Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention

Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

By Sophia D’Agostino

The Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention (NDBI) SIG is proud to share its second annual report. The NDBI SIG was founded in May of 2020 by Sophia D’Agostino (president), Melanie Pellecchia (member at large), Elizabeth Horton (secretary-treasurer), Emma Sipila-Thomas (student member/secretary-treasurer), Ana Dueñas (member at large), Amy Matthews (member at large), and Meghan Kane (member at large). The NDBI SIG aims to bring together professionals who have an interest in understanding and advancing the dissemination and implementation of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions for individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders. The NDBI SIG has three primary purposes: (1) Advance the understanding of NDBI among behavior analysts; (2) Disseminate the latest research and practice related to NDBI in the treatment of individuals with autism; (3) Provide a forum for behavior analysts interested in NDBI to network and collaborate.

NDBIs are empirically validated interventions implemented in natural settings using components from developmental and behavioral science. Common examples of NDBI approaches include Incidental Teaching, Pivotal Response Treatment, Early Start Denver Model, Enhanced Milieu Training and many more. In order to bring parsimony to the field, Schreibman et al. (2015) proposed the common use of the term NDBI to refer to interventions that combine ABA with developmental science. The core elements of NDBIs as identified by Frost et al. (2020) include: (1) face-to-face on the child’s level, (2) follow child’s lead, (3) use positive affect and animation, (4) model appropriate language (5) respond to communicative attempts, (6) use communicative temptations, (7) provide frequent direct teaching episodes, and (8) provide quality direct teaching episodes. Please see our website (linked below) for a list of recent NDBI publications and other resources including handouts, videos, and books to learn more about NDBI.

During the past year, we have maintained a website (, twitter account (@ndbigroup), and facebook group ( designed to grow interest in NDBI and share links to relevant resources. Our group met bi-monthly over the past year. Initial meetings were focused on plans to enhance our social media presence and create handouts to support the dissemination of NDBI. Recent meetings were NDBI focused article discussions (with Continuing Education) led by members. In addition, a subset of members have focused on writing publications with the underlying mission to support wide-scale implementation of NDBI. Our plans for the upcoming year include NDBI webinars, bimonthly article discussions, visuals and other handouts to increase the understanding of NDBI, and publications. We also hope to support NDBI research and/or ABAI conference funding for graduate students.

To become a SIG member or if you are interested in learning more about NDBI, please contact us at Membership is currently free, and we welcome anyone to join. We hope to engage more practitioners in discussions around NDBI and provide resources to increase NDBI implementation.