The Current Repertoire, M Coatley, SA Update

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Content: The Current Repertoire
Newsletter of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral StudiesTM
Volume 29 Number 2
Spring, 2013
From the Executive Director I want to thank our board of directors, our trustees and our advisors for their support during this transition time. People have been extremely generous with their time and talents in guiding me during this process. As a result we have made some real progress. I hope that readers get a glimpse of that progress in this issue. While challenges remain, I am confident we are organizing in ways that are producing solutions. We remain committed to the CCBS. Its mission - advancing the scientific study of behavior and its humane application to the solution of practical problems, including the prevention and relief of human suffering - is too important to ignore.
On the financial front we have made great strides at reducing our expenditures. We have also worked hard to implement feedback loops that will allow such data to be considered more carefully as we move forward. That said, I want to stress that it is not our intention to shrink the center. In the long term that would not help us advance our mission. In fact, proposals are being considered to encourage expansion. We just want to do it within the means that we are able to generate. This means we need to enlist as many "Strategic Partners" as we can. I look forward to discussing this concept more fully in the months to come. Best,Rob Rob Holdsambeck, Ed.D., Executive Director, Interim
Ethics Conference Collaboration Save the date of August 16, 2013 The Center and The Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College are co-sponsoring a one-day conference related to Ethical Issues in Behavior Analysis.
Invited Keynote Speakers include Center Trustees Andy Bondy, Aubrey Daniels and Hank Pennypacker and Advisor Mary Jane Weiss. Director Rob Holdsambeck will provide a special introduction.
Planned presentations to date: · Ethics in Professional Practice: Are there Really 50 Shades of Grey? · Ethical Dilemmas in Real World Collaborations · Multicultural Aspects of Ethical Practice
Please join us as we team up with Endicott's Institute for Behavioral Studies faculty members, Michael Dorsey, Thomas Zane and Mary Jane Weiss to present this conference on the beautiful campus of Endicott College in the Rose Performance Hall of The Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts.
Details and registration links to follow.
ENDICOTT THE INSTITUTE FOR BEHAVIORAL STUDIES
COLLEGE
AT THE VAN LOAN SCHOOL OF GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
CCBS Annual Meeting of the Trustees November 15-17, 2013 Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia Go to Event Listing. 1. How many currrent Trustees were past ABA/ABAI Presidents? 2. How many current and former CCBS Trustees have served as ABA/ABAI Presidents? Answers on Page 15 In this issue... From the Executive Director............................................. 1 Ethics Conference Collaboration...................................... 1 Science, Fads and ABA: The Treatment of Communication Disorders: A Review of Soma® Rapid Prompt Method by Dr. Thomas Zane................. 2 Look for Helpers by Dr. Timothy D. Ludwig................... 3 Are Women Really the Fairer Sex? Gender and Ethics at Work by Dr. Darnell Lattal....................................... 3 7th Behavior Based Safety European Conference............ 3 Think Different! Align Your Observation Checklists and Safety Committees by Dr. Terry McSween .......... 4 Behavioral Safety Now Conference 2013 ......................... 4 Editor's Note about Behavior & Philosophy Journal......... 5 6th Annual West Coast Conference Success...................... 5 7 Things that Separate Weight-Loss Winners & Losers by Megan Coatley......................................................... 6 Safety Accreditation Update.............................................. 7 Links of Interest from Friends on Facebook...................... 7 Letter of Nomination for Marathon Petroleum VPPPA Award............................................................................ 13
HHUEMALA N
EIENNCCEE E
TNHITY SSCCI D U C ATIO
CAMBRIDGE CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL STUDIES
Board of Directors Executive Director, Interim Rob Holdsambeck, Ed.D., BCBA-D, Holdsambeck & Associates Chair: Henry S. Pennypacker, Ph.D., University of Florida & MammaCare Corporation Vice Chair & Treasurer: Andy Bondy, Ph.D., Pyramid Educational Consultants Aubrey C. Daniels, Ph.D., Aubrey Daniels International T.V. Joseph Layng, Ph.D., Seattle, WA William L. Heward, Ed.D., The Ohio State University Charles T. Merbitz, Ph.D., BCBA-D Julie M. Smith, Ph.D., The Continuous Learning Group, Inc. www.behavior.org
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Spring 2013, Page 2
CCBS Trustees William B. Abernathy, Ph.D. Mark Alavosius, Ph.D. David Anderson Paul Andronis, Ph.D. John Austin, Ph.D. Judah B. Axe, Ph.D. Leasha M. Barry, Ph.D. Jay Birnbrauer, Ph.D. Andrew Bondy, Ph.D. Darrel Bostow, Ph.D. Marc Branch, Ph.D. Mary Burch, Ph.D. A. Charles Catania, Ph.D. Philip N. Chase, Ph.D. Aubrey Daniels, Ph.D. Ronnie Detrich, Ph.D. Lori Diener-Ludwig, Ph.D. Kathleen Dyer, Ph.D. Janet Ellis, Ph.D. Edward Feeney Lanny Fields, Ph.D. Patrick C. Friman, Ph.D. E. Scott Geller, Ph.D. Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D. Celia Wolk Gershenson, Ph.D. Gina Green, Ph.D. Gregory Hanley, Ph.D. Donald Hantula, Ph.D. D. Dwight Harshbarger, Ph.D. William L. Heward, Ed.D. Philip Hineline, Ph.D. Rob Holdsambeck, Ed.D. Ramona Houmanfar, Ph.D. Kent Johnson, Ph.D. Mickey Keenan, D. Phil. Jeff Kupfer, Ph.D. A. Darnell Lattal, Ph.D. Kennon Lattal, Ph.D. T. V. Joe Layng, Ph.D. Timothy D. Ludwig, Ph.D. Armando Machado, Ph.D. M. Jackson Marr, Ph.D. Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Ph.D. Roger McIntire, Ph.D. Terry McSween, Ph.D. Francis Mechner, Ph.D. Charles Merbitz, Ph.D. Paolo Moderato, Ph.D. Joseph E. Morrow, Ph.D. James Mulick, Ph.D. David C. Palmer, Ph.D. Martha Pelaez, Ph.D. Henry S. Pennypacker, Ph.D. Dennis Reid, Ph.D. Marius M. Rietdijk, Ph.D. Jesъs Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D. Claire St. Peter Pipkin, Ph.D. Henry Schlinger, Ph.D. Julie M. Smith, Ph.D. Tristram Smith, Ph.D. Thomas J. Spencer, Ph.D. J.E.R. Staddon, Ph.D. Kenneth Stephens, Ph.D. Matt Tincani, Ph.D., BCBA-D Janet Twyman, Ph.D. Karen R. Wagner, Ph.D. Criss Wilhite, M.A., BCBA W. Joseph Wyatt, Ph.D. Thomas L. Zane, Ph.D.
Tom Zane, Trustee, shares his column with the Cambridge Center. Similar articles appear in other organization news. Dr. Zane is Professor of Education and Director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Online Program, The Institute for Behavioral Studies Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies,Endicott College. The Treatment of Communication Disorders: A Review of Soma® Rapid Prompt Method
The mission of the Cambridge Center is to, ".... advance the scientific study of behavior and its humane application to the solution of practical problems, including the prevention and relief of human suffering." The application of the scientific method of study and research is recognized as providing more valid results than other ways of knowing. One area of concern being studied extensively lately is Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD).
One of the primary characteristics of the autism spectrum disorders is communication impairment (APA, 2000). These can take many forms, such as a complete lack of or delay in the developmental of spoken language, an inability to use any functional communication, an inability to initiate or sustain reciprocal conversation, and odd speech mannerisms (e.g., scripting).
To treat communication disorders, there exist a large number of therapeutic strategies. Searching "therapies to improve communication in autism" in a Google search yields 6,890,000 results. Dr. Thomas Zane Included in this vast list are Auditory Integration Training, Speech Therapy, Picture Exchange Communication System, and Music Therapy. Within this list one finds the Soma®RPM (Rapid Prompt Method; RPM), developed by Soma Mukhopadhyay (HALO, 2012). The purpose of this article is to review RPM in terms of its conceptual underpinnings, methodology, and ­ most importantly ­ the extent to which there exists an empirical research database showing that this particular method is effective in improving specific aspects of communication. It is important to review RPM for several reasons: (1) upon examination, its methodology appears to align closely with that of Facilitated Communication (FC), which has been thoroughly discredited as effective and is now considered a fad and ineffective treatment (e.g., Wheeler, 1993); (2) Mukhopadhyay claims that RPM "...is the most direct and unlimited path to learning and communicating" (HALO, 2012) and "always works" for any child with whom it is used (Mukhopadhyay, 2011, personal communication); such a claim of universal effectiveness is alarming and brings to mind the axiom of "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (Carl Sagan), and (3) it is gaining a high profile of public attention (itself having 1,180,000 hits on Google Search), as evidenced by Mukhopadhyay recently presenting at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology Simons Initiative on Autism and The Brain (http://autism.mit.edu/past_colloquia).
Mukhopadhyay is the Executive Director of Education of the Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach (HALO), a clinic in Austin Texas, through which she provides 1:1 instruction for students with ASD and other developmental disabilities. The mission of HALO is to use RPM for "...improving academic success and communication for persons with autism and similar disorders" (HALO, 2012). Initially, Mukhopadhyay developed the Rapid Prompt Method around 1991 to help her son, Tito, who was diagnosed with autism at age 3 years. She claims that RPM was responsible for his incredible progress, and subsequently, she began offering it to others.
RPM is a method of promoting expressive language and overall academic success and communication abilities. According to Mukhopadhyay, explaining RPM requires an understanding of how the brain works, in that RPM is based on the latest brain research, unlike other treatment protocols. Mukhopadhyay believes that persons with autism have altered sensory systems (2008), which contributes to communication dysfunction. Generally speaking, the process of communicating is made up of a number of complex steps. For example, a listener must "take in" information, mentally prepare a response to it, and then utilize the muscular system to physical communicate that response. This elaborate process occurs almost effortlessly and unconsciously for most people, but for children with ASD and other disabilities, this process often breaks down and results in communication disorders. Mukhopadhyay believes that recent research on how the brain functions permits translation into improved clinical methodologies. The conceptual basis for RPM is a focus on activating "...the reasoning part of the brain so that the student becomes distracted by and engaged in learning" (HALO, 2012). Student progress is enhanced "... through the open learning channel..." by eliciting "... the best out of the child to enable maximum output in that given time. As a student's cognitive and motor proficiency increases, the sophistication of a student's response also improves" (HALO, 2012).
Mukhopadhyay (2008) describes the Piagetian system of the four stages of cognitive development and how they relate to persons with autism. Progress through the sensory motor, preoperational thought, concrete operational thought, and formal operational Continued on Page 10
Autism
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Look for the Helpers by Timothy D. Ludwig, Ph.D., Trustee
This article appeared on www.Safety-Doc.com, Dr. Ludwig's Safety Blog
We wish the world would be more like a kid's show instead of a place of violence such we saw in the needless bombing during the Boston Marathon.
Wholesome, nurturing, recreational events shouldn't be the stage for tragedies happening right in our neighborhoods.
Wouldn't it be better to live in the neighborhoods devised by Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers? Mr. Roger's Neighborhood came into our households in 1963 through 2001. There were puppets and trollies, sweaters and songs. But Mr. Rogers did not shy away from the real world and its challenges. His kids' program dealt with death (of his goldfish), assassinations (John F. Kennedy), divorce, and war.
His advice is very compelling:
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
Fred Rogers, The Mister Rogers Parenting Book
This profound advice has been quoted a lot recently as we've confronted tragic events such as the Boston Marathon Bombings and the Newtown school massacre. I personally was reminded of it in a political cartoon that had me lost in thought for long moments.
It had me considering how we tend to remember and react to negative events more than positive ones. This phenomenon is a common finding in Social Psychological research. We form negative impressions faster that positive ones and they are harder to change. Heck, we even think people who talk about negative things are smarter than those who talk about positive things!
I talk to many safety professionals who share the common tension that a bad injury can occur any minute. Some have problems sleeping some nights waiting for that call from the plant. Injuries and critical close calls are negative events that can have a strong lasting impression that can consume even the most seasoned safety professional. Such a strong impression that it may blind us to the positive.
The helpers, Mr. Rogers, are numerous. We don't have to wait for an incident to see those heroes that step up quickly, remove hazards, and offer aid and comfort. Instead notice the helpers doing their small and large acts each and every day.
Notice the employee who voluntarily observes a peer working and offers feedback about risks he saw.
Notice the supervisor who does an extrathorough equipment inspection during a shut down to assure it won't be a hazard in the next work cycle.
Notice the manager who is willing to come to the floor to better understand a work team's safety concern. Continued on Page 10
Safety
Spring 2013, Page 3 7th Behavior Based Safety European Conference ~ May 8-10 The International Conference of AARBA ­ Italian Chapter of ABA International ­ will take place in Verona, Italy featuring three (3) tracks: Organizational Behavior Management & Behavior-Based Safety, Clinic & Education and Behavior Analysis in Dentistry. Measuring and Building Leadership to Obtain Production and Safety Results Speakers include: Aubrey Daniels, Aubrey Daniels International CCBS Board of Director member Grainne Matthews, Quality Safety Edge Daniel J. Moran, Association for Contextual Behavioral Science Timothy Ludwig ­ Appalachian State University CCBS Trustee Go to Registration page. Go to Brochure. Are Women Really the Fairer Sex? Gender and Ethics at Work byAlice Darnell Lattal, Ph.D., Trustee This article published on PM eZine, The performance management Magazine of Aubrey Daniels International. Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they becomes character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny. ~Frank Outlaw Do women think and behave differently than men when making ethical decisions? America's roster of those indicted for corporate fraud contains mostly men, but men have historically been in the majority as top executives. That reality is changing. Although the number of women holding top executive positions is still woefully small, the number of women in professional and managerial roles has more than doubled (to approximately 21 million) during the past two decades. Are we really the exemplars of good decisions and good deeds that we believe we are when we occupy leadership positions? The truth is that women aren't moral or ethical simply because they were born female. Carol Gilligan, an internationally acclaimed psychologist, asserts that women do operate with a unique ethical perspective because of cultural conditioning. She states that men Continued on Page 8
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Think Different! Align Your Observation Checklists and Safety Committees by Terry E. McSween, Ph.D. Dr. Terry E. McSween, founder and CEO, Quality Safety Edge discusses common problems with behavioral observations from the latest issue of The Safety Edge.
One of the questions often asked in early discussions about implementing a Values-Based Safety® (VBS) process is, "How many observation checklists are required for an effective process?" Sometimes the question is worded a bit differently, "Can we have an effective behavioral safety process using a single checklist?"
The number of checklists
The answer, of course, is that it depends on an analysis of your significant areas of exposure and your past incidents. My associates and I at QSE typically begin with the assumption that different functional groups are likely to need different checklists. For example, the shipping and receiving area will have a different checklist, as will the QA lab, the production operations group, the maintenance group, and office employees. (We generally do not go deeper into these groups to the point of having a specific checklist for each position or job task. Those are better served with procedures and job-safety analyses). Once we have analyzed key hazards and past incidents, we sometimes find that a single checklist will serve all groups at a location. This is often the case, for example, when the organization has a very consistent process across areas or locations, such as multiple distribution centers.
As the number of employees at a single location grows, so does the likelihood of needing multiple checklists. Among the other elements they must plan, the team designing a new behavior-based safety (BBS) process will need to consider the number of checklists and the committee structure that will best support the process and be responsible for managing the VBS process.
Aligning your safety committees and checklists
A checklist provides a metric of the norms established by the workgroup. While leadership sets the policy and enforces the rules related to lockout/tagout, the workers in the maintenance group are the ones who establish the norms for lockout/tagout practice within their group. The operations group may very well have a different set of lockout/tagout norms for work practices such as clearing jams in their equipment, for example. Thus, because norms vary between groups, each group should have a checklist reflecting their practices.
As shown in Figure 1 (p. 11), a single safety committee is responsible for an area and its corresponding checklist. This allows that safety committee to focus on the data from a single group and use that data to create targeted safety action plans. Continued on Page 11
Safety
Spring 2013, Page 4 The Behavioral Safety Now Conference is a conference cosponsored by the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and Quality Safety Edge in its 18th year that includes an educational program for all levels of management, safety professionals and employee teams who have an interest in learning about the behavioral safety approach. Over a dozen CCBS Trustees participate annually reaching 400-500 participants and their companies. Since 1996, Behavioral Safety Now has provided a forum for discussing issues in behavior-based safety (BBS) relevant to the diverse stakeholders involved in behavioral safety. It's a meeting where BBS experts can illustrate and extend `best practices' in behavioral safety, where vendors and consultants can promote BBS products and services, where practitioners can share success stories and questions, and where novices can learn the fundamentals of the behavioral approach to safety. The conference now includes other applications of behavioral techniques, including areas of performance such as quality, customer service and productivity. Attendees have the opportunity to participate in educational workshops and informative presentations (both practice and theory). They also have an invaluable opportunity to network and participate in discussion sessions with others who are applying behavioral processes at the workplace. Workshops and Presentations Roughly half of the presentations are by individuals and teams from industry who are actually using behavioral methods in the workplace on a day-to-day basis. The remaining presentations are from consultants and researchers who advance the field by relating best practices to current behavioral theory. Whether you are just beginning to implement a behavior-based safety process or are in the advanced stages of development, the Behavioral Safety Now program will offer presentations and workshops at just the right level for you. Quality Safety Edge hosts the BSN conference and works with a conference program committee that consists of individuals representing other leading organizations in the field of behavioral safety.
JOIN US The Cur rent Reper toire Editor's Note Behavior & Philosophy Readers: We apologize for the delay in distributing volume 39 of Behavior and Philosophy, here combined with volume 40. As time neared to put volume 39 together, in late Spring of 2012, we at the journal and the Cambridge Center for Behavior Studies (CCBS) decided to transition to an on-line, electronic format hosted at CCBS. The logistics of the transition took a bit longer than anticipated, but we are back on track. The essentials of the new format are as follows. The journal now operates according to an open-access model. Articles that are accepted through peer review will be copy edited and appear immediately on-line in the contents of the current volume at the CCBS web site (www.behavior.org). When it is time for a new volume to begin, the preceding volume will be taken down and become available for purchase as a single electronic publication. We hope to make past volumes available as well. We hope open access in its new electronic format will mean wider dissemination of the journal. Regardless, Behavior and Philosophy will continue in the same tradition of scholarship and excellence for which it is known. Thank you all for your patience. Questions may be addressed to the editor or CCBS. As is our custom, the current volumes cover a broad range of topics at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. The current volumes have target articles on explanation and computer simulations, with comments by reviewers and replies by authors. Other articles include the role of memes in social evolution, methodological behaviorism, and BOOK REVIEWS. We hope readers find these articles as stimulating as did the referees. We invite readers and potential authors to submit articles, book reviews, and comments in keeping with the mission of the journal. Best wishes to all. J. Moore, Editor Coercion and Its Fallout $9.95 eBook Now Available
Spring 2013, Page 5 ABA for Children with Disabilities: Generative Instruction Conference On Monday, April 22, the Center and Tucci Learning Solutions held its 6th annual West Coast Conference in San Josй, California. Through the efforts of Advisor Vicci Tucci, over 100 attendees were provided the latest information on Generative Instruction that builds upon continuously researched and tested successful teaching methods with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as a foundational component. The model provides novel, challenging activities that require students to engage in new performances, by recombining and extending what has been explicitly taught or brought to fluency. This form of instruction is a fairly new set of ABA practices that can enhance children or adults' abilities to perform successfully in their day-to-day circumstances. Experienced ABA practitioners focused on illustrating these practices as well as giving suggestions for how to collect evidence on the effects of these ABA practices in home, school, and community environments. In addition, parentadvocate Lorri ShealyUnumb, JD, discussed the work she and others have performed to bring about insurance coverage for California Polytechnic State children with autism in University Student Presenters California as well as many other states across the United States of America. And of course, Rob Holdsambeck, the person who brought the CCBS Conference to the West Coast and is currently the Executive Director of CCBS, offered introductory remarks. Our thanks go out to Vicci and her team at Tucci Learning Solutions and to presenters Trustee Dr. Kent Johnson, Trustee Dr. Janet Twyman, and friend of the Center, Lorri Shealy Unumb of Autism Speaks. This valuable conference was videoed and will also be available for continuing education credits (BACB®) through The Teaching MachineTM soon. Watch for announcements.
Trustee T.V. Joe Layng, Ph.D., helped make possible this electronic version of Dr. Murray Sidman's valuable work in this important area of behavioral science.
LR: Rob Holdsambeck, Vicci Tucci, Lorri Shealy Unumb, Janet Twyman and Kent Johnson.
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7 Things that Separate Weight-Loss Winners & Losers How to Stay on Top of Your Game by Megan Coatley, M.A., BCBA, as published online at www.sparkpeople.com
As you've probably figured out, winning at weight loss is about making long-lasting, life-altering change. Just like any sport or skill, you might start out a little rocky. Choosing healthy foods, trying different workouts, and finding the strategies that work for you will take a little practice. As you find your stride, those habits will get easier and you'll start knocking down more barriers that try to get in your way. Your momentum will start to build and you'll be ticking away at your weight loss goals one by one. Soon enough, you'll reach a fantastic tipping point when you feel a shift in the energy and really enter "the zone"--the stadium starts to flutter, the crowd starts to cheer! And you are winning at weight loss!
Whether you're focusing on your diet or hitting the gym, the commitment to long-term weight loss takes the mindset and mental stamina of a champion. You've got to have a supportive team and a great playbook to get on a winning streak. In this head-to-head match that lasts a lifetime, it's all about preparation. Your success will be determined by how well you set your strategy and play the game.
We're opening the playbook on the weight-loss game. Here are the winning strategies you'll need!
Winners Set Small Goals
It seems so straightforward: Your main goal is to lose weight. So, now you can just decide how much to lose and power through to the finish line, right? Unfortunately, simply knowing how many pounds you want to drop may not be enough to help you win this game. Rather than only focusing on the end zone, a better strategy is to set lots of small milestones on your weight-loss journey. Perhaps you want to run a 5K, curl 20-pound dumbbells, squeeze more veggies into your diet, or fit into a smaller pair of jeans. All of these are great goals and tackling each one can keep you motivated to keep fighting the good fight. Plus, meeting these smaller benchmarks gives you the opportunity for more frequent pats on the back. If you only focus weight loss as your main achievement, you'll miss out on celebrating all of the other small victories!
Winners Take Breaks and Timeouts
When you first set out to shed pounds, it is easy to overdo it. We all
know that the best way to lose weight is by eating fewer calories and
increasing physical activity. But, if you set too many harsh rules and
regulations at the start, you're likely to get overwhelmed by a too-
strict diet and a tough-to-follow workout
schedule. When you're developing your
weight-loss game plan, make sure that
you pencil in time for breaks. Take a diet
timeout to enjoy a slice of cake at friend's
birthday party. Schedule a relaxing soak
in the tub on your day off from the gym.
Health
Be sure that your weight-loss rules include moderation and flexibility for
Spring 2013, Page 6 you to spend some time (and calories) on the things you love in life. This will help you stay on track longer and reach lasting weight-loss success. Winners Are Proud of Themselves Publicly stating your goals and achievements has been proven to help people make steady progress. Everyone needs some support and accountability, so it's important to let people around you know that you're working on your weight loss and fitness. Plus, the more pride you show in your new skills, the more likely you'll be to keep practicing them over time. Bring healthy snacks to family gatherings and share the recipe. Challenge your gym buddy to step up to a higher pace on the treadmill. Dare a co-worker to stay away from desserts for one whole week along with you. Letting others in on your goals will make you feel like a champion and can help you take your game to the next level. Winners Take On New Challenges Starting out with small, achievable goals is important for boosting your ego and scoring you some points early in the game. But be ever-mindful of the dreaded boredom that can set in as you adapt to your exercise and diet routines. Challenge creates change! So, when your yoga lessons seem stale, your salads are in a slump, or your local bike trail stops calling your name, you know it's time to mix things up. As you start winning at weight loss, it will be crucial to keep assessing your emotional state and mental focus. Make a habit of stepping out of your comfort zone and stepping up to new challenges. Winners Keep Score How do you know how well you're doing if you're not keeping score? While "pounds lost" isn't the only important digit to tally, it's important to track your progress in as many ways as possible. Start recording each move in the right direction: how much water you drink each day, how many servings of veggies you eat in a week, how many minutes of exercise you log, and more. Keeping track of more than just the numbers on the scale will help you realize progress when it happens, and this will motivate you to stay on course. Winners Are Part of a Team There is no "I" in "success." We often think of weight loss in terms of individual goals and meal plans. But many others currently share in your same struggle. If we really want to reverse the obesity epidemic, we need to start thinking of weight loss and healthy living as a team sport. And with all the resources available today, from in-person support groups to online forums to workplace wellness committees, no dieter or fitness newbie should feel they have to go it alone. One winning strategy is to reach out within your office, your school, your family, your community and get others psyched up to slim down. The more team members you can recruit to join your weight-loss challenge, the more likely you and your team will rise to victory! Winners Make It Fun What do parents tell their kids the first time they try a new game or sport? "It isn't about whether you win or lose. Just have fun playing the game!" The same advice applies to weight loss. Worrying too much about your waistline can actually cause you to engage in stress Continued on Page 12
JOIN US The Cur rent Reper toire Safety Accreditation Update The Commission on Behavioral Accreditation ­ Behavioral Safety reviewed the behavior management efforts at the Ohio Refining Division (SWORD) of Marathon Petroleum Company in December 2012. The commission confirmed that the SWORD system effectively manages critical behavior by refinery workers and contractors and presents an outstanding safety record at this refinery. Via their accreditation in 2012, the Commission invites them to join an elite group of companies working effectively to apply principles of behavior to improve work safety. Gasoline refineries are complex operations and this team News from Facebook Friends Advisor, Matt Normand, Ph.D., Site Editor of Current Directions in Behavioral Science shares pertinent news on his website and Facebook. Scientific Articles Accepted (Personal Checks, Too) The scientists who were recruited to appear at a conference called Entomology-2013 thought they had been selected to make a presentation to the leading professional association of scientists who study insects. But they found out the hard way that they were wrong. The prestigious, academically sanctioned conference they had in mind has a slightly different name: Entomology 2013 (without the hyphen). The one they had signed up for featured speakers who were recruited by e-mail, not vetted by leading academics. Those who agreed to appear were later charged a hefty fee for the privilege, and pretty much anyone who paid got a spot on the podium that could be used to pad a rйsumй. Those scientists had stumbled into a parallel world of pseudo-academia, complete with prestigiously titled conferences and journals that sponsor them. Many of the journals and meetings have names that are nearly identical to those of established, well-known publications and events. Steven Goodman, a dean and professor of medicine at Stanford and the editor of the journal Clinical Trials, which has its own imitators, called this phenomenon "the dark side of open access," the movement to make scholarly publications freely available.Go to New York Times website for full article.
Spring 2013, Page 7 impresses as a workforce actively engaged with managing their behavior and keeping their refinery and community safe. SWORD is the 3rd refinery within Marathon Petroleum Company earning accreditation of its behavior safety program. Submitted, Mark Alavosius, Ph.D. Chairperson, Commission on Behavioral Safety Accreditation *** In related news, the Commission supported the nomination of Marathon Petroleum Company LP for the Safety and Health Achievement Award of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association, Inc. (VPPPA). VPPPA is the leading organization dedicated to cooperative occupational safety, health and environmental management systems. See the letter in entirety on Pages 13-14. Dr. Eric Larsson, Executive Director Clinical Services at Lovaas Institute Midwest, Shares a YouTube Video and Legal News from Michigan I'm Living Proof "Joe Mohs - A man who has lived through more than his share of challenges, and can credit the hard work and determination of his parents. A brief story of his life and the new stories of young children overcoming autism through early intensive behavioral intervention." Federal Court Strikes Down Blue Cross of Michigan's Denial of Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy to Children with Autism DETROIT, April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The federal district court in Detroit held, on March 30, 2013, that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan acted illegally in denying coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis ("ABA") therapy to children with autism spectrum disorder. The case is Potter, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Case No. 10-14981 (E.D. Mich., Hon. Stephen J. Murphy, III). The court, noting that ABA therapy is supported by numerous authorities, and is not supported by Blue Cross' own medical policy, held that Blue Cross' denial of insurance coverage for this therapy on the ground that that the therapy is "experimental" was arbitrary and capricious under federal law. Go to MarketWatch of The Wall Street Journal to read full article.
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Continued from Are Women Really the Fairer Sex? Gender and Ethics at Work ~ Darnell Lattal
are more concerned with issues of rules and justice, while women focus more on caring relationships and are less likely to judge others. Such caring concern does not in itself lead to more ethical (wise) decisions. The practice of ethics takes a lifetime of learning and we are only as good at it as our history indicates. Every day is like Groundhog Day as depicted in the movie: Those striving to be ethical start over every day, hoping to do it right, in a never-ending journey. As more women enter executive positions, they too must make decisions that demand ethical consideration at the same level of visibility as their male colleagues.
We need to surround ourselves with
people who are committed to supporting ethical actions. Such people need to be
Behavior in Organizations
wise, not self-satisfied. They need not be
people who assume they are especially ethical and thus in a position
to "help others" but rather they realize that we all might at some time
or place be tempted and, in fact, make a wrong choice. They should
be people who are alert to how easy it is to make a small mistake
that can take on a life of its own and who are adept at identifying
the unintended consequences of actions. If we are fortunate, we
will have such people who tell us about their concerns directly and
without apology.
In my 25 years as a management consultant, I've discovered that both genders share some common misconceptions about how to activate ethics in the workplace. Please understand that whether a decision is ethical or not is not defined by expressed beliefs or a values statement, but by behavior--what is actually said and done-- and its impact on others. As more women fill power positions, they shouldn't delude themselves that they are invincible on the ethical front, but rather prepare to maintain an ethical perspective backed by actions once in the midst of corporate demands. The science of behavior can help us understand our individual history of choices and to understand how "good people," even ourselves, can do the wrong thing. Remember, it is doubtful that anyone who climbed the corporate ladder at Enron wanted to have jailbird on their impressive resumes. One slips down an ethical slope one small step at a time. Understanding the laws of behavior can make it less likely that we will slip. Here are a few practical steps to help you maintain your balance:
Step 1: Learn about behavior Claims about the existence of women's intuition may be based in part on our role in society to keenly observe the behavior of others. Of course, we all know we are not equally good at this just because we are women but, as a group, we look at people. We listen to how they speak, how they approach us, and how they interact. This may give us a bit of an edge in understanding others; but the feeling that we are good at reading styles and personalities can lead us to make false assumptions about how we use that information--not always for the good. At times, women can and do label people unfairly. We can overestimate the character of a person and assume that character alone accounts for ethical actions. We can underestimate what is needed to sustain ethical actions throughout a corporation even when the right people are hired.
When we learn to examine ourselves and others with clarity and impartiality, we gain the power to bring about change. For example,
Spring 2013, Page 8 if you think that a person is devious, break that label down into the specific behaviors that shape your perception (habitual lateness in responding to requests, saying something happened when it did not, making excuses when things are not done correctly, failing to take personal responsibility for his/her actions). These are fixable problems that can be addressed without using emotionally charged words. You may still call the person devious but that label is only dangerous if it leads you to assume the person is not worthy of being helped or you assume that since it is a question of values, the problem cannot be fixed. Once you begin to see behavior as a function of the consequences that have surrounded that behavior over many years, you begin to see how much you can do to help a person learn new ways to demonstrate values--to deal with obligations--to be viewed as a more ethical person. Again, ethics is not based on value-statements but how those stated values show up in daily action. Learn as much as you can about behavior and be a coach, not a perpetual critic. When employees tell the boss that something happened when it did not, the first reaction is that this employee lies. The person may be thinking, as soon as I leave I'll go do it, and thus talk about the action as if it is complete. In environments where people bend the truth, the core finding is that such people have received a great deal of punishment from bosses, parents, spouses, or others for truth telling. Yes, that is right--punishment not for lying (as in bending the truth) but for telling the truth. In fact, bending the truth (lying) often allows one to escape from punishment, even to receive recognition and warm regard. As an example, when an unfinished final report was not the result wanted by the boss--"I have not finished the report" --the employee probably knows at best the reaction will be yelling and at worst, "You're fired!" Punishment can also be subtle, but if behavior stops, it has been punished. Truth telling is unlikely to occur in such a setting. Bending the truth by saying the report is done is an escape from punishment and smiles and words of thanks from the boss are positive reinforcers for telling the lie. Of course, to sustain ethical patterns of behavior at work, telling the truth is essential for all employees. Therefore, leaders at all levels must understand their role in promoting, not punishing, truth telling. Such an understanding is crucial for ensuring ethical behavior. Unstated rules about telling the truth can lead to less than full disclosure. Conditions that recognize and reward truth telling, even when very uncomfortable, can lead to more truth telling so that issues can be addressed and potentially unethical deeds redirected. Once you learn more about behavior, you can understand better how rules (shoulds and oughts) versus the consequences that follow our actions can control and influence the ethical conditions, or lack thereof, in your workplace. Honest Self-Assessment To increase ethical behavior, do not look to what people say they do, rather, look at what they do and at the impact of their behavior. Lead by example and pay close attention to how your own actions increase or decrease certain behaviors in others. Honest selfassessment is the first step to an ethical work life. Regularly perform a self-evaluation and question your own motives and behavior. For example, what appears to me to be righteous behavior might seem to others to be rigid and insensitive. I may see holding fast to a rule as more important than whether that rule could lead to bad outcomes. If I know this is my tendency, then I am more likely to avoid this type of behavior--but do not forget, not without help. Behavior Continued on Page 9
JOIN US The Cur rent Reper toire Continued from Are Women Really the Fairer Sex? Gender and Ethics at Work ~ Darnell Lattal learned well is hard to change without that closely held mirror that can show us not what we believe the impact is, but what it really is. That is why we call our well-learned patterns (the good and the ugly) of behaving (or as some might say, our consistent character) as occurring at "habit strength." Step 2: Make open dialogue possible As women, we tend to think that we are great listeners and conversationalists, and we talk more easily than men about "feeling" topics. But we, too, may be guilty of closing the door on dialogue when we're in charge. In Martha Stewart's own TV version of The Apprentice, which aired a few years ago, Martha's catchphrase was, "You just don't fit in." Sure, this is only entertainment designed for viewer ratings and to eliminate various candidates, but the words she chose could have a muting and even hurtful effect if used in the real world. The words, "You just don't fit in," convey more than just a rejection for the particular position but something more personal, something "wrong" with that person beyond job skills. The unintended effect of such words, spoken by those in positions of power, can shut the door on employee risk-taking and become a perceived underground "rule" about when to voice an opinion (if ever). Employees may avoid unpopular or really tough subjects for fear of "not fitting in." In the work venue, managers and executives should ensure that employees have an option other than gossip for voicing complaints and for making constructive suggestions. Managers must seek out the evaluative critique of employees and encourage an environment in which subjects with ethical implications can be discussed without fear of subtle or blatant retaliation. An open dialogue requires a reciprocal commitment between managers and employees to treat one another with respect. This type of environment will never occur if people perceive that such discussions will be used against them or that they are subsequently labeled as malcontents. The freedom to discuss issues without negative repercussions (or grudges) is a sign of an ethical workplace. Step 3: Live the example We should attempt to act with honesty and integrity in all of our life events, but the work world presents new complexities. The workplace is not a democracy, but a venue in which some are reported to and others report. This hierarchal structure can create situations in which those in charge forgo common courtesies. Hotel entrepreneur Leona Helmsley's employees dubbed her the "Queen of Mean" for her verbal lashings and vicious firings. She is a perfect example of a woman in a position of authority not wielding power ethically. On the other hand, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held one of the most powerful positions in the world, yet she maintained admirable grace and courtesy in her dealings with both her proponents and detractors. If it is unacceptable for your employees to slam doors, yell, or make derisive remarks, then don't do so yourself. When you use negative techniques to get what you want, employees are afraid to tell the truth about a late product arrival or a customer complaint. Such aversive tactics are doubly unethical when you are in a position to control the consequences for another person. Step 4: Be accountable During tough times, tough decisions must be made, but many executives exempt themselves from what the larger society judges
Spring 2013, Page 9 to be ethical behavior. For example, some argue that Carleton "Carly" Fiorina, the deposed president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Company, was unduly criticized because she was a woman in a high-profile position. The American public may have expected her to show more sensitivity to the ethical implications of her actions, to have exhibited more awareness in regard to personal gain over common good. While she may have questioned the correctness of her compensation behind closed doors, she didn't cut back on her $69 million salary, two corporate jets, and five bodyguards as HP terminated 10,000 employees and cut the salaries of thousands more. Her actions were legal, but were they ethical? She acted like many executives in similar positions. The burden was no greater for her because she was a woman. Even if she had cut her own salary, just as many people would probably have been laid off--but what a powerful message she would have sent! Currently, there are now more discussions of caps for executive compensation--a pay for performance notion. Imposed regulations will escalate if individuals do not stand up for reason and fairness on this issue. Fiorina did what has long been done, but she set no new benchmarks for female leadership in this area. Few of us will ever be offered such perks, but we should remember that we learn to justify inequities that are in our favor one step at a time. It's easy to weasel out of self-assessment if no one else holds us accountable. Repeated behaviors turn into habits and, as Dr. Phil McGraw often states, "The only way to change a bad habit is to replace it with a good one." Change isn't always easy; but it's almost always possible. Tell a trusted coworker about your personal improvement goals and ask him or her to hold you accountable. And, if you ask your employees to make sacrifices, make those sacrifices yourself; that may not be the rule, but it is the ethical choice. Step 5: Reward yourself and others In her book, High-Maintenance Employees, Katherine GrahamLeviss writes, "Go beyond the Golden Rule. Don't treat people the way you want to be treated; treat them the way they want to be treated." We aren't all alike and we don't all want the same types of recognition. Some people love public hoopla; others hate it. Some people want creative opportunities, while others might just appreciate a sincere thank you. Find out the differences and let people know what is important to you as well. Executives should reward the ethical behavior that leads to an end goal with the same enthusiasm that they reward the result. If you're not in a leadership position, treat yourself the way you want to be treated. Don't become a self-righteous pain, but make decisions seeking a balance between the rights of others, justice, the common good, and selfinterest. Then tell yourself, "I made the right choice" and feel good about it! These basic steps lead to great things, and they direct us away from dangerous territory. When we are diligent in the small honesties, we also are more likely to do the right thing when really put to the test. Are these steps any different for women than they are for men? Not really, but women may be more prone to take them. A survey of MBA students revealed that women were more likely to consider the ethical culture of a prospective employer and were more likely than men to ask questions concerning company Continued on Page 11
JOIN US The Cur rent Reper toire Continued from A Review of Soma® Rapid Prompt Method ~ Thomas Zane thought stages can be uneven for individuals with autism, but the conceptual paradigm holds true for these learners. According to Mukhopadhyay, RPM involves the use of prompts across all modalities ­ auditory, visual, and tactile. Typically, only the instructor and student (usually working in a 1:1 dyad) use paper and pencil during the lessons. Like FC, the RPM teacher facilitates the student's hand, forearm, or arm, as he or she types, points, or responds in whatever form selected for that student. One of the rules of RPM is for the teacher to match the pace of teaching to the student's speed of stereotypic behaviors. So, a teacher might continue speaking, teaching, and asking for responses from the student, at a quick pace if the child is engaging in frequent stereotypy. According to Mukhopadhyay, this results in the student staying focused on the lesson. The type of stereotypy is important, in that it connotes the "learning channel" that might be best used for maximum learning. For example, for a child who engages in ritualistic behavior for apparent auditory feedback, Mukhopadhyay would use auditory stimulation to promote the presentation and learning of lessons. An interesting ploy is the use of tearing paper during the lesson. Mukhopadhyay explains that by doing so, it provides a multisensory prompt (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic) to assist the student to remain focused on the learning activity. The teacher is asked to sit on the right side of the student to, again, stimulate left-brain auditory learning. Another teaching rule is to change the subject matter of the lesson to stimulate the side of the brain one wishes to stimulate, particularly the left side that presumably controls communication. Typically, a lesson begins with a few questions or sentences related to a single topic or focus. Possible answers are initially written on paper. The teacher taps the choices of answers while reading them out loud, and then encourages the student to select one. As progress ensues, Mukhopadhyay increases the response requirement of the student, from picking up pieces of paper, to pointing to the answers, then to pointing to letters to spell out the answers. Mukhopadhyay claims that she has worked with over 600 clients, ranging in ages from 2-50 years. These included persons who are nonverbal, verbal, echolalia, "low" or "high" functioning. She claims that RPM is effective for most any student (HALO, 2012), and "always works" (MIT, 2012). Given the increasing demand for evidenced-based practices in autism and education in general (No Child Left Behind, 2012), it is important to ask what evidence exists that RPM causes any improvement in communication, academics, or social skills? As noted earlier, Mukhopadhyay claims that RPM has been effective for most students (HALO, 2012), and that, "It always works" (MIT, 2012). One level of evidence is personal reports of progress from people who have used RPM. At the HALO website, there are several testimonials from parents that support the improvement of their children after beginning RPM. A more stringent (and valid) level of evidence is empirical investigations using commonly accepted Research Methodology. To search for studies that may have involved a more scientifically based assessment of RPM effectiveness, online searches of professional databases were conducted. Three major databases were Continued on Page 12
Spring 2013, Page 10 Continued from Looking for Helpers ~ Timothy Ludwig ...Lending a hand on a hard job, doing housekeeping, conducting a safety talk, submitting a close call report, serving on safety committees, mentoring a green hand, participating in hazard identification, properly completing a Job Safety Assessment (JSA)... the list goes on. The helpers abound, look for them, reinforce them and grow them. If you surround yourself with them, and take Mr. Roger's advice (well, technically his mom's advice), you'll build your resilience (and happiness) to take on not only the emotional jolts that come with injuries but also the more mundane downers like budget cuts, the disgruntled employee, the leader that says silly things, whatever. There is a Behavior-Based-Safety-Manager-Extraordinaire who I've known for many years now. I've begun to consider him to be not only someone I learn from but a friend as well. His wife suffers from a condition that has rendered her paralyzed. His dedication to her is inspiring. But I have to think that part of his personal coping strategy is to surround himself with enthusiastic, dyed-in-the-wool type folks who help everyday build and maintain their world-class BBS program and keep their plant and contractor workforce safe. I've been to their plant a couple of times now, its cool to see. I think I tend to look to those and similar HELPERS when the Newtowns, Sandys, and Bostons happen. Or when the smaller challenges happen in life. Honestly, perhaps this little Safety-Doc newsletter is my way to surround myself with you, our Community of Helpers. "Anyone who does anything to help a child (ed. `we are all children') in his life is a hero to me. " Fred Rogers *** Timothy Ludwig's website is Safety-Doc.com where you can read more safety culture stories and contribute your own. Dr. Ludwig is a senior consultant with Safety Performance Solutions (SPS: safetyperformance.com), serves as a commissioner for Behavioral Safety Accreditation at the Center and teaches behavioral psychology at Appalachian State University, in Boone, NC. If you want Tim to share his stories at your next safety event you can contact him at [email protected] BSA Commissioner Dr. Timothy Ludwig (left) presents Marathon Petroleum Company, LP, Illinois Refining Division with a special recognition for outstanding outreach for the effective transfer of its accredited Principles of Behavior-Based Safety (PBBS) process to its contractor workforce.
JOIN US The Cur rent Reper toire Continued from Think Different! Align your Observation Checklists and Safety Committees ~ Dr. Terry McSween Figure 1--A possible safety committee configuration that provides good safety communication to production crews. Safety Committees are ACTION groups In a well-designed, BBS process, each workgroup should have a safety committee or team that reviews data from their observation process and develops action plans to address areas of concern. Depending on the size of the workgroup, the committee may have 1012 participants, or be more of a small squad or team of three or four people. I recently learned of an organization using "safety squads." I like this terminology, as it implies an action orientation--a group charged with doing something! A safety squad with three people may work less formally than a large committee, yet they can perform the same basic functions: review data, share information during safety meetings, collect input, and develop action plans. When the safety committee or team is at the local level, they are in a better position to know the workgroup norms and develop safety action plans to remove barriers to safety. Linking Multiple Safety Committees When the organization has multiple workgroups with department safety squads or teams and multiple, corresponding checklists, they will often have a plant-level safety committee. This committee is typically made up of representatives from the department safety squads. The function of the plant-level committee is sharing of ideas and reporting on improvement targets and action plans from within each of the functional groups. Each department committee has a distinct functional group with a safety observation checklist tailored to each functional group. One member of each level serves as the communication "linking pin" through participation in the group above. Thinking outside the Box I realize this may be a different model for many of you. Too often, we default to a single safety committee with a formal monthly meeting. I hope this article encourages you to consider the possible advantages of pushing analysis of the data down a level or two in your organization. Pushing the analysis of data down a level (or two) in your organization requires two things: 1. The personnel at each level must have the skills and knowledge to understand the different types of data available from safety observations and be able to develop safety action plans appropriate for their areas. 2. The Safety Leadership Team must provide monthly support for the department safety committees.
Spring 2013, Page 11 This model helps organizations create a framework for managing BBS data at the local level in alignment with your checklists. I realize the "safety squad" concept will not necessarily fit all organizations. As you know, we at QSE are fond of saying, "One size does not fit all." I encourage you to consider this information and create a model that helps your organization best reach its goals. *** Terry McSween, Ph.D. is CEO/President of Quality Safety Edge (QSE). In 1990, Terry founded QSE, a company that specializes in the application of behavioral technology to create employee-driven safety and quality improvement efforts. Considered one of the world's leading authorities in behaviorbased safety, Terry has 30-plus years of experience consulting in educational, institutional, and business settings. He is the recipient of local and national awards for his work in behavioral safety and is actively involved with a number of business and professional organizations including the Board of Trustees for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, the Association for Behavior Analysis, the American society for Safety Engineers, and the Texas Association for Behavior Analysis. A speaker at safety conferences worldwide, Terry also founded the annual Behavioral Safety Now Conference (BSN). He has published over 100 articles and authored the seminal book on behavior-based safety: The Values-Based Safety Process: Improving Your Safety Culture with Behavior-Based Safety. Continued from Are Women Really the Fairer Sex? Gender and Ethics at Work ~ Darnell Lattal values during a job interview. An Aspen Institute survey of students from a dozen of America's leading business schools showed that 82 percent of women versus 72 percent of men agreed that it is very important for an organization to be managed "according to its values and a strong Code of Ethics." Of course, both sexes at every employment level can examine and improve their workplace ethics. However, if you are in a position to mold and enforce company values, you must mobilize ethical workplace codes and create systems that reward the right business practices. Gilligan concluded that women are not inferior (or superior) in their moral development, but different, because we focus on connections with others and lean toward exercising an "ethic of care" over an ethic of mere justice. It is this unique difference that we should utilize and integrate into our workplace interactions. Women have spent decades proving their business abilities, so we should now take a pledge to hone our ethics skills: Going forward we can and will set strong ethical standards at the corporate table. Ethics will be on the table in every sales meeting, production meeting, safety meeting, and boardroom meeting. We can and will look hard at ourselves and be open to ongoing critique. We will seek feedback about ourselves from those we like as well as those who we may or may not like but have something tough but good to tell us. We will look at our everyday decisions in terms of their consequences on ourselves and/or others and celebrate those moments when we or our colleagues did the right thing even if it meant not attaining something we wanted, including immediate profits. We will remember that attaining ethical behavior is a journey of a lifetime.
JOIN US The Cur rent Reper toire Continued from A Review of Soma® Rapid Prompt Method ~ Thomas Zane used, EBSCO, Lexis-Nexis, and PubMed Central. Within these were searched Academic Search Premier, CINAHL Plus with full Text, eBook Collection, Education Full Text, Education Research Complete, ERIC, Health Source, Health Sources: Nursing/Academic Edition, MasterFILE Premier, MEDLINE, MLA International Bibliography, Newspaper Source, Primary Search, professional development Collection, PsycARTICLES, and SocINDEX with Full Text. The following key terms were used to conduct the search: SOMA, RAPID PROMPTING METHOD, RAPID PROMPTING, and SOMA RAPID PROMPTING METHOD. A total of 14 articles were found. Ten were book reviews of autism that included Mukhopadhyay and the RPM. The remaining four involved newspaper or popular magazines (e.g., Ladies Home Journal) that provided human-interest stories about this treatment approach towards autism, Mukhopadhyay, and her son. No article was found that described an attempt to systematically test the effectiveness of RPM under controlled conditions commonly used in a scientific approach. There is no known research to support many of the strategies incorporated into her method, including the tearing of paper (to maintain focus) and sitting on the right side of the student (to stimulate left-brain auditory learning). Another consideration which impacts the degree to which consumers could be confident of RPM being effective relates to the theoretical underpinnings of this approach. Mukhopadhyay asserts that persons with autism have altered sensory systems. However, currently there is no consensus on whether or not that is true, and the evidence that exists suggests that it is not (e.g., Smith, Mruzek, & Monzingo, 2005). Furthermore, the techniques of RPM look very similar to those of FC, such as the physical facilitation of the learner's motor response of communication. The outward similarities are disturbingly close. Another issue is Mukhopadhyay's claim that RPM is unique among therapies due to its foundation on current brain research. However, little is published on exactly the brain research that is applicable to her treatment, and notably absent are studies linking improvements in brain status to RPM, or exactly how her methods compensate for alleged brain dysfunction Lastly, Mukhopadhyay holds degrees in Education and Chemistry. Although her academic background is noteworthy, she has not apparently been formally trained in neuroscience, neurology, or other areas that would provide expert preparation in translating brain research to autism treatment. Conclusions and Recommendations RPM is a popular method used to treat communication disorders in individuals with ASD and similar disabilities. Unfortunately, as of this date, there exist no research studies conducted to ascertain whether or not RPM is responsible for any improvement of any autistic symptomology. Although testimonies from parents and consumers of RPM support the effectiveness of this approach, the standard of acceptable evidence remains that obtained from a scientific analysis. This scientific approach involves commonly accepted criteria for acceptable research, such as the use of research designs, operational definitions of key terms, clear descriptions of the treatment strategies and approaches, reliability and validity of measurement, and replications of effect. At this point in time Soma® RPM must be considered an unproven treatment. It appears to fall into the category of pseudo scientific treatments, which is a class of unproven therapies that appear to
Spring 2013, Page 12 be based on science, but yet fail to demonstrate scientifically supported positive results. Although absence of evidence is not in and of itself evidence of absence of effectiveness, clinicians and treatment providers should not at this time recommend this treatment approach for use. Parents and caregivers should examine the therapies that are evidenced-based that could positively enhance communication abilities, such as speech therapy and PECS. At this point in time, RPM should only be used in research contexts, in which experimenters test the effectiveness of RPM under controlled conditions. Perhaps such studies will show it to be effective. Until then, interventionists should not consider its use and instead adhere to using methods proven to be evidenced-based practices. References American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. (4th ed., Text Revision). Washington, D. C.: American Psychiatric Association. Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach (HALO; 2012). Retrieved January 6, 2012 at http://www.halo-soma.org. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Simons Initiative on Autism and The Brain. Retrieved January 6, 2012 at http://ilp.mit.edu/ event.jsp?id=1924. Mukhopadhyay, S. (2008). Understanding autism through rapid prompting method. Denver, CO: Outskirts Press, Inc. No Child Left Behind Act (2012). Retrieved January 8, 2012 at http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml. Smith, T., Mruzek, D. W., & Mozingo, D. (2005). Sensory integrative therapy. In J.W. Jacobson, J. A. Mulick, & R. M. Foxx (Eds.), Controversial therapies for developmental disabilities: Fad, fashion, and science in professional practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Van Acker, R. (2006). Outlook on special education practices. Focus on Exceptional Children, 38(8), 8-18. Wheeler D. (1993). An experimental assessment of facilitated communication. mental retardation, 31, 49-60. Continued from 7 Things that Separate Weight-Loss Winners & Losers ~ Megan Coatley eating or become too depressed to work out. When you're trying hard to stick to your game plan, it is easy to underestimate the joy of the process. Do whatever you can to make healthy choices more fun. Whether you've discovered a new dog park near home, convinced a neighbor to start a vegetable garden, or counseled a walking buddy through a tough time, getting healthy has likely brought some great experiences your way. Step back every so often and remind yourself to enjoy the game and appreciate the important lessons you're learning along the way! *** Megan Coatley earned a master's degree in behavior analysis from Western Michigan University (WMU) and obtained her BCBA in 2005. Her clinical work in the field of autism and developmental disabilities and her personal passion for health and wellness prompted her to found SPARK Behavior Solutions, LLC, a company that utilizes behavioral solutions to spark healthy lifestyle change.
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Spring 2013, Page 13
Commission Supports Marathon Petroleum Company for
The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association, Inc. (VPPPA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a memberbased association, providing a network of more than 2,100 companies
VPPPA Award
and worksites that are involved in or in the process of applying to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) or the
Department of Energy's (DOE) Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).
VPPPA provides occupational safety, health and environmental leaders with networking and educational offerings, up-to-the-minute legislative information, industry advancements, preferred vendors and consultants dedicated to VPP, mentoring opportunities, professional development and volunteer opportunities.
The Commission on Behavioral Accreditation submitted the following support letter on behalf of Marathon Petroleum Company LP for the VPPPA Safety and Health Achievement Award.
CAMBRIDGE CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL STUDIES 100 CUMMINGS CENTER, SUITE 340F · P.O. BOX 7067 · BEVERLY, MA 01915
TEL: 978.369.2227 · FAX: 978.369.8584 · [email protected]
March 27, 2013 VPPPA Awards Committee RE: Marathon Petroleum Company LP - Safety and Health Achievement Award Dear VPPPA Committee Members: The Marathon ACTS Committee and Behavior Based Safety Contractor Advisory Panel (BBSCAP) Group at the Marathon refinery in Robinson IL advised me that they would like to nominate Marathon Petroleum Company LP for the Safety and Health Achievement Award to recognize their extended services and assistance beyond current or usual parameters. I am very happy to support this nomination. I am a Trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (CCBS) and Chairperson of the CCBS Safety Accreditation Commission. The Cambridge Center is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization whose mission is to advance the scientific study of behavior and its humane application to the solution of practical problems, including the prevention and relief of human suffering. The Cambridge Center was founded in 1981. Our work is through the voluntary efforts of our directors, trustees, and advisors. These individuals represent the best experts in behavioral science and practice. The CCBS Safety Accreditation Commission is comprised of nine commissioners who review written applications describing the application of principles of behavior towards improvement of workplace safety. On-site program reviews are conducted to verify that behavior change efforts are coherent and functional. Please see www.behavior.org for a detailed description of our organization, accreditation commission, and accreditation standards/procedures. To date, a select 26 sites world-wide have earned CCBS accreditation/re-accreditation of their behavior safety efforts. Through my role as Chairperson of the Accreditation Commission I am very familiar with the outstanding contributions the Marathon BBSCAP group at Robinson IL has achieved with their behavior-based safety initiative. Their BBS system has been accredited and re-accredited by our CCBS Commission since 2003. I have personally been to their site on three occasions to review their program and have viewed first-hand the organized practices they conduct to sustain their excellent safety record. As chair of the commission that votes on accreditation I coordinate all commissioners' input as we verify that the site applying for accreditation meets the CCBS standards for excellence. Through that contact our commission has observed the Marathon safety program in action, evaluated results, probed their capacity to sustain their efforts and conclude with confidence that they sustain a top-flight safety program. In addition to using their behavior-based safety system with Marathon personnel, they have supported their many contractors to adopt and use their system with excellent results. To date, nine of the contractors at Robinson IL have earned CCBS certification/accreditation of their behavior safety efforts and I know more are in process to reach that level of excellence. This achievement is truly outstanding and I know of no other operation accredited by the CCBS to achieve this level of effective outreach. To recognize their achievement, the
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CCBS awarded the Marathon refinery in Robinson IL a special award in January 2013 recognizing their community outreach. The behavior-based safety systems in place at this VPPPA member refinery are operated and managed by an impressive organization of hourly, non-safety and health workers. The group enjoys the full support of the refinery's leadership team, corporate leaders and support by the various unions within the work groups. This is impressive as some unions mis-understand behavior-based safety efforts and often resist their adoption. The VPPPA Safety and Health Achievement Program provides special acknowledgement to non-managerial employees at VPPPA member sites who have taken the initiative to learn and apply safety and health best practices. I fully support their receipt of this award as they educated themselves about the evidence supporting behavior safety applications and were not swayed by faulty biases against effective and tested solutions. The employee-owned Behavioral Based Safety Process in place at the Robinson IL refinery has evolved over the past decade and demonstrates sustained operations effective in controlling work injury and illness. The BBS leadership team enjoys support from across the organization, Data are used well to refine their process and they systematically include contractors into a coherent behavior management system. They have extended their assistance to other industries and contractors outside of their fence line at a level our Commission has not seen elsewhere. It is evident that this group continuously strives for excellence in their BBS process, formally seeks to learn more about applications of behavior science to work safety and mentors others as opportunities present themselves. To date, three Marathon refineries (of seven) in the US have earned CCBS accreditation of their behavior safety systems and a fourth is in process. The Robinson IL site at Marathon was the first in Marathon to earn our CCBS accreditation and presents as the leading edge of development of behavioral safety within the Marathon Corporation. Considering the impact of the outreach efforts by this group during the previous ten years in terms of the number of people, locations, companies and industries benefiting from their outreach I highly recommend this group for your award. As noted above, there is some mis-information within industries and unions about what are commonly labeled BBS (behavior-based safety) solutions. The BBSCAP group within Marathon is demonstrating the effective application of behavior principles and dispelling resistance to sound applications of behavior science towards the alleviation of human suffering. Please contact me if you wish to discuss my strongest recommendation of this group for recognition of their achievements. On behalf of the CCBS Accreditation Commission I am very pleased to convey our support. Sincerely,
Mark Alavosius, Ph.D. Trustee Chairperson, Commission on Behavioral Accreditation (775) 682 8688 [email protected] Join Us in a Thank You to Our Commissioners! Mark Alavosius, Ph.D., Chair, University of Nevada, Reno John Austin, Ph.D., Reaching Results Joseph Dagen, Ph.D., University of Nevada, Reno Nicole Gravina, Ph.D., Reaching Results Dwight Harshbarger, Ph.D., West Virginia University Don H. Kernan, SUPERVALU Inc. (retired) Timothy Ludwig, Ph.D., Appalachian State University Sigurdur Sigurdsson, Ph.D., University of Maryland Oliver Wirth, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
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M Coatley, SA Update

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