What to Expect
ABA consultation services typically begin with *assessment. The first hour of your telehealth consultation session is conducted Pro Bono. During that hour, DRCB Consulting assesses if a telehealth model of consultation can sufficiently address your concerns, or if a mixed in-home / telehealth model is more appropriate.
Assessment may occur in-home or remotely, depending on the level of consultation desired. An assessment may require record review, interviews, observations, and planned interactions with anyone that may influence procedures addressing behavior change. Developed behavior intervention plans are discussed before implementation and progress is addressed at regular intervals that are clinically relevant and satisfactory to clients. Confidential documents and video data shared during assessment consultation are transferred securely using point to point encryption from your desktop computer, smart phone, or tablet to DRCB Consulting.
Parents and caregivers interested in ongoing consultation services should be committed to long-term behavior change. This commitment requires correct and consistent implementation of parent-interaction and child management procedures. Because child behavior problems rarely decrease unless new, adaptive, replacement behaviors are learned, caregivers commit to teaching of new behaviors so that strategies used to decrease or replace child behavior problems are effective. Parents/caregivers should be fully informed about the benefits and possible negative side-effects of implementing ABA strategies and procedures. Parents of children with autism seeking educational resources on ABA interventions may find useful info here.
*Parents of typically developing children, or teachers seeking tips for managing minor misbehavior or discrete behavioral issues (e.g., tantrums in stores, difficulties with bedtime routines, difficulties with instruction following) may not require or desire formal assessment (e.g., functional behavior assessments).
Families seeking ongoing, direct, 1:1 intensive ABA intervention services (e.g., interventions that rely heavily on discrete trial training techniques) are referred to in-home, direct service providers in Southern CA. DRCB Consulting is happy to provide families with second opinions on 1:1 intensive ABA intervention services they receive, and work with providers in the U.S. to provide additional supervision support as needed.
May involve all or some of the following:
✚ Assessment of child problem behaviors and family functioning
✚ Assessment of child skills, strengths, and potent reinforcers
✚ Introduction to ABA strategies/procedures
✚ Training: Use of ABA procedures included in individualized behavior intervention plans
✚ Ongoing follow-up and feedback on caregiver’s implementation
✚ Problem solving areas of difficulty
✚ Recorded and remote video observations of child behavior
✚ Informed consent: Consent indicates that parents are fully informed and understand the rationale for each strategy/procedure recommended.
ABA procedures & principles of learning:
✚ Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT): DTT is an ABA technique that systematically breaks down skills into small units of behavior, or discrete components. Teaching occurs in structured environments using tangible reinforcers for desired (or target) behaviors.
✚ Reinforcement: Reinforcement procedures are used to increase behaviors by introducing planned consequences (reinforcers) immediately after desired behaviors. Reinforcers are identified prior to use of reinforcement procedures and are categorized as positive or negative reinforcers. Planned positive reinforcement involves contingent presentation of preferred stimuli (e.g., desired toy) immediately following a target behavior (e.g., pointing) to increase the future occurrence of that behavior. Planned negative reinforcement involves contingent removal of non-preferred items, activities, behaviors, or unpleasant stimuli/situations (e.g., loud noise) from the environment immediately following a target behavior (e.g., pointing to the “mute” button) to increase the future occurrence of that behavior. Reinforcement is typically paired with descriptive social praise.
✚ Differential Reinforcement (DR): DR procedures involve arrangement of reinforcement contingencies so that more frequent, enhanced quality, or highly valued reinforcers follow desired behaviors (e.g., saying “I want cookie”), while little to no reinforcement follows behaviors targeted for decrease (e.g., screaming and pushing). DR procedures are often used in shaping, the process of reinforcing successive approximations to a desired, target behavior.
✚ Prompting: Prompting is technique often used in errorless learning to increase the probability of correct responding and opportunities for positive reinforcement. Prompts are systematically planned and faded. Examples prompts include physical (e.g., hand over hand guidance), model (e.g., demonstrating a behavior) gestural (non-verbal motions), verbal (spoken), visual (e.g., large or brightly colored materials), and spatial (e.g., positioning correct answers closer).
✚ Extinction: Extinction is rarely used in the absence of DR procedures. However, in some cases extinction, which is the removal of all reinforcers maintaining a behavioral response (e.g., access to social attention, rewards, and toys) to decrease the future occurrence of that behavior (getting out of bed after bedtime), may be used in combination with environmental strategies, until DR contingencies are contacted or effective.
✚ Verbal Behavior (VB): This methodology takes a functional approach to teaching verbal operants (i.e., language). The fundamental principle of this teaching model is that verbal behavior is reinforced through the mediation of an evolved verbal community. The VB approach classifies verbal operants into four main categories by function: mand, echoic, tact, and intraverbal. Understanding these functions is key to developing individualized ABA programming targeting expressive and receptive language. VB teaching techniques utilize errorless learning by providing immediate and frequent prompts that are withdrawn as soon as individual target responses are mastered.
**This is a very broad list of examples of behavior analytic principles and procedures, and is by no means exhaustive.