1, 2, 3,.... Magic!

This is somewhat of a Quote of the Day post, because it's going to be short and sweet.



I get a lot of emails from people all over with questions related to ABA services. Questions like "My daughter is doing XYZ at school, what do the teachers need to do", or "How do I (write/create/make) a (behavior plan/program/staff training)", or "My client's aggression is increasing, how do we stop that", etc.

The problem with questions like these, is they can't be accurately answered in a cut and dry manner. That's not how this works.
ABA therapy is crockpot cooking, not a microwave.

BUT, all hope is not lost. There is a way to discover that good ol' ABA magic, that actually will be helpful for your child, client, or student. The 3 steps below will help guide any of your ABA therapy related decision making, without sacrificing treatment quality. Guide, not completely resolve. Taking the time to complete these steps will point you in the right direction, not completely remove the need to consult with a BCBA.


  1. Carefully assess the recipient of treatment: What is the individuals age....how does their environment impact the behavior of concern...what is the setting where treatment will occur...what training level do the staff/parents currently have...is the individual on medication...what impact does the medication have on the behavior of concern....what impact does the individual's diagnosis (if there is a diagnosis) have on the behavior of concern...is the individual currently accessing ABA services....and on, and on and on. This step cannot be skipped. Its critical to evaluate the whole person, not just their behavior.
  2. Review what has already been effective: Professionals refer to this as literature review. This means to look for evidence based strategies, treatments, and therapies, that have been demonstrated effective for the behavior of concern. If that all sounded really confusing and complicated, this website should be a helpful start --ASAT.
  3. Putting it all together: I bet you didn't even notice that you just completed an assessment/evaluation, which led you to a hypothesis, which led you to data. Impressive, right? No really, that was the point of steps 1 and 2. Behavior does not occur in a vacuum, so you first need to gather information about the individual, then examine their environment, then become familiar with what has already proven effective, and then put it all together: create an individualized plan of action. This is why ABA professionals cannot answer "What should I do?" kinds of questions, because its impossible for us to complete steps 1 and 2 if we don't know you.

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