Family Night: Challenging Behaviors – Evidence Based Interventions for Parents


Many children develop challenging behaviors in order to access the things they want or avoid those activities or demands that they don’t like or in some cases, fear. It is not uncommon for children to exhibit severe problem behaviors because they have developed a long history of achieving their objectives by using these behaviors.

This workshop will focus on general behavioral strategies that have been demonstrated to be successful in helping parents and educators to change behaviors by reducing the usefulness of challenging behaviors by substituting more socially appropriate and safe behaviors to achieve similar outcomes.

Come join us to hear about taking a functional approach to identify why children resort to using challenging behaviors, and evidence based interventions that can provide adults with tools for teaching children better ways to communicate their needs.

Participants will also hear us discuss when it may be appropriate to reach out to a mental health provider or licensed or credentialed provider who has been trained to functionally assess challenging behaviors and develop a behavior intervention plan to meet the specific needs of your child or your family. Time will be available for questions and answers immediately following the presentation.

Children are welcome and will participate in activities in the cafeteria while parents attend the workshop. Pizza and sandwiches will be provided for dinner!


applied-behavioral-strategiesPresented by:

Melissa Olive, Ph.D., BCBA-D, “Missy”, is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of Applied Behavioral Strategies. She resides in Woodbridge with her partner, two children and two energetic Labrador retrievers. She has published 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters focusing on topics related to behavior analysis including assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors, communication intervention, and feeding disorders.

Laura Bunda, M.S Ed, BCBA– is a Clinical Case Supervisor at Applied Behavioral Strategies. Laura provides behavior consultation to school districts and provides case supervision for families of students with special needs along the shoreline. Laura holds a teaching certificate from the Connecticut State Department of Education for Special and Elementary Education. Prior to practicing as a behavior analyst, she taught in the East Haddam Elementary School. Laura and her family reside in Madison.

Missy and Laura both have strong interest in family issues related to children with disabilities. Since 1993, Missy has cared for and advocated on behalf of her brother, Mac, an adult with autism and intellectual disability. Since 2006, Laura has cared for and advocated for her grandson with special needs.


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