General Course Description:

The practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment process, which prioritizes the safety and social acceptability, has proven to be a highly effective and generally applicable approach to severe problem behavior. The process has been refined to prevent escalation of problem behavior while the replacement repertoires are developed in the challenging contexts in which severe problem behavior was most likely to occur. Through lecture, interactive discussion, role play, formative assessment, authentic application, and routine feedback, attendees will be able to improve skills for (a) conducting interviews to discover synthesized reinforcement contingencies that are influencing problem behavior, (b) designing and implementing safe, efficient, and useful analyses from the interviews, (c) designing skill-based treatments that yield replacement social and leisure repertoires while minimizing escalated problem behavior, and (d) training and supervising others to implement the intervention once transitioned into an all-day intervention.

Class 1: Practical Functional Assessment of Severe Problem Behavior

Objectives:

  1. Participants should be able to describe multiple tactics to ensure the efficiency and utility of the functional assessment process, especially the functional analysis part of the process.
  2. Participants should be able to identify five tactics for increasing the odds of a safe and dignified analysis of severe problem behavior.
  3. Participants should be able to describe the characteristics of an open-door analysis for minimizing the likelihood of problem behavior escalation and maximizing the value of synthesized reinforcers.
  4. Participants should be able to defend the practice of relying on synthesized reinforcement contingencies when functionally analyzing problem behavior and articulate the advantages of functional control over functional classification.
  5. Participants will design an IISCA for their complex case.

Class 2: Treatment I: Functional Communication and Tolerance Training

Objectives:

  1. Participants will effectively present the results of their IISCA and obtain feedback to improve influence by the synthesized reinforcement contingency.
  2. Participants should be able to describe the key factors to consider when selecting the initial functional communication response, the teaching tactics for shaping the complexity of the response while avoiding resurgence of problem behavior, and procedures for differentiating the response so that a communication repertoire is established.
  3. Participants should be able to describe the key components of strategies for teaching individuals with severe problem behavior to tolerate both delays to and denials of the reinforcers previously influencing their problem behavior.
  4. Participants should be able to describe the characteristics of an enhanced choice model of treatment implementation for minimizing the likelihood of problem behavior escalation.
  5. Participants will design functional communication and toleration processes for their complex cases.

Class 3: Treatment II: Developing Multiple Chains of Contextually Appropriate Behavior

Objectives:

  1. Participants will present the results of their initial treatment implementation and articulate how treatment effects can be improved and/or treatment expectations progressed.
  2. Participants should be able to describe how a contextually appropriate behavior chain (e.g., compliance with tasks, completing independent academic work, and play) may be shaped and maintained during variable and sometimes long delays to the reinforcers that historically influenced problem behavior.
  3. Participants will be able to describe the processes for introducing new chains of contextually appropriate behavior to address problem behavior occurring is structurally unique contexts.
  4. Participants will design their plan for teaching several contextually appropriate behavior chains while maintaining zero or near-zero levels of problem behavior and target levels of the functional communication and tolerance responses.

Class 4: Effective Supervision: Extending Treatment Effects Across People, Time, and Places

Objectives:

  1. Participants will present the results of their treatment implementation including progress with respect to developing chains of contextually appropriate behavior and articulate how treatment effects can be improved and/or treatment expectations progressed.
  2. Participants should be able to describe the importance of common stimuli to the process of transferring the effects of treatment across people, places, and extended time periods.
  3. Participants should be able to describe the 6-step process for training new people to implement the treatment with high integrity.
  4. Participants will be able to describe the various means for providing effective supervision and support to those implementing treatment in order for treatment effects to persist.
  5. Participants will design their plan for transferring treatment processes, maintaining treatment effects, and effectively supervising continued treatment implementation.

Notes:

Readings will be assigned two weeks prior to the start of the course. A discussion board will be used to facilitate progress towards meeting/exceeding objectives between class meetings.

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