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After taking a year off from the Annual ABA conference in 2012, I was back at it again this year in Minneapolis Minnesota for the 39th Annual ABA International congress.  And once again this year as in 2010 and 2011, I was a participant, a workshop presenter and a Symposium presenter.  Each year, I tend to go to ABAI with a special topic of interest.

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In 2010, I spent most of my focus on Social skills programs and advances particularly for advanced learners with Autism and Aspergers.   I was able to bring back with me several new social assessments our team is now using as well as the Power Solving method of social skills training among other things.

In 2011, I focused most of my participation in the area of the VB-MAPP, taking workshops on the VB-MAPP and being sure I could bring back the information necessary for our consultants to begin using it in addition to the ABLLS when helpful.

This year, I found myself drawn toward issues related to the dissemination of ABA outside of the US.  This lead me to several panel discussions and Symposium on Effective implementation of ABA outside of the US, and Dissemination challenges of ABA outside of the US.  I also spent time with the BACB learning about all of the upcoming changes in their policies and recommendations for ABA going forward.  I was pleased to see Neil T. Marten’s (the International Chair of the BACB) speak on the progress of ABA in countries outside of the US.  According to this workshop:

The BACB is a non-profit corporation (not a membership organization)
Founded in 1998 that is accredited by the US National Commission for Certifying Agencies NCCA (The Gold standard of credentialing organizations.)

  • There are currently 13, 026 BACB certificant’s worldwide
  • 2,000 new certificant’s became BCBA’s in 2012 and the expectation is that number will grow this year.
  • There are currently 215 institutions that are offering BCBA approved coursework worldwide and there are 334 if you include BCaBA programs.
  • There are currently almost 400 places around the world where students can now sit for the BCBA and BCaBA exams.
  • Starting in 2014, there will be 4 testing administrations per year.

In addition to the focus above, I also saw presentations related to new procedures and studies regarding overcoming problems when students echo instructions, factors that affect the effectiveness, renewal or resurgence of behavior that has been reduced with extinction, and techniques for teaching students how affectively learn to request for attention and request for a break from work without the mands becoming overused by the child beyond what is useful or socially appropriate.

As usual, I spent 3 hours in a workshop discussing Ethical considerations and issues related to the implementation of ABA.

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And finally, I worked with Megan Miller, BCBA in disseminating “The 7 Steps to
Earning Instructional Control” and got to spend some social time with many of my favorite behavior analysts as well, Steve Ward, Terry Grimes, Megan Miller, Mary Barbera and Amy W---- as well as got to catch up with our former BCaBA Mike Meyers.   As usual, the entire process was invaluable and fun.