Collaborative Training and Practice among Applied Behavior Analysts who Support Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Amy Kelly and Matt Tincani
Abstract: Increasingly, practicing behavior analysts play an integral role as interdisciplinary team members to develop instructional programs for students with autism spectrum disorder. However, there is a lack of research on collaborative training and practice as it relates to professionals in the field of ABA. In this study, 302 behavioral professionals, 95% of whom worked with individuals with ASD, were surveyed regarding what training they received in collaboration, the type and extent of collaborative interactions with other professionals, variables they perceive to inhibit and facilitate collaboration, and the extent to which they view collaboration as a valuable component of their practice. Results indicate that while applied behavior analysts frequently collaborate with a variety of professionals and view collaboration as important, on average they received little or no formal training in collaboration, were more likely to provide than to adopt programming recommendations from professionals except for those with similar training, and reported lower ratings with respect to the experience and value of collaboration in their practice. Collectively, results highlight a need to increase collaborative training of practicing behavior analysts, particularly in relation to providing recommendations to and adopting recommendations from non-behavioral professionals, and to conduct research on modes of collaboration that lead to best outcomes.