Speakers’ Series

UK-SBA Speakers’ Series 9 with Prof Greg Hanley

Dates: 10-11 May 2018
BACB CEUs: 6 per day (Type 2,  included in registration fee)
Venue: University College London, 26 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AP

This event is now full.  To reserve a place on the waiting list, please contact [email protected] 


10 May
9:00-9:30 Registration
9:30-11:30 Session 1 (Part 1a: Functional Assessment)
11:30-1:00 Lunch Break
1:00-3:00 Session 2 (Part 1b: Functional Assessment)
3:00-3:30 Break
3:30-5:30 Session 3 (Part 2a: Treatment)

11 May
9:00-9:30 Registration
9:30-11:30 Session 1 (Part 2b: Treatment)
11:30-1:00 Lunch Break
1:00-3:00 Session 2 (Part 3a: Stereotypy)
3:00-3:30 Break
3:30-5:30 Session 3 (Part 3b: Stereotypy)


HanleyDr. Hanley has been applying the principles of learning to improve socially important behaviors of children and adults with and without disabilities for 25 years.  He worked and trained at the Spurwink School, the Groden Center, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, was degreed at the University of Florida, was tenured at the University of Kansas, and is currently a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Behavior Analysis Doctoral Program at Western New England University and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Hanley has published over 100 book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals in areas such as the assessment and prevention of problem behavior, teaching tactics for young children, and evidence-based values.  Dr. Hanley is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 25), past Editor of Behavior Analysis in Practice (BAP), and a past Associate Editor of The Behavior Analyst, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA), and BAP, and current Editor of JABA.

Part 1: Functional Assessment of Severe Problem Behaviour: A Focus on a Safer, Faster, and Still 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 an attempt to develop new lore regarding the functional assessment process. Frequently described obstacles to implementing a critical aspect of the functional assessment process, the functional analysis, will be reviewed in the context of new solutions for overcoming them. Through lecture, interactive discussion, and role play, attendees should be able to conduct interviews to discover 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. An iterative interview/analysis process will also be reviewed for situations in which initial analyses do not yield sufficient information to proceed to treatment.

1. An attendee should be able to describe the conditions under which the different types of functional assessment 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.
3. An attendee will be able to describe procedures for efficiently determining whether different topographies of problem behavior are influenced by the same reinforcing contingency.
4. Given the results of an open-ended interview, the attendee should be able to design an efficient, individualized (non-standardized) and synthesized functional analysis.

Part 2: Treating Severe Problem Behaviour: A Focus on Strengthening Socially Important Behaviour 

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 compliance will be reviewed. The logistics of implementing this treatment in a variety of contexts that differ in personnel will be discussed along with procedures for training parents and staff and extending the treatment into relevant contexts over realistic time periods.

1. Given different functions of problem behavior, the attendee should be able to design functionally-relevant, effective, and skill-based interventions capable of producing generalizable and socially valid improvements in problem behavior.
2. An attendee will be able to describe strategies for teaching individuals with severe problem behavior to engage in a generalized communication response and then procedures for differentiating the response so that a communication repertoire is established.
3. 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.
4. An attendee should be able to describe how compliance and leisure skills may be shaped during delays to the reinforcers that historically maintained problem behavior.(These objectives should be met while applying the evidence-based tactics to at least two clients being served by the organization)

Part 3:  Developing Effective and Preferred Treatments for Stereotypy

Abstract:  Persons diagnosed with Autism often engage in repetitive acts that appear to serve no function; these acts are collectively referred to as stereotypy due to the formal similarity of the acts and the periodicity with which they are emitted. Behavior analysts are often called upon to develop behavior plans addressing stereotypy when it is exhibited with impairing frequency.  In this presentation, treatments that (a) capitalize on the reinforcing nature of stereotypy, (b) teach the appropriate times and places for stereotypy to occur, (c) yield skills that may eventually eclipse stereotypy, and (d) are preferred by the person receiving the treatment will be described. Procedures for extending this treatment model to address ritualistic behaviors and vocal stereotypy will also be described.

1. The attendee should be able to describe the conditions under which stereotypy requires intervention and the most appropriate or achievable goals regarding stereotypy.
2. The attendee should be able to describe the behavioral interventions that are not likely to result in long term resolution of stereotypy.
3. The attendee should be able to describe procedures for gaining stimulus control over stereotypy and the importance of the concept of contingency when attempting to design effective and preferred interventions for stereotypy.