Could it Be Pain?: How to Assess Behavioral Patterns in ID and DD Clients

CEUs: 2 Ethics Type II BACB
Presenter(s): Julie Preuss, BCBA


This webinar will provide a primer on nonverbal behavior research, the use of the grimace facial expression to assess pain, and go over a study on pain physiological reactions in children without a diagnosis, with Autism and a group with Intellectual Disability. Then we will go over a comprehensive overview of lessor known behaviors that are associated with pain reactions for children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and psychiatric conditions. Have you ever had a client exhibit a new set of behaviors that don’t align with the assumed function? Maybe it’s not attention. Maybe it’s medical. Integration of medical knowledge about pain into your behavior analytic practice could help solve some complicated cases that have yet been resolved and enhance clientele outcomes. Learn how to collaborate with medical practitioners with evidence-based assessments and ongoing behavioral data for in-depth analyses of complicated medical and behavioral interactions. Empower yourself and caregivers with a comprehensive way to assess pain.

At the end of this training, participants will:

  • Understand what nonverbal communication is and how it applies to behavior analysis.
  • Learn that culture can affect how nonverbal communication is displayed by in-group members.
  • Learn about the grimace facial action/facial expression and how it’s used by the medical field to assess pain experienced by client, including those who are unable to vocalize their pain levels (either because they are typically nonvocal or are nonvocal due to pain medications after an operation).
  • Understand how Autistics, people with intellectual disabilities, and/or have dual diagnosis have differentiating experiences with pain, and how those differences need to be accounted for when writing a behavior plan.
  • A overview of pain literature that was put in an excel doc for participants, two pain articles from other fields, and a quick overview of the included Behavior Taxonomy Template.
If you purchase this course you will earn 25 Points worth $2.50!

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Additional information

CEU Type


CEU Amount


Product Type

Single On-Demand


Paid, Included with Trail Blazers

Course Presenter

Julie Preuss, BCBA


Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


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Julie Preuss, BCBA

Julie Preuss is a BCBA in St. Louis, Mo. During her psychology undergrad training, she focused her upper level classes on behavioral neuroscience and social psychology. She was a research assistant for Dr. Bettina Casad, in her social psychology lab, at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. That experience taught Julie the importance of physiological behavior data when assessing complicated human interactions, such as perceived heart rate, sweat conduction, and blood pressure levels. Additionally, she learned about the complicated science behind nonverbal behavior, by Dr. Miles Patterson, past editor of the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. During her graduate program in behavior analysis, Julie worked with adults and children who had Autism, psychiatric conditions, and dual diagnosis. She is also a committee member of the Behavior Support Review Committee at the Missouri Department of Mental Health, which provides support and review of behavior plans that are not reaching predetermined goals. Her approach to behavior analytic services is focused on integrative behavioral packages that use evidence-based practices, centering on the perception and experience of adult and pediatric clients to promote behavioral changes guided by a person-centered approach.