Trainings Offered

Practical Functional Assessment and Treatment of Severe Problem Behavior on March 18th and 19th, 2020

Presenter: Gregory Hanley, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA and his team at FTF Behavioral Consulting

  • Date: March 18 and March 19
  • Time: 9:00- 5:00 (1-hr lunch and two 15-min breaks)  
  • Location: The Children's SPOT inc. Suite 4, 8815 Columbia 100 Parkway, Columbia MD 21045
  • Registration: To register, use the following link Registration link
  • Cost: Day 1 and 2 $500      Day 1 only $250
  • CEU's: The Children's SPOT Inc. is an ACE CEU provider. BCBA's and BCBA- D's may receive 7 CEUs for Day 1 and 7 CEU's for Day 2.
    • CEU cost: additional $100
  • For more information please contact Kimahni Peele Contact Kimahni

Day 1, Morning Schedule:

Title: Functional Assessment of Severe Problem Behavior: A Focus on a Safer, Faster, and More Effective Process

Abstract: Behavioral intervention can be effective for addressing problem behavior like meltdowns, self-injury, and aggression, especially when a functional assessment of the problem is conducted to determine why the problem behavior is occurring. A number of myths regarding the functional assessment process, which appear to be pervasive within different research and practice communities, will be reviewed in the context of a series of empirical evaluations demonstrating the effectiveness and social validation of a particular functional assessment process. Through lecture, interactive discussion, and role play, attendees should be able to conduct interviews to discover synthesized reinforcement contingencies that may be influencing problem behavior and then design and implement safe, fast, and effective functional analyses from the interviews to determine the legitimacy of suspected reinforcement contingencies.

1. An attendee should be able to describe the conditions under which the different types of functional assessment (closed and open-ended indirect assessments, formal and informal descriptive assessments, functional analyses) should and should not be used when attempting to understand why problem behavior is occurring.
2. An attendee will be able to describe multiple tactics to improve the safety and efficiency of the functional assessment process, especially the functional analysis part of the process.
3. An attendee will be able to describe various tactics for efficiently determining whether different topographies of problem behavior are influenced by the same reinforcing contingency.
4. An attendee should be able to defend the practice of relying on synthesized reinforcement contingencies when functionally analyzing problem behavior and articulate the advantages of functional control over functional classification.

Day 1 Afternoon Schedule:

Title: Treating Severe Problem Behavior: A Focus on Strengthening Socially Important Behavior

Abstract: The success of treatments for problem behaviors like meltdowns, self-injury, or aggression is largely dependent on whether the treatment is based on the function the problem behavior serves for the person with autism. But because of the seemingly obligatory focus on detecting the impact of single variables in good behavior analytic research, effective behavioral technology is often fractured across studies, resulting in a dearth of studies showing socially valid improvements in these problem behaviors and an absence of studies illustrating the treatment process from start to finish. In this session, an effective, comprehensive, and parent-validated treatment process for problem behavior will be described. The comparative research that underscores the importance of focusing on the skills of communication, toleration, and contextually appropriate behavior will be reviewed. The logistics of implementing this treatment in a variety of contexts that differ in personnel will be discussed.

1. An attendee will be able to describe strategies for teaching individuals with severe problem behavior to engage in an omnibus communication response and then procedures for differentiating the response so that a communication repertoire is established.
2. An attendee will be able to describe the key components of strategies for teaching individuals with severe problem behavior to tolerate both delays to and denials of reinforcers previously maintaining their problem behavior.
3. An attendee should be able to describe how contextually appropriate behavior (compliance, independent academic work and play) may be shaped and maintained during variable and sometimes long delays to the reinforcers that historically maintained problem behavior.

Day 2 Schedule

Title: Implementing the PFA process with students served by sponsoring organization

Abstract: The PFA and skill-based treatment is an evidenced based package to address problem behaviors such as meltdowns, self-injury, or aggression.  The treatment for these problem behaviors is based on the function of the problem behavior for that individual. In this session, attendees will be able to work directly with clients to take what was learned in the first day and implement it with clients.  This collaborative and experiential approach to learning will help the attendees of the training learn how to take the information from the open-ended interview and use it to develop an effective IISCA that will yield an appropriate treatment for the individual engaging in problem behavior. 

Review implementation details to enhance the speed, safety, and efficacy of PFA and SBT implementation and successfully design and implement functional analyses for target children/clients that yield strong influence of problem behavior (and serve as an effective baseline from which life skills can be taught).

Presenter Information

Dr. Hanley has been applying the principles of learning to improve socially important behaviors of children and adults with and without disabilities for 29 years. He started in direct care and management roles in ICFs/MR (1990-1994), worked on the Neurobehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (1994-1997), was degreed at the University of Florida (2001), was tenured at the University of Kansas (2006), and developed and directed the Behavior Analysis Doctoral Program and Life Skills Clinic at Western New England University (WNEU; 2007-2019).

Dr. Hanley is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Div. 25), past Associate Editor of The Behavior Analyst, and past Editor of Behavior Analysis in Practice and of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. He has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters primarily focused on the assessment, treatment, and prevention of problem behavior and sleep problems, teaching strategies for developing life skills, and empirically-derived values for practitioners.

Dr. Hanley currently advises doctoral candidates as a Research Professor at WNEU, serves as an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and leads FTF Behavioral, the international training and consulting group based in Worcester, Massachusetts.