Thought Leaders 005 | Dr. Henry Roane, Part 1

Thought Leaders, we are sitting down and speaking with Dr. Henry Roane about his history and the few strokes of luck that brought him into the field of behavior analysis.

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Shauna Costello (00:01):

You're listening to operant innovations, a podcast brought to you by ABA technologies. This month on thought leaders, we'll be talking with Dr. Henry Roane about how a few strokes of luck brought him to the field of behavior analysis and led him to his very successful career in dissemination and clinical and practical work. We are here with Dr. Henry Roane. He is a professor of pediatrics and the division chief of the center for behavior development and genetics at upstate medical university. Thank you for joining us, Dr. Roane, and we've heard from a few others of our thought leaders on the podcast so far, and you are in my eyes and these are my, you know, subjective eyes, picking out the podcast topics, um one of those. So we, I am interested in hearing how you got into the field and with your very diverse education. And I know that you were even at Johns Hopkins, um, how you got into the field and then how you got even more into your clinical and research application.

Dr. Henry Roane (01:19):

Yeah, sure. It's all, um, you know, it's all one big story of, uh, either dumb luck or just happening to be in the right place at the right time. But, um, the, um, when I was a kid, my dad, um, ran a nursing home and, um, I spent a lot of time there. Um, that was sort of when I got punished, I had to, you know, do stuff at the nursing home. And so, um, I spent a lot of time around, um, the elderly and, um, and then when I went to school to college, I, um, was had planned to, um, work in the area of, um, memory loss with the elderly. And I was actually working with a developmental psychologist at LSU named Katie Cherry, who, um, was a mentor to me. And we were doing research on, uh, memory dysfunction and folks with Alzheimer's versus, um, folks of typical cognitive development.

Dr. Henry Roane (02:21):

And so while I was doing all that I knew kind of pretty early on in undergrad that I needed to get some research experience and get good letters to get into graduate school and stuff like that. But I went to LSU and I was, uh, also, um, full blown fraternity guy, frankly, at that point. And, uh, so I was a psychology major and I needed to take an elective psychology course and being, um, at that stage of my life, I attempted to take the latest starting classes as possible to get credits. And so one semester I go to register for, and there's this, um, 10:30 Tuesday, Thursday class on psychology of learning. I had no idea what it was. I was pretty sure I wanted to go study memory and stuff like that. And, uh, this class started at 10:30 and that was about my as early as I was willing to get up to take class.

Dr. Henry Roane (03:18):

And so I'm signed up for it and it turned out the class was taught, was taught by this new hire first year assistant professor at LSU named Tim Farmer. And I didn't know who he was, obviously didn't know what he would become. And, uh, so I took the class and I really liked, um, Tim's teaching style, uh, you know, it just made a lot of sense to me and the content was very, um, you know, behavior analysis is kind of has this sort of a building block, you know, where you, you learn about classical conditioning that builds on, um, the early operant conditioning stuff. And that builds on this sort of heavier content. And so, um, that, that was real appealing to me. And, um, and I, you know, I enjoyed it, but I still kind of had my sights set on doing the memory stuff.

Dr. Henry Roane (04:10):

And then, um, one day Tim showed a video of, uh, of the SIBIS system, the self injurious behavior inhibiting system that the Brian Iwata developed with others. And, um, it's just this video, if you've ever seen it, of these people just engaging in like really, really bad self-injury. And, um, and then they don't when they put this device on. And, um, and so, um, when my dad ran a nursing home, one of the patients in the nursing home was actually my aunt who, um, had really profound disabilities. And, um, you know, when I was a kid, my mom would always make us go by her room and she spent her life, um, strapped to the bed basically, and had nothing to really engage with, but a, um, uh, uh, baby mobile, you know, hanging over the bed and she was nonverbal. She had bitten off large parts for lips.

Dr. Henry Roane (05:06):

She, um, would hit herself. And so I see this video of Tim and I'm like, Oh my God, it's my aunt Susan. And, you know, I mean, not literally my aunt Susan, but it was a that's that same kind of thing. And I think it might've been like the end of that class, where I walked up to Tim and, um, asked if I could volunteer to be in his lab. And, um, I had, you know, I just had no idea that treatment of self-injury existed, you know, idea that functional analysis was a thing. Um, no idea who Tim was. And, um, and I guess I had done well enough in the class cause he accepted me and then, um, I just kinda got into it and we started working in schools and, um, and it sort of took off from there.

Shauna Costello (05:53):

So what after that? So you, you got your MA. Your BS and your MA at LSU.

Dr. Henry Roane (06:03):

Yep, I finished up my PhD there, so about, um, so I was, um, I'm still real close with a fellow grad student of mine and Joel Ringle and, um, Joel and I were there and, um, you know, we had a real good group of people, um, and about halfway through my grad school, Tim left to go to, uh, the university of Pennsylvania. Um, and I had a, about a year where I didn't have a major professor in graduate school. So there's this clinical psychologist who does work in intellectual disabilities named Johnny Mattson. And he sort of took me under his wing, um, as well as a school psychologist named George Knoll. And so they, they kind of, um, shepherded me through and I had the opportunity to go up to join Tim at university of Pennsylvania to do my, um, my pre doctoral internship. And, um, I was getting ready, you know, it was all planned to move to Philadelphia.

Dr. Henry Roane (07:04):

And then, um, LSU was doing a job search for an assistant professor and they hired Dorothy Lurman, um, who had been at Hopkins at the time. And so, you know, I thought, well, this is a chance to sort of, um, be with a professor when they're getting started on the ground level of like a research center and, um, setting up a research agenda contracts with schools, all this other stuff. And I guess I just sort of realized that that would be a really good experience and would probably be helpful to Dorothy too. So I stuck around LSU for a year to work with Dorothy. Um, and she brought in Carol VanCamp and Mike Kelley as first year grad students. So we had a really good team right off the bat. Um, and then Dorothy had connections at Johns Hopkins. And so, you know, then I felt, I knew enough by then that it was sort of all about graduate school, was all about kind of, um, conquering one obstacle and moving to the next one, you know, so doing your thesis and then trying real hard to get your thesis published and then making sure that gets turned into a talk, so people start to recognize your name and so doing all these things. So I knew enough that, um, it would be good to have contacts at both university of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins. And so, um, sure enough, when, you know, when the time came, I had to make a choice and I chose to work at Hopkins. And, um, I was just real fortunate that Kathleen Piatsa needed a, um, somebody to be a research, um, kind of a research assistant. And so I ended up, um, they were able to work out a deal for me to go to, um, to Hopkins and work on the NBU. Um, but in a little bit more of like a supervisor capacity managing Kathleen's severe behavior cases. And so that was awesome cause she was doing a lot of stuff in automatic reinforcement at the time and it dovetailed into my dissertation and, um, she was interested in some behavioral economics and, um, we were doing a bunch of stuff with PICA.

Dr. Henry Roane (09:06):

And so that was just a really cool opportunity to work with somebody who, and I think she may have been an AE for JABA at the time, but, um, you know, it was great and it turned out for the best Tim ended up going to Florida. And so, um, so the seashore house program kind of floundered a little bit anyway, but, um, anyway, so I ended up at Hopkins, um, and that's, um, that was, you know, honestly like career and life altering in a lot of different ways, but, um, that's just a super, it's like indescribable how amazing that environment was. Um, you know, it is now still, but there's just so many smart people. Um, and that one facility working on these really, really complex cases and doing a great job of it. And, um, you learn so much. Um, and while I was there working with Kathleen, um, her husband, Wayne Fisher was running the neuro behavioral unit.

Dr. Henry Roane (10:11):

Um, I was very intimidated by Wayne cause he was just this major guy in the field, you know? And, um, he was the first person I'd ever met who had NIH funding. And um, yeah, so it was like this real big deal and um, so Kathleen one day said to me like, Hey, you know, Wayne is going to start going down to Atlanta, um, to set up a program down there. They, you know, they want him to consult or whatever she said, you know, we know you're from the South. Maybe you would like, you know, I kinda mentioned Wayne, uh, you know, maybe, maybe he'd like to take you down there with him. And that was weird because Wayne had his own trainee at the time and you know, it felt like I was like jumping kind of in front of the other person, but you know, it is what it is.

Dr. Henry Roane (11:01):

And so, so I ended up going down with, to the Marcus, uh, or they had a little program at the time called the Marcus center. And, um, it was just this little program and the guy Bernie Marcus had given just some insane amount of money to Johns Hopkins to set up a replication site down in Atlanta. And, um, so Wayne and I started going and so I'm just like, you know, year before I was just like, Dorothy Lurman's research assistant, which isn't a bad gig that, you know, sort of good gig, but then suddenly I'm like flying down every other week with Wayne, hanging out in restaurants with him, you know, spending a lot of time with this really, really smart dude. And, you know, we're basically just flying to Atlanta consulting on patients, um, kind of proving, I think to the, to the leadership of that program, sort of what could be done, um, through behavior analysis, they were doing mostly developmental pediatrics at the time.

Dr. Henry Roane (12:01):

And so, um, and so that got me working obviously very closely with Wayne and then, um, the decision was made to, to grow that program and to build out, um, a unit that would serve these populations like we were working with in Baltimore, but as for feeding and severe behavior people. And, um, and so, um, I got a job offer to, um, either stay in Baltimore or, um, and work on NBU or to move to Atlanta and help start up this new program. And, um, you know, the being at the being at Hopkins and being at the NBU is extremely prestigious and a great opportunity, but, um, you know, you just don't get many chances in life to start something from scratch and build it. And, um, and it was a little closer to home and whatnot. So there were some personal reasons, but, um, you know, just being able to be somewhere and seeing what goes into program development in terms of just where the money comes from, how it works, how the financial models of a major institution work, recruitment of staff, getting a research agenda started, you know, it's, um, it's all a giant pain in the butt, but it's also just like, there's this crash course in program development.

Dr. Henry Roane (13:32):

And, and we did it all, um, you know, over about three years and, um, ended up, you know, working with architects to build out this 80 something thousand square foot building that they have and met with folks from Florida tech when they wanted to build the Scott center and they wanted to look at the Marcus program. Um, and so that was really cool because we just, you know, we had to, we took a lot of what we had at Kennedy, but we had to, um, work with local universities to start our own master's program. Just all these things that you have to do. And so, um, over the, you know, seven or eight years I was there, I learned how to do, just all these different things. And then, um, you know, after a while, Wayne got recruited to go take over and build out a program up in Omaha at Monroe Meyer.

Dr. Henry Roane (14:23):

And, um, I took over his job in Atlanta and was able to like Kelly was there at the time working with me. And we were able to recruit Nate Call to come from, um, he had been a professor at LSU and we were able to get him to come back. And then, um, Wayne made me a good offer to go out to Nebraska and help him start up a severe behavior unit. And, um, I did, I'm still not sure what the, um, what my rationale was at the time. Um, you know, but it was again, a chance to sort of work in a, you know, and get another chance at program development. And, um, and so I did it and it was, it was cool. It was great. Um, and then we were out in Nebraska and, um, my wife had twins. We had twins.

Dr. Henry Roane (15:13):

Um, she did it all work, but we, um, they were in the NICU and she said, you know, we need to move close to home. And, um, home for her is, um, is beautiful gray, Syracuse, New York. And so, uh, so I moved to, um, I came out and gave a grand rounds at our med school out here. And, um, the dude that was running the department in our children's hospital at the time is a nephrologist by training. But for whatever reason, he was completely, um, just blown away by this, not necessarily by me. I don't think that was it, but just having a psychologist come in and talk about behavior analysis and talk about, show before and after videos of how we treat these kids. And so I put together a business plan for them and they hired me to start a clinic out here.

Dr. Henry Roane (16:05):

And I had been fortunate to draw on all of these other experiences I've had about, um, program development to, to start up a program, um, here in Syracuse. And so it's been, um, been really cool. It's taken 10 years to kind of get it up and going, but we just got our first major philanthropic gift, um, that will sustain the program for many years. And, um, and so it's been a, um, it's not always been easy. It's been a lot of days where it feels like you're pushing the Boulder up the mountain and it rolls down overnight. But, um, yeah, it's been, it's been fun and, uh, a long way to get here.

Shauna Costello (16:44):

Well and I mean, I think it's just amazing to hear you talk about it. And I know we mentioned before we started talking that you're not always big on talking about yourself. And so just listening to you talk about your experiences and how humble you are about them. And you're like, yeah, and then I was at Johns Hopkins and then yeah, it was at the Marcus center. And then, yeah, I was at university of Nebraska medical center. If anybody in our field hears any of these names now. I mean, those, I mean, those are big centers. I mean, we've talked to just on this podcast alone, we've talked to Georgia state university, which is also in the heart of Atlanta. Um, I've talked to dr. Stephanie Kincade, she's down at Rollins college right now in Florida, but I mean, she's been at the Marcus center and just how impactful a lot of your work and your experiences have been not just on the field, but also on, you know, creating all of these behavior analysts as well.

Dr. Henry Roane (17:47):

It's nice too, because all those places built a statue out front. It was really cool. It's cool you say that 'cause I gave a, um, I was presenting in, uh, at this conference in Sweden last week. And, um, when the discussant got up to review my talk, he called me cocky. Um, and so it's funny that you just said I was, uh, I was, uh, I forget what term you used.

Shauna Costello (18:13):

Humble. Um, yeah, you sound humble today.

Dr. Henry Roane (18:16):

It's, you know, it's one of those things where it's weird when you talk about it, because it's, there's a sense of detachment from it. And I still think I'm, you know, I'm Hank and I grew up in a small town in Louisiana and I don't, you know, I certainly don't think I'm like the smartest behavior analyst in the world. And I think I'm good at creating programs, but I've also been surrounded by really, really smart people, who've taught me things and I have, um, you know, like I have people like Mike Cataldo to call on as a mentor and he runs this just, I don't know, $80 million program at Johns Hopkins. And I can, you know, if I ever run into issues, I can call Mike and say, look, man, you know, I need some advice or my, um, the guy who ended up hiring me here, um, in pediatrics, um, you know, he's a really well known dude in his field and, um, the guy, um, you know, the close to the president of our university. And so, you know, having mentors like that, um, and knowing sort of when to ask for help, um, makes you seem smart, but when you're in, when you're in the midst of it, it's just a matter of kind of like, well, this is just sort of the next link in the chain, you know, or the next step.

Dr. Henry Roane (19:34):

And it's just the next thing I'm doing. And, um, and so to kind of look back on it, I mean, I guess when I was, I just explained all that. I felt like, Oh yeah, Tim Vollmer, Dorothy, Lurman Johnny Mattson. That sounds cool. But when you're doing it. It doesn't seem like that. It seems, you know, it's just a matter of like, I'm trying to get a job. I'm trying to get like my little dataset published so I can go to ABA this year. Not like it's, it's not anything that's like, um, you know, it's really thought out at the time. I mean, obviously there was some strategy involved with like going to Kennedy over Penn and going to Marcus over staying at Kennedy and stuff like that. But, um, none of that was from the perspective of, of setting out to say, like, I want to be a, you know, I used to actually joke with people that I wanted to reach a stage of my career, where I could like look at a map and just say like, I want to move there and then have like the, you know, cloud or whatever it is to, um, to think that I would just be able to be like, all right, well, I'm going to show up in a, you know, Boise and suddenly like, you know, people will give me a job and obviously that's, um, I said that when I was younger and stupider, but, um, but you know, like I was able to draw on some of those experiences.

Dr. Henry Roane (21:07):

I mean, when we got to upstate, there was nothing, I mean, nothing, they had a couple of developmental pediatricians and a handful of psychologists, um, and they had the primary service for developmental disabilities was speech OT and facilitated communication. And, um, that was what we were up against. Thinking, no, you're bringing in behavior analysis against that where people who believe in voodoo basically. And, um, and, and now we've got this program, we've got philanthropic support, we got a rat lab, we got, you know, a bunch of people working here, a master's program and it's, um, it's all because of those experiences that, you know, you don't really ever, I think when I have a 30,000 foot view, it's like from a strategic plan perspective, not from a, the perspective of my history. And so I don't ever really think of take time to sort of sit back and think, oh yeah, that was cool. Um, cause honestly, I think at all those times I've described, I was probably really freaking stressed out

Shauna Costello (22:16):

Completely understandable, but I mean, just from the types of experiences that you've had, and now that you've, that you have in upstate as well, that I think the type of dissemination, I think this is something that I really respect and kind of look up to because dissemination is probably one of my biggest areas of interest and, you know, connecting to these other professionals, like you said, that might be following some voodoo or some, you know, the pseudoscience and all of that stuff. And really not just, you know, throwing behavior analysis in their face, but really finding a way to partner with these individuals to start creating these programs and making them successful.

Dr. Henry Roane (23:05):

Yeah. And you can, you know, you can, you can partner with them if they want a partner back. Right. And they don't always, um, I I have a, um, you know, my division now we have a, um, a diagnostic clinic that has done the same diagnostic practice for basically 30 years. So literature be damned, we're going to continue doing what we're doing. Right. And I had a psychologist who ran it for 30 years, who, um, was not interested in, um, hearing about, you know, the virtues of doing a or whatever it was. Right. Um, and she didn't want to collaborate. Um, and so she retired and, um, and we're meeting to decide, um, now how are we going to revise that diagnostic practice? But sometimes you have to, um, you know, sometimes you can collaborate with people. Sometimes you have to, um, convince people why it's a good reason.

Dr. Henry Roane (24:07):

Sometimes you have to work around people who don't want to collaborate to convince other people why it's a good reason. Um, one of the things that I've kind of made a, um, I haven't, I didn't know that I've kind of set out to do this and I haven't really even operationalized it that much yet, but one of the things that I've started to think a lot about is how can we introduce behavior analysis into mainstream pediatrics? And I think that one of the things that we do really well at our conferences and in our journals is tell each other how smart we all are. Um,

Shauna Costello (24:43):

We're really smart.

Dr. Henry Roane (24:44):

Right? And I mean, like, you know, we're real good at saying, Hey man, I'm smart and you're smart. And, you know, we're all smart, but I don't know that we get that message out to other providers that much, and being in a, um, or other specialties and being in pediatrics that gives me that, uh, you know, a little bit of a, an Avenue to do that. And so we, me and Wayne and Jim Carr published a paper a few years ago. Um, just, I mean, it was nothing major, but it was just kind of a, what is applied behavior analysis and like, what do you know pediatricians have probably heard this term, but what does it mean? What do they do? And we published it in, um, in the journal of pediatrics, which was a really, um, so if a behavior analyst read it, they'd be like, yeah. Okay, great. But for a pediatrician to read it, that's kind of a cool thing. Um, I'm not the only one, you know, that has been trying to do stuff like this for years. A bunch of other people have too, but I was able to kind of, you know, from that, I think people read it and they asked me to be on their board.

Dr. Henry Roane (25:49):

And so now there's a behavior analyst on the board of a pediatric journal, which is really neat. Um, and then, um, somehow somebody read it and asked me to edit a volume of this pediatric clinics of North America, which is a, um, a series that comes out for practitioners and, you know, they wanted to do it on prevention or something like that. And I thought, well, this is a really good chance to talk about what's called tertiary or secondary or tertiary prevention, but from the perspective of what do behavior analysts do for things like gun safety, um, and, uh, you know, or, or dental problems. So you, um, you know, you have people like Ray, Miltenberger Keith Allen who were doing this really cool stuff. And, um, and they disseminated in behavioral journals, but, um, you know, you want to start disseminating it in pediatric journals too, or maybe psych journals or what have you.

Dr. Henry Roane (26:44):

And so, um, I think that's a really important thing, um, from kind of a traditional dissemination perspective, I think by the same token, what you're doing with this kind of podcast and you and your colleagues is equally important because that's, um, you know, it's a, it's a different stream of dissemination, but it's a, um, equally valuable one because it's a very portable one. And one that I think really helps to connect people with, with, uh, with, you know, researchers and stuff. So I think there's a lot of really interesting, um, um, opportunities for dissemination for behavior analysis.

Shauna Costello (27:26):

Yeah. And I completely agree. And I mean, even in the recent year or year and a half, there have even been a lot more articles posted out there about storytelling and how behavior analysts, aren't always that great at relating to other fields. And so, you know, just the fact that you guys have this background and you're in the field, they know who you are, but you also know the terminology because knowing the terminology and being familiar with these other fields is what's going to help bridge. That is what I believe is going to somewhat help bridge that gap. And so just, you know, getting out there and you not only, you know, starting up and being a major founder in all of these areas and all of these centers, but also that dissemination that's one thing that I think is just something that we all should be striving more for is that dissemination and, you know, taking off what I like to call are a lot of times, um, some people in our field have blinders as to what behavior analysis is and what it can do.

Dr. Henry Roane (28:37):

I don't know what you mean.

Shauna Costello (28:38):

I don't, you know, I know I'm just, I'm just a very opinionated person. And so I just throw it out there all the time. Um, but it's, that's my goal with this podcast is to show, you know, people in our field that there are ways to get out there and there are ways to do this. And is it, like you said, is it stressful? Yes. Is it hard work? Yes. But it can be done. And a lot of the times behavior analysts are making these types of connections and they might not even realize it, but they're getting into these fields and they're working with these other professionals and that they're learning the lingo of these professionals that they can then start disseminating.

Dr. Henry Roane (29:23):

Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. I mean, imagine if like every behave, not that I'm saying people shouldn't go to like the ABAI conference or whatever, but, you know, imagine if everybody took a year off from that on a rotating schedule and they said, you know, this year I'll spend my travel funds, I'm going to go to the, um, you know, the pediatric academic society, you know, or I'm going to go to APA. Um, and, and they put as much effort into organizing symposia for that. Um, and you know, I think that's, um, no, I mean, I, you know, I don't do that either, so I've kind of pot calling the kettle black, but I, I think it's, there's, there's ways to do that, but obviously, you know, for, for many people, there's, um, you know, there's other things built into the annual conference that, that you, you know, you go to other meetings and you, you work on with colleagues and, um, deadlines kind of revolve around that.

Dr. Henry Roane (30:20):

But, um, there, there really is a lot, and, and I think it's fairly, um, fairly limitless, but it requires us to be, you know, soften and maybe change a little bit of the language that we use. I think it also makes us realize that we have to sometimes talk in ways or about things that we're maybe not comfortable with to sh to show almost like a, um, relate-ability to people like I'm giving a talk tomorrow, not talking like an interview for a news thing about, um, people doing a sensory friendly, um, haunted house for kids with autism, which I'm not sure exactly how you make a haunted house, sensory friendly. Um, but that's not anything that I wake up in the morning and think how, you know, what can we do to make, um, but you know what it's going to be. Uh, I, you know, I, I know some stuff about these sensory friendly interventions or attempts, and, um, I know enough about the diagnostic criteria of autism to be able to say some informative things I hope.

Dr. Henry Roane (31:31):

And, but that's something where I'm not gonna say anything about behavior analysis. Um, but I'm going to end up talking about something that people can relate to. And they might say, well, here's this guy I heard, you know, and then on the news tonight. And, um, and then they might look into the, you know, and I think that's a, it's not a matter of me saying, all right, well, I'm gonna talk to the media about our newest, you know, relapse data. They don't care about that, you know, but it might be a way to sort of, uh, bring people in and probably doesn't do any harm. Right. But, you know, people need to really, um, kind of embrace some things like that too. And, um, there's probably a whole host of other ways that I haven't thought of.

Shauna Costello (32:12):

Yeah. And I mean, I have brought this up, um, just to colleagues and stuff before, but one of the, probably one of the best learning experiences I had from my master's program was out, we were doing community consultation for a mental, a mental health, community mental health agency, and my PhD mentor, um, Tom. One of the families wanted to try something and me being this gung-ho master's student, like first or second, I don't know what year it was, but I was like, no, we can't do this, not evidence-based like jumping right in. And you know, this, not to the family, this was just during his mind our meeting, but he goes, Shauna, he goes, is this going to harm the client? Or, you know, stall progress on anything we want to do? I'm like, no, not technically. He goes, okay, well, why don't we work with the family, building a rapport to try what they want to try and show and teach them how to take data and, you know, then we'll make a decision on if it's working or not.

Shauna Costello (33:21):

And I was like, Oh yeah. Okay. Yeah. It's and I think sometimes as behavior analysts, we might be a little quick to jump the gun on, Oh, well, that's not what I learned in my master's program. It's not evidence based. We can't do it. But I think that, you know, sometimes we have to look at the bigger picture and how we're building these types of, cause I know that, you know, OTs come in a lot speech and language come in a lot with school psychologists. And just depending on which, you know, clinical application, a lot of the BCBAs are in right now, but really trying to build though, really trying to build that rapport with them and kind of working within the system rather than trying to break through the system and make everybody do it our way

Dr. Henry Roane (34:12):

We made that mistake in Atlanta and in Omaha I think, especially in Omaha, we went in and they had a pretty well established OT program. And, you know, we just went in and said like, all right, well, that's all wrong. Um, and you're, you're not gonna make friends that way. And, and the, in that situation, um, one of the major, um, kind of schools where a lot of kids and our, you know, with our sort of demographics, um, where students was very OT based. And so then all of a sudden, you know, you need the schools to work with you, right? You may not need them to admit patients, but you need them to work from generalization teacher training. Um, and so all, you know, right off the bat, you've got a reputation as being somebody who is difficult to work with and, and how's that going to work out to help the kid.

Dr. Henry Roane (35:04):

And so coming here and to Syracuse, it was like, okay, we can't do that. Plus you got all these people who have facilitated communication. And so, you know, it's just a matter of time before some kid through facilitated communication says, you know, Hank's an asshole or whatever they, sorry. Um, but whatever they say. And, um, and that was a big challenge, you know, and I, uh, looked into the ethics of it because you're, you're, you're dead on man, that there's this notion that you say you inform parents, that this is not an evidence based treatment, which we have done, but I'll tell you what, man we've had had this parent who, his kid facilitated communication and through facilitated communication, they learned that the kid, um, was able to speak Japanese and knew trigonometry. And no one asked the question of how he learned these things, right? So that tells me that. And I say, hey, you know, how do you learn those things? And then, you know, you don't want to, you know, it's tough cause you never want to be like the jerk. Right. But you know, the dad said, he said, you know, every Friday night we put our kids to bed and we sit on the back patio or the back porch, we have a glass of wine and we read our son's facilitated communication transcripts from the week about how he loves his mom and about how he, you know, how he's sad that his behavior makes us unhappy. Makes me think, man, that's all they got. That's all they've got, you know, their kids nonverbal. And it's, it's, it's a tough compromise, you know, cause you, you have to say here's the, here's the exit literature. But if somebody wants to believe, you know, whether it's facilitated communications or UFOs, they're going to believe it.

Dr. Henry Roane (36:52):

You know? I mean, you know, they got all kinds of channels out there with TV shows about searching for ghosts and Bigfoot. So there was a market for stuff. And um, and it's the, it's the same thing with that. And so, you know, you obviously have to do your due diligence and, and stay true to your guidelines, but, um, but you know, there's a human side to it. And you, you, um, like to the case you described, you have to show that you're willing to be a partner and you have to sometimes use those opportunities as a teaching moment. Um, whether it's about data collection or, or what have you.

Shauna Costello (37:25):

Thank you for listening to thought leaders come back next month. As we talk more with Dr. Henry Roane about where he sees the field of behavior analysis going or where he would like to see the field go. And as always, if you have questions, feedback, or suggestions, please reach out to us



Farah Dadi

Profile picture for user Farah Dadi
Roane serves as Chief of the Division of Development, Behavior and Genetics; Director of the Golisano Center for Special Needs; and Chair of the Behavior Analysis Studies Program at Upstate. He is Editor-in-Chief of Behavioral Development and has served as an associate editor and editorial board member for journals in the fields of pediatrics, behavior analysis, and school psychology. Roane has coauthored over 100 research articles and chapters as well as several academic texts on the assessment and treatment of behavior disorders in children with autism and related disorders.

Farah Dadi

Profile picture for user Farah Dadi
Roane held faculty and clinical positions at the Emory University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger and Marcus Institutes in Atlanta GA and at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Munroe-Meyer Institute Omaha NE.

Farah Dadi

Profile picture for user Farah Dadi
Prior to coming to Upstate, Dr. Roane held faculty and clinical positions at the Emory University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger and Marcus Institutes in Atlanta GA and at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Munroe-Meyer Institute Omaha NE.

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