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with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

5 Tips for Shopping with a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The holidays can be a challenging time for all families and particularly families with a child with autism spectrum disorder. Autism brings a particular challenge to the family dynamics. Although autism has its beauty and each individual with autism (or without) has their own unique personality, strengths, and potential. However, during the holiday season, families are often likely to desire to go to the store to shop for food or for gifts or simply to get out of the house. The holidays also seems to increase the chaos in public settings unlike other times of the year.


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Basics of Applied Behavior Analysis: Part 2: Assessment

“Behavioral assessment involves a variety of methods including direct observations, interviews, checklists, and tests to identify and define targets for behavior change.” (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2014).

In applied behavior analysis, thorough and quality assessments are important. It isn’t good enough to simply go through a quick survey, checklist, or interview questionnaire. Instead, it is imperative that assessments include relevant tools that will lead to useful information and quality results related to an individual’s strengths and areas for growth.


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Basics of Applied Behavior Analysis: Part 1: Measurement

Cooper, Heron, and Heward (2014) state:

“Measurement (applying quantitative labels to describe and differentiate natural events) provides the basis for all scientific discoveries and for the development and successful application of technologies derived from those discoveries. Direct and frequent measurement provides the foundation for applied behavior analysis. Applied behavior analysts use measurement to detect and compare the effects of various environmental arrangements on the acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of socially significant behaviors.” (p.93)


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Secret to Improving Employee Performance

All companies want their employees to perform at optimal levels and with efficiency and quality. But how does an organization accomplish this?

Positive reinforcement is key. Positive reinforcement is providing some type of stimulus in response to an employee's behavior and then seeing that behavior increase in frequency in the future. The behavior is specifically targeted as something management would like to see more of from the employee.


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Increase Employee Performance With One Strategy: Positive Reinforcement

In my last post, I discussed the importance of using reinforcement strategies for increasing positive employee behaviors in the workplace. This post will address more specifics of how to find reinforcers.

As mentioned in the other post, it is important to clearly define the behaviors that you want to see in your employees.

Secondly, supervisors and managers need to decide on what is likely to serve as reinforcers for their employees, which can be a difficult task. As Daniels and Bailey state in their book, Performance Management (2014), two common questions from supervisors are "How do you choose good reinforcers?" and "What do you do if you don't have any money for reinforcers?"


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

The Must-Do Strategy for Improving Employee Performance

"At the end of every working day people leave either more motivated to come back and do their jobs again tomorrow or less motivated as a result of what happens to them that day. Performance is about what happens every day." --- Aubrey C. Daniels (2000).

It is important in the workplace, whether you are in the field of applied behavior analysis or another field, to consider whether the correct employee behaviors are being reinforced. Behavior that is reinforced (positively or negatively) increase in frequency in the future; whereas behavior that is punished (the ABA term for decreasing behavior), decrease in frequency in the future.


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Marriage Therapy AND Applied Behavior Analysis


An interesting connection has been developing that combines the two separate fields of marriage therapy and applied behavior analysis. This could be a very useful collaboration that could help many couples address their problems and enhance the behaviors and well-being in their relationships.

One example of this intersection of the two fields is the following dissertation.


Practice Guidelines for ABA with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) provides an amazing tool for those BCBA's who work with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. In addition to following the BACB Code of Ethics, being aware and practicing in compliance with the document provided by the BACB specifically for the autism population can help you in your practice.

The document, "Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Practice Guidelines for Healthcare Funders and Managers (2nd ed.)," is highly recommended as a resource you should become familiar with if you work with children with autism.