Recognizing Questionable and Disproven Practices and Responding to Team Members who Recommend Them

Behavior analysts and the professionals they often collaborate with are sometimes presented with a difficult challenge without a clear solution. Team members may suggest or are interested in using an intervention that may not be sufficiently supported by scientific evidence. Disagreements about the best course of action can compromise interprofessional collaboration and sometimes turn ugly, leaving some team members to begin working in isolation from rather than collaborating with each other. This session will identify which interventions should be avoided, but also how behavior analysts might engage with other professionals to examine the efficacy of recommended interventions. By engaging in an inquiry-driven approach to comparing interventions, professionals might develop stronger relationships with their non-behavior analytic colleagues while advancing evidence-based practice and better outcomes for the people they serve.


  1. Discriminate between dangerous and potentially harmful practices that must be avoided from those potentially less harmful that can be evaluated.
  2. Use a series of questions to team members who are recommending an intervention not supported by scientific research to better understand and elucidate concerns for respectful discussion.
  3. Propose and begin to carry out comparisons between a questionable (but not dangerous) intervention and an evidence-based intervention to obtain objective results for the team’s consideration.

About the Presenter

Jason Travers
Jason Travers is a professor of special education and applied behavior analysis at Temple university where he also serves as coordinator for the undergraduate and graduate degree programs in these two areas of study. A former public school teacher for students with autism, Jason is an expert in autism and developmental disabilities, particularly the education and treatment of children and youth with disabilities and interfering behavior. His research has focused on various topics related to special education including sexuality education, under-identification of racially diverse children with autism in special education, evidence-based practice, unproven and pseudoscientific interventions, and meta-scientific issues and trends in single case experimental research. He has published over 70 journal articles and book chapters, one book on sexuality education for learners with ASD, and articles in other outlets for organizations like American Speech Hearing Association and Skeptical Inquirer. He currently is a consultant for the United States Department of Justice investigations of unjustified restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities in public schools. Jason lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with his wife have three daughters. He enjoys walking his two dogs and playing cooperative video games with his daughters.

Course information

  • Title: Recognizing Disproven Practices and Requests to Use Them
  • Presenter: Jason Travers PhD, BCBA-D
  • Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Customer Rating: (555)

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