The Applied Behavior Center Research Department believes that our greatest accomplishments in life come when we actively work together to find the best in all of us. To that end, we host a variety of different professional development clubs, based on the interests of everyone on the team.

Research Club

On the first Friday of the month, we meet to collaborate towards submitting research, presentations, and posters at annual conferences.  There are multiple formats to presentations so people don’t have to go it alone.  We’ve focused on conference panels, conference symposiums, individual or partnered papers…again, there are lots of options.

We’ve noticed over the years the incredible number of ideas people have that are helpful to others.  Is there a good strategy or success story?  Does someone have a topic that is their passion and that they would love to talk about more with others?  Our goal is to help everyone find their voice, and for those who may have never considered it before, encourage them to step up to the mic!

Leadership Club

The exponential growth in both demand for BCBA’s and the number of BCBA’s in the field means that individuals may be called upon to take on additional leadership responsibilities when they are still relatively new to the field.  This club evolved from a desire to support each other becoming courageous leaders.  The group is reading Dare to Lead by Brene’ Brown and using the Read-Along Workbook to facilitate discussion.

Clinical Brainstorm Club

Once a quarter, all BCBA’s in the organization come together to brainstorm clinical issues they have recently been facing.  We use the Mentimeter app to help manage the discussion.  While BCBAs already have the opportunity to discuss issues with their Branch BCBA who oversees their center, other BCBAs in their center, and the Clinical Directors who support multiple centers, we have found that setting aside time for all BCBAs to talk generates novel insights from the specific nuanced expertise of every BCBA.  None of us is as smart and capable as all of us!

Journal Club

Once a month, we meet (virtually) at the end of the day (snacks or drinks in hand) to discuss an article of interest.  Any BCBA or BCaBA who has a “soapbox issue” they are dying to discuss can suggest an article and lead the group!  Everyone else supports their efforts by reading the article and providing at least one thoughtful question for potential use in the discussion.  As an ACE Provider, the club can be used to fulfill the ongoing CEU requirements of the BACB.

2021 Journal Club Discussions

Topic:  Criticisms and Responses that are Circulating Around ABA and Autism

Facilitator: Vincent, BCBA


  1. Leaf, J. B., Cihon, J. H., Leaf, R., McEachin, J., Liu, N., Russell, N., … & Khosrowshahi, D. (2021). Concerns About ABA-Based Intervention: An Evaluation and Recommendations. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-16. 
  2. Wilkenfeld, D. A., & McCarthy, A. M. (2020). Ethical Concerns with Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism Spectrum “Disorder”. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 30(1), 31-69. 

Topic:  Alternatives to Traditional Forms of Escape Extinction

Facilitator: Jennifer , BCBA

Article: Ward, S., Parker, A., & Perdikaris, A. (2017). Task as reinforcer: A reactive alternative to traditional forms of escape extinction. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 10(1), 22-34. 

Topic:  Functional Analyses and Overcoming Barriers to Using Them

Facilitator: Nick , BCBA


  1. Hanley, G. P. (2012). Functional assessment of problem behavior: Dispelling myths, overcoming implementation obstacles, and developing new lore. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 5(1), 54-72. 
  2. Iwata, B. A., & Dozier, C. L. (2008). Clinical application of functional analysis methodology. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 1(1), 3-9. 

Topic:  Performance Diagnostic Checklist and Applications with RBTs

Facilitator: Jennifer, BCBA


  1. Wilder, D. A., Lipschultz, J., & Gehrman, C. (2018). An evaluation of the Performance Diagnostic Checklist—Human services (PDC–HS) across domains. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 11(2), 129-138. 
  2. Carr, J. E., Wilder, D. A., Majdalany, L., Mathisen, D., & Strain, L. A. (2013). An assessment-based solution to a human-service employee performance problem. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 6(1), 16-32. 

Topic:  ABA and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Facilitator: In collaboration with Stephanie, BCBA, Megan, BCBA-D, and the Do Better Collective Reading to Action Group

Article: Gingles, D. (2021). Igniting Collective Freedom: An Integrative Behavioral Model of Acceptance and Commitment towards Black Liberation. 

Topic:  Feeding Challenges

Facilitator: Maddy, OTD and Jennifer, BCBA


  1. Ausderau, K. K., John, B. S., Kwaterski, K. N., Nieuwenhuis, B., & Bradley, E. (2019). Parents’ strategies to support mealtime participation of their children with autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73(1), 7301205070p1-7301205070p10. 
  2. Valdimarsdóttir, H., Halldórsdóttir, L. Y., & Sigurådóttir, Z. G. (2010). Increasing the variety of foods consumed by a picky eater: Generalization of effects across caregivers and settings. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43(1), 101-105. 

Topic:  Problem Solving in ABA Programming

Facilitator: Jennifer, BCBA

Article: Ferraioli, S., Hughes, C., & Smith, T. (2005). A model for problem solving in discrete trial training for children with autism. Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention, 2(4), 224. 

Topic:  Ethics in Sexual Behavior

Facilitator: Anna, BCBA

Article: Stein, S., & Dillenburger, K. (2017). Ethics in sexual behavior assessment and support for people with intellectual disability. International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 16(1), 11-17. 

Topic: Self Injury

Facilitator: Christina

Article: Iwata, B. A., Pace, G. M., Kissel, R. C., Nau, P. A., & Farber, J. M. (1990). The self‐injury trauma (SIT) scale: A method for quantifying surface tissue damage caused by self‐injurious behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23(1), 99-110. 

Topic: Ethical ABA and Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Facilitator: Jenn

Article: Brodhead, M. T. (2015). Maintaining professional relationships in an interdisciplinary setting: Strategies for navigating nonbehavioral treatment recommendations for individuals with autism. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 8(1), 70-78.