Catalight’s Clinical Team Presents New Tool and More at National Convention

Catalight is pleased to be a part of this year’s annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). The team will join the largest gathering of psychologists in the world, with thousands of practitioners, researchers, educators, applied psychologists, and policymakers. The APA 2023 You Belong Here convention will be held August 3-5, 2023, in Washington, DC.

Members of the Catalight Research Institute will participate in a wide variety of activities throughout the three-day event. As part of a panel discussion, members of the Catalight Research Institute will present a new tool, the Catalight Paraprofessional Competency Checklist.

Developed by clinicians, the checklist is a performance feedback tool designed to be used by supervisors during direct observation of the paraprofessional implementing applied behavioral analysis (ABA) intervention. The goal of the checklist is to improve the clinical quality of the paraprofessional’s work and strengthen their skills in implementing ABA treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Learn more about the Catalight Paraprofessional Competency Checklist and connect with Catalight presenters to discuss research efforts and learn about Catalight’s treatment options.

Catalight Activities at the APA 2023 Annual Convention


Panel Presentation and Discussion
It’s Not About a Business Model: Rethinking Applied Behavior Analysis for Young Autistic Children
August 3rd, from 4–4:50pm, Level 2: Room 207A
Chair: Doreen Samelson, EdD, MSCP, Chief Clinical Officer
This panel will explore how treatment decisions for autistic children are influenced in the US by business models and online information, review different models of ABA treatment that have been shown to be effective for autistic children and elucidate on factors that impact practitioner-delivered treatment of ABA.

The following will be presentations will occur during the panel discussion above.

Podium Presentation
ABA for Young Children in the US: Considering Non-Outcome Factors
Thursday, August 3rd, 4–4:50pm, Level 2: Room 207A
Brianna Fitchett, MA, BCBA, Vice President of Remote Care and Program Design, will discuss the steadily increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the US and examine how factors other than ABA outcome research are shaping the treatment decisions made for young children diagnosed with autism.

Podium Presentation
Practitioner-Mediated ABA: The Problem with Paraprofessionals
Thursday, August 3rd, 4–4:50pm, Level 2: Room 207A
Rebeca Nesicolaci, MA, BCBA, Associate Director of Clinical Projects, will be examining paraprofessional requirements for certification in the US, parental concerns about them working with their child(ren) and how to improve performance. Nesicolaci will review her research and the implication for ABA intervention in community-based settings.

Podium Presentation
An Evaluation of Parent-Mediated ABA Intervention on Child and Parent Outcomes in a Community-Based Setting
Thursday, August 3rd, 4–4:50pm, Level 2: Room 207A
Lindsey Sneed, PhD, BCBA-D, Vice President of Clinical Excellence, will be presenting. Sneed will be addressing the increasing need to expand service offerings for the autistic population.


Poster Presentation
Measuring Wellbeing of Autistic People and Their Families: Looking Beyond Goal Attainment in BHT
Friday, August 4th, 3–3:50pm, Level 2: Halls D and E
The Catalight team will present during the poster session and will demonstrate the importance that wellbeing plays for the autistic person and their families when it comes to overall happiness and life satisfaction. Learn more about their innovative research and the tools they developed.

Mentoring Event
Friday, August 4th from 12–12:50pm, Level 2: Room 201
Doreen Samelson, EdD, MSCP, Chief Clinical Officer, will participate in the Early Career Professional (ECP) and Student Mentoring Event. This is a chance for early career professionals and students to speak with leaders in the field in a low-pressure environment.

Exhibition Booth
Catalight will exhibit at booth #245 throughout the conference. Stop by to inquire about strategies to increase access, quality, and affordability of care to improve the overall well-being of people with developmental disabilities and their families.