with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Behavioral Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

As you may have read in my previous post about 14 evidence-based interventions for kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a general category of interventions classified as "behavioral interventions" has been found to be one of the 14 established interventions for kids with ASD.

The National Standards Project of 2015 describes this category of interventions as including interventions that focus on antecedent and/or consequence strategies for increasing skills or decreasing maladaptive (undesired) behaviors.

Antecedents are the events that occur immediately prior to a behavior of interest while consequences are the events that occur immediately after the behavior of interest.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

14 Evidence-Based Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

When providing services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is important to consider what interventions will be the least intrusive, most appropriate, and most effective.

We should also be providing the highest quality services possible that maintain respect and dignity for the individual that we are working with as well as their families.

To provide the best interventions for children with ASD, it is necessary to refer to the scientific literature to determine what strategies are found to be evidence-based practices. Additionally, we, as practitioners/service providers, must remain current with the research so that we don't get stuck in outdated intervention strategies. Of course, some techniques may be somewhat timeless and may be justified to include in treatment for a long time. However, science is continually progressing and new discoveries are often being made.


3 Science-Based Tips for Recovering from the Holidays

Phew! Christmas is over (unless you still have more events to attend...or to host.) But either way, the big day is over. We should all of course be grateful for the day and for the family and friends that we get to spend time with as well as any material items that we or our children have been given.

On the other hand, it is totally understandable, if you, like me, feel somewhat a sense of relief. I love the love, the family, the quality time, the happiness, and the joy that is all around, but I am also somewhat relieved that the chaos and the planning has ended and that we are getting back into the swing of normal, daily routines.


3 Tips to Make Learning More Fun for the Child with Learning Disabilities

Academic tasks can be challenging for kids with learning disabilities and related disorders (such as dyslexia, ADHD, Autism, etc.). If your child struggles with academic work, it makes sense that he tries to avoid doing the work or that he tries to rush through it to simply get it done and almost gives up trying to do quality work. Consider how it would be to have to do something that is so challenging for you day after day for many hours a day.

If your child struggles with learning academically, consider using the following tips to help him learn to like learning at least a little bit more.

1. Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is presenting something immediately after the behavior or activity of interest and then that behavior or activity happens more often in the future, as well. So, if you want your child to learn to spell and to hopefully not mind spelling, present something he enjoys such as video games immediately after one instance of spelling a word correctly. Then, build up how many words he needs to spell correctly in order to get the reinforcement.


To ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Providers (and many human service providers)…

You make a difference.

Just wanted to send out this reminder. I saw the following image posted in "ABA Study Group" on Facebook by Danielle Marie. I actually have a little poster of this in my files somewhere. I remember reading this story a long time ago. It has always been so meaningful to me. I hope it inspires you to continue to be passionate about your work and know that you are impacting people's lives every time you interact with them and with every program you put in place or every recommendation you make. (That's not meant to be intimidating but just to be a reminder that you can and you do make a difference in this world.)

[Read more for a beautiful and inspiring story.]

BCBA Exam Study Topics

BCBA Exam Study Topics: Intervention Strategies

More BCBA Exam Study Info....

This post will be addressing some examples of intervention strategies that a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) might use while working to help an individual increase his skills or decrease certain types of maladaptive behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). See Cooper, et. al. (2007) for more information on the following topics.

Differential Reinforcement of Lower Rates (DRL):

BCBA Exam Study Topics

BCBA Exam Study Topics: Measurement & Interobserver Agreement

Following are some useful pieces of information (from Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007) regarding measurement in behavior analysis.

Event recording encompasses a wide variety of procedures for detecting and recording the number of times a behavior of interest is observed.
Measurement is reliable when it yields the same values across repeated measurement of the same event.
Although high reliability does not confirm high accuracy, discovering a low level of reliability signals that the data are suspect enough to be disregarded until problems in the measurement system can be determined and repaired.
Most investigations in ABA use human observers to measure behavior, and human error is the biggest threat to the accuracy and reliability of data.
Measuring a dimension of the behavior that is not suited for, or is irrelevant to, the reason for measuring the behavior threatens validity.
Indirect measurement is measuring a behavior different than the behavior of interest. This threatens the validity of the measurement system due to requiring the researcher or practitioner to make inferences about the relationship between the measures obtained and the actual behavior of interest.

BCBA Exam Study Topics

BCBA Exam Study Topics: Assessment & Selecting Target Behaviors

As my last post mentioned, I will be posting information relevant for studying for the BCBA exam. I hope that you find these blog posts helpful.

When providing behavior analysis services, assessment is a major part of the services that you will provide. Behavioral assessments consist of five phases or functions:

defining and quantifying problems or goals
pinpointing the target behaviors to be treated
monitoring progress, and
following up

BCBA Exam Study Topics

BCBA Exam Study Topics: Some Basic Terminology

If you are going to sit to take the BCBA exam (or BCaBA exam), this blog post series, "BCBA Exam Study Topics," is for you. I am also currently in this position. I will be taking my BCBA exam soon. Therefore, I need to study, study, study!!!

I thought that I might as well attempt to use my efforts to help someone else out, as well, so I figured that while I am going through this mess of organizing my thoughts and cramming tons of information, I should try to put it into a more structured format so that you and I both can have an easier way to review at least some of the information for the big test we are going to take. Plus, writing things down and organizing my thoughts and ideas helps me to learn and recall information better, as well.