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Collaboration for OT and BCBA for Children with ASD

presented by Renee Watling & Christopher Jones

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Children who display challenging behaviors often receive services from a wide range of professionals. In order for intervention services to be the most effective, collaboration between service providers is essential. However, differences in professional practice approaches can make inter-disciplinary collaboration difficult. This course discusses the necessary components of effective collaboration and explores the collaborative practices of occupational therapy and behavior analysis practitioners. Nationally known and respected practitioners from each profession present their unique perspectives regarding a case example of a child with challenging behavior and collaborate to assess the behavior and develop an intervention plan.

Meet Your Instructors

  • Renee Watling, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

    Dr. Watling has been a pediatric occupational therapist in Washington State since 1992. She has worked in clinic, school, and private practice settings; has lectured extensively at state, regional, and national conferences; and has published extensively on the topics of sensory processing, sensory-based occupational therapy intervention, and issues related to services for children with autism. She is the lead author of the AOTA Practice Guideline for Children and Adolescents with Challenges in Sensory Processing and Sensory Integration and the co-editor for Autism: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach. Dr. Watling received her BS and MS in occupational therapy from the School of Medicine at the University of Washington and her PhD from the College of Education at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on understanding the relationship between sensory processing and behavior, especially among children with autism spectrum disorders. She has served on various committees for the American Occupational Therapy Association, including holding the positions of Chairperson and Education/Research liaison for the Sensory Integration Special Interest Section and participating in the Autism Workgroup. She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association and has been on select advisory panels for the organization. She is a past Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington – Seattle and is now Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Puget Sound, where she teaches in the entry-level Master’s program and post-professional doctoral program.

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  • Christopher Jones, PhD, BCBA-D

    While Dr. Jones is a full-time consulting staff member at the University of Washington Haring Center, he also the past president of the Washington Association for Behavior Analysis. His past research as a visiting professor at the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington concentrated on social and communication skills for children and young adults with autism and other mental health issues. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences locally and nationally. His clinical work has focused on teaching these same social and communication skills as well as adaptive/self-help skills. In addition to his training as both a developmental psychologist and behavior analyst, Dr. Jones also has more than two decades of clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and young adults with developmental disabilities and almost 15 years working with populations specifically affected by autism. He has facilitated autism and ADHD social skills groups to promote social and communication skills and conducted many autism and Asperger’s syndrome trainings to teachers, therapists, social workers, parents, and university professors. In addition to his clinical experience, Dr. Jones also works administratively as the director of operations for an ABA business and consults widely on business matters for ABA businesses in Washington State and across the country.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. Essentials of Collaboration

    1. Essentials of Collaboration

    A large body of evidence supports collaboration among service delivery providers for promoting positive outcomes in clients; however, collaboration between professionals can be challenging. This chapter addresses the essential components of effective collaboration in therapeutic service delivery including building inter-professional rapport, establishing role clarity and expectations, using a shared decision-making process, and fostering unity.

  2. Introductions to Occupational Therapy and Behavior Analysis

    2. Introductions to Occupational Therapy and Behavior Analysis

    This chapter will introduce occupational therapy, including areas of knowledge and expertise based on curricular requirements of accredited programs; main philosophies that guide treatment, particularly as related to challenging behavior; and professional preparation for collaborative relationships with other professionals. The chapter will discuss the holistic approach that occupational therapists have regarding client function including understanding of the person-environment-occupation relationship. This chapter is designed to help non occupational therapy practitioners better understand occupational therapy philosophy and professional preparation as a foundation for improving inter-professional collaboration.

  3. Approaches to Addressing Challenging Behaviors

    3. Approaches to Addressing Challenging Behaviors

    This chapter will introduce behavior analysis, including areas of knowledge and expertise based on curricular requirements of accredited programs; main philosophies that guide treatment, particularly as related to challenging behavior; professional preparation for collaborative relationships with other professionals. This chapter will explain how behavior analysts use the science of behaviorism to address behaviors of social significance to the individual. This chapter is designed to help non applied behavior analysis therapy practitioners better understand ABA therapy philosophy and professional preparation as a foundation for improving inter-professional collaboration.

  4. OT-BCBA Collaboration in Action

    4. OT-BCBA Collaboration in Action

    This chapter contains a discussion of each profession’s general approach to understanding and planning intervention for challenging behavior. For occupational therapists, this will include consideration of the function of the behavior and any sensory influences on the behavior such as neurophysiological processing of sensory input and its widespread effect on client arousal, emotion, behavior, and function. The chapter will also address using behavioral, sensory integrative, and neurophysiological frames of reference for understanding the behavior and designing intervention. For behavior analysts, this will include emphasis on function of the behavior and the ABCs that the behavior is contingent upon. It will also include assessment tools commonly used by behavior analysts for evaluating challenging behavior and an assessment/evaluation of the environment where the behavior occurs and other possible contingencies. This chapter will explicitly highlight places of overlap and agreement between the professions and suggest strategies for working together in situations where disagreement exists.