(REC) Engineering Affirming Relations using Advances in Relational Frame Theory

Neurodiversity affirming practices extend from the assumption that all individuals have different abilities and perceptual interactions with their world, and practice should seek to foster supporting environments that allow people to thrive as they are (Singer, 1998; Blume, 1998; Pearson & Rose, 2021). This series of presentations will provide an overview of on-going research in our lab to support the development of neurodiversity affirming practices in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). We borrow heavily from critical and pragmatic theories and selection at multiple analytic levels of analysis. First, Adler will present research incorporating personal interests into therapy, including teaching of daily living and vocational skills and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Second, Hutchison will present on a developing research line exploring the flexible use of gender pronouns and teaching flexible pronoun use within neurotypical and autistic populations. Third, Zuch will discuss research exploring autism stigma and relational framing and the role behavior analysts could play in developing more affirming spaces for autistics. Finally, we will have an open audience question and answer period where all attendees are welcome to participate in a safe space.


  • incorporate personal interests into programming for neurodivergent learners;
  • describe relational framing within flexible use of gender pronouns and considerations for instructional programming;
  • discuss autism stigma and factors within ABA communities that might contribute to stigmatizing beliefs

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Course Includes

  • 2 Lessons
  • 1 Quiz
  • Course Certificate

    2 Learning BACB®