This presentation focuses on the issues of inappropriate IEP goals and the consequences of the selection of these goals. Traditional "age-appropriate" goals for students with no or little language disregard the natural developmental sequence. As an example, teaching a non-verbal how to write their name isn't functional, and the significance of this skill cannot be explained to the individual. There are numerous examples of age-appropriate skills that are being attempted with learners who simply do not have necessary prerequisite skills. The presentation focuses on 3 categories of errors. 1) Teaching the wrong skills the wrong way, 2) Teaching the wrong skills the right way, and 3) Teaching the right skills the wrong way (best problem). A major emphasis is that the more significant the problem behavior, the more careful teams must be about goal selection. Especially for those with "tarnished" educational histories (bad learning experiences), the selection of goals that "make instant sense" to the individual are likely to produce the best early learning experiences. This in turn will prepare individuals to meet the challenge of future goals that make more sense to all the adults and less sense to the students.
Running a holiday sale or weekly special? Definitely promote it here to get customers excited about getting a sweet deal.
This presentation touches on all the chapters of the book and can be given as a single day event with two 90-minute morning sessions with a break, then a break for lunch and two 90-minute afternoon sessions, and yes lots of coffee. One of the major thrusts of the talk is that we should deemphasize the "behavior" part of the phrase behavior problem and place an emphasis on the "problem" part. More specifically, focusing on the many problems that together contribute to the dangerous behavior of concern. The primary problem areas are problems with reinforcers, problems with aversives, chronic versus intermittent problems, problems with adults, problems with peers, repertoire problems, teaching and curriculum problems, problems with punishment, problems with diagnoses, problems with inclusion, problems with restraint and problems with the "players."
It is becoming increasingly common for behavior analysts, both seasoned and newly certified to over-emphasize antecedent manipulations to alleviate behavior problems. Although it is undeniably helpful to alter antecedent condition to rapidly stabilize and even improve behavior problems, like crack these manipulations provide a big bang for the buck and seem to produce desirable results in little time. Unfortunately, all too often, little attention is paid to the need for the individual to learn adaptive skills that will allow him or her to cope with the occasional bump in the road in the form of minor to moderate aversives. Some antecedent manipulations are so pervasive that instead of expanding the person's world it causes it to collapse in on them creating more specialized physical and social environments that actually reduce the individual's ability to tolerate even the mildest annoyance or inconvenience. The answer is to deal with these problems head on by teaching the skills necessary to allow the individual to negotiate these mild to moderate aversives. It is not that antecedent manipulations are in any sense "wrong" but that they are overused, sometimes to a fault.
From his book Adventures in Special Education, Dr. Winston outlines the different categories of problems with aversives which include,
There is also a discussion of ways for individuals to learn how to cope (like all of us) with those aversives that cannot be avoided completely.
Whether it's for school-wide rules, group homes, private homes or even for employees at your own organization, good rules aren’t simply something you write on signs, they must reflect careful thinking about expected behavior. In particular, the presentation will focus on the importance of rules that are prescriptive (what you should do) as opposed to proscriptive (what is not allowed) rules. Participants will also learn about the components of rule following including knowledge, skills, and the motivation to avoid any consequences for violating rules (point loss, school suspensions), as well as the motivation to earn reinforcers for complying with rules (praise, points, privileges). There will also be recommendations for the kinds of rules to avoid and the kinds that are more likely to produce desired behaviors and thereby reduce undesirable behaviors.
The traditional Iwata-style functional analysis and even the more contemporary and highly customized Hanley-style synthesized functional analysis are more appropriate for traditional chronic behavior problems, those that occur highly frequently and regularly (typically dozens of times daily). These relatively high-frequency behaviors, although more time-consuming and resource intensive are also generally easier to analyze as there are more samples, and they're also generally easier to treat as there are many more teaching opportunities. Although not exclusively, these more high-frequency problem behaviors exist at such a high level because they are set in a context of few adaptive skills/repertoires. Consequently they occur at a crazy high level. That is, a person with almost zero adaptive/communicative skills will often have a very high-frequency, multiply maintained behavior problem. Individuals who are highly verbal and have large repertoires tend to know how to meet most of their own needs appropriately, they just have occasional problems (MOs) that contribute to the intermittent problem we are witnessing. Participants will learn the importance of discerning between the two general types of problems and strategies for each.
This presentation examines the concept of dangerousness and breaks it down into the components of damage potential and the probability of a crisis for a given stimulus. In lay terms, how much of a bad-ass is the individual and have they got a short-fuse? Or perhaps they have an unpredictable fuse that could be long or short depending on the circumstances? This could be even worse. The presentation will also cover individual client/student variables that contribute to “dangerousness.” These include but are not limited to age, height/weight, developmental level, coordination, ability to use weapons, presence/absence of biting, “fighting skills,” targeted attacks to the head and the tendency to pursue victims. There will also be a review of the factors that make other individuals highly vulnerable. Participants will be able to use this information to make better, more informed decisions regarding student/client placement and staff distribution. Information gained can also be used for admissions criteria.
This presentation asks the attendee to re-conceptualize non-compliance and even question the utility of the term in favor of more practical less judgmental concepts. Participants will be encouraged to target specific behaviors instead of general “compliance.” If someone asks you to pass the salt and you do, no says “you were compliant” maybe they would call you polite or courteous. Compliance, like non-compliance is not a behavior analytic term, it’s simply used in behavior analysis frequently. Compliance requires a context of someone who needs your clients or students to do something. In particular, something that is very important to the staff/teacher/parent. The most important question is, compliant with what? With every possible instruction? Immediately? Compliance typically only becomes an issue when there is a large mismatch between the motivation of staff/teachers and clients/students. If you don’t need a person to eat ice-cream, and you give them ice-cream and they don’t want to eat it, no one calls it “non-compliance” but the person in fact didn’t comply! It’s only non-compliance when it’s a problem for staff/teachers/parents.
This talk will provide tips on working with individuals who are highly motivated to escape from academic tasks in classroom settings and will cover the following topics:
1) Using reinforcers effectively; including finding reinforcers, rate of reinforcement, reinforcer interruption, differential reinforcement, and increasing tolerance to reinforcer removal and to delay of reinforcement, 2) how to analyze WHY a child wants to escape from a task, and 3) how to alter “educational discriminative stimuli” to decrease the probability of escape. Participants will also learn what to do with task avoidant juggernauts. Participants will also learn about the "Sd voice" (discriminative stimulus), which some may call a "poisoned cue" and how to fix this very common problem.
book it!This Ethics presentation will cover a variety of topics related to the ethical use of
restraint including a definition of ethics and what affects our behavior of calling things “ethical” or “unethical?” Participants will learn to how to avoid setting misleading restraint reduction goals. Dr. Winston will also cover procedural risk/restrictiveness and the right to effective treatment
as well as ethics as it relates to knowledge of medical contraindications for the use of restraint procedures. There will be a discussion of the dangers of continued restraint in the face of a lack of treatment as opposed to the judicious use of restraint as a part of treatment. There will also be an examination of ethics as it relates to:
equipped to serve
There is often great contention about the proper placement for students in public schools, most of it centered around whether or not to place a child with special needs into a general education classroom or a "self-contained" unit. The concept of inclusion is a good one and exists for good reason. The problems arise over black and white interpretations of what is best for each individual. An EXCLUDED child in an INCLUDED classroom working on a "curriculum" that is in no way functional, or equivalent to what the other students are doing was not the intent of PL94-142. This presentation will cover travesties on both sides. Children languishing in included classrooms, and children "cheated" out of general education classrooms over minor behavior problems. Participants will get an overview of the problems using real examples as well as a way to rate how well a child is likely to do in a general education setting. Participants will learn the concepts of soft and hard prerequisites as well as a list of pros and cons of included classrooms. There will also be a discussion of how to determine parental expectations of outcomes from included vs. a self-contained classroom, e.g., "my non-verbal child might start talking if they're around talking peers."
Parents, guardians, advocates and others may not fully understand all the rules about restraint use at your organization. Sometimes they don’t understand which procedures are used, by whom, or why. Uninformed parents are more likely to sue as there are critical aspects of restraint use they may not fully understand or understand incorrectly.
This presentation examines the assumptions made by the DSM-V revised about mental illness and then takes a behavioral perspective on the issue. There are numerous assumptions about the nature and etiology of mental illness, and most of these assumptions, in one form or another, end up blaming the brain on the problems we see. In a manner of speaking, the brain is responsible for what we see but only in as much as it is involved in all our behavior. Regardless of differences in the brain that may or may not be causal in nature, mental health diagnoses are absolutely, positively NOT made on the basis of structural or neurochemical abnormalities. They are in fact based on behavior or lack thereof. In fact, the popular trend now is self-diagnosis. So now we have diagnoses that are almost entirely based on the verbal behavior of the person with the alleged disorder. Even when diagnoses are rendered formally, with checklists and questionnaires and perhaps even direct observation and interaction with the individual, there is still no structural or neurochemical marker used to make a decision. This presentation will cover problems and pitfalls in diagnosis and then cover the important variables to attend to when we encounter an individual with any given diagnosis.
This presentation is aimed at those working with school-aged individuals who technically read, but with questionable reading comprehension. Typically these individuals are not "sophisticated" talkers. Because of this, they're not sophisticated readers. There are many ways to lack sophistication. Pronunciation and vocabulary and how to use those vocabulary words are three big variables, but another is orientation to time and the ability to seriate past events. That is, if you can't comprehend your day, you can't comprehend the story you read. Those who can't talk about what was, cannot possibly talk about what will be, and this is critical for higher learning, logic and reasoning. Part of how we learn, once we can talk, is by making new rules about things that have happened. "Yesterday I was late because I forgot my homework and had to run back home to get it, tomorrow I'm going to make sure and set my alarm earlier so I won't be late again!" That little strategy requires time orientation and event seriation. Yesterday, this happened then the other thing and the first caused the second and and that caused tardiness. Then that same strategy addresses the future, "Tomorrow I will do x, y, and z." Most individuals learn how to do this naturally. Many individuals with limited language skills, however, must specifically be taught these skills. This presentation will cover the implications of an inability to orient to time and how one might go about teaching these skills.
The DRO Schedule (differential reinforcement of other behavior) has been used in behavior analysis for over 40 years and it proves to be a procedure that just won't die. The concept is not new and it was not discovered by behavior analysts, in fact it was probably discovered hundreds or thousands of years ago. It based on this premise. Don't do bad things, and good things will happen. It's even woven into our most beloved Christmas songs "Oh, you better not pout, you better not cry, you better not shout, I'm tellin' you why." Other than providing a veiled threat of "no toys for you," the song isn't very helpful as it doesn't tell children what they should do and this is part of the problem with the DRO. Participants will learn about what this schedule does and doesn't do and how it's misuse can actually make problem behavior worse.
Sharing some similarities with it's sister presentation "Why most behavior plans suck," this presentation focuses more on the details of the behavior plan itself and does not take the larger view of organizational/staffing/medication/medical variables or those such as belief systems and attitudes towards behavior change. The audience will get a more through look at the language used in plans, the sections and how to simplify them for staff, and VERY clear descriptions of what to teach and how to teach so there is no guesswork about replacement behaviors.
The diagnosis and treatment of trauma and has received much attention in the last several years. This presentation will provide a behavioral perspective on the definition of trauma (specifically what was called PTSD), and the necessary and sufficient conditions that may produce it. A key point is that trauma is not something inherent in the stimulus but may be an interaction between the stimulus, the context, and the history/skills of the person. There will also be a discussion of common causes of misdiagnoses, an examination of standard treatments and how they may align with ABA principles, and suggestions of additional strategies based on ABA.
Participants will be able to:
A functional analysis is a good general starting point, unless of course it's inconclusive, but it certainly is not sufficient in getting a clear picture of the individual and all their problems. The functional analysis is more like a compass than a GPS. A compass will point you in the general direction, true, but it won't tell you how long until your destination or what to expect along the route. It also won't show points of interest at your destination (that would be analogous to which skills to teach once function has been identified). Well I don't know about you guys, but I think that's a pretty decent intro and I seriously doubt that anyone does more than skim these abstracts. So what does that say about you and your attention to detail? Hmmmm.
The concept of "picking a fight" is not a new one, but it is most certainly a social concept. The reason it's called "picking a fight" and not "face smashing" is that picking a fight is all about provocation that will justify the fight in the eyes of the attacker and those in society. The problem occurs most typically in individuals with very good language, good self-control, and an understanding that their aggressive behavior is more justified if there were an argument. The talk will focus on differences between instrumental and affective aggression and how your strategies may have to fluidly change based on where their aggressive behavior lies on a continuum from more operant to more respondent. The presentation will also cover the topic of “attention” and why it may prove problematic. Participants will also learn about physical “signs of damage” in aggression but also emotional signs of damage in social interactions. Treatment options will be discussed in terms of addressing the MOs for seeking confrontations (and signs of damage), as well as options for what to do once confrontation seeking has already started.
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