Using Applied Behavior Analysis in the Schools By Tracy Vail,MS,CCC/SLP Speech/Language Pathologist Let’s Talk Speech and Language Service, Inc Letstalksls.com
What is Applied Behavior Analysis? • The Science of learning • Tells us why people do what they do • Looks at the contingencies of behavior (What happens before and after) to analyze the function • Helps us determine how the environment can be modified to improve learning
What is Behavior? • Anything that can be seen, felt and counted by either an individual or others in their environment. • Which of these are behaviors? • Saying cookie, thinking about a cookie, touching a cookie, dreaming about a cookie, baking a cookie, looking at a cookie, reaching toward a cookie
What is a Discrete Trial? • Antecedent/Stimulus • Response/Behavior • Consequence (neutral, reinforcement, punishment) How we manipulate these contingencies determines whether a behavior will increase or decrease.
Contingencies Antecedent/StimulusResponse Consequence (Function Alt.) Evocative Function Altering Reinforcement Soc. Med + Soc. Med – Auto + R Auto – (s-delta) Extinction CSSMO SD Punishment Positive Punishment Negative Punishment
Reinforcement • Increases the likelihood that a behavior will occur again in the future. • 4 categories or “buckets” of behaviors based on the reinforcement history • What serves as a reinforcer is highly variable. • Must be contingent on the behavior you want to increase • Is not a “thing” but an effect on the behavior. • If a behavior is increasing, something is reinforcing it. • If a child bites in circle time and is put in time out then comes back and bites again, what served as a reinforcer?
How do you create new Reinforcers? • “Pair” or associate the new thing/person with something the child already finds reinforcing. • The new thing/person becomes a “conditioned” reinforcer. • Learn the child and be the provider of “all good things”
Motivation Operation • Temporarily Increases the value of a reinforcer. • Temporarily Increases the behaviors that have been consequated by that reinforcer in the past. • Ex:If in the past, when I wanted to have some juice, I said “juice”, I’m more likely to say juice again when I want it. • Without motivation, you have no reinforcer. Without a reinforcer, you cannot increase behaviors. If you aren’t increasing behaviors, you aren’t teaching! :0)
Socially Mediated Positive Reinforcement • Behaviors that have a history of being reinforced by getting things/attention from people. • Increase by capturing motivation, teaching appropriate behavior and reinforcing. • Decrease by determining reinforcement history, not allowing it to “work” anymore and teaching a replacement behavior to get the same need met.
Socially Mediated Negative Reinforcement • Behaviors that have been reinforced by escape or delay of demands involving people. • To increase, determine motivation and teach appropriate communication to get need met. • To decrease, determine reinforcement history, don’t let it work anymore and teach a replacement.
Automatic Positive Reinforcement • Behaviors that are reinforced because they feel good. • Often known as “stims” • Are self-reinforcing. The more they do it, the more they will do it in the future. • Teach appropriate ways (or places) to get the sensory need met, limit time spent, and pair with people.
Automatic Negative Reinforcement • Behaviors I do because they remove a “bad” or uncomfortable feeling. • Figure out what part of the environment is affecting the child then either desensitize or compensate. • Desensitization: gradual exposure with heavy reinforcement for increased tolerance.
Self-Stimulatory Behavior High stereotypy Continuedabsenceof alternative behaviors Impairedlearning Fewerskillsacquired
So What is Teaching? • Increasing adaptive or new behaviors that will allow the child to be more successful in the world and decreasing behaviors that are maladaptive or that will cause the child to have difficulty in the world.
DODon’t • Teach errorlessly • Fade in demands • Teach to Fluency • Prompt Quickly • Fade prompts • Make sure all questions have answers • Find numerous reinforcers • Correct errors • Have fun! • follow negative behavior with reinforcement • Remove a child from a reinforcing activity to begin teaching • Give directions to do things you can’t prompt • Give directions without getting compliance • Kill reinforcers by placing too many demands
Build Motivation (MO) • Establish Reinforcers- everyone wants something! • Start with non-verbal connection then add verbal • How does the child respond to the environment? • Be playful- play as children play • Build anticipation • Do the unexpected • Create routines • Gradually change the routines • Stay connected to find reinforcers • Be animated • Pair yourself and talking with reinforcement
Transfer Procedures/Prompting • Teach a new behavior by starting with a behavior that you know the child can already do. • The child is more likely to repeat the same behavior under a different condition • Once the behavior is taught under the new condition, gradually fade the prompt • New learning is build on old learning • The learning remains “errorless”
Teaching Procedure for Transfers • Transfer trial- Use the mastered skill to evoke the desired behavior then present the new SD to get the same behavior. • Disractor trial(s)- Present a mastered task or two • Independent trial- Re-present the new SD to evoke the behavior and reinforce correct response heavily
Correction Procedure • Use whenever the child responds incorrectly • Give the SD + the response • Wait for the echoic • Repeat the SD • Wait for the response • Run a distractor trial (something the child can do easily) • Repeat the SD
What to Teach Early Learners?? • People are fun (even kids!) • Words are valuable • I can learn • Playing is fun and teaches me lots of things about the world.
Verbal Behavior- Verbal Operants (Skinner) Mand Motivation Says “car” gets car Echoic “Say car” Says “car” social/secondary Tact Car present Says “car” social/secondary Intraverbal “We ride in the ..”Says “car” social/sec. Antecedent/Stimulus Behavior Consequence
Verbal Operants What purpose does the communication serve to the speaker and listener? • Mands- “I talk, I get” • Tacts- I can label things in the environment under a variety of conditions • Receptives- I can follow directions, do what others tell me to do • Imitation/Echoics- I can do/say what others do/say • Intraverbal- What I say is dependent upon what others say but is not the same
Manding • The basis of all other verbal behavior • Teach by transferring from echoics or “fill-ins” • Giving up the things we want • With and without items present • With and without someone asking “What do you want? • Teach a variety of sentence forms • Manding from peers • Expand sentence length and teach concepts through mands • Teach manding for information • Manding for attention
Choosing Response Forms • If child is non-vocal, must use an alternative/augmentative system • Augmentative communication encourages rather than discourages vocal productions • Experiment to determine how the child responds to various forms • Picture/object exchange • Signs • Communication Boards • Vocal • Voice output devices
Imitation • Teach through physical prompting or anticipating actions • Important for independent learning and play • Teach child to do multiple actions in response to “Do this” • Gradually increase difficulty and complexity
Echoics- Vocal Imitation • Teach by transferring from mand, motor imitation, songs, “sound play” and pairing with reinforcement • Use visual and/or physical prompting as necessary • Gradually increase length and complexity • Shape through the mand
Receptive • Teach by transferring from imitation or with physical prompts • Teach the child to respond to a variety of SDs (touch, find, show, where’s the etc.) • Start with items the child can mand for as well as simple instructions (i.e. come, sit, clap) • Gradually increase complexity. Closely monitor conditional discriminations
Tacts • Teach by transferring from receptive (if child tacts), mand, fill-in, intraverbal or echoic. • Labeling objects, actions, parts, features, classes, functions • Be sure to vary SD’s • Verbal modules- teach the child to discriminate between question forms • Build up sentences and break them down