Master ABA

Skill Acquisition

Skill acquisition enables individuals with developmental or behavioral challenges to gain essential skills for independent living and social integration. ABA focuses on breaking down complex skills into smaller, manageable steps and systematically teaching and reinforcing them. By targeting areas such as communication, social interaction, daily living skills, and academic abilities, skill acquisition promotes functional independence. It provides structured and individualized instruction, fostering learning and promoting skill generalization across various settings. Skill acquisition empowers individuals to reach their fullest potential.

These posts, courses and resources cover many of these important topics.

Developing Effective Self-Management Skills in ABA Programs: Strategies and Techniques

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) offers valuable tools for fostering good self-management abilities. Cooper et al. (2020) define self-management as “the personal application of behavior-change tactics that results in a desired change in behavior” (p. 683). ABA has been shown to be helpful in teaching learners how to utilize interventions to impact their own behavior. This crucial step enables learners to develop their independence in a range of circumstances. Increasing autonomy can result in stronger self-esteem and a better quality of life overall.

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Fun and Games: How ABA Empowers Play Skills in 3 Steps

Play skills are important for a variety of reasons.  Children learn best through play because play makes learning fun and teaches problem solving skills.  Play skills expand social interactions and reduce challenging behavior by providing children with alternative enjoyable activities to fill their day.  All play involves exploring, being creative and having fun.  There should be no objective posed from the outside (yeah, I mean you).  It’s a child-driven activity.

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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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Unlocking Success: 5 ABA Teaching Methods That Will Transform Your Practice!

Unlocking success in any field requires a commitment to learning and growth, and the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is no exception. As an BCBA, you’re tasked with developing an individualized plan to help your learners achieve their goals. That’s where these 5 ABA teaching methods come in.

By incorporating these evidence-based teaching methods into your practice, you can transform the way you approach teaching and help your learners achieve real progress. ABA teaching methods fall along a continuum from highly structured, contrived teaching methods to less structured and more naturalistic teaching methods.

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Course: Choosing Meaningful Skill Acquisition Goals

Many BCBAs rely exclusively on results from standardized assessments to choose goals for their learners. Whether this was how you were taught or if you just don’t have the tools to do better, this course guides you toward making meaningful change for your learners. Learn how to integrate behavioral cusps with assessment results and parent/learner goals and values to create valuable programming that changes lives.

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

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Behavior Chains: Using Task Analysis for Chaining

Like many things related to behavior, behavior chains exist whether you’re aware of them or not. Understanding how behavior chains work, then using a task analysis to create intentional behavior chains is an effective intervention when working with children with autism.

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Understanding Assent and Assent Withdrawal in ABA

We all know that we must get informed consent from parents or caregivers to provide treatment, but are you getting assent from the learner as well?  In the BACB’s Code of Ethics updated for 2022, the BACB requires BCBAs to obtain assent as a part of obtaining informed consent (2.11 Obtaining Informed Consent)

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Errorless Learning: Complete Guide

Errorless learning is an effective intervention using prompting to reduce the occurrence of errors, which can be especially beneficial when your learner is easily frustrated when making mistakes. Here are 4 important things you need to know before using this strategy:

  1. Errorless learning is an antecedent intervention
  2. There are many advantages and disadvantages
  3. Errorless learning isn’t appropriate for every learner
  4. There are 4 steps to implement errorless learning

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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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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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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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What is Pivotal Response Training (PRT)?

Pivotal Response Training (PRT) focuses on improving skills in 4 pivotal areas that, once learned, help the child acquire other skills more rapidly. These areas are:

  • Motivation
  • Initiation
  • Multiple cues
  • Self-management

This post goes into detail for each area of learning.

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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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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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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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Creating a Meaningful Skill Acquisition Program in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Creating a Meaningful Skill Acquisition Program in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is crucial to client success. They are the foundation for building independence, problem solving, and creativity. Skill acquisition programs are also essential for teaching the skills learner’s need to reduce maladaptive behavior.

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How to Conduct and Document an Initial Assessment for ABA Services

You passed the exam and secured your dream job. Then the doubt sets in. You don’t know how to actually do anything you learned in school. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.

Despite fieldwork experience, many new BCBAs feel unprepared to perform the duties of a BCBA. Some agencies offer mentorship for new BCBAs but the reality of clinical work, especially for insurance-funded services, is there just isn’t enough time or resources to offer the support they actually need.

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