Training Manuals, Protocol Manuals, and Research Articles

The Applied Behavior Analysis Research Department focuses on dissemination not only through conferences, but also through publication. Below are some examples of the type of content we provide to the larger community. We emphasize practical application in socially significant situations.

QSwim Training Manual: Teaching LifeSaving Swim Skills to Children with Autism

LaMarca, V., Reedy, J., Sheward, K., & Michael, S.

This training manual was a result of years of experience at the Applied Behavior Center for Autism teaching individuals with autism to swim as well as ongoing research conducted on ABC’s swimming program.  Qswim focuses on life saving swim skills to prevent individuals from drowning.  Qswim’s assessment of skills categorizes lifesaving swim skills into 7 main areas, with 3 different levels, encompassing over 50 subskills.  The curriculum also includes data collection and assessment tracking forms.  Qswim’s teaching procedures are based on the principles of behavior analysis as applied in evidence-based research.  The manual is used as part of a training that includes hands-on, competency-based training as well as written tests to certify that individuals who receive the training have gained the skills necessary to implement the curriculum and teaching strategies successfully. 

How to Help a Child Become Comfortable Wearing a Mask

LaMarca, V.

This guide was created at the onset of the pandemic and was meant to help parents and professionals navigate mask wearing for children who may not at first be comfortable wearing a mask. We spread the word through social media and continue to provide the information on our website.

Pandemic Operational and Emergency Manual for COVID-19

Corona, R., Danner, K., Goudreau, K., LaMarca, V., LaMarca, J., Thomas, D., Walker, C., & Quinn, S.

This manual was created at the onset of the pandemic and shared with providers throughout the nation.  We continue to update the manual as we navigate information from the Center for Disease Control, data from our state government, and the needs of the individuals we serve.

The original version is available in the COVID Resources from the Council of Autism Service Providers

Designing receptive language programs: Pushing the boundaries of research and practice. 

Behavior Analysis in Practice, 11(4), 479-495. 

LaMarca, V. & LaMarca, J.

Abstract: Initial difficulty with receptive language is a stumbling block for some children with autism. Numerous strategies have been attempted over the years, and general guidelines for teaching receptive language have been published. But what to do when all else fails? This article reviews 21 strategies that have been effective for some children with autism. Although many of the strategies require further research, behavioral practitioners should consider implementation after careful review. The purpose of this article is to help behavior analysts in practice to categorize different teaching procedures for systematic review, recognize the conceptually systematic rationale behind each strategy, identify different client profiles that may make 1 strategy more effective than another, and create modifications to receptive language programming that remain grounded in research.