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Episode #172: They Have a Voice, Are We Listening? with Joe Veneziano and Dr. Shannon Shea

The title of Joe Veneziano and Dr. Shannon Shea’s research article, They Have a Voice, Are We Listening?, caught my eye and I had to read it. These two BCBAs met at a Journal Club and connected over the need to shed light on the history and nuance of ABA and Behavior Analysis.

With the field growing and the opinions of professionals being so diverse, educating incoming BCBAs on the history of behavior analysis is crucial. Their paper examines “indistinguishability” and its implications by defining “indistinguishable” in behavior analytic terms. They write about well known studies, such as the Lovaas seminal paper (1987). There are many critiques of ABA in the field and in the in the media today. Is it evil or bad? Is it perfect? Neither is true, but the field and practice of behavior analysis rely on the lens of the research you undertake.

Together, we discuss the importance of evaluating research critically and understanding the difference between pseudoscience and robust research. We also highlight the need for an emphasis on the underrepresented voices of autism, including queer individuals, POCs, and women. 

Research and an open mind are crucial to the success of ABA and the impact it will have on individuals receiving it. As quoted in their article, “Go forward with empathy and cultural humility.”

#autism #speechtherapy

Today’s Guest:

Joe Veneziano is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has worked with autistic adults and adults with other developmental disabilities for the past eight years. Joe received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Music with a Concentration in Neuroscience from Grinnell College and his Master’s Degree in Autism Studies from University of Massachusetts Lowell. Joe is passionate about neurodiversity and ensuring that autistic voices are centered in conversations about autism. Currently, Joe is also a PhD student in Applied Psychology and Prevention Science at University of Massachusetts Lowell, where his research focuses on neurodiversity, the intersection of autistic and LGBTQ+ identities, and masking in the autistic community.

Dr. Shannon Shae is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral with an MS in Counseling.  She has  been helping individual clients and supervising future BCBAs  since 2008. Dr. Shae is an Assistant Professor at Endicott College. She recently developed a course titled Skill Building for Adults with Psychiatric Disorders. Her primary areas of expertise are dual diagnosis in ABI/TBI with SUD, IDD with SMI and Equivalence Based Instruction.

What’s Inside:

  • Understanding the history of Applied Behavior Analysis.
  • Evaluating research critically is necessary to get the best understanding.
  • Pseudoscience vs. robust research.
  • Emphasizing underrepresented autistic voices.

Mentioned In This Episode

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