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Trauma-Informed FBAs and BIPs : An Interdisciplinary Team Assessment & Intervention Approach

Friday, October 25, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

BCBA, trauma-informed, child development, school, interdisciplinary team

The pervasive impact of trauma on a child’s development often manifests in challenging behaviors at school that interfere with his/her access to the curriculum. Assessing and planning effective behavioral interventions for students with a trauma history may fall outside of the “boundaries of competence” for many school-based BCBAs and social workers. This tutorial will present a practical guide for conducting a school-based Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) for students with a trauma history. Participants will learn how to use an interdisciplinary approach to expand on the core components of a FBA, including gathering background and history, assessing the student, observing the student, and analyzing the function of the behavior. Lastly, ten specific, evidence-based behavioral interventions that can be utilized in developing behavior support plans for students with a trauma history will be outlined. Ethical considerations and MA state initiatives, including PBIS and TLPI’s Trauma Sensitive Schools, will be integrated throughout the workshop. Specific case examples will be discussed and participants will have access to a “tool kit” and resources for practical implementation.

Workshop Objectives:

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the systemic impact of trauma on a child’s brain development and behavior.
  • Identify at least 3 practices to support a collaborative, trauma-informed approach to implementing Functional Behavior Assessments.
  • Identify 10 evidence-based practices to consider when implementing behavior support plans and interventions for children with a trauma history.

About the Speakers:

Anne Donovan, M.Ed, BCBA, LABA

Anne Donovan has been serving as the Director of ACCEPT Education Collaborative’s School Consultation & Assessment Services for over 10 years. She received a Master’s Degree in Education and is a licensed special education administrator and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Anne has extensive experience working with public school districts and Collaboratives to develop a range of special education programs and services and provide professional development opportunities to build districts’ capacity to meet the needs of diverse student populations. She has presented at numerous conferences and workshops on a variety of topics in the field of Special Education, and she also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Bridgewater State University and Framingham State University where she teaches graduate level courses. Anne’s interests include special education program development and improvement based on systemic evaluation. She has an advanced certification in Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) and works to apply these principles in the program evaluations she conducts in order to help administrative teams determine strengths and areas for improvement within their school district’s special education programs. She has also participated in several initiatives with the Massachusetts DESE, including being a trained strategic planning facilitator using the Planning for Success (PfS) framework.

Jillian Bennett, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA

Dr. Jillian Bennett is a licensed clinical psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has completed clinical training at major hospitals, such as Bradley Children’s Hospital (a Brown affiliate), and private institutions, such as the May Institute. She specializes in assessing and treating children, ages 1-15, with a variety of challenges, including autism, attention difficulties, learning problems, anxiety, and/or other emotional or behavioral disorders. She has post-doctoral training in neuropsychology and worked at a group practice for almost 8 years before starting her own practice, Bennett Assessment and Behavior Center for Children, LLC. Although most of her time is devoted to conducting comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations, she also provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), behavior therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), parent support and therapy, early executive functioning skill training (ages 3-7), and clinical and behavioral consultation to parents, schools, and private agencies. As a behavior analyst, she has worked in homes, schools, and private centers. She has experience developing an ABA program, supervising clinicians and BCBAs, and training parents and staff. She specializes in assessing and treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She utilizes ABA methodologies in her practice, but has previous experience using a Floortime approach in Early Intervention and a TEACCH approach in a summer camp setting. Dr. Bennett is unique in her training in both assessment and treatment. She believes that an evaluation with an accurate diagnosis and a well-formulated conceptualization of the child’s specific social, behavioral, emotional, and developmental challenges is critical in formulating an effective treatment plan. She combines her behavioral skills with her post-doctoral assessment training in neuropsychology to provide comprehensive care to children and their families. Her approach is family oriented, culturally sensitive, and child-focused. She is a strong advocate for children with developmental disabilities and mental health needs. Dr. Bennett conducts school observations, attends IEP meetings, and works collaboratively with several school teams to help identify and execute the appropriate services for each child. She believes, “Every child wants to do well. It is our job to figure out how to help them achieve this goal.”


Friday, October 25, 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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