Wayne Fisher, Ph.D., BCBA-D 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 175 peer-reviewed research studies in over 30 different behavioral and/or medical journals, including: the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis; Psychological Reports; American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Journal of Pediatrics; the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; Pediatrics; and The Lancet. Fisher 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, and the University of Nebraska system-wide Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity Activity.
Abstract: The most important advancement in the treatment of destructive behavior has been the development of functional analysis (FA), which is used to prescribe effective treatments, such as functional communication training (FCT). With FCT, the consequence that historically reinforced destructive behavior is delivered contingent on an appropriate communication re-sponse and problem behavior is correlated with extinction. Although this approach can be highly effective, many pitfalls and practical challenges arise when this treatment is implemented by caregivers in natural community settings. In this presentation, we will present data and describe a line of research routed in behavioral momentum theory aimed at increasing the effective-ness, efficiency, and practicality of FCT for individuals with ASD who display destructive behavior in typical community settings. Specifically, I focus on: (a) recent research on establishing-operation manipulations that can be used to prevent extinction bursts when treatment is initiated; (b) stimulus-control procedures that can be used to promote the rapid transfer of treatment effects to novel therapists, contexts, and caregivers without reemergence of destructive behavior; and (c) stimulus- and consequence-control procedures that can be used as “behavioral inoculation” to prevent resurgence of problem when caregivers do not implement treatment procedures with pristine procedural integrity.