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Essential Competencies for Practitioners Working with Children Diagnosed with Autism

Mary Jane Weiss
The practice of Applied Behavior Analysis gets more complex with each passing year, and the definition of essential competencies continues to expand. Our understanding of how to apply the science and technology of ABA becomes increasingly nuanced and sophisticated with the advancement of research and the development of clinical tools. This presentation focuses on the essential competencies for practitioners that will enable clinicians to remain aware of best practice recommendations, to stay close to the evidence-based nature of our science, and to apply our interventions in ethical and humane ways.

Presented at the 2015 Michigan Autism Conference

Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Professor at Endicott College, where she directs the Master’s Program in ABA and Autism and is a mentoring faculty member in the Doctoral program. She also does research with the team at Melmark. Dr. Weiss has worked in the field of ABA and Autism for over 30 years. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University in 1990 and she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2000. She previously worked for 16 years at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University, where she served as Director of Research and Training and as Clinical Director. Her interests center on defining best practice ABA techniques, evaluating the impact of ABA in learners with autism, teaching social skills to learners with autism, training staff to be optimally effective, and maximizing family members’ expertise and adaptation. She serves on the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research, is a regular reviewer for a variety of professional journals, and is a frequent member of service committees for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She is also a Past President of the Autism SIG at ABAI and a former member of the Board of APBA.

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