A Preliminary Investigation

Skill-based treatments developed from practical functional assessments are capable of producing durable, socially-meaningful outcomes with respect to dangerous problem behavior. Although successful outcomes have been achieved across a variety of contexts and participant profiles, implementation of these procedures may be limited due to perceived risks associated with escalation in problem behavior, which is likely to occur when treatments rely on extinction that sometimes requires physical management. This presentation will begin with a summary of the underlying assumptions and methods unique to the practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment process. Then, an evaluation of an “enhanced choice” model for minimizing risks during treatment will be reviewed. In the evaluation, socially validated outcomes were achieved with all participants; dangerous problem behavior never occurred for three participants and rarely occurred for two participants. Findings will be connected to a recently administered survey regarding the nature, feasibility, and social acceptability of physical management procedures associated with behavior analytic service delivery. Implications of enhanced choice procedures for safe and dignifying behavior analytic practice will be reflected upon, with special consideration given to the commitments of trauma-informed care. 

Learning Objectives: By the end of this presentation, attendees should be able to:

  1. Describe a set of procedures for effectively treating dangerous problem behavior that explicitly avoids physical management
  2. Describe the distinguishing features of an “enhanced choice model” of skill-based treatment
  3. Describe how the enhanced choice model is congruous with commitments and practices of trauma-informed care

About the Presenter

Adithyan Rajaraman
Adithyan (Dithu) Rajaraman has been applying behavior analysis to improve socially important behaviors of children with and without disabilities for 13 years. Dithu recently completed his Doctorate in Behavior Analysis at Western New England University, under the advisement of Dr. Greg Hanley. In 2019, he joined the faculty at UMBC, where he mentors undergraduate and graduate students of Psychology with an emphasis in behavior analysis. He has been working to increase the scope of behavior-analytic course offerings for undergraduate Psychology majors. Dithu has published research in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis as well as in Behavior Analysis in Practice. Dithu’s research and practice interests include the assessment, treatment, and prevention of dangerous problem behavior, with an emphasis on investigating trauma-informed approaches to behavioral assessment and intervention. This research aim is intimately connected to the goal of being able to provide safe, dignifying, yet highly effective behavior-analytic services to underrepresented individuals in underserved communities.

Course information

  • Title: Enhanced Choice for Dangerous Behavior
  • Presenter: Adithyan Rajaraman Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
  • Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Customer Rating: (1018)

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