Behavior analysts are focused on improving the lives of the individuals they serve. But the field

of ABA is often criticized for restrictive practices and/or a lack of assent based practices.

Conceptually this presentation links assent to rapport, choice, self-advocacy, and self-

determination. An operational definition of how this is conceptualized as joy for young learners

will be provided followed by the introduction of a 27 point dichotomous scale, which can be

utilized to by practitioners to measure assent, participation, choice, and autonomy. This tool is

the Joy Index and has been designed to help practitioners become more in touch with their client

experiences and how their own soft skills can be improved to enhance the joy of learners.


1. Participants will describe 5 indicators of joyful engagement and interactions in ABA

sessions demonstrated by learners.

2. Participants will describe at least 3 indicators of practitioner behavior that may promote

more joyful engagement in early childhood ABA sessions.

3. Participants will be able to describe the role of assent, participation, and choice in

developing a more positive client experience in early childhood ABA sessions.

Join us for this live webinar

February 3, 2023 from 4-5 pm EST

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Presenter: Jennifer Posey, MA, BCBA

Jennifer Posey, MA, BCBA, is a doctoral student in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott

College, where she is interested in the acquisition and advancement of language skills with early

learners, and producing joy-filled meaningful outcomes for children with autism. She studies

under the advisement of Mark Dixon, Ph.D. She received her master’s degree in Special

Education and subsequently pursued certification in Applied Behavior Analysis. Jennifer has

worked with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities across the lifespan

since 1999. She has a special interest in establishing foundational repertoires in early childhood

to include language and play skills such that more complex language and social repertoires

emerge. This is considered her primary area of expertise and she seeks to promote the

acquisition of these complex skills embedded in ABA sessions which promote joy. Jennifer

currently oversees clinical services at Holdsambeck Behavioral Health located in California.

Additionally, she is an adjunct professor at Endicott College.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Utilizing the Joy Index Video

  • 2

    Key words

    • Keyword entry

  • 3


    • Evaluation

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