote

 

Recent Advances in the Functional Analysis and Treatment of Severe Destructive Behavior
Presented by Wayne Fisher, PhD, BCBA-D, Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services (RU-CARES)

The most important advancement in the treatment of destructive behavior has been the development of functional analysis (FA), which is used to prescribe effective treatments, such as functional communication training (FCT). With FCT, the consequence that historically reinforced destructive behavior is delivered contingent on an appropriate communication response and problem behavior is correlated with extinction. Although this approach can be highly effective, many pitfalls and practical challenges arise when this treatment is implemented by caregivers in natural community settings. In this presentation, I will present data and describe a line of research routed in stimulus control theory and behavioral momentum theory aimed at increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, and practicality of FCT for individuals with ASD who display destructive behavior in typical community settings. Specifically, I focus on: (a) recent research on establishing-operation manipulations that can be used to prevent extinction bursts when treatment is initiated; (b) stimulus-control procedures that can be used to promote the rapid transfer of treatment effects to novel therapists, contexts, and caregivers without reemergence of destructive behavior; and (c) stimulus- and consequence-control procedures that can be used as “behavioral inoculation” to prevent resurgence of problem when caregivers do not implement treatment procedures with pristine procedural integrity.

Objectives:
Participants will be able to:

  • Describe at least three empirically supported treatments for autism and related disorders;
  • Understand the basic principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis involved in identifying the function(s) of destructive behavior;
  • Describe a common function-based treatment for reducing severe destructive behavior and replacing it with appropriate behavior;
  • Identify an empirically supported approach to preventing or mitigating treatment relapse following successful treatment of severe destructive behavior.

Wayne Fisher, PhD, BCBA-D, Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services (RU-CARES)

Wayne Fisher is the Henry Rutgers Endowed Professor of Pediatrics in the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a core faculty member of the Brain Health Institute. He is also the inaugural director of the Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Service (RUCARES), a board-certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level (BCBA-D), and a licensed psychologist. He was previously a tenured professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, where he built clinical-research programs in autism and developmental disabilities with international reputations for excellence. Fisher’s methodologically sophisticated research has focused on several intersecting lines, including mathematical models of behavior, preference assessment, choice responding, and the assessment and treatment of autism and severe behavior disorders. His research has been notable for the creative use of concurrent schedules of reinforcement, which have become more commonplace in clinical research primarily because of his influence. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in over 30 different behavioral and/or medical journals, including: the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis; Psychological Reports; American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Pediatrics; the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders; the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; and The Lancet. Fisher has had near-continuous federal grant support for his research for over 20 years. He is a past editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, a past president of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (SEAB), and a fellow in the Association for Behavior Analysis International. His is the recipient of (a) the Bush Leadership Award; (b) the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 25 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Behavioral Research; (c) the UNMC Distinguished Scientist Award; (d) the University of Nebraska system-wide award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity; (e) the SEAB, Don Hake Translational Research Award from Division 25 of the APA, (f) the Outstanding Mentor of Graduate Students Award from the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and (g) the Michael Hemmingway Behavior Analysis Award from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.

10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

 

Applying Behavioral Systems Analysis to Improve Collaboration at Autism Clinics
Presented by Lilith Reuter-Yuill, M.S., BCBA, CCC-SLP, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Lesley Shawler, Ph.D., BCBA, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex and multifaceted diagnosis. Interprofessional collaboration may provide unique benefits for serving these families, but there are significant barriers to realizing this in practice. Behavioral systems analysis is a systematic process used to identify disconnects at the organization, process, and performer levels to inform solutions. This presentation will provide a case example of the application of behavioral systems analysis at a university-based autism clinic. Presenters will describe how results were used to inform the redesign of select clinical processes and student training experiences.

Lilith Reuter-Yuill, M.S., BCBA, CCC-SLP, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Lilith Reuter-Yuill is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Behavior Analysis and Therapy Program. She is a dually certified speech-language pathologist and behavior analyst. Her clinical work emphasizes interprofessional collaboration to optimize outcomes for children with complex communication needs and their families. Her research interests include identifying precision-interventions for individuals that utilize augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), clinical applications for estimates of contingency strength, and use of behavioral systems analysis to design and implement collaborative models of service delivery.

Lesley Shawler, Ph.D., BCBA, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Dr. Lesley Shawler is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and earned her Ph.D. from the Institute of Applied Behavior Studies – Endicott College in 2019 under the advisement of Dr. Caio Miguel. She completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Neurobehavioral Unit and Clinical Outcomes department. Dr. Shawler has experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses across the lifespan and in a myriad of settings. Her main expertise includes the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior and teaching verbal behavior to individuals with Autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

 

Innovative Approaches to Assessing and Treating Life Skill Deficits in Autistic Individuals
Presented by Dr. Mark R Dixon, Ph.D., BCBA-D, University of Illinois at Chicago, Zhihui Yi, BCBA, University of Illinois at Chicago, Jessica M Hinman, BCBA, University of Illinois at Chicago and Amanda Chastain, University of Illinois at Chicago

The functional life skills are comprised of various topographies of behavior that are needed for an individual to complete their daily activities and ultimately achieve value-driven independent living. Life skill goals or objectives in applied settings often include tasks composed of behavior chains consisting of a sequence of complex stimulus-response chains. However, many teaching strategies available do not always reliably foster effective skill acquisition when behavior chains become complex and challenging. We here present an innovative approach in assessing and treating life skill deficits in autistic individuals by incorporating principles rooted in relational frame theory. We first explore the impact of relational training in an analog behavior chain task where skill acquisition either only occurred or accelerated when components of the behavior chain went through relational training procedures. We then present preliminary findings on a life skill curriculum, where assessment and treatment are informed by not only the learner’s ability in completing a hierarchy of essential, foundational, independence, and liberating skills, but also their overall ability in relational responding. Psychometric properties, normative samples, and research highlighting the impact of relational training in a life skill behavior chain are presented. Finally, we present single case research study data illustrating the process of using such an approach in assessing and treating life skill deficits.

Dr. Mark R Dixon, Ph.D., BCBA-D, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Dixon is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctorate and a clinical professor at the Department of Disability and Human Development. Dr. Dixon has published 12 books, over 230 peer reviewed journal articles, and delivered 1000s of presentations around the globe. His research and/or expert opinions have been featured in Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, National Public Radio, This American Life, and Netflix’s series Bill Nye Saves the World. Dr. Dixon cares for individuals and their families impacted by autism and other developmental disabilities through his innovative research that guides practice. He has generated millions of dollars of funding to infuse behavior analysis within local schools and treatment facilities and created multiple clinics for persons diagnosed with autism and related conditions.

Zhihui Yi, BCBA, University of Illinois at Chicago
Zhiuhi is a board-certified behavior analyst that is dedicated to improving equal access to evidence-based treatment among minority groups and is interested in improving language, adaptive skills, and overall independence among those with autism he works with. He is currently a doctoral student at UIC.

Jessica M Hinman, BCBA, University of Illinois at Chicago
Jessica is a board-certified behavior analyst that has six years of experience working with children, adolescents, and young adults with disabilities and her research interests include mindfulness-based therapy, acceptance and commitment training, and evidence-based practices for individuals with autism. She is currently a doctoral student at UIC.

Amanda Chastain, University of Illinois at Chicago
Amanda has worked as a scientist-practitioner in applied behavior analysis since 2011. Her primary research interests include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and the development of complex behavior skills.

1:15 PM – 2:15 PM

Using Telepractice to Build Capacity Within Families and Communities
Presented by Hedda Meadan, PhD, BCBA-D, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

High-quality early interventions are characterized by services that are developmentally appropriate, evidence-based, and delivered by caregivers and therapists in the child’s natural environment. However, there are significant challenges to providing services with needed dosage or intensity to families and Autistic children/children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. Innovative solutions are needed to positively impact the early development of Autistic children/children diagnosed with ASD and other developmental disabilities by providing greater access to research-based interventions. Training and coaching the natural change agents, via telepractice, could help in building capacity within families and communities. This presentation will describe a cascading intervention model and a series of intervention studies on this topic. Challenges and opportunities related to telepractice will be discussed.
Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) explain the use of cascading intervention model for supporting professionals, family members, and children; (2) describe methods, benefits, and barriers for using telepractice; (3) discuss the importance of working with natural change agents in the natural environment.

Hedda Meadan, PhD, BCBA-D, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Meadan is a Professor and the Head of the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a Goldstick Family Scholar and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. Her research focuses on social-communication skills and challenging behavior of children with autism and other developmental disabilities and intervention methods to enhance these spheres of functioning. Dr. Meadan and her team use a cascading intervention model in which they train and coach, via telepractice, natural change agents (e.g., family members, service providers, behavior analysts) to use evidence-based strategies to promote social-communication skills of children in the natural environment. She has published widely on topics related to interventions for children with autism and their families and on the use of technology to enhance these interventions.

About us

The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) Service Network is a collaboration of 4 universities and 11 organizations that together operate 20 centers across the state. As a network, TAP is able to offer services that respond to the unique needs of different communities across Illinois.

Contact

The Autism Program of Illinois

Hope Pavilion
5220 S. 6th Street,
Suite 2300B

Springfield IL 62703