Home/ School Collaboration in Development of Effective Behavior Plans William R. Horn, Ph.D. BCBA-D Psychologist, Greenwich Public Schools
Goals of Session • Demystify Behavioral Problems • Establishing a Common understanding of theoretical framework that is utilized in addressing behavioral issues. • Assumptions about Behavior • How behaviors are learned • Process for addressing Behavior Issues within the GPS through the Application of the Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Theoretical Framework Used to Conceptualize Why We Behave the Way we do!
Definition of Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA) Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the science of behavior and is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree and to demonstrate that the interventions employed were responsible for the improvement in behavior.(Baer, Wolf, Risley, 1968; Sulzer-Azaroff & Mayer, 1991).
APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS(ABA)WHAT IS IT? • Application of scientific principles of behavior to improve socially significant behavior to a meaningful degree. • Based on scientific research initiated by B.F. Skinner, developed and expanded by many other researchers and practitioners. • Continuously evolving • Emphasizes the individual, use of positive reinforcement to build useful behaviors, documenting effects of behavior change efforts using scientific methods. • Effective for teaching a wide range of skills to people with and without disabilities. • The only intervention for autism with sound scientific evidence of effectiveness for producing comprehensive, lasting improvements. Gina Green, Ph.D.(1997)
Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA)What it is not! • New • Easy or “quick fix” • Another fad treatment for autism • A “miracle cure” • Exclusively or mostly useful for managing “bad” behavior or persons with “severe behavior problems” • Anti-inclusion • Treatment that turns children into “robots” • Developmentally inappropriate • Merely the occasional use of discrete trials, data, positive reiforcement. • A curriculum • The discovery, invention, or property of one individual or program. Gina Green, Ph.D. (1997)
THE ABC’S OF BEHAVIOR MAIN IDEAS • Definition of Behavior • Discrimination between words that describe feelings and words that describe behaviors • Operational definition of behavior • Two main types of behavior • Identification of examples of learned behavior • Defining and identifying examples of Antecendents, Behaviors, and Consequences
Definition of Behavior • Refers to a specific action that a person does that can be observed • Examples?
GOOD • DISRUPTIVE • COOPERATIVE • AGGRESSIVE • HYPERACTIVE • UNMANAGEABLE
HELPFUL CRIES SITS DOWN STUBBORN YAWNS LAZY TAPS PENCIL BAD PLEASANT COMBS HAIR NERVOUS CLASS CLOWN LITTLE ANGEL (Example sheet 1 & 2) “Nervous”, “Class clown”, “Little angel”
A statement that describes very specifically the behavior to be observed.--Definition of the behavior in concrete observable terms (operational definition) BEHAVIORAL DEFINITION (Operational Definition)
Benefits of a Behavioral Definition • Provides clear communication between all involved. • Consistent Observations across persons/place/time • Allows us to determine if change has occurred.
To improve communications between parent/school/prof • Be specific about you concerns by describing clearly the behaviors you wish to discuss • Express issues in behavioral terms. • If someone is reporting to you about something your child has done and is unclear or not specific enough, ask them to describe in behavioral terms what they are “talking about.”
Assumptions about behavior • Universe is orderly and determined. • Behavior does not occur randomly • Behavior does not happen in a vacuum • Behavior always occurs within context • Behavior happens in relation to other environmental events • Behavior is purposeful • Behaviors have communicative intent
Behaviors are learned: • What comes before the behavior • What comes after the behavior
THEY ARE PART OF A THREE TERM CONTINGENCY(RELATIONSHIP)A----------B----------C
ANTECEDENT • Refers to those things that come before the behavior • Sets the stage for the behavior to occur • Acts as a cue / signal to the learner to do something(behave / respond) • Antecedents can be an: a)object, b)person, or c)event in the environment • Example sheet( #3--#5)
CONSEQUENCES • Consequences refer to what happens immediately subsequent to the behavior
Operant Learning Model (Three -Term Contingency) Antecedent Stimulus Behavior Consequence “Name a Dinosaur” Tyrannosaurus “Well Done” Drive at Normal speed Icy Road Avoid Accident Pick up Receiver Phone Ring Ans/No Ans Activity Sheet --section 1
HOW DO CONSEQUENCES EFFECT BEHAVIOR? • Consequences will determine the future occurrence of behavior • In general, consequences that are pleasant or rewarding to the learner typically result in the behavior occurring more often • In general, those consequences that are unpleasant or punishing to the learner typically result in behavior occurring less frequently Activity sheet--section II
Summary • A behavior is a specific action that can be observed • Words such as “good” or “disruptive” reflect our feelings about a behavior, they do not tell us specifically what the child does. • Being specific about a child’s behavior helps parents and teachers communicate more effectively • Most behaviors that we engage in are learned behaviors • Learned behaviors can be analyzed by looking at the antecedents and consequences. Both antecedents and consequences play an important role in determining whether or not a behavior will occur. • Rewarding or pleasant consequences (reinforcement) result in in an increase the frequency of the behavior. Punishing or unpleasant consequences (punishment) result in a decrease in the frequency of the behavior.
So How Is All This Theory Employed to Help Us Understand Behavior? • Need an operational definition of the behavior(s) (observable and measurable) 2. Must gather data regarding: • Antecedents—where/when behavior as operationally defined(1) is exhibited. • Behavior--topography of the behavior—what does it look like—intensity/duration/frequency. • Consequences—what typically follows the behavior Why do you think we need this type of information?
To Analyze the Function of the Behavior Remember the Assumptions that we are making about behavior? • Universe is orderly and determined. • Behavior does not occur randomly • Behavior does not happen in a vacuum • Behavior always occurs within context • Behavior happens in relation to other environmental events • Behavior is purposeful • Behaviors have communicative intent Basically there is a payoff for the learner—allows us to acquire something we want!! We will typically not persist with a particular behavior if it does not serve a FUNCTION for us – The Key is to figure out WHAT is the FUNCTION of the exhibited behavior. What is the learner gaining by continuing to exhibit the behavior.
Four General Functions of Behavior • Gain Attention • Escapean aversive situation • Acquire a desired obj./activity-Tangible • Self-stimulation- Sensory
So How is This Model Put into Practical Implementation in GPS to Address Behavior Issues?
Two Main Ways Processes Can Occur. • Positive Behavior Intervention Support Plan (PBIS)—for students in General Ed--- based on Response to Intervention Model (RTI). • Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) culminating in a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)—for student who is already receiving services under an IEP or who is suspected of having a disability.
Thank you all for attending and do hope that you found it helpful. If you are interested in learning more about addressing behavior issues: • at home with your children, • with co-workers or • especially spouses or significant others!!!! I would be happy to provide additional workshops that go into more depth.---just express an interest to Mary Forde, and I am sure we can work to make it happen. WRH 9/29