RBT Credential Essay

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RBT (Registered Behavior Technician)
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A paraprofessional who practices under a BCBA or BCaBA
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What is the primary responsibility of the RBT?
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The direct implementation of treatment plans developed by the BCBA or BCaBA
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RBT Task List
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1.Measurement 2. Assessment 3. Skill Acquisition 4. Behavior Reduction 5. Documenting and Reporting 6. Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice
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What is the BACB?
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Behavior Analyst Certification Board; the organization that confers certification and credentialing to all 3 levels of practitioners (BCBA, BCaBA, RBT)
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The Hierarchy of Credentialing
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BCBA – Board Certified Behavior Analyst; graduate certification BCaBA – Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst; undergrad certification RBT – Registered Behavior Technician; paraprofessional who practices under BCBA or BCaBA
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What percent of an RBT’s hours must be supervised by a BCBA/BCaBA?
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5%
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What is ABA?
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One of the only research based methods for the treatment of behavior in Autism; aims to improve clients’ life by increasing prosocial behaviors and decreasing maladaptive behaviors
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Characteristics of ABA
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1. Applied 2. Behavioral 3. Analytic 4. Technological 5. Conceptually Systematic 6. Effective 7. Generality
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Characteristics: Applied
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ABA is used to make improvements that are socially significant in clients’ daily lives.
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Characteristics: Behavioral
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The subject of ABA therapy must be the exact observable behavior targeted for change.
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Characteristic: Analytic
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Treatment must based off of observable and repeatable methods and demonstrate functional relationships.
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Characteristics: Technological
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Procedures must be identified and described with detail and clarity so that any reader has the ability to replicate the application with the same results.
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Characteristics: Conceptually Systematic
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Procedures must be based around evidence-based methods.
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Characteristics: Effective
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Treatments must be shown to produce significant positive change in subject’s life.
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Characteristics: Generality
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The behavior changed by the procedure must be able to last over time and be applied to multiple socially appropriate situations.
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Reinforcement
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The addition or removal of a stimulus following a behavior that INCREASES the probability that the behavior will be repeated.
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Punishment
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The addition or removal of a stimulus following a behavior that DECREASES the probability that the behavior will be repeated.
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Motivating Operation
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An environmental variable that alters the reinforcing or punishing aspect of a stimulus/object/event OR alters the frequency of all behavior reinforced or punished by that stimulus/object/behavior.
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Stimulus Control
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A situation where the frequency/duration/severity of behavior is altered by the presence or absence of an antecedent stimulus.
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Operant Conditioning
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The basic principle of learning of which behavior is controlled by consequences. Key concepts in operant conditioning are positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment.
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Schedules of Reinforcement
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Rules specifying environmental arrangements and response conditions for reinforcement.
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2 Categories of Schedules of Reinforcement
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1. Continuous – reinforcement is given after every correct response 2. Intermittent – not continuous
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4 Types of Intermittent Schedules of Reinforcement
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1. Fixed-Ratio (FR) – reinforcement given after a constant or “fixed” number of correct responses 2. Fixed-Interval (FI) – reinforcement becomes available after a specific period of time; reinforcement is given if the correct response is emitted after the given time period has ended 3. Variable-Ratio (VR) – the delivery of reinforcement will “vary” but must average out at a specific number 4. Variable-Interval (VI) – the time periods that must pass before reinforcement becomes available will vary but must average out at a specific time interval
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Measurement
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The process of applying quantitative labels to observed properties of events using a standard set of rules.
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Data
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The common term used for measurement in the practice of ABA.
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Why do practitioners use data/measurement?
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To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions – if they are effective, we continue them; if they are ineffective, we use research to guide alterations to the interventions until an efficient and appropriate solution is found.
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Baseline Measurements
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The initial data on targets in which we test future successes of an intervention against.
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Examples of Measurement/Data Collection
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5 trial data sheets; 1 trial probe data sheets; Behavior frequency tracking forms; Behavior duration tracking forms; ABC behavior charts
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Definitional Measures: Topography
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The physical form or shape of behavior Ex. – A hit is defined as the movement of the client’s hand towards others that causes injury
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Definitional Measures: Magnitude
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The force or intensity with which a response is emitted. Ex. – A scream vs. a whisper
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Properties of The Measurable Dimensions of Behavior
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1. Repeatability/ Countable 2. Temporal Locus 3. Temporal Extent
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Repeatability/Countable
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Behavior can be counted
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Temporal Locus
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When the behavior occurs
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Temporal Extent
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Duration of the behavior
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Measures Based on Repeatability
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1. Count 2. Rate/Frequency 3. Celeration
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Count
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Number or responses emitted during an observed period
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Count Examples
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Joe smiled 3 times to peers. Bob slapped a peer 4 times. We saw 0 instances of verbal refusal.
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Rate/Frequency
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– Ratio of count per observation period – Reported as a number per standard unit of time
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____ is a combination of count and the observable time, making it a stronger and more comprehensive form of measurement than count alone.
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Rate
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Rate/Frequency Example
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Bob hit 5 times in 30 minutes.
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Celeration
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Measure of the change in rate of responding per unit of time (Acceleration, Deceleration)
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Measure Based on Temporal Extent
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Duration
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Duration
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The amount of time a behavior occurs reported in standard time units
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Measures Based on Temporal Locus
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1. Response Latency 2. Inter Response Time (IRT)
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Response Latency
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Delay between the stimulus and response Ex. – It took Bob 3 seconds to clap after being asked
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Inter Response Time (IRT)
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The measure of elapsed time between two successive responses Ex. – Bob clapped once, then clapped again 2 seconds later
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Continuous Measurement
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Measures all of the responses over a given period
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Discontinuous Measurement
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Captures responses within a specified time limit 1. Event Recording 2. Time Sampling
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Event Recording
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Documenting the number of times a target behavior occurs and the time period in which the behavior is observed; commonly use data sheets or counters
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Event Recording is appropriate for behaviors that are…
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Frequent enough too be recorded within a specific time period, but not too frequent that it is difficult to record accurately.
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Time Sampling
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Used in a variety of methods for observing and recording behavior during intervals or at specific moments in time; observation is divided into intervals, and presence or absence of behavior is recorded for each intervals (yes or no, as opposed to frequency)
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Time Sampling: Whole-Interval Recording
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Used for continuous behavior which have longer durations to show that they take up longer spaces of time; mark yes if the behavior occurred the whole time of the interval *Risk of underestimating the behavior
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Time Sampling: Partial-Interval Recording
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Used at the end of an interval; mark yes if the behavior occurred at any time during the interval *Risk of overestimating the behavior
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Time Sampling: Momentary Time Sampling
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Captures whether the behavior is occurring at the end of the interval; often used in classrooms with many students when the observer can not focus on one subject for long
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Permanent Product Recording
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Uses the effects of the environment to measure behavior; can be thought of as what the client themselves leaves as a record of the behavior, rather than an outside observation and recording
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Permanent Product Recording Examples
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– A written test may record what answers are correct or incorrect – A coloring sheet may record the product of writing or drawing – A hole in the wall may record intensity of property destruction behavior
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Behavior
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Anything that a living thing does within its surroundings.
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Characteristics of Behavior
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– Observable – Individual – Continuous – Determined by functional relations with other events – Variability is extrinsic to the organism
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When defining behavior, it should be done using an _____ _____.
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Observational Definition (in a way that anyone who witnesses it would note it as occurring)
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Preference Assessment
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Procedures used to determine: 1. Stimuli that the person prefers 2. Preference value of those stimuli (high vs. low) 3. Conditions when those preferences values change (increased demands, states of deprivation, or when reinforcement schedules are modified)
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Ways to Conduct Preference Assessments
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1. Ask the person or those closest to the person 2. Free Operant Observation 3. Trial Based Methods
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Preference Assessment: Ask
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1. Open ended questions 2. Choice format 3. Rank ordering
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Preference Assessment: Free Operant Observation
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Observe the person and record what the person engages in and for how long 1. Contrived – stimuli are set in view for the person to see 2. Naturalistic – learner’s natural environment
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Preference Assessment: Trial Based Methods
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Method in which stimuli are presented to the learner in trials and the learner’s response is noted for preference 1. Single Stimulus (“successive choice”) 2. Paired Stimuli (“forced choice”) 3. Multiple Stimuli
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Preference Assessment: Trial Based, Single Stimulus
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1 stimuli is presented at a time *Appropriate when learner has difficulty choosing between 2 stimuli
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Preference Assessment: Trial Based, Paired Stimuli
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2 stimuli are presented at a time; each possible pairing of stimuli is presented to the person and the stimuli are ranked by preference according to how many times each stimuli was chosen *More time consuming, but may be more accurate
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Preference Assessment: Multiple Stimuli
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A group of 3 or more items are presented at a time (With Replacement or Without Replacement)
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Behavioral Analysts use these four methods of assessment
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1. Interviews 2. Checklists 3. Direct Observation (ABC data) 4. Tests
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The methods used for assessment include _____ and _____ observation.
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direct and indirect
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Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)
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The foundation to creating a behavior plan
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Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is used to:
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1. Hypothesize the relationship between the behavior and environmental events 2. Determine the function of the target behavior 3. Identify reinforcers that maintain the problem behavior 4. Provide a framework for creating the treatments used in the behavior plan
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FBAs consist of four steps:
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1. Gather information through indirect and descriptive assessment 2. Interpret information to form a hypothesis about the purpose of the problem behavior 3. Test the hypothesis using functional analysis 4. Develop intervention options based on the functions of the problem behavior
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Indirect Assessment includes:
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Interviewing family and team members about behavior and conducting surveys which show possible functions of behavior
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Descriptive Assessment includes:
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1. ABC Continuous Recording (codes) 2. ABC Narrative (detailed)
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ABC data
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A – Antecedent B – Behavior C – Consequences
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Reinforcement is most effective when used ______.
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Immediately after the behavior
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Reinforcement always makes a behavior _____.
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Increase
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Positive Reinforcement
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A preferred stimulus is added and the behavior increases *Most common in ABA
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Examples of Positive Reinforcement
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1. Verbal praise (good job!) 2. Tangibles (food, toys) 3. Access to preferred activities (breaks)
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Negative Reinforcement
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An aversive stimulus is removed and the behavior increases
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Negative Reinforcement is rarely used in sessions; however, it may be more commonly used in what type of situation?
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Aversive situations already present in the environment in order to build skills that decrease the child’s exposure to them
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Examples of situations in which negative reinforcement would be effective
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1. A client does not like a certain sound, requests it be removed, and it is removed. Requesting behaviors are reinforced. 2. One peer is being bullied by another, they use social skills to stop it, the bullying stops. The social skills are reinforced.
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Behavior Plan
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A strategy to reduce maladaptive behaviors and increase prosocial behaviors; provides a framework for the therapeutic sessions and gives all practitioners a common set of knowledge by which to treat the client
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Behavior Plan: Treatment Topics
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1. Description of the Individual 2. Goal of the Intervention 3. Descriptions of Target Behaviors 4. Maintaining Factors
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RBTs use Behavior Plans to:
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1. Reference current behaviors they may be seeing during sessions. 2. Follow interventions to reduce the maladaptive behaviors. 3. Infer any changes in functions that may change over the course of treatment. 4. Use the same interventions across all acting practitioners in order to maintain consistency.
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Skill Acquisition Plan
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Programs used to increase specific skills and learning targets for a client
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Skill Acquisition Plans are based off a baseline test of skills such as:
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1. ABLLS-R 2. VBMAPP
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Task Analysis
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Breaking a complex skill into smaller and teachable units
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Examples of skills that can be taught using Task Analysis
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1. Tying a Shoe 2. Writing
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Discrete Trial Training
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A method of teaching in simplified and structured steps; the skill is broken down and “built up” using discrete trials *One of the strongest evidence based methods for teaching clients with ASD
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Prompting
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Antecedent stimuli used to either begin or correct a target behavior in order to help behaviors reach their targeted form
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Prompting Hierarchy
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1. Full Physical 2. Partial Physical 3. Modeling 4. Gesture 5. Verbal 6. Independent
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It is advisable to use the ____ _____ form of prompting as possible to give the learner the best chance to be reinforced independently.
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least intrusive
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Fading
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Progressing from the highest form of prompting to a lesser form of prompting; eventually, only the original stimulus (without prompts) preceding an independent response would result in reinforcement.
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Example of Fading
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Beginning with hand over hand for a writing task, reinforcing, then only doing partial touches to guide the pencil, then only gesturing, then only verbally instructing.
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Prompt Dependence
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The situation in which a long history of prompting followed by reinforcement causes the learner to become dependent on assistance.
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Generalization
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The learner’s performance of a target behavior in a setting or stimulus in which direct training has not been provided (“in the real world”)
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Examples of Generalization
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1. We teach a client to say “Hello” at the center, and the client then says “Hello” at home during similar situations. 2. We teach a client potty training in the center, and the client is able to generalize that skill at home as well and can use them independently.
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Maintenance
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The extent to which a learner continues to perform the target behavior after the intervention has been terminated.
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Functions of Behavior
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1. Sensory/Automatic Reinforcement 2. Social Attention 3. Tangibles/Access 4. Escape/Avoidance
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True or False: Reprimands may increase or maintain maladaptive behaviors.
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True, because reprimands are still providing the reinforcement of social attention which could potentially be the function of the maladaptive behavior.
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Differential Reinforcement
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Selective reinforcement of one behavior from among others; used when a behavior already occurs and has good form, but tends to get lost among other behaviors
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Forms of Differential Reinforcement
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1. DRO – Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior 2. DRA – Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors 3. DRI – Differential Reinforcement of Incompatible Behaviors 4. DRL/DRH – Differential Reinforcement of Lower/Higher Rates
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DRO
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Reinforcement is delivered whenever the problem behavior does NOT occur Ex. – No aggression occurs within a period of time, and the client receives a reinforcer.
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DRA
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Reinforcement is provided for a desired alternative behavior in order to decrease the target behavior. Ex. – Reinforcement is provided after a client raises their hand to ask a question, rather than shouting out the answer as they had done before.
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DRI
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Reinforcement is provided to a behavior that cannot occur simultaneously with the behavior targeted for decrease. Ex. – Reinforcement is provided when a client is sitting, when the target behavior set for decrease is repetitive jumping.
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DRH vs. DRL
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Used when behaviors are needed to gradually increase (DRH) or decrease (DRL). Ex. of DRL – Singing is a socially appropriate behavior, but high rate singing may not be. If a client sings a song 20 times an hour, reinforcing an interval where the behavior takes place 10 times may help in decreasing that behavior. Ex. of DRH – Walking is an important behavior, but if a client takes 1 step every 10 seconds, it may not be functional. Reinforcing periods where there is an increase in the rate of the behavior may increase the probability that the behavior is completed at a faster pace.
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Extinction
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Condition where reinforcement is stopped completely; this results in the behavior’s frequency decreasing *Do not confuse with thinning, which is the reduction of reinforcement
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Extinction Example
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Presenting a task condition repeatedly following a behavior that has recently been rewarded through escape. By removing the escape condition completely, the behaviors used to escape diminish.
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Crisis Plans
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A plan put in place to deal with behavioral escalation that is a danger to the client or others.
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Session Notes
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1. Provide parents and supervisors with a log of information about a session that goes outside the limited scope of behavior data. 2. Provide a record for services that may be used by outside agencies (the county, insurance providers, etc.) 3. They aid BCBAs in session frequency, changes in conditions during unobserved sessions, and provide a broader picture for progression. 4. They aid fellow therapists in what daily therapy may look like
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Daily Therapy Logs
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Used to record clinical hours with clients in order to track confirmed time worked.
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RBTs should reach out to BCBAs when:
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1. You have a question regarding programming with a client 2. You have a question about specific ABA concepts or methodology 3. There is a drastic change in the client’s behavior 4. There are ongoing trends that you may notice in day to day practice that may not be evident in the data
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Important things to communicate with parents:
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1. Client progress in a new skill or an improvement in prosocial behaviors 2. Changes to your schedule or availability
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Important things to communicate with administration:
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1. When you need to cancel or reschedule a session 2. Issues that involve multiple clients, therapy logistics, payroll, and long term plans
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Situations in which an Incident Report Form must be filled out:
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1. A client was injured in any way during a session 2. An emergency situation where a parent was called or notified to take a client home early 3. Signs of illness or scenarios where first aid is required 4. Any condition where a restraint is used during dangerous or self-injurious behavior
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Scenarios in which an incident report must be filled out also requires the RBT to notify:
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1. Administration 2. BCBA 3. Parent
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If you suspect that a client is the victim of abuse, you must:
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1. Report it 2. Notify administrators, staff, and supervisors
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Errorless Teaching Procedure
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1. Prompt 2. Transfer 3. Distract (a few easy/mastered tasks) 4. Check
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True or False: The RBT may be asked to complete certain tasks to aid in assessment or intervention.
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True, within areas of competence, and at the discretion of the supervising BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA.
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Why is it important not to engage in multiple relationships, conflicts of interest, or social media contacts with clients?
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These interactions can blur the line between professional and social relationships and ultimately affect the services you provide to the client or the integrity of your professional relationship.

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