Justin B. Leaf, Ph.D., CPBA-AP, BCBA-D 

Justin Leaf, Ph.D., is the Executive Director for Autism Partnership Foundation and the Progressive Behavior Analyst Autism Council and the Executive Director for Contemporary Behavior Consultants.

Justin received his doctorate degree in Behavioral Psychology from the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas. His research interests include Progressive ABA, improving behavioral intervention, social behavior, and methodologies to improve the lives of autistic/individuals diagnosed with ASD. Justin has over 150 publications in either peer reviewed journals, books, or book chapters and has presented at both national and international professional conferences and invited events.

Justin has served on numerous editorial boards for behavior analytic and autism journals. Justin career has been dedicated to improving the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and lives of Autistic individuals. 

Presentation at the ABA International Conference 2024


Behavior Analytic Approaches to Teaching Social Skills for Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in social behavior, including, but not limited to, social communication, interaction, and reciprocity. To address these deficits, there are a myriad of social skills interventions available to the behavior analyst. It is essential for behavior analysts to have a firm understanding of effective social skills interventions, meaningful social curriculum, as well as the skills necessary to identify social skills interventions that lack empirical support and may be ineffective or harmful. The purpose of this talk is to introduce practicing behavior analysts to the empirical evidence of several popular social skills interventions, provide information on how to develop meaningful social curriculum, and provide examples of how to identify and research potentially pseudoscientific interventions. The presenter will use video examples throughout the talk.


At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants will be able to: 

  1. identify and describe several evidence-based social skills interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD
  2. identify and describe at least two commonly used social skills interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD that lack empirical support or align closely to a pseudoscience
  3. describe various social behaviors that can be taught and effective ways to teach them. 
  4. describe findings from the latest research on DTT as it relates to social behavior. 
  5. describe findings from the latest research on cool versus not cool as it relates to social behavior. 
  6. describe findings from the latest research on teaching interaction procedure as it relates to social behavior. 
  7. describe findings from the latest research on social skills groups as it relates to social behavior.