Ethical Treatment of Challenging Behavior in Students with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities


11/13/2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

11/13/2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

In Collaboration with the Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD)

Thursday, November 13
4-5 p.m. ET


Students with autism, intellectual disability, or other developmental disabilities often display behaviors that act as barriers to social, academic, and adaptive development.  Many traditional methods to reduce challenging behaviors, such as punishment and other aversive interventions, are now widely recognized as unethical, and often are illegal.  In this program, a panel of experts will explore how the treatment of challenging behavior has evolved to conform to ethical guidelines and evidence-based practices for supporting appropriate behavior.  Specifically, speakers will discuss a functional approach to behavior support including antecedent-based interventions, replacement behavior, and consequence strategies.  You'll come away better able to prevent and respond to challenging behaviors with strategies that are evidence-based and respectful of students' rights and dignity.

Learner Outcomes:

After completing this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe the history of the treatment of challenging behavior in persons with developmental disabilities and discuss the rationale for the current ethical guidelines
  • Summarize CEC and BACB® ethical guidelines for the treatment of challenging behavior
  • List and describe the strategies that are considered best practice in the treatment of challenging behaviors in individuals with developmental disabilities, including:
    • FBA process
    • Antecedent-Based Strategies
    • Teaching New Skills


Amanda Boutout, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is an associate professor of special education at Texas State University where she is the coordinator of the graduate program in autism and applied behavior analysis.  She regularly consults with school districts and parents on issues related to challenging behavior.

Sam DiGangi, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is an associate professor of special education at Arizona State University where he is the director of the ASU-Online applied behavior analysis program.  Dr. DiGangi has worked in schools and conducted scholarship in the area of positive behavior interventions and supports.

Jason Travers, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is an assistant professor of special education at Kansas University.  Dr. Travers was a special education teacher for children with autism and now researchers underrepresentation of minority children with autism in public schools, issues related to sexuality, and prevention strategies for student learning and behavior.