Being socially savvy involves not only simple responses such as making eye contact when speaking to another, imitating the behavior of others, and initiating conversations, but also more complex responses such as taking the perspective of others, empathizing with others, and being a good listener. Children with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulties with simple and complex social behavior. There is a growing body of behavior analytic research that can guide teaching of the simple, early social skills; however, when it comes to more complex social behavior, research is limited. Although research on complex social behavior is limited, as behavior analysts, we have the tools to operationalize and analyze the function of complex behavior, break it down into necessary component skills, and use what we know about evidence-based interventions to create guidelines for clinical practice. In this presentation, I will give examples of conducting functional analyses of perspective taking, empathy, and being a good listener and will share some recent research and clinical recommendations for teaching each of these complex social behaviors to children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

Learning Objectives for this session

  1. Audience members will distinguish between simple and complex social behaviors 
  2. Audience members will identify effective strategies for teaching complex social behaviors
  3. Audience members will discuss component skills involved in more complex social behaviors

    About the Presenter

    April N. Kisamore
    Dr. Kisamore has been applying the principles of behavior to create meaningful change in the lives of children and adults with and without disabilities and their families over 15 years. She worked and trained at the Marcus Institute, received her M.A. in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University, and completed her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis at Western New England University. She is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of Programs in Applied Behavior Analysis at Hunter College. Dr. Kisamore is also a co-owner and Director at North Jersey Behavioral Health Services, a center designed to provide services to individuals with disabilities and their families. Dr. Kisamore has published in areas such as verbal behavior, problem solving, social skills, functional analysis, and parent training in books and several peer-reviewed journals and presented her work at local, national, and international conferences. She is currently Chair of the Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group, on the editorial board for the Journal of Behavioral Education, has served as a guest associate editor for Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and has served as a reviewer for several journals including Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, The Psychological Record, Education and Treatment of Children, and Learning and Behavior.

    Course information

    • Title: Complex Social Behavior
    • Presenter: April N. Kisamore Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA (NY)
    • Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes
    • Customer Rating: (750)

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