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Applied Behavior Analysis: Background Information

The ABCs of ABA Acquiring Basic Communication with Applied Behavior Analysis Strategies

Kellie McCully Rodriguez, M.S., CCC-SLP Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention Friday, March 26, 2010 1:30-3:30 pm

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of human


ABA consists of: Designing, implementing, and evaluating environmental modifications to produce socially significant changes in human behavior Using antecedent stimuli and consequences to produce behavioral change Explaining behavior by external events that can be modified rather than internal events

Applied Behavior Analysis: Background Information (cont.) Originated with the work of B.F. Skinner Early studies: Animal experiments with food rewards to produce behavioral change (1953) Later Work: Analysis of verbal behavior (1957) Researchers such as Mark Sundburg, Ph.D. and James

Applied Behavior Analysis: Background Information (cont.)

Skinner developed the practice of operant conditioning: the

use of consequences to modify the occurrence and form of behavior

Discrete trial training (DTT), the cornerstone of ABA

Partington, Ph.D. further developed Skinner's work and its application for children with Autism

methodology, was derived from the principles of operant conditioning

Discrete trials are used to increase appropriate

Applied Behavior Analysts have created various

programs and clinics

communication (i.e. Verbal Behavior) and appropriate nonverbal behaviors such as compliance to demands, making appropriate transitions, accepting being told "no," etc.

Applied Behavior Analysis: Background Information (cont.) Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is the process of arranging

ABA: The Hype

ABA is a major methodological component for 3 out of the

antecedents and consequences to shape behavior

Antecedent: What occurs prior to behavior Consequence: What occurs after behavior Ex: "Say ball" (antecedent); child says "ball" (behavior); child is

11 treatments cited as being "Established" (i.e. established as effective) by the National Standards Project

Antecedent Package: Modifying events that precede target

behaviors to increase or decrease those behaviors

Behavioral Package: Reduction of problematic behaviors,

teaching of alternative behaviors

Comprehensive Behavioral Treatment for Young Children:

rewarded with something he likes (consequence that makes it likely the behavior will occur again)

Intensive ABA intervention (low student to teacher ratio, use of specific treatment manuals, intense intervention)

ABA: The Hype (cont.)

ABA strategies such as reinforcement, prompting, and

ABA: The Hype (cont.)

ABA within other established treatments:

Pivotal Response Treatment: Focuses on "pivotal" behavioral areas

establishing motivation are components of 7 of the remaining 8 established interventions

Modeling: Teacher models appropriate behaviors, prompting

and reinforcement are "often combined"

Naturalistic Teaching Strategies: Using child-driven

interactions within the natural environment to teach functional skills; use of natural reinforcers and rewarding "reasonable" attempts Peer Training Package: Children without disabilities facilitate play and social interactions; may include components of prompting and reinforcement

(motivation for social interaction, self-initiation, self-management, responsiveness to cues); high level of parental involvement; natural environment intervention Schedules: Presentation of task list that indicates activities required to complete a task; often supplemented by reinforcement Self-Management: Individuals with ASD record the occurrence of target behaviors and seek appropriate reinforcement Story-based Intervention: Written descriptions of situations under which target behaviors should occur; may be supplemented with prompting and reinforcement

ABA: The Hype (cont.)

Typically Developing Individuals

Experience the world via a

ABA: The Hype (cont.)

Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Experience the world via a sensory perspective

1. Use sensory cues to refine behavior 2. Avoid others because others often disrupt/limit sensory agenda; OR seek others primarily to fulfill sensory needs 3. Require direct social skill instruction

Typically Developing Individuals

Individuals with an ASD

social perspective

1. Use social cues to refine behavior 2. Seek out others to share social experiences 3. Learn social skills incidentally or with minimal instruction

Communicate for purposes beyond personal demands or sensory interests Use trial and error opportunities to experiment with and broaden scope of verbalizations Are "other focused" (i.e. look to others for information, reactions, cues, etc.)

Communication is sensory driven (echolalia, selfstimulatory, personal demands, labeling, restricted topics of interest) Have limited verbal trial and error due to reduced output and cognizance of impact of vocalizations on others; difficulty with skill generalization Are "self focused" (i.e. focused on own agenda and interests)

ABA: The Hype (cont.)

Typically Developing Individuals 7. Engage in negative behaviors that are strengthened or weakened via social consequences 8. Enjoy some level of routines and predictability, but appreciate novelty in experiences; use similarities to predict, problem solve, and learn Individuals with an ASD 7. Engage in maladaptive behaviors that are strengthened or weakened via sensory consequences 8. Insist upon routines and predictability for sensory gratification and emotional security; tend to over or under-generalize learning due to adherence to routines

ABA: The Hype (cont.)

Effects of Developmental Disruptions

Atypical visual, auditory, and tactile connection with


Unpredictable actions on the part of the caregiver

which often interrupt reinforcing activities

Caregivers become non-reinforcing; caregivers also

inadvertently reinforce negative behaviors

Early preference for solitary pursuits, inanimate

objects, and sensory interests

ABA: The Hype (cont.)

ABA strategies focus on making socialization, communication,

ABA: A Paradigm Shift

Widely-Held Negative Views of ABA Myth #1: ABA instruction requires extensive use

Myth # 2: ABA results in rote, robotic responses

and increasingly typical behavior (skills often meaningless, confusing, or aversive to individuals with ASD) meaningful and reinforcing ABA strategies facilitate skills crucial to the "human experience" (i.e. communication and social interaction) by treating these skills as behaviors requiring specific, intensive, and systematic instruction rather than socially mediated skills to be briefly taught or absorbed from the natural environment ABA's behavioral approach to learning is an excellent fit for individuals with sensory-driven (rather than socially-driven) processing

of punishment and aversive consequences

in children who would otherwise be typical communicators Myth # 3: ABA is overly intensive and harsh; especially for young children Myth # 4: ABA is a methodology that can only benefit a limited, select group of significantly impaired individuals with Autism

ABA: A Paradigm Shift (cont.)

Questions From Within the Field Why can't I use a "mixed bag of tricks" within an ABA-based

ABA: A Paradigm Shift (cont.)

The ultimate goal of ABA (Verbal Behavior) is oral communication ABA strategies can be used to successfully teach picture communication,


ABA-based therapy requires a different mind set and skill set, why

can't I just use what I know works with typically developing kids?

What is all this hype about reinforcement? Why do you feed these kiddos so much (i.e. edible reinforcement)? Why do many ABA-based programs insist upon the use of sign

language as the first communication modality?

Why can't I teach "more" and "please" to my early learners? Why can't I focus on MLU expansion with my early learners? Why do I have to respond to behaviors in the same way as the ABA

communication via devices, and are present within the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) hierarchy Whatever modality of communication selected, ABA strategies will enhance therapeutic intervention Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is an important tool when teaching communication to individuals who are nonverbal Use of sign language is among the oldest and well-researched forms of AAC (1970s). Some researchers believe sign has significant advantages over other forms of augmentative/alternative communication as a first attempt to teach functional communication

teachers? This appears to "get in the way" of therapy!

ABA: A Paradigm Shift (cont.)

ABA: A Paradigm Shift (cont.)

Reasons sign language may appear to be ineffective in teaching


Starting with complex (more, yes/no) rather than basic requests Complex requests become reinforced and generalized and prevent other

requests from being taught

Generalized requests may lead to maladaptive behavior if adult cannot

deliver because of ambiguity reinforcement)

Starting with labels rather than requests (use of signs does not access Must have a large number of trials, using prompting, shaping, and

differential reinforcement

Must teach all aspects of language, starting with requests Failure to generalize signs to other environments

Schlosser, R.W., and Wednt, O. (2008) Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

ABA: A Paradigm Shift (cont.)

Personal thoughts on selection of communicative modality: Verbal communication is always the ultimate goal Sign language instruction gives child the best chance at obtaining verbal

Reinforcement: The First Step to Success

Importance of reinforcement Types of reinforcement Positive reinforcement Negative reinforcement Primary reinforcement Secondary reinforcement Atypical forms of reinforcement Differential reinforcement Selecting appropriate reinforcers

communication due to its topographical nature Motor concerns may decrease the likelihood of an individual becoming proficient in sign language, but even modified signs provide for a topographical communicative experience ABA strategies provide a strong teaching framework for nonverbal children with ASDs regardless of the communication modality selected Long-term considerations:

Subsequent to sign instruction, if prognosis for verbal communication

remains poor, supplementing communication with additional modalities should be considered Needs of individual and caregivers should be paramount in making ultimate communicative modality decisions

Reinforcement: The First Step to Success (cont.)

Why reinforce?

All individuals need reinforcement In the absence of others providing reinforcement, individuals

Reinforcement: The First Step to Success (cont.)

Reinforcement Realities Avoid becoming associated with termination of reinforcement Invest the time to become paired with reinforcement prior to Be aware of the preferred reinforcers of your various students Keep in mind the delicate balance between response effort and Reinforcement should be carefully decreased over time If problem behaviors are increasing, consider whether If you have paired yourself with adequate reinforcement, your

placing demands upon students reinforcement

reinforce themselves

Children with ASD have difficulty with self-moderation of

reinforcement In the absence of reinforcement, children with ASD often withdraw into sensory agendas or maladaptive behavior Reinforcement makes the meaningless meaningful; the uninteresting interesting

reinforcement has been faded too quickly

presence will signal to your students that something enjoyable is about to happen If you have paired yourself with adequate reinforcement, your students will have increased compliance because they anticipate that the demands you place upon them will be rewarded

Reinforcement: The First Step to Success (cont.)

Getting Started

Pair the environment with reinforcement

Reinforcement: The First Step to Success (cont.)

Reinforcement Reminders Pair new environments with reinforcement Free-flowing reinforcement when initially sitting at desk Free-flowing reinforcement if transitioning to a new place for therapy Pair new demands with reinforcement When student makes first attempts at new activities, throw a "reinforcement party" With each improved approximated response, deliver a larger amount of reinforcement (i.e. differential reinforcement)

Allow free access to ample quantities of reinforcing items Allow child to explore environment freely and observe his preferred items Place no demands other than what may be necessary for safety Pair yourself with reinforcement Approach student when o Unengaged in an activity o Involved in an activity that can be "compounded" by additional reinforcement Deliver copious amounts of "no strings attached" reinforcement First demands At first, a simple hand reach for a reinforcing item may be all that is required When child begins to approach and reach for items regularly, you can make your first behavioral (sit in chair) or communicative (request item) demands

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Reinforcement: The First Step to Success (cont.)

Reinforcement Reminders (cont.) Duration and frequency of reinforcement pairings Re-establish yourself as a reinforcer before placing first demands each time you work with a student After a holiday or break, may need to invest additional time in re-establishment After increased problematic behaviors, may want to increase reinforcement AFTER behavior has been addressed (i.e. after behavior has been appropriately managed but before placing additional demands)

Reinforcement: The First Step to Success (cont.)

Differential Reinforcement Deliver higher level of reinforcement for:

Successive approximations Spontaneous use of new skills First attempts at new skills Initial mastery of new skills

Deliver less reinforcement for: Previously mastered skills Similar / identical approximations Use variations in reinforcement to shape skills

and behaviors

Reinforcement: The First Step to Success (cont.)

Secondary/Conditioned Reinforcement

The answer to: Will these kids eat candy forever? Pair powerful, primary reinforcement with: Activities that are not as rewarding to the student but are more ageappropriate or socially acceptable Social praise Non-edible items Less preferred or novel experiences The activity / experience becomes reinforcing over time The principle of pairing new, less preferred skills with access to

Reinforcement: The First Step to Success (cont.)

Reinforcement Roadblocks

Inadequate pairing Satiation Using the same reinforcers for every student Failing to learn the most powerful reinforcers for each


Fading reinforcement too quickly (may result in


meaningful reinforcement is key to skill progression

Consequence that follows target behavior no longer occurs The target behavior decreases as a result

Verbal Operants: Your Functional Communication Roadmap

· ·

Verbal Operants: Your Functional Communication Roadmap (cont.)

Skill Sequence (cont.)


· ·

Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) Sequence of Skills · Mand (request) · After acquisition of 2-3 mands, can teach the following simultaneously

Motor imitation: Imitation of motor movement upon request · Echoic: Imitation of vocalizations upon request · Receptive language: Compliance with spoken requests and simple object identification (field of 1) · Match to sample: Matching items or pictures upon request


Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

After acquisition of 10 unprompted mands, begin teaching

Tacts: Labels Receptive identification



After acquisition of 50 tacts, begin teaching

Receptive identification by Feature, Function, and Class (RFFC) Example: "Touch the one that you ride in." (car) · Intraverbals (IV): Expressive fill-ins · Example: "You ride in a _____."


Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Verbal Operants: Your Functional Communication Roadmap (cont.)

Skill Sequence (cont.)

Advanced skills After 20-30 receptive ID and tacts of objects, can begin teaching verbs After teaching a variety of verbs, can begin teaching: Noun ­ noun combinations Noun ­ verb combinations Adjectives Adverbs Prepositions Pronouns

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Verbal Operants: Your Functional Communication Roadmap (cont.)

Skill Sequence (cont.)

After acquisition of 50-100 tacts and receptive IDs and

a repertoire of RFFCs and simple IVs, can begin teaching advanced IV skills

Wh questions Intraverbal expansion Conversations on specific topics Verbally sequencing events

After acquisition of at least 100 tacts, 50-100 RFFCs,

and a small repertoire of IVs, you can begin to expand the MLU of the mand

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Levels of Prompting

Physical prompt: Hand-over-hand or some type of

Teaching Mands

Mand: Request for reinforcer

First type of language Occurs because of benefit received Only function of language that directly results in

physical contact to cue the skill Verbal prompt: Spoken cue

"What do you want?" (aka verbal stimulus)

Echoic prompt: Modeling the exact verbal response

acquisition of desired items

(child then echoes the response) Imitative prompt: Modeling the sign for the item Gestural prompt: Demonstrating the response modality (ex. pointing to the appropriate picture symbol)

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Most important strategies for teaching

Find items of strong reinforcing value (may have to use

atypical items/activities)

Be sure that child is motivated for the item at the time of

trial (via reinforcer assessment)

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Teaching Mands (cont.)

Teaching Mands (cont.)

Signed Mands

Show item Verbally prompt "What do you want" and/or

Signed Mands (continued)

Gradually fade imitative prompt Increase time between presentation of item with "What do you want?" and imitative prompt Decrease the intensity of physical characteristics of the imitative prompt Introduce 2nd mand when child is able to request

"sign ___" Physically prompt sign Deliver item Conduct additional trials and attempt to fade physical prompt into imitative prompt

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

first item without physical prompts

Make sure signs are physically distinct from one another Keep in mind reinforcing value of item / activity

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Teaching Mands (cont.)

Vocal Mands Hold up item and give verbal prompt ("What do you want?") and/or echoic prompt (name of item) Fade echoic prompt o Pause between presentation of item / verbal prompt ("What do you want") and echoic prompt o Provide only a partial echoic prompt o Differentially reinforce successive approximations o Eventually use only verbal prompt

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Teaching Mands (cont.)

Picture Manding Hold up item Give verbal prompt ("What do you want?") Use physical (hand over hand selection/pointing) and gestural prompts (pointing to the pic) as needed to teach child to point to the picture Provide a simultaneous echoic prompt (say name of item) Fade physical prompt if it was needed Fade gestural prompt Continue to pair the child's response with echoic prompt

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Teaching Mands (cont.)

After first 2 mands are in place without imitative prompts

Teach new signs (no more than 5-10 at a time) If you teach too many signs or fail to fade imitative prompt, may

Teaching Mands (cont.)

Common Mand Mistakes:

Teaching labels before requests

see scrolling

Don't Get Frustrated! Remember:

Babies and toddlers "play" constantly with sounds and words (trial

and error)

Nonverbal children often get few opportunities for language trials May take hundreds of trials to elicit response

Teaching generalized requests "More" "Please" Requiring carrier phrases too soon "I want ___" "May I have ___"

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Teaching Motor Imitation

Why motor imitation? Imitating behavior of others

Teaching Echoics

If child does not have echoic response, promote vocal play Reinforce approximations of speech sounds Pair adult verbalizations with reinforcement so that the child begins to leads to skill acquisition

Helpful in teaching signs

associate speech sounds with the delivery of reinforcement

"Accidental emissions" on the part of the child may be reinforcing if

How to teach motor imitation

Perform action after saying "Do this" Physically prompt if necessary Fade physical prompt over time via decreasing degrees of imitative prompting Can do gross motor imitation or imitation with objects to decrease difficulty

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

sounds have been adequately paired with reinforcement

Automatic Reinforcement of Phonation (ARP) is a strategy for

obtaining instructional control over sounds occurring spontaneously in natural environment

Deliver novel reinforcement after 3 consecutive presentations of target sound until

first approximations are obtained

Increase sound occurrence and accuracy with differential reinforcement Goal is for child to produce the target sound as a request for the reinforcer

ARP is a strategy taught to the ABA teachers/staff in CFBISD by Dr. Vincent Carbone, Applied Behavior Analyst (CFB's ABA Consultant) ;

Teaching Echoics (cont.)

Conducting echoic trials

Cue with "Say _____" or simply saying the target word / syllable Reinforce vocal response During subsequent trials, shape accuracy of response via differential

Teaching Receptive Skills

Teaching simple commands

"Come here" Hold reinforcing item up to child Reinforce when child comes to get item Gradually increase distance Gradually decrease visibility of reinforcer Other simple commands Consider reinforcing daily routines Interrupt routines with a command to do the next event in the sequence Let the natural consequence serve as reinforcement (paired with praise and primary reinforcement if needed)


After first approximations are established and reinforced, give child

3 attempts to improve production

Reinforce whenever production improves, even slightly, at

whichever attempt you are on and end the trial

Select initial targets from sounds the child has emitted in the natural

environment and highly reinforcing items

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Teaching Receptive Skills (cont.)

Transferring a motor imitation to a receptive command

Cue "Do this" and model skill Reinforce motor imitation Deliver matching verbal command Imitative prompt Reinforce child's imitation Deliver verbal command Pause to see if child will complete action without imitative

Teaching Receptive Skills (cont.)

Teaching receptive identification (Field of 1) Select reinforcing item Cue "Touch _____" May need to physically prompt touch response Reinforce with item Fade physical prompt Moving item closer Tapping item Teach child to point to the item in varying positions Teach child to point to a variety of items Introduce a distracter stimulus (empty open hand) To ensure errorless learning, prompting can include Physical and gestural prompting Moving item closer to child

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)


Physically (or imitatively) prompt if needed Once mastered, teach another command and intersperse trials

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Teaching Match-to-Sample

Can begin matching 1 item to 1 item

Teaching Tacts

Student must have a repertoire of 10 mands prompted only by the item

or in a FO2 Cue "Put with same"

Physical prompt Gestural Prompt Locational Prompt

being present and the verbal stimulus ("What do you want?")

Can use objects, but moving to pictures may help discriminate skill from

manding (i.e. child learns he may not receive the item he labels)


Teaching Steps

Can select target from items in mand repertoire or common items in daily Present item and verbal stimulus: "What is it?" Give echoic prompt (say and/or sign the name of the item) Physical and/or imitative prompts if needed (for signed tacts) Reinforce with something other than the target item or by giving an

Fade prompts over time Can also teach simple puzzle

completion control

opportunity to mand

Good skill for obtaining instructional

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Fade all prompts except verbal stimulus

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Teaching Tacts (Cont.)

Tacting via picture communication

Must teach the ability to scan selections Can start with identical MTS, but should move

Teaching Receptive Identification

After child can discriminate between object and an open

hand as distracter:

Discrimination training Reinforcing item/picture vs non-reinforcing item/pic Move location of pictures to facilitate scanning

past direct matching to ensure mastery of skill

After mastery, teach rec ID of another reinforcing item with

the SAME non-reinforcing distracter reinforcing items/pics non-reinforcing items

After mastery, can teach discrimination between 2 After mastery of several reinforcing items, move to rec ID of

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Generalizing Tacts and Rec. ID

Move from objects to pictures (if not already done so to

How the SLP differs from the ABA teacher or Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Language intervention ABA teacher stresses development of language that reflects items/activities that

reduce expectation of specific reinforcement) Expand from original training stimulus Vary the stimulus phrases

are reinforcing to child

SLP stresses typical pathway of development SLP brings knowledge of normal language development while ABA teacher

"Touch ____" "Show me _____" "Give me _____" "Point to the _____" "What is it?" "What do you see?" "This is a" _____

realizes the behavioral implications instruction

ABA teacher focused on discrete trial training SLP can be critical for generalizing skills to the natural environment ABA teacher focused on individual, 1:1 instruction SLP (in school setting) accustomed to group setting and can incorporate group

activities into instruction

Articulation ABA teacher uses echoic trials and differential reinforcement as tools SLP can incorporate knowledge of oral motor, placement, production, context,

and pairing strategies into echoic and motor imitation trials

Sundberg, M.L, & Partington, J.W. (1998)

Why the SLP must be something of a "Behavior Expert"

Must understand the function of maladaptive behaviors

ABC's of Behavior Intervention

Antecedent ­ What happens just prior to behavior occurring Behavior ­ What the child does in response

Topography : Description of behavior Function: Reason the behavior occurs

to avoid reacting in a way that inadvertently strengthens them Be an active member of the behavior intervention team

When child engages in maladaptive behavior Consult with teacher Consult with behavior resource specialist Consult with parent Become familiar with child's behavior intervention plan Take data to help determine the function of the behavior

Consequence ­ What happens after the behavior

ANTECEDENT Teacher tells child to sit down. Teacher announces it is time to leave the playground.

BEHAVIOR Child begins to scream and cry. Child flops to ground and begins to hit his head.

CONSEQUENCE Teacher walks away. Teacher rolls her eyes and agrees to stay another 5 minutes. Teacher bites the child.

Teacher takes a preferred item from a child.

Child bites the teacher.

Common Functions



The child engages in maladaptive behavior to "get out of" having to complete a task or follow an instruction The child engages in maladaptive behavior when asked to leave a highly reinforcing activity to engage in something different

Appropriate Response

Keep placing demand, do not place in time out

Behavior Strategies

Always ensure adequate reinforcement pairings have occurred

Increases motivation to comply Decreases difficulties with transition and desire to escape May be necessary to start each session with a period of free-flowing

Transition from Preferred to Non-Preferred

Guide and physically prompt (if needed) through the transition, consider using a promise item for future transitions

reinforcement to reestablish yourself as a reinforcing presence

In the "heat of" maladaptive behavior

Keep presenting demand (if one was placed) Ignore attention-seeking behavior Maintain safety If must physically intervene No talking No eye contact Remove all reinforcement until behavior de-escalates


Child engages in maladaptive behavior in attempt to gain attention (get a reaction) from others Child engages in maladaptive behavior in order to obtain reinforcing items

Ignore behavior while keeping child safe

Access to Tangibles

Do not deliver item; tell child to "be quiet" or "fold hands" then prompt mand

Behavior Strategies (cont.) "After the fact"

Questions for Self-Evaluation

Have I established myself and my therapy room as

Analyze to determine function and appropriate future response Variables to consider: Inadequate pairing with reinforcement Decreased motivation for offered/promised reinforcer Schedule and density of reinforcement Response effort Need to teach any prerequisite skills

reinforcing to the child?

Am I using appropriate reinforcement to increase motivation

and reward learning?

Am I monitoring the child's behavior (and my response to it)

Don't allow "speech time" to undermine behavior Instructional control is a priority Don't neglect appropriate consequences to "keep the peace" Be creative and flexible

Reschedule sessions if necessary "Slip" therapy into behavior intervention (mastered or easy skills)

to ensure that I am not inadvertently reinforcing inappropriate behavior? Did I start language instruction with manding? Have I taught prerequisite language skills before moving on to more complex verbal operants?


Contact Information: [email protected] Special Thanks To: Shonna Ammann, Blake Lowell, Karen Ward: My first teachers and best resources Laura Miramontes, Janet Gumbert, Heather Hoffman: Fellow SLPs "in the trenches" Amy Holt, Chandralee Barzune, Marla Eck: Later teachers Dr. Vincent Carbone: For letting me tag along, listen in, and ask many questions.

Published Materials

Scheuermann, B. K., and Hall, J.A. (2008). Positive behavioral supports for the classroom. Upper

Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Schlosser, R.W., and Wednt, O. (2008). Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Intervention for Children with Autism. In Effective practices for children with autism: Educational and behavioral support interventions that work (eds. J.K. Luiselli, D.C. Russo, W.P. Christian, and S.M. Wilczynski), pp. 325-389. New York: Oxford University Press. Sundberg, M.L, and Partington, J.W. (1998). The assessment of basic language and learning skills (ABLLS) guide. Pleasant Hill, California: Behavior Analysts, Inc. Sundberg, M.L, and Partington, J.W. (1998). Teaching language to children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Danville, California: Behavior Analysts, Inc. National Autism Center. 2009. National Standards Project; Findings and Conclusions. Randolf, MA.


Basic Principles Behind Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District's Communication

Classes. Kelle Wood, M.Ed., Certified Behavior Analyst. Carbone, Ed.D, Certified Behavior Analyst.

Teaching Verbal Behavior to Children With Autism and Related Disabilities. Vincent J. Increasing Vocalizations of Children with Autism Using Sign Language and Mand Training. Vivian

Attanasio, Lisa Delaney, Vincent J. Carbone, Gina Zecchin-Tirri, and Emily J. Sweeney-Kerwin.



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