Australian Catholic University, 115 Victoria Parade Fitzroy

ABIA Member: $175 full day, $99 single workshop
Non Member: $199 full day, $129 single workshop

WORKSHOP 1 (9-12pm)

Sophie Kerr BAppSci. (Disability Studies) (Hons) BEd
Director, Pyramid Educational Consultants Australia

Title: What’s the Emperor Wearing These Days?  Communication, Apps and PECS

Over 25 years ago, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed and used as a training protocol that incorporated Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior, to help establish manding and other key verbal operants in students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental issues. Many research reviews describe PECS as an evidence-based practice. According to pediatric guidelines regarding ASD interventions published in PEDIATRICS: The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “individuals with ASDs who have limited verbal language, or those who do not respond to multiple interventions aimed at improving communication, should be offered the opportunity to use PECS” (Maglione, Gans, Das, Timbie, Kasari and HRSA Autism Intervention Research, 2012). The article did however note that as yet there was no evidence for the effectiveness of “AAC devices.” However, with the advance of technology involving the use of speech generating devices (SGDs) and iPad apps, many parents and professionals are convinced that the technological advances and the voice associated with such devices will help lead to better communication skills as well as speech. This workshop will review recent research regarding such devices as well as apps,and review why the PECS protocol is effective with regard to the rapid development of verbal behavior under the stimulus control of the audience (or listener). A similar analysis will then be used to review whether some of the uses of SGDs and apps ensures that verbal behavior is being established. Finally, the presentation will point out some simple ways to demonstrate whether an electronic device is being used as a toy or as part of a communication strategy.
Suitable for: ABA Professionals, Speech Pathologists, Special Education Teachers, and Parents of non-verbal children. 
Presenter Background

Sophie Kerr has worked in the field of disability in various capacities since 1996 with both children and adults with disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy to traumatic brain injury. Sophie’s major focus over this time has been working with children on the autism spectrum aged between 2 and 14 years within Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) programs both in Australia and the UK. She has worked on an eclectic range of programs which have incorporated various interventions including picture communication, social skills development, speech and language development, motor skill development and sensory integration. Sophie completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Disability Studies) (Honours) at Deakin University in Melbourne in 1999. She returned to study in 2005 and graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Charles Darwin University in Darwin. Sophie commenced working for Pyramid Educational Consultants of Australia in February 2008. She has implemented PECS in her clinical work with numerous individuals and school groups with autism and related disabilities.

WORKSHOP 2 (1-4pm)  (3 type 2 BACB CE credits available)

Susan Petrie MSc(Psych), PGDipPracPsych(ABA), BCBA
Director, Beanstalk Child Psychology (Adelaide)

Title: How to run an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Program for Parents of children with autism

There is now a growing amount of data and literature on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy’s (ACT) effectiveness with a variety of disorders and behaviour. This workshop will teach attendees how to apply the 6 core ACT principles to parents of children with autism to lower their stress and increase protocol adherence. Attendees will also be taken through the manuals program developed by Gould, Tarbox & Coyne (2017). A manual will be provided along with data sheets and exercises.

Learning objectives:

1. Identify the 6 core ACT principles
2. Develop goals with parents by identifying behaviours congruent with their ACT values
3. Identify ways for parents to collect data on their target ACT behaviours
4. Conduct a mindfulness exercises for parents to lower their stress levels

Suitable for: Professionals & BCBAs interested in learning how to run an ACT group for ASD parents, participants will gain tools and build skills to respond to challenging situations.

Presenter Background
Susan is registered psychologist and a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and has been working in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) for over 15 years. She has worked around the world helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorder reach their potential through the most effective evidence-based interventions available. Currently she is the Director of Beanstalk Child Psychology in Adelaide and a guest lecturer within the University of Adelaide’s Learning and Behaviour course. Susan is passionate about providing the highest standard of therapy possible to her clients and was delighted to receive an award of excellence this year.