Utica, New York

Jon Horn, MA, BCBA, LBA, is the Associate Vice President of Behavior Analysis at Upstate Caring Partners (UCP), where he plays a crucial role in implementing a specialized behavior analytic treatment model for adults. His expertise revolves around crafting and executing strategies integrating Practical Functional Assessment (PFA) and Skill-Based Treatment (SBT) to refine behavioral outcomes.

His introduction to PFA-SBT came through early listening of the Behavioral Observation podcasts, followed by substantive exposure during a two-day training with Dr. Gregory Hanley in 2017. Under Dr. Hanley’s guidance, the implementation of PFA and SBT began the same year at UCP’s Tradewinds Education Center. In 2019, Jon’s skills were enriched through mentorship from Dr. Adithyan Rajaraman, and in 2020, he expanded PFA-SBT to UCP’s adult division with support from Dr. Shannon Ward.

In Fall 2022 Jon and his team launched the ‘Enhanced Day Habilitation’ site, focusing on providing services to adults with severe challenging behavior, grounded in the values of PFA-SBT. Here, Jon currently leads a team of BCBAs and aspiring BCBAs and oversees more than 30 residences and five day-habilitation sites. The center’s cultural foundation emphasizes assent, choice, dignity, trust, and safety.

Sharing insights, Jon emphasizes the transformative impact of PFA-SBT, highlighting its effectiveness in overcoming challenges and building a cultural foundation rooted in its values:

“In general, but especially in adult settings, many clinicians feel stuck, as if there isn’t a clear path forward. I’ve experienced that feeling firsthand, and I’m here to share that implementing PFA-SBT will give you a path forward. During our implementation of PFA-SBT, we encountered the typical challenges inherent in the treatment process, ranging from conducting the analysis and executing treatment. Moreover, we navigated a distinctive set of challenges that arise when applying this approach to an adult population. Despite these obstacles, we have successfully engaged in effective problem-solving, reaching truly life-changing outcomes for many adults in our program.”

A crucial insight I’ve gained from applying the PFA-SBT process is that it goes beyond merely prioritizing values; it involves actively participating in behaviors that embody value-driven interactions and yield meaningful outcomes. They [values] are baked into the process. It’s not just, “remember to be compassionate”, but operant behaviors for us to engage in as clinicians to ensure that we are behaving compassionately, while not sacrificing the science that effectively addresses severe challenging behavior.”

In 2023, Jon contributed to the published article, “Approaches for Treating Multiply Controlled Problem Behavior,” which delves into the complexities of addressing problem behavior influenced by multiple reinforcement contingencies. The article offers practitioners an overview of function-based approaches, complete with guidelines for functional analysis and treatment. Please find the published article here: https://rdcu.be/dmIPk.

Join us in celebrating Jon Horn’s leadership at Upstate Caring Partners and his valuable contributions, exemplified by his recent publication. For more information about Upstate Caring Partners and their mission to provide innovative programs and services supporting opportunities for people of all abilities, please visit their website at https://www.upstatecp.org/.

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