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Assessment of Adult Core Competencies Curriculum

Teaching Skills to Adults with Autism and Severe Behavioral Challenges

Locandina EN - ACCEA

Assessment of Adult Core Competencies: Teaching Skills to Adults and Adolescents with Autism and Severe Behavioral Challenges.

Assessment and Training Protocols for use in Environments Addressing Severe Problem Behavior in Adolescents and Adults with Autism and other Intellectual Disabilities.

This training will cover comprehensive assessment protocols as they apply to serving adults and adolescents with autism and other intellectual disabilities (ID). The information will go beyond basic functional assessment tools and methodology to cover environmental assessment measures as well as the ability of the person with ID to fully pursue their values and goals that they have set for themselves. A fully operationalized set of what we call “measures of wellbeing” will be reviewed along with their impact on those that we serve. The ability of these measures of wellbeing to ameliorate severe aggressive behavior will also be covered. A complete assessment and intervention tool for working with adults with ASD and other intellectual disabilities and severe aggressive behavior will also be covered.


Participants will identify the design of environmental assessments in residential settings where clients display severe depression.

Participants will select how to better quantify aggressive behavior in terms of its impact on the environment and those that serve them.

Participants will be trained on specific aspects of operationally defined self-esteem behaviors and will select the best options for those that they serve.

Participants will identify the nature of and the need for more in-depth functional assessment as it relates to severe aggressive behavior.


Dr. John M. Guercio, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CBIST, LBA,

Dr. Guercio has spent much of his career researching effective staff training protocols and behavior intervention strategies for staff and clients in settings where severe aggression is present. Since obtaining his master’s and doctoral degrees in behavior analysis and therapy from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Dr. Guercio has worked in settings serving as Director of Behavioral Services for the Missouri Department of Mental Health, and as Vice President of Clinical Services and Research at the Judevine Center for Autism/TouchPoint Autism Services in St. Louis. He also serves as adjunct faculty in the behavior analysis department at Washington University and St. Louis University. He has also given more than 500 presentations at behavioral conferences and authored and/or co-authored over 50 articles in peer reviewed journals as well as written several book chapters related to the treatment of intensive behavioral issues. He has authored or co-authored 2 books; Assessment of Adult Core Competencies: Teaching Skills to Adults with Autism and Severe Behavioral Challenges; and Behavioral Relaxation Training Clinical Applications with Diverse Populations. Dr. Guercio serves on the Board of Editors of Behavior Analysis Research and Practice and a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. In his career, Dr. Guercio has helped design and run a program for individuals with sexually deviant behavior and substance abuse issues and has developed an entire treatment protocol based upon that program.  In his current role at Benchmark Human Services, Dr. Guercio serves as the Clinical Director. He develops and delivers behavioral services for clients with significant aggression and high-risk behavioral needs, many of whom have been institutionalized for more than 15 years, often under restraints and heavy medication. Through Dr. Guercio’s leadership, many clients’ medication dosages have decreased and, they have developed positive compensatory behaviors and are being integrated into the community. Dr. Guercio currently serves on the ABAI Licensing Committee and is a board member of the Missouri Association for Behavior Analysis.


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Guercio, J.M. (2020). Assessment of adult core competencies: Teaching skills to adults with autism and severe behavioral challenges. Hedgehog Publishers.

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Guercio, J.M., & Cormier, R. (2020). Blending Stimulus Fading Procedures with Forward Chaining to Address Treatment Resistance in an Adult with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 8(2), 215-218.

Guercio, J. M., & Dixon, M. R. (2010). Improving the quality of staff and participant interaction in an acquired brain injury organization. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management30(1), 49-56.

Guercio, J.M., & Dixon, M.R. (2010). The Observer Effect and Its Impact on Staff Behavior in an Acquired Brain Injury Neurobehavioral Treatment Setting. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.31 (1), 43-54.

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Guercio, J.M., & Hunyadi, S. (2021). Using the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services to Enhance Data Collection Procedures in Residential Treatment for Clients with Significant Behavioral Challenges. (In Press).