This stream is proudly sponsored by Best Start Clinic 





Claire Taptil

Program Supervisor - Learning for Life Autism Centre

Applying ABA principles to therapist training

Learning for life Autism Centre has hired and trained hundreds of ABA therapists during its years of operation.  This presentation will draw upon that vast experience to illustrate the benefits of utilizing ABA principles for therapist training, as opposed to just for the therapy itself.

Dr Kristelle Hudry PhD - Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University

Abby Marshall - Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre (ASELCC), Olga Tennison Research Centre 

Similar gains for children receiving G-ESDM in inclusive vs. specialised settings: Feasibility and outcomes from a randomised trial.

This study builds on a growing evidence based during the past decade (established from the initial trial publication by Dawson et al., 2010) on the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), a comprehensive early-intervention for young children with autism, with its foundations in an integration of developmental and behavioural science. Members of this project team adapted this model for group implementation, recently publishing the manual for G-ESDM (Vivanti et al., 2017). Meanwhile, in continuing to progress both our practice and research using this intervention model, here we propose to present findings from our recently-published randomised trial comparing outcomes for children receiving G-ESDM in mainstream inclusive vs. autism-specific specialised settings. This is the first completed and published randomised trial comparing a manualised intervention delivered across different types of settings for young children with autism. This study has been published in the Autism journal.

Tineke Sibbel M.Ed, BCBA & Stefanie Maurtua M.S., BCBA
Happy Oak Behavioural Consulting
Teaching Verbal Behaviour to Children Diagnosed with Autism

Impairments in communication are among the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. Research supports that early identification and treatment of communication deficits is critical to the overall development of the individual. Therefore, the evaluation of effective language interventions is a critical component of our intensive early intervention model at Happy Oak.  
Historically, many EIBI ABA programs do not apply Skinner’s analysis of language and communication. ‘Verbal Behaviour’ (VB) and the ‘Verbal Operants’ are sometimes misunderstood by both parents and professionals. This presentation will explain these terms simply and describe the benefits of their application. Differences with more traditional ABA programs will be outlined including differences in teaching methods and the ways that language and communication are analysed and broken down for teaching.  In addition, this presentation also describes Skinner’s verbal operants and extends on teaching strategies that have been proven effective to teach “intraverbal skills” or “conversational skills,” which are the most complex and often difficult form of communication to teach to children with language deficits. Practical examples will also be provided to assist parents, professionals, and Behavior Interventionists to understand Verbal Behaviour and its value when teaching communication skills.

BACB Type 2 CEU available - 0.5 CE credit


This stream is proudly sponsored by



Jack Massey BA (Hons) (Psychology)
Case Manager & Therapy Co-ordinator at Abacus Learning Centre
Transitioning to Primary School – A Model for Developing School Readiness Skills for Children with Autism

The presentation will provide a practical model for preparing children with autism to successfully transition to mainstream primary school by developing their school readiness skills. The transition to the first year of school is key in determining future school success (Fabian & Dunlop, 2006). Children encounter changes in social and behavioural interactions, expectations, curriculum, educational goals, and the physical environment (Dockett & Perry, 2004; Margetts, 2011). This period is more challenging for children with autism (Janus, Kopechanski, Cameron, & Hughes, 2008). The transition from early intensive behavioural intervention (EIBI) programs to school often evokes concerns from parents and EIBI providers as to how skills gained in EIBI will be generalised and maintained at school (Starr, Martini, & Kuo, 2014). Greater attention to and practice of school readiness skills such as independence, cooperation, organisation and attention prior to entry into school is critical in maximising opportunities for a positive transition (Walker et al., 2012).

Lauren Chapman M.ED, BCBA - Clinical Director
Woodbury Autism Education and Research
Supporting classroom participation through the application of simple behaviour support strategies

The application of ABA to support students with Autism is supported through over 40 years of research. Despite this efficacy service providers, suitably qualified professionals and funding is limited within Australia. To overcome this barrier multiple hurdles need to be navigated. Woodbury Autism Education and research is doing it's part by demonstrating the efficacy of ABA practices within a classroom setting. By demonstrating the importance of quality ABA and the improved outcomes associated with its application in a child's early development. By disseminating knowledge and understanding that with a few simple practices children can be supported to participate within an inclusive setting.

BACB Type 2 CEU available - 0.5 CE credit

Dr Angelika Anderson BCBA-D
Associate Professor - School of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato
Addressing behaviours of concern; how do you know it’s done right?

As a parent or a practitioner, how can you tell if your child’s / client’s behaviour support plan is indeed function based, in line with current best practice, and likely to lead to the desired outcomes?  This presentation will briefly outline the rationale behind function-based behavioural interventions and describe the process of identifying the function of behaviour, and using this information to inform a positive behaviour support plan. The presentation will then highlight critical elements of these procedures and associated outcomes, focusing on what parents and professionals without this specific expertise might look for to ensure best practice is implemented, ad that those in their care receive the best treatment possible.


This stream is proudly sponsored by:

Erin Leif, PhD, BCBA-D -  Senior Lecturer - Educational Psychology and Applied Behaviour Analysis, Monash University

Eileen Roscoe, PhD, BCBA-D - The New England Centre for Children and Western New England University
A new approach for assessing and expanding activity preferences for individuals with ASD

This research study demonstrates a new tactic for teaching play and leisure skills to individuals with autism, while simultaneously evaluating shifts in preference following the implementation of different treatment components 

BACB Type 2 CEU available - 0.5 CE credit

Sophie Kerr, B App Sci (Dis Stud)(Hon), B. Ed 
Managing Director Pyramid Educational Consultants of Australia 
Komala Kyme, MTeach, Consultant  
Why the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Protocol is more Relevant than Ever?

In recent years, there has been an explosion of high-tech communication options on the market. If individuals learn to be effective communicators via PECS and then transition to an SGD, minimal modification of the protocol is necessary.This presentation will begin with a review of the basic features of PECS, an overview of the treatment protocol, and a summary of the research supporting PECS as evidence-based practice.

Artika Singh, M.Sc. ABA
Behavior Consultant - Global ABA Consulting
Differential Reinforcement 

Differential reinforcement procedures will be examined in how to increase the rate of desirable behaviour and decrease the rate of undesirable behaviour. It will describe how the principles of reinforcement and extinction are used in the differential reinforcement procedures. The procedures discussed will be Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviour (DRO), Differential Reinforcement of Low Rates of Responding (DRL), Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviour (DRA) and its variations: Differential Reinforcement of Incompatible Behaviour (DRI) and Differential Reinforcement of Communication (DRC). There will be an overview on when to implement each procedure. A brief summary will be provided on how to identify reinforcers, how to eliminate reinforcement for undesirable behaviours, how to maintain the target behaviour and how to program for generalization. Published research will be presented as examples for each differential reinforcement procedures. As well, practical examples from home and school ABA program will be examined on one or more of the procedures.

Best start.jpg
Learn to Shine LOGO.png