Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School-Age Children

Filmed at Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children – August 24 & 25, 2017

This workshop focuses on using Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) methods to support students with autism from Kindergarten to Grade 12; in particular, those who are moderately to severely impacted by their autism.

While many educators are familiar with early behavioral intervention using discrete trial teaching, the science of ABA has much more to offer teachers who are responsible for the education of students with autism and related disorders. This workshop aims to expand your conceptualization of ABA in ways that are practical in the regular classroom.

Topics covered include:
  • Creating high quality Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Review of BC Ministry of Education IEP standards
  • Introduction to the 4 core elements of IEPs
  • Instruction and guided practice in developing quality IEP long-term and short-term goals
  • Collecting practical and useful data as a necessary component of IEPs
  • Addressing problem behavior
  • Introduction to 6 types of consequences and how they affect problem behaviours
  • Introduction to the (4) functions of problem behavior and functional assessment
  • Introduction to the Competing Pathways Diagram and the structure of positive behavior support plans
  • Practical classroom strategies for everyday use

Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D, Capilano University

Richard Stock, Ph.D., BCBA-D is one of B.C.’s most respected Behavior Analysts. He is highly regarded both as a teacher and a collaborative member of inter-disciplinary intervention teams. 

Dr. Stock has been on faculty in the ABA – Autism Department at Capilano University since 2009 and co-ordinator of the program since 2013. He has extensive clinical experience. Since 1999 he has provided behavioral/educational consultative services to children and youth with ASD and other developmental disabilities in home, school and community settings. His scholarly and clinical interests include: ABA, behavioural intervention, knowledge dissemination and inter-disciplinary collaboration, and the application of ABA to education and environmental sustainability. He also teaches graduate courses in ABA as an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario and Adjunct Faculty at UBC.

Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis

Part 1: Why ABA in the Education of Students with ASD?

  • Top 10 reasons children with autism deserve ABA

Part 2: What IS Applied Behavior Analysis

  • How ABA approaches teaching
  • ABC’s of behavior
    • Antecedent
    • Behavior
    • Consequence
  • ABC examples
    • Preschool
    • Kindergarten
    • Grade 6
    • Grade 12
  • How ABA benefits teachers

Part 3: The Learn Unit

  • A measure of teaching: The presence and number of learn units is the strongest predictor of effective teaching
  • Example: teacher’s antecedents

Part 4: Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy Scale

  • The Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy Scale is “…a method of direct teacher observation used in the teacher evaluation and training component of the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS®) model of schooling. The TPRA builds on the concept of academic engaged time (a measure frequently employed during ecobehavioral assessment) by counting the presence or absence of learn units (interlocking three-term contingencies for both students and teachers) during instruction.” Ross, D. E., Singer-Dudek, J., & Greer, R. D. (2005)
  • School teachers & Behavior analysts
  • Teaching & Behavior analysis

Part 5: Top 10 Myths of ABA

  • Bringing ABA and autism together

Part 6: Transitioning from Home Program to IEP Program at School

  • Individual Education Plans (IEP’s)
    • Purpose and process
    • Core elements
    • SMART objectives: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely
  • Examining the quality of IEP’s for young children with ASD
  • Issues arising from poor IEP’s

Part 7: Baseline Assessment and IEP’s

  • How to assess: RIOT
    • Review records
    • Interview
    • Observe
    • Test

Part 8: Assessing Present Level with RIOT


Part 9: IEP Collaboration: Working Together

  • Collaborative meeting – features
  • Preparing for an IEP meeting
  • Collaboration continuum
  • IEP writing practices
  • Questions & Answer period

Part 10: Writing IEP’s – Long-Term Goals

  • Transitions from high school
  • Planning for the future
  • Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS)
  • Activity: Write long term goals

Part 11: Writing Short-Term Objectives (STO)

  • Avoid verbs that are not measurable
  • STO mastery level
  • STO components
  • STO wording

Part 12: Strategies and Tactics

  • Suggested literacy resources
  • Physical long-term goals

Part 13: Data Measurement

  • Types of measurement
    • Anecdotes
    • Summative
    • Formative
  • How to gather data

Part 14: IEP Implementation Checklists

  • Barriers & solutions for:
    • Data sheets
    • Collecting data
    • Graphing data
  • IEP Data tips

Part 15: IEP Examples; Functional Assessment and the Four Functions of Behaviour

Skip to 11:02 for Functional Assessment and goals of the rest of the sessions.

  • Tier 3 supports
  • 7 day Functional Assessment/Positive Behavior Support Training

Part 16: All Behavior Serves a Function

  • The problems with problem behavior
    • In the past
    • The traditional goal: “Behavior Management” techniques
    • Traditional interventions
  • The problems with punishment
    • Potential negative effects of P+ (positive punishment)
      • See Part 19: Consequences for more on types of punishments

Part 17: Functional Behavior Assessment

  • Functional Assessment/Positive Behavior Support process
  • Topography: What does the behavior look like?
  • Question and answer period
    • 9:35: How do we reconcile the move towards summative assessment for the general population in the new curriculum in BC, when it seems contrary to data-based, formative assessment?
    •  10:57: How do you approach increasing distance with bolting behaviour in a student with autism?

Part 18: Setting Events

Setting Events (SE) are conditions that “set the stage” for problem behavior

  • Question & Answer period
    • 6:05: What is the likelihood of success if there is little continuity between home and school life?
    • 7:49: How would you approach the issue of a school only allowing a child to attend a small portion of a school day?

Part 19: Types of Consequences

  • Positive reinforcement
  • Negative reinforcement
  • Positive punishment
  • Negative punishment
  • Recovery after punishment

Part 20: Extinction

  • Extincition is a procedure of withholding a previously available reinforcing stimulus, with the subsequent function being a decrease in behavior
  • Examples of extinction
  • A caution about extinction bursts

Part 21: Types of Consequences Maintaining Behavior

  • Activity: Reinforcement & Punishment – Determine the type of consequence maintaining a problem behavior in the examples provided. Ask yourself:
    • Is something being added, subtracted, or withheld?
    • Is behavior increasing or decreasing?

Part 22: Goals of Functional Behavior Assessments

  • Functional behavior assessment (FBA) process
  • Four functions of behavior
  • Focus on addressing problem behavior maintained by:
    • Tangible
    • Attention
    • Escape

Part 23: Functional Behavior Assessment

  • Name that function!
  • Interview
  • Observation
  • FBA process

Part 24: Functional Behavior Assessment (continued)

  • Example of an FBA
  • Competing behaviour pathways diagram: writing activities

Part 25: Categories of Support

  • Setting event supports
  • Antecedent supports
  • Contingency maps
  • Antecedent/Trigger strategies

Part 26: Interventions

  • Behaviour interventions
  • Teaching new behaviour
  • Intervention: Consequences
  • Practice interventions

Part 27: Effective Strategies for the Classroom

Add visual supports and adapted text to storybooks to improve access during read-alouds.

  • Maximize structure & predictability
  • Post, teach, review, feedback

Part 28: Actively Engage Students in Observable Ways

  • Increase student active engagement with Opportunity to Respond (OTR)
  • Examples of OTR: response cards, model – lead – test, class-wide peer tutoring, guided notes

Part 29: Continuum of Strategies to Acknowledge Appropriate Behavior

  • Continuum – from individual to class to school population
    • Specific and/or contingent praise
    • Token economics
    • Group contingencies (continued in part 30)

Part 30: Group Contingencies

  • Independent group contingencies
  • Dependent group contingencies
  • Interdependent group contingencies
  • Example of a school-wide group contingency
  • Wrapping up
  • ABA and PBS resources