Justin Leaf Ph.D. – Ethical Approaches – 1 Hour Ethics



Ethical approaches to teaching social skills for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. (ETHICS)

Filmed in 2020

ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in social behavior, including, but not limited to, social communication, interaction, and reciprocity. To address these deficits, there are a myriad of social skills interventions available to the behavior analyst. Unfortunately, many of these interventions lack methodologically sound empirical support for their effectiveness, while others could be considered pseudoscientific and/or antiscientific. Behavior analysts who provide or oversee these interventions have an ethical obligation to select and provide effective intervention. Therefore, it is essential for behavior analysts to have a firm understanding of effective social skills interventions as well as the skills necessary to identify social skills interventions that lack empirical support and may be ineffective or harmful. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce practicing behavior analysts to the empirical evidence of several popular social skills interventions, provide examples of how to identify and research potentially pseudoscientific interventions, and outline the importance of understanding the evidence and identification of pseudoscientific interventions as it relates to ethical obligations to clients. 


At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants will be able to: 

  1. identify and describe several evidence-based social skills interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD
  2. identify and describe at least two commonly used social skills interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD that lack empirical support or align closely to a pseudoscience
  3. describe the ethical implications of using social skills interventions that lack empirical support
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