Dr. Shahla Alai: "Contingencies of Joy"

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Abstract: The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of practices that nurture joy in the lives of young children with autism, their families and their supporting professionals. The talk is divided into three sections. The first section explores the concept of joy and discusses the role of contingencies in understanding and changing behavior for the better. The second section focuses on the role of evidence-based practice, the need to go beyond reducing problems, and the importance of striving to preventatively and proactively foster healthy relationships at all levels. A program example is included. The final section provides a framework for continued progress by establishing intentional communities of practice. Communities of practice with a mission of increasing joy are likely to encourage ongoing learning, human connections and loving approaches to intervention This presentation is based, in part, on: Alai & Zueg (2010), Three Considerations; Alai, Toussaint & McGee (2018) Incidental Teaching: Happy Progress; Miller, Re Cruz & Alai (2019) Inherent Tensions and Possibilities: Behavior Analysis and Cultural Responsiveness; Alai-Rosales, et al, (2019) The Big Four; and, Alai & Heinkle-Wolfe (coming in Summer 2021) Between Now and Dreams (a book for parents)

Hawai'i Association for Behavior analysis

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