ABA Today Conference 2019

Saturday, August 24 2019

On 19 & 20 July, the ABA Today 2019 Conference was held in Melbourne by conference convenor, Autism Behavioural Intervention Association (ABIA).

The Biannual ABA Today Conference is for those who daily make a difference to the lives of individuals with autism, and anyone interested in behavioural-based autism interventions, especially ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis)/EIBI (Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention). It’s for ABA professionals, ABA therapists, parents/carers, allied health professionals, students & educators.

The first day of the conference was dedicated to Masterclasses, and the second day was the main conference day. Presenting were international Keynote Speakers & expert local ABA/Autism experts.

Learning For Life proudly sponsored the School Stream of the Conference.

Claire Taptil, L4Life Program Supervisor, presented in the Early Intervention Stream. L4Life has hired and trained hundreds of ABA therapists during our years of operation. Claire’s presentation drew upon this vast experience to illustrate the benefits of utilising ABA principles for therapist training, not just for the therapy itself. Read more from Claire below.

2019 ABA Today Claire ABA Today 2019 L4Life delegates
Claire Taptil presenting in the Early Intervention Stream Our Learning For Life delegates at ABA Today 2019


2019 ABA Today Emma & Sara ABA Today 2019 committee
Emma Davies and Sara Allen at our L4Life booth ABA Today committee: Caroline de Fina, Nina Sherry, Jo Whatley, Susie Pavey, Nina Sutton, with Mary Muirhead


By Claire Taptil, Learning For Life Program Supervisor

At this year’s biannual ABA Today conference, I was delighted to present on utilising ABA strategies for therapist training. There comes a time for every ABA practitioner when ABA theory and strategies are no longer just for intervention for children with autism. It seeps into our everyday lives from differentially reinforcing your partner for taking out the bins, to noticing the eye contact behaviour of every person you meet! It becomes ingrained because we know it works. So when the L4Life senior staff met earlier this year to discuss overhauling our practical training protocol, it made sense to take an ABA approach.

Senior staff identified which areas our therapists were most competent with, along with the ones they were struggling with. An extensive task analysis was then conducted on these skills and the new practical training program was developed accordingly. There is now a much higher focus on play and reinforcement skills and a lower focus on data initially. We want our trainees to learn how to engage and motivate our kids first and foremost. The rest will follow!

The presentation was well received. I’m hopeful that it inspires other service providers and trainers to utilise their own ABA skills to better teach and support upcoming ABA-ers, and to ensure that we’re prioritising play and reinforcement as much as, if not more than, other therapy skills.