Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention SIG

The Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention (NDBI) SIG is proud to share its third annual report. The NDBI SIG was founded in May 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 Inci-dental Teaching, Pivotal Response Treatment, Early Start Denver Model, Enhanced Milieu Training, and many more. 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) following the child’s lead, (3) using 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. A recent meta-analysis recognized NDBI as a promising intervention approach for children with autism (Sandbank et al., 2020). 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 interested in NDBI and share links to relevant resources. Our group hosted bi-monthly NDBI-focused article discussions (provided CE at no charge) led by members. In addition, a subset of members has focused on writing publications with the underlying mission to support the wide-scale implementation of NDBI. Further, NDBI SIG leaders presented a series of three NDBI-focused webinars for Behavior University. Our plans for the upcoming year include the continuation of bimonthly article discussions, the creation of additional visuals and other handouts to increase the understanding of NDBI, and peer reviewed NDBI 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.

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