The science of behavior analysis is embedded in all our organizational and clinical processes. These are some of the most modern and effective methods and technologies derived from modern behavior analysis that are been implemented at IEBI:
PEAK Relational Training (Dixon, 2014)
PEAK is an assessment and curriculum guide designed to promote the cognitive and language development of individuals with autism. PEAK uses four learning modules (Direct, Generalization, Equivalence and Transformation) to promote the individual’s entire repertoire. PEAK goes beyond assessing and teaching individuals to talk and understand what others around them mean. Repertoires such as imagining, planning, predicting, dreaming, loving, caring about what is happening to other people or around them are not beyond a science of behavior analysis, but beyond the current level of ABA therapies in the industry. The Direct learning module involves teaching basic skills. The Generalization learning module consists of teaching individuals to use their skills in new and varied settings in ways that are creative. The Equivalence learning module consists of teaching new behaviors without these to be directly trained or reinforced. Individuals in this module learn to make inferences, interpretations based on previously learned information. Lastly, the Transformation learning module consists of teaching complex thinking processes such as reasoning and problem solving. Individuals learn to identify and relate events based on their context and relational characteristics. They learn to interpret events in terms of the perspective of others, identify what is important to them, and prerequisite skills to cope with socio-emotional challenges.
We implement PEAK during:
AIM: A behavior Analytic Curriculum for Social-Emotional Development in Children (Dixon & Paliliunas, 2018)
Aim is the outcome of three evidence-based practices of intervention: mindfulness training (MT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) within the context of applied behavior analysis (ABA). An important goal of these practices is helping individuals creating better lives through flexible and adaptive behavior that leads to success across environments. AIM will help individuals pursue the life they want, while being resilient with life difficulties. While MT and ACT aim to increase an individual’s awareness of what is happening “right there” in their environment, ABA and other parts of ACT aim to increase or decrease certain behaviors that will result in rewarding experiences. The 3 points of convergence of these evidence-based practices are summarized in the curriculum’s title: Accept, Identify, Move (AIM). First, the individual must learn to accept and be open to the current circumstances as they are. That is, the individual learns to be aware of his or her feelings and other private events and to open to them, so it becomes possible to let go of the lack of action that is naturally produced by just wishing that things were different. They learn these acceptance skills to replace less effective and time-consuming behaviors such as insisting on what did not happen or preoccupying on what it could happen when life is not working the way the individual wants. Second, the individual learns to identify the qualities of life that bring meaning and fulfillment to him or her. And lastly, the individual learns to engage in whatever behavior is required to contact the rewards that in turn give meaning to his or her life.
We implement AIM during:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999)
ACT is a behavior therapy about taking mindful and values-guided action. ACT is defined in terms of a philosophical framework and theoretical processes rather than as a specific technology. ACT is based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT) a post-Skinnerian account for human language and cognition that applies mindfulness, acceptance processes, and commitment and behavior change processes to create psychological flexibility. The aim of ACT is to increase psychological flexibility, that is, to contact the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behavior in the service of chosen values.
We implement ACT during:
-Behavioral Training – Living a Life that Matters
-Individual In-home Parent Education Services as part of Behavior Intervention Services
-Group Parent Education before Behavior Intervention Services begin.
-IEBI’s staff training
Synthetized Functional Analysis and IISCA-based FCT (Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, & Hanratty, 2014)
The Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis (IISCA) is an experimental functional analysis (FA) that helps the behavior analyst to determine the causes of problem behavior. The IISCA consists of an interview with caregivers, and a brief observation to determine evocative contexts, reinforcers, and specific materials necessary for the analysis. Based on the results of the IISCA, a single test condition is individualized for each client. Then the control and test conditions are designed to be the same with the exception of the reinforcement contingency, which is absent in the control condition. IISCAs can involve multiple levels of individualization. For instance, the analysis materials and interactions can be individualized to match those that are reported by caregivers as evoking (e.g., specific tasks or instructions) or reinforcing (e.g., specific toy or a certain song) problem behavior. Moreover, the conditions/ contingencies can be individualized in an IISCA to emulate the problematic context. Once the IISCA is conducted we immediately implement a function –based intervention that promotes alternative responding and tolerance (contingency-based reinforcement thinning).
We implement IISCA during the assessment process of the following services:
Behavior Skills Training (BST; Miltenberger, 2004)
BST is an effective method used to teach new skills that consists of instruction, modeling, behavioral rehearsal, and feedback. BST teaches the individual what responses to engage in under specific circumstances. BST allows for practice within the program so that the individual can become fluent with the skills. Instruction consists of providing a description of the skill, its importance or rationale, and the conditions under which the skills is used or not. Modeling consists of showing in-vivo the individual how to perform the skill. Rehearsal consists of practicing the skills as needed to reach fluency. Feedback consists of providing positive praise for correct responding and some form of corrective feedback for incorrect responses.
We implement BST to teach:
-Our clinical team
-Our families during all services provided
-Our administrative staff
Total Performance System (Abernathy, 2000)
Total Performance System is a collective term to describe performance scorecard, profit-indexed performance pay, and positive leadership. The Total Performance System is used by implementing scorecards for Clinical Supervisors, Case Managers and some administrative staff. They are provided a scorecard of 8-10 measures that highlights tasks that benefit our clients, the employee’s skill set, and the organization. Performance is evaluated monthly by reviewing previous month’s score and implement goals for the following month. This measure of performance determines a monthly bonus for employees in the system.