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An Individualized and Empirical Approach to the Assessment and Treatment of Elopement

Presenter: Dr. Wayne Fisher

Download Course Syllabus

BACB Continuing Education Units
This course issues 3.0 units Type II BACB® CE Credit with no additional cost.

Course description
Results of a number of within-subject studies have shown that individuals with autism elope for three main reasons: to gain access to preferred items, to escape undesirable settings or activities, or to gain attention from others (e.g., Piazza et al., 1997; Rapp, Vollmer, & Hovanetz, 2005). In contrast to this goal-directed bolting, some children with autism wander without a clear course due to skill deficits and/or a lack of recognition of potential dangers (e.g., oncoming car, swimming pools). These children have not been successfully taught to discriminate between safe and unsafe environment or to monitor and maintain safe proximity to caregivers. Despite the clear impact elopement has on the health, safety, and well-being of these individuals and their families, no comprehensive treatment approaches to the assessment and treatment of goal-directed bolting and wandering have been empirically validated. In this presentation, I will discuss a comprehensive model aimed at (a) distinguishing elopement from wandering and (b) developing treatments for problems of elopement and wandering that are uniquely tailored to assessment outcomes. Our preliminary results suggest that this comprehensive model can lead to more effective treatments.

Learning objectives
  1. Participants will understand the basic principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis involved in the assessing and treating elopement in children with autism;
  2. Participants will distinguish between topographical and functional approaches to categorizing aberrant behavior in autism;
  3. Participants will identify the two main types of elopement and how one could distinguish between the two based on a direct functional assessment;
  4. Participants will select the correct treatment approach for elopement based on the results of a descriptive functional assessment.
  5. Participants will identify potentially effective behavioral interventions for bolting based on the results of a formal functional analysis

Participants will meet the objectives listed above through a combination of: video presentation and quiz.

This online course will be offered year-round, and you can enroll anytime.

Once you are enrolled in the course, you will have access to your account for 30 days. To attain your certificate you MUST complete all course requirements within this time.


Cost: $99.00CAD
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Paying by cheque? Please download the registration form.

Speaker Biography
Wayne-FisherWayne Fisher is the H.B. Munroe professor of behavioral research in the Munroe-Meyer Institute and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is also the director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, a board certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level (BCBA-D), and a licensed psychologist. He was previously a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and served as executive director of the Neurobehavioral Programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Marcus Behavior Center at the Marcus Institute, where he built clinical-research programs in autism and developmental disabilities with national reputations for excellence. Fisher’s methodologically sophisticated research has focused on several intersecting lines, including preference, choice, and the assessment and treatment of autism and severe behavior disorders, that have been notable for the creative use of concurrent schedules of reinforcement, which have become more commonplace in clinical research primarily as a result of his influence. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers in over 35 different behavioral and/or medical journals, including: the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis; Psychological Reports; American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Pediatrics; the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; and The Lancet. Fisher has had near-continuous federal grant support for his research for 19 years. He is a past editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, a past president of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, a fellow in the Association for Behavior Analysis, and recipient of the Bush Leadership Award, the APA (Division 25) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Behavioral Research, the UNMC Distinguished Scientist Award, the University of Nebraska system-wide Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity Activity, and the Society for the Experimental Analysis Behavior’s Don Hake Translational Research Award. among the most systematic in the field and has firmly established behavioral approaches as preferred methods for assessment and treatment. In her roles as clinical, research, and training director, Dr. Piazza has mentored many interns and fellows who have gone on to make significant contributions to the field. Dr. Piazza is a former Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Target Audience
Behaviour Analysts, Educators, Pediatric Professionals and Autism Professionals

Completion Policy
All course materials must be viewed electronically through unless otherwise instructed. If you are a BCBA and would like to receive credit for this course, you must achieve a grade of 80% (4/5) on the quiz. You have unlimited attempts to complete the quiz. Non-BCBAs who would like to receive a Certificate of Participation must also achieve 80% (4/5) on the quiz.

Enrolment Policy
Once participants enroll themselves in the course they are granted access to all of the course materials for 30 days. You have 30 days to complete this course. You need to complete all of the graded course elements including the quiz within those 30 days. After 30 days you will automatically be un-enrolled from the course.

Refund Policy
Refunds will be honoured within 7 days of purchase, as long as the enrolment key is not used, and the course is not begun. Beyond the 7 day period, refunds will no longer be processed, even if the enrolment key is not used.

Technical Assistance

If you need technical assistance at any time during the course or to report a problem with e-learning you can send us an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .