Contingent Electric Skin Shock

How sloppy science has lead to abhorrent ethics

This Continuing Education Event was recorded on the 28th May @ 2pm (GMT+1) and was held to publicly support the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) call for an immediate ban on the use of contingent electric skin shock (CESS) as a purported treatment for challenging behaviour. In holding this event we aim to amplify the IASSIDD’s call for all organisations involved in the lives of people with disabilities to issue public statements condemning such practices. We call on journal editors to issue statements of concern regarding the claims made in their publications on the use of CESS.

Behaviour Analysts and other professionals supporting people experiencing challenging behaviour have a responsibility to offer evidence-based and effective treatments. Numerous studies have been published in the behaviour analytic literature which claim to demonstrate that CESS is an effective means to reduce significant challenging behaviours. The event will present a critical analysis of the literature used to promote the use of CESS. Attendees will be informed about the risks of using reductive and narrow parameters in assessing outcomes of challenging behaviour interventions and the potential negative consequences this can have for vulnerable people.

The unchallenged acceptance of these deeply flawed studies in our scientific literature represents a significant risk to the people we support and the credibility of applied behaviour analysis as a scientific discipline.

A discussion panel will be held to explore the steps that behaviour analysts and their professional organisations can take in order to promote ethical and evidence-based interventions for challenging behaviour.

Link to the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities here

Find the IASSIDD evidence and position paper here

One free CEU in ethics is available for this event. Please complete this form, after the event to receive your CEU.

This is a free event, but if you would like to make a payment to support the work of the MBAF, you can do so here.

Contingent Electric Skin Shock

How sloppy science has lead to abhorrent ethics

On Friday 28th of May @ 2pm GMT+1 the Munster Behaviour Analyst Forum in partnership with ABA Ireland will host a panel discussion on Contingent Electric Skin Shock as a purported treatment for challenging behaviour.

This Continuing Education Event is being held to publicly support the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) call for an immediate ban on the use of contingent electric skin shock (CESS) as a purported treatment for challenging behaviour. We will amplify the IASSIDD’s call for all organisations involved in the lives of people with disabilities to issue public statements condemning such practices. We call on journal editors to issue statements of concern regarding the claims made in their publications on the use of CESS.

Link to the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities here

Find the IASSIDD evidence and position paper here

Book here

One free CEU in ethics is available for this event. Please complete this form, after the event to receive your CEU.

This is a free event, but if you would like to make a payment to support the work of the MBAF, you can do so here.

Evidenced-Based Practice in Irish Primary Schools

Evidenced-based practice in Irish primary schools

This event will be of interest to all those supporting children with additional needs in Irish Education, particularly those educating children with a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

One Continuing Education Unit is available. If you wish to make a payment to support the work of the MBAF you can do so, if not, this one is on us. Enjoy!

Click here to complete your CEU / CPD form

On the 24th of March 2021 we were joined by Lorna Barry BCBA and PhD candidate. Lorna provided us with an overview and discussion of her doctoral research, funded by the Irish Research Council and titled:

Bridging the gap: Understanding Irish teacher’s implementation of evidence-based practices in the education of children with Autism. 

Lorna is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) with experience working with school-age children, which stoked her interest in this topic.

In this video she presents the results of a scoping review conducted on the barriers and facilitators to implementing evidenced-based practices (EBP) in schools. A qualitative interview conducted with mainstream teachers in Ireland, together with the results of a survey study that examined teachers’ knowledge of EBPs are presented by Lorna. Implications for practice and recommendations for practitioners will then be discussed. This event will be of interest to anyone looking to gain insights into factors that may help or hinder teachers’ use of EBPs with students living with a diagnosis of autism in Ireland.

Behaviour Analysts Speaking Publicly

Training Public Speaking Behaviour: How to engage your audience when communicating ABA.

On the 22nd April at 8 to 9pm the Community of BCBAs Northern Ireland will host Guy Poland BCBA who will present an online CEU event on the topic of Public Speaking. See the Community of BCBAs Facebook page for details.

This event online is for those interested in improving their public speaking skills in order to disseminate applied behaviour analysis. The content includes managing anxiety and avoidance of public speaking behaviours, how to structure the speech and presentation, design tips for visual prompts, setting up the environment to promote reinforcement, and motivation for public speaking.

Evidenced-Based Practice for Autism in Irish Primary Schools

24th March 2021 8-9pm 

Free Event / 1 CEU available

Register here

Sorry for that (unavoidable) postponement. We’re back on track!

On the 24th March 2021 Lorna Barry (PhD candidate) will provide us with an overview and discussion of her doctoral research, funded by the Irish Research Council, titled: Bridging the gap: Understanding Irish teacher’s implementation of evidence-based practices in the education of children with Autism. 

Lorna is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) with experience working with school-age populations, which stoked her interest in this topic. She will present the results of a scoping review conducted on the barriers and facilitators to implementing EBPs in schools, a qualitative interview study conducted with mainstream teachers in Ireland, and the results of a survey study that examined teachers’ knowledge and use of EBPs. Implications for practice and recommendations for practitioners will then be discussed. This event will be of interest to anyone looking to gain insights into factors that may help or hinder teachers’ use of EBPs with students with autism in Ireland, so come check it out! 

Register here

Social Justice is the Spirit and Aim of an Applied Science of Human Behaviour

The Spirit & Aim

This event will be of interest to all those wishing to learn more about ABA. Particularly how the history of ABA fits within the broader history of science.

One Continuing Education Unit is available. If you wish to make a payment to support the work of the MBAF you can do so here, if not, this one is on us. Enjoy!

One ethics CEU for the event is available here

On 19th Jan the MBAF hosted a CEU event with Dr Malika Pritchett. Dr Pritchett joined us to discuss her paper entitled, ‘The Spirit and Aim of an Applied Science. Social Justice is the Spirit and Aim of an Applied Science of Human Behavior: Moving from Colonial to Participatory Research Practices‘. Which is due for publication in a forthcoming special issue of Behaviour Analysis in Practice 

Dr Pritchett and her colleague’s paper is a remarkable contribution to our profession’s discussion of its role as applied science. It confronts where our science has failed those to whom it is applied and in so doing has drifted from its original egalitarian aims. Dr Pritchett’s paper challenges the reader to reconnect with the spirit and aim of our applied science. 

Dr Pritchett’s message is particularly timely for Irish Behaviour Analysts. In March 2018 Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention of Human Rights for people with disabilities. The ratification of the UNCRPD will mean that the rights of people with disabilities will no longer be the paternalistic aspirations of those who support them. Our discipline must confront the opportunities this presents.

Annual General Meeting 2020

The formal notice to the members of this years AGM has gone out. However, if you are not a member, but are interested to learn about the activities of the MBAF. You are welcome to come along.

This year the AGM will be held on 30th November at 7 pm. Please click here to register; Click here to register. 

If you have any items for the agenda, please email them to munsterbaforum@gmail.com, before Tuesday 23rd November. The agenda will be circulated on Thursday the 26th.  

2020 has been an exciting year for behaviour analysis in Ireland. It is more important than ever that we come together as a community and secure the future of our profession.

Behaviour analytic interventions delivered via Telehealth

The Community of BCBA’s Invites you to an event with Emma Craig, BCBA PhD Candidate on examining the effectiveness of behaviour analytic interventions delivered via Telehealth in training professionals working with children with autism spectrum disorder. One CEU (continuing education unit) is available with this event. This event is free

Join us on zoom on Monday 16th November, 8-9pm. Meeting ID: 810 3877 7014, password: 103457. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81038777014?pwd=WjF4SmFZTjFXQU1tSXV0WjVkNGhEZz09

Emma Craig is coming towards the end of her PhD under the supervision of Dr Katerina Dounavi, BCBA-D at Queen’s University Belfast. Emma will be presenting her PhD research, ‘Examining the Effectiveness of Behaviour Analytic Interventions via Telehealth in Training Professionals Working with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder’. During the presentation, attendees will be guided through the results of a systematic literature review examing telehealth as a model for delivering behaviour analytic interventions to individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

Secondly, attendees will be informed of the methodology employed to train professionals teaching functional living skills to individuals with autism to teach functional living skills. Results will be discussed. Additionally, a further study on the effectiveness of conducting functional analyses and functional communication training via telehealth will be discussed. Recommendations for clinical practice will be made. One FREE CEU is available for attending this event.

Working group on the creation of an Irish Society for Behaviour Analysis

The Division of Behaviour Analysis in Ireland has established a working group on the creation of a Behaviour Analytic Society of Ireland (working title).  


The working group are in touch with Neil Martin, Director of International Development with the BACB.  Our discussions with Neil are progressing well, and we are addressing;

1) Extending the availability of testing to Irish applicants

2) Accessing the BACBs support to establish a representative body for BCABs in Ireland


The working group intends to;
1) Form an organisation that represents BCBAs in Ireland 

2) Establish Behaviour Analyst as a recognised professional qualification in Ireland

3) Align with international organisations representing BCBA


We are making progress on these fronts.  However, it is vitally important that Irish and Northern Irish BCBAs become involved in this process. 

As the process unfolds, there will be votes on the direction of this new organisation.  

Not being involved at this stage will mean that your voice goes unheard at this critical time.  Now is the time to come together and secure the future of our profession.  

Contact the Munster Behaviour Analyst Forum for Information


Please circulate to all the BCBAs you know.