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Direct Instruction

Guest Blog Post Dr. Katherine May, Ed.D., BCBA Direct Instruction: “The Faster We Teach, The More They Learn.” Direct Instruction Explained: Direct instruction was founded by Siegfried Engelman and is a published ABA instructional methodology that believes all children can learn. This teaching methodology is commonly one of the best practices to serve a variety of learners in special and…

Compound Schedule of Reinforcement

Guest blog post by Dr. Katherine May, Ed.D, BCBA Compound Schedules of Reinforcement: Defined and Applied In Applied Behavior Analysis practitioners can combine two or more basic schedules of reinforcement to form compound schedules of reinforcement. These schedules consist of continuous reinforcement, intermittent schedules of reinforcement, differential reinforcement of various rates of responding and extinction. It is important to note…

What is a behavior trap and how do you use it effectively? (ABA Terms and Definitions) (BCBA Exam Prep)

Guest blog post by Dr. Katherine May, Ed.D., BCBA  Behavior traps are powerful contingencies of reinforcement with four defining features: Clients are “baited” with virtually irresistible reinforcers Only a low effort response already in the clients repertoire is needed to enter the trap Interrelated contingencies of reinforcement inside the trap motivate the student to acquire, extend, and maintain targeted skills…

Automatic Reinforcement: ABA Term of the Day

Everyday, I help break down a confusing ABA term and put it in plain English! Whether you are studying for your BCBA exam, explaining ABA to parents or are a student, there is no reason to be so confused over ABA terms. While “behavioral language” is very confusing, these concepts don’t have to be. Today we will break down automatic…

My Best Tip for Passing the Big BCBA Exam on First Try IS …

Earlier this month, I took the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) exam and became a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). I had already been practicing applied behavior analysis (ABA) for more than a decade and doing case management. Due to a series of life events and fear, I just never sat for the exam. After spending months in my house…

What is the difference between respondent and operant conditioning? (ABA Terms) (BCBA Exam Prep)

Behavior falls under two main classes: respondent behavior and operant behavior. As a result, behavior analysts use two main procedures: respondent and operant conditioning.  Respondent Behavior  Respondent behavior is behavior that is caused by stimulus in the environment. The behavior is unlearned and a reflex. A behavior is elicited, unintentional and cannot be controlled.  This was first developed by Watson…

Response Class v. Behavior Repertoire (ABA Terms Defined) (BCBA Exam Prep)

Response Class v. Behavior Repertoire  Response class and behavior repertoire are two terms that may appear on your board certified applied behavior analysis (BCBA) qualification exam. They are simple yet often overlooked terms.  Response Class Response class refers to all the behaviors that serve the same function. This is regardless of whether they are perceived to be “good” or “bad.” …

Properties of a Behavior Which Can Be Measured (BCBA Exam Prep)

What is a behavior? A behavior refers to any interaction between an organism and its environment that changes the environment in some way. For example: Clapping your hands, walking, making dinner, ordering a pizza, sleeping, sneezing.  Anything that a dead person could not do is a behavior.  An inanimate object cannot engage in a behavior. For example, a paper blowing…

Defining Characteristics of ABA? (BCBA Exam Prep)

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is not the only science of behavior. Therefore, behavior analysts had to set specific criteria for what makes something ABA. Therefore, in order for something to be considered ABA, it must meet all seven of the following criteria. If any are missing, a treatment would not be considered ABA.  Applied Any behavior being changed in ABA…

What is parsimony? (BCBA Exam Prep) (ABA Terms Defined)

Parsimony simply means that when conducting a scientific experiment to always choose the most simple explanation. The classic example, “If you hear hoofbeats, think horse — not zebra.” Here are some examples of parsimony in ABA terms.  Every day after school, Joe gets off the bus, walks into the kitchen and cries. His mom gives him a cookie as soon…