Master ABA

Foundation and Concepts

ABA provides a solid framework for comprehending human behavior and the principles that govern it. This knowledge enables practitioners to design effective interventions and strategies to modify behavior in various settings. A thorough understanding of foundational concepts allows for accurate assessment and data analysis, enabling practitioners to make data-driven decisions. Furthermore, it promotes ethical and responsible practice by emphasizing the importance of individualized treatment, client dignity, and informed consent. Lastly, a strong grasp of foundational concepts empowers practitioners to effectively communicate and collaborate with other professionals, enhancing the overall quality of care provided to individuals.

These posts, courses and guides are great for professionals new to the field, or seasoned practitioners looking for a new way to explain traditional ABA concepts in easy-to-understand terms.

The Competing Behavior Pathway: The Secret to Choosing Effective Interventions for your BIP

Function-based interventions are a critical component of any behavior intervention plan (BIP). Function-based interventions work by first identifying the function or purpose of the problem behavior, and then designing strategies tailored to address the specific needs of the individual. By understanding the underlying function of the behavior, practitioners can develop targeted intervention plans that maximize success and minimize potential drawbacks.

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Cultural Competency Training for ABA Practitioners: Best Practices and Benefits

Cultural competency refers to the ability of individuals or organizations to understand and effectively interact with people from diverse cultural backgrounds (Cross et al., 1989). In the context of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), cultural competency is crucial for practitioners to provide effective and ethical services to learners with diverse cultural backgrounds and identities. BCBAs must strive to develop cultural competency in order to ensure their interventions are respectful, relevant, and meaningful for their learners and their families.

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Cultural Competency eBook

As a BCBA you will be working with children and families from all walks of life. This valuable guide sets you up for success!

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Understanding the Debate about ABA

You may not even be aware, but there is a raging debate over whether ABA is harmful or hurtful. It’s critical that as professionals in ABA we understand both sides of this debate. We must be aware of and responsive to the concerns of those who fear ABA. We must continue to drive the field toward more sensitive, positive practices. This post explains more.

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Understanding Your Priorities as a BCBA

This practical guide is for BCBAs working in clinic, community or home-based services. It provides a concrete method of identifying your priorities so you can get your most important work done. This guide is ideal for new BCBAs in their first roles or the BCBA business owner to share as they bring on new BCBAs.

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ABC Data: The Key to Understanding Behavior

The term “ABC” refers to the context of a behavioral event, describing events that occur before and after a behavior you want to learn more about (antecedent, behavior and consequence). While this concept is often thought of in conjunction with reducing challenging behaviors, it is equally effective when teaching new skills. Here’s what you need to know about the ABCs of ABA!

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Functions of Behavior in ABA: Complete Guide

ABA uses the functions of behavior to understand behavior and why it occurs. When you accurately identify the function of a behavior, you answer the question: What does this person “get” out of engaging in this behavior. This answer allows you to select function-based interventions to address the behavior.

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Competing Behavior Pathway: The path from function to intervention

Throughout your training, you have heard experts in the field of ABA stress the importance of utilizing function-based interventions. The question is:

how do you actually choose interventions based on the function of the challenging behavior?

The answer is: use the competing behavior pathway!

The competing behavior pathway provides:

  • A visual depicting the maintaining variables for the challenging behavior and a prototype for the context for the desired behavior
  • A concrete way to document functionally-equivalent replacement behaviors
  • A clear way to go from function to intervention

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Unraveling Verbal Operants: Understanding the Building Blocks of Language

Communication is what makes us human. It allows us to allow us to get our needs met, engage with others, build independence, create memories, and develop new skills. Many learners who enter ABA services, lack adequate communication skills. By assessing communication skills by their function and using the principles of ABA, learners can develop the skills they need to communicate effectively.

This post provides an overview to help you understand the verbal operants. Understanding the verbal operants ensures you’re prepared to assess and teach these important components of communication. 

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Operational Definitions: Clearly Define the Behavior

Operational definitions are an important part of your plan. A clear operational definition allows for consistency in data collection and prevents confusion about whether a child has engaged in a behavior. This post will help you understand the key components of an effective definition and provides 9 examples of common behaviors.

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Course: Writing Operational Definitions

This free course provides even more information than our post Operational Definitions: Clearly Define the Behavior and includes sample definitions for the following behaviors:

  • Escape or Avoidance Behaviors
  • Access to Tangible Behaviors
  • Access to Attention Behaviors
  • Aggression
  • Self-Injurious Behavior
  • Non-Compliance
  • Flopping
  • Eloping
  • Tantrum
  • Crying/Screaming
  • Swearing
  • Throwing

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Course: Common Interventions in ABA

Intervention options within the field of ABA sometimes feels limitless. As a professional, you likely rely on a small number of interventions that you found successful in the past and may feel hesitant to branch out to try new ones. This course dives into 20 common ABA interventions.

This course is only available through our Master ABA Dojo membership.

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Should I Use Natural Environment Teaching (NET) or Discrete Trial Training (DTT)?

Choosing the right teaching format directly impacts the success of your clients. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) provides a wealth of resources and interventions, so how do you choose the right one? Two common interventions utilized by professionals include Natural Environment Teaching (NET) and Discrete Trial Training (DTT). While research supports both methodologies, choose carefully based on the needs of your client.

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The Ultimate Guide to the Effective Use of Reinforcers, Reinforcer Assessments and Preference Assessments

Preference assessments and reinforcer assessments increase the likelihood of effective interventions, and they are simple to implement routinely in your ABA program. Reinforcers play a vital role in the success of any ABA behavior reduction or skill acquisition plan. A reinforcer is any stimulus that follows a behavior and makes that behavior more likely to occur in the future. As autistic learners often have unique interests and may respond differently to social reinforcers, you must intentionally evaluate reinforcers used in your interventions.

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Data Collection Methods: Continuous vs Discontinuous Measurement in ABA

Applied Behavior Analysis is a science-driven approach to behavior that depends significantly on the accurate collection of data. When collecting data you can choose from a continuous data collection method (frequency, rate, duration, or latency) or a discontinuous data collection method (partial interval, whole interval, or momentary time sampling). How do you know which method is best? This post will tell you!

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Functional Communication Training (FCT): The Most Important Intervention In Your ABA Toolbox

Functional Communication Training (FCT) is one of the most important interventions within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). It aims to teach learners how to use communication as a means of getting their needs met. To effectively work in the field of ABA, especially if you work with autistic learners or other learners with communication delays, you have to understand how to use this powerful tool. If you’re not using this intervention, your learners are missing life-changing opportunities.

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Generalization: The Key to Meaningful Programming in ABA

Generalization is a critical aspect of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), particularly for BCBAs working with autistic learners as these learners may not generalize skills without an intentional plan. Ensuring long-term success and positive outcomes for these learners relies on their ability to apply acquired skills and behaviors in various settings and situations beyond the teaching environment (i.e. clinic or home).

Generality is one of the 7 dimensions of ABA and is a vital component of your ABA program. If your learner fails to use skills across different settings and with different people, what you taught them is of no real value.

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10 Tips for Providing Better ABA Parent Training

Parent coaching requires a combination of relationship development and an exchange of knowledge. Professionals walk a fine line between establishing themselves as the expert while building enough trust to encourage follow-through. Parents must believe you care about their child and your recommendations will make a difference. This post provides the resources you need for effective parent coaching.

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Premack Principle: A Guide to Using the First/Then Rule

The Premack Principle, or First/Then, states that a behavior an individual chooses to do on his own will reinforce a less preferred behavior. While this intervention is commonly used to reduce demand refusal, this post explains 5 other ways you can use this strategy to help your learner.

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Token Economy: Examples and Applications in ABA

Token economy is a reinforcement strategy where generalized reinforcers (tokens) are exchanged for backup reinforcers (something the learner wants). Research shows that this intervention is effective across environments including home, school, and in-patient programs. Due to its versatility, it’s important to consider how you might include a token economy in your plan. This post includes examples to give you ideas.

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Differential Reinforcement: A Complete Guide

Differential reinforcement (DR) is an effective ABA intervention when used correctly. With this strategy, therapists reinforce one topography of behavior while putting all other responses on extinction. Five main varieties offer options for behaviors to reinforce:

  1. DRO-Differential reinforcement of other behavior
  2. DRA-Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior
  3. DRI-Differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior
  4. DRL-Differential reinforcement of lower rates of behavior
  5. DRH-Differential reinforcement of higher rates of behavior

This complete guide will help you understand each DR strategy, how to implement them and when to use each one.

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Differential Reinforcement: A Practical Guide to DR

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has many tools in the behavior toolbox but one of the most important is reinforcement, including differential reinforcement. Differential reinforcement (DR) is an intervention that reinforces one topography of behavior while putting all other responses on extinction. The intervention strengthens the desired behavior while simultaneously weakening challenging behavior.

This easy-to-follow guide explains how you can use these strategies to help teach a child with autism.

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Prompt Hierarchy: A New Perspective

Using prompts is an effective approach for teaching new skills and reducing challenging behaviors. However, fading prompts is a critical piece of using this intervention effectively. Although professionals often refer to this prompt hierarchy as one sequence of prompts that can be followed in ascending or descending order of intrusiveness, in reality, there are 3 distinct hierarchies. Prompts from one hierarchy may naturally be included during prompt fading when using one of the other hierarchies. This post explains more.

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Course: Is It Imposter Syndrome…or Something Else?

Imposter Syndrome – feeling like a phony, or as if you don’t deserve your success – is common for many professionals. If you search for phrases such as “feeling like a fraud” you’ll no doubt come across the term “Imposter Syndrome.” You may have even searched for the expression yourself and found advice for overcoming this feeling.

With this course you will answer the following questions:

  • How can you determine your Scope of Competence?
  • What is Imposter Syndrome really?
  • How do you know whether you’re experiencing Imposter Syndrome or you’re outside your Scope of Competence?
  • How can you overcome Imposter Syndrome?
  • How can you increase your Scope of Competence?

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Course: Become a Master Prioritizer

You worked hard to complete the coursework and pass the big exam. You find your dream job only to discover it’s more of a nightmare than a dream. Despite all your efforts to prepare, the position is nothing like what you imagined. You have more to do in a day than you could imagine doing in a week!

With this course you will quickly learn how to prioritize the tasks on your to-do list to help you accomplish the most important tasks every day. This practical solution is a must for every new BCBA and those experienced BCBAs who feel like they are drowning in a sea of tasks!

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