Speaker bios and information

Keynote Speaker

Francesca degli Espinosa

Dr. Francesca degli Espinosa, PhD, BCBA-D, has worked with children with autism for more than 20 years. Her clinical and research interests focus on advanced applications of contemporary analyses of verbal behavior (Horne & Lowe, 1996; Lowenkron, 1998, 2008; Michael, Palmer, & Sundberg, 2011) not only as a basis for teaching generalized verbal repertoires, but, thereby, as a means of minimizing the need to teach specific individual verbal responses. She was the Lead Clinician for the first UK-based EIBI outcome study (Remington et al., 2007) and currently divides her time between clinical work in the UK and teaching Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Salerno, Italy, her home country. She remains committed to broadening international knowledge and understanding of just how meaningfully ABA can improve people’s lives.

Friday: A Behavior Analysis of Theory of Mind

Educational interventions based on Applied Behavior Analysis have demonstrated to be most effective in establishing a range of social skills in children with autism. In considering the relationship between social interaction and autism, however, behavior analysis, both conceptually and in application, has not yet provided a complete operational account of the variables that control the types of behavior commonly held to denote Theory of Mind, a deficit that is often viewed to be both syndrome-specific and universal to autism (e.g., Baron-Cohen, 2001).  This presentation will firstly argue that Theory of Mind should not be interpreted as an “entity” that is either present or absent, but rather as a developmental verbal process that begins in the establishment of tacting public and private events during social interactions in early childhood. Firmly based on such behavioral conceptual framework, the presentation will secondly attempt to provide an analysis of the controlling variables of the component verbal skills that may denote Theory of Mind and in so doing will illustrate a hierarchical sequence of instructional activities to establish perspective taking in children with autism.

Invited Speakers

Tyra Sellers

Tyra Sellers

Dr. Tyra Sellers, PhD, BCBA-D works in the Legal Department at the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, she received her Ph.D. from Utah State University in 2011 and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She earned a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Special Education from San Francisco State University, and J.D. from the University of San Francisco. Dr. Sellers has over 20 years of clinical experience working with individuals with disabilities, spanning from EIBI through adult services in a wide variety of settings (public and non-public schools, vocational settings, in-home, clinics). Her research interests include ethics, effective supervision, effective training, behavior variability, choice, functional analyses, and behavioral intervention

Friday: Practical Approaches for Teaching Ethics

Saturday: Strategies for Addressing Supervisee Performance Issues (A review of research and strategies for using the Performance Diagnostic Checklist, Human Services Edition)

Wendy Machalicek

Wendy Machalicek

Dr. Wendy Machalicek, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences, Director of the HEDCO Autism Research and Training Center, and Interim Director of the HEDCO Clinic at the University of Oregon. She is a past member and chair of the Oregon Behavioral Analysis Regulatory Board (2015-2018). Her research focuses on assessment and intervention for children with autism and related disorders who engage in challenging behavior with an emphasis on interventions to support acquisition, generalization, and adherence to evidence-based interventions by parents and teachers in natural settings. She has published more than 70 articles and 11 book chapters. She is the Co-Principal Investigator on an IES funded Methods grant which trains early career faculty in advanced single-case research design and analysis and is the PI of an OSEP leadership grant to train Ph.D. scholars in autism, applied behavior analysis, and cultural adaptation, and the PI of an OSEP personnel preparation grant to train special educators to work with K-12 students with significant intellectual disability and autism. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of Developmental Neurorehabilitation and is on the editorial boards of Remedial and Special Education and the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities.

Saturday: Improving Outcomes for Children with Autism: Telehealth Applications for Supervision and Coaching

Behavior analysts are challenged to provide ongoing training, and coaching with performance feedback to supervises as part of ongoing case supervision related to autism and related disorders service delivery. These challenges, which include high caseloads, personnel shortages, travel time, funding issues, and procedural issues, are shared by healthcare providers who have aimed to mitigate these difficulties through the use of asynchronous and synchronous telehealth modalities. Increasingly, researchers and providers in education, behavior analysis, and related fields are using telehealth to directly deliver assessment and intervention to clients and to provide training and coaching with performance feedback to caregivers and supervisees at a distance. This presentation reviews available research and guidance on the use of telehealth models, provides examples of how to effectively use telehealth in practice, and provides guidance to practitioners on the ethical and effective use of telehealth modalities such as synchronous videoconferencing to provide training and supervision at a distance.