User-Friendly Approaches Can Increase Behavioral Applications in Schools. Kevin Murdock Hillsborough County Public Schools. Goals. Identify reasons why ABA approaches are avoided by some educators Share methods to simplify various tasks and save precious time - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Kevin Murdock Hillsborough County Public SchoolsUser-Friendly Approaches Can Increase Behavioral Applications in SchoolsGoalsIdentify reasons why ABA approaches are avoided by some educatorsShare methods to simplify various tasks and save precious timeStimulate research into much-needed areasHillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS)8th largest district in nationTotal schools: 279 Elementary schools : 159 Middle schools : 50 High schools : 40 Other : 30Full-time teachers: 13,269Total Students: 190,814 (first day count, projected 20 day count: 205,000)HCPS Behavior Analyst SupportsFunctional Assessment Consultant Team (FACT) - 8 BCBAs + 2 BCaBAs - part-to-full time consulting with school teams to support Tier 3 processesBehavior Coaches - 9 10 BCBAs and BCaBAs providing part-to-full time specialized support to schools and classrooms primarily to reduce restraint-seclusion eventsESE General Director created this team!20 pending BCBA exam school-based assignments3 BCBAs, 6 BCaBAs, and 11 inactive BCaBAs school-based assignmentsHCPS Demand > SupplyApproximately 1 to 10,000 ratio of active certified behavior analysts to studentsIn comparison, the national recommended ratio for School Psychologists is 1 : 1,500 students. If only 2% of HCPS students required a new or updated FBA-PBIP each year, this would require:195 FBA-PBIPs per year, or More than 1 per workday.FACT and Behavior Coaches serve less than 1% of students, primarily ESE
Impact of Behavior Coaches
More than 99% of students not directly served by behavior analystsIdeally, these involve less intensive behaviors such as:common minor disruptive behavioroff task non-complianceCompeting Demands and Stressors for EducatorsStudent academic progress expectationsComplex teacher evaluations (e.g., rubrics, value added)Salaries, school grades and other issues impacted Teaching to the middle of the class Wave after wave of new requirements and initiatives not sure which are priorities or what will continue/fadeIf Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars,Educators are from Earth, and Behavior Analysts are from the 6th Dimension (in Andrew Houvouras words): They don't think like us, talk like us, or act like us.Educators Want Fast & EasyLess focus on behavioral problem solving/RtIRushed FBAs, skimpy BIPs (technically inadequate) Paper complianceNo or poor linkage of function to interventionReliance on:Topography-based intervention cookbooks Popular or peer-recommended interventions (e.g., Love & Logic, Conscious Discipline)Customary or personally favored interventions (e.g., time out, red-yellow-green sticks)9Educators Want Fast & EasyAvoid consultationRely on indirect measures (likert-style rating scales)No or limited use of intervention fidelity checks, or use of weak measures (e.g., adherence checks The student was in the intervention setting for the designated time period)Rely on old methods, such as mentalistic explanations & the refer test place modelEducators Want Fast & EasyBut fast and easy can sacrifice precision and produce undesirable outcomes.However, behavior analysts sometimes contribute to complicating the assessment and intervention process:20-50 page FBA-BIPsTechnical jargonComplex data recording forms and continuous data recording (every minute of the school day)From Tier 3 Blueprint: Unfortunately, implementing an incorrect, inconsistent process commonly seen in schools does not lead to positive behavior change for students (Sasso, Conroy, Stichter, & Fox, 2001; Scott & Kamps, 2007). Thus, there are two primary questions for consideration. First, what adaptations are needed so that the FBA/BIP process is feasible for use by school practitioners who may not have the level of skills possessed by those in behavioral clinical settings? Second, if the process is adapted so that it is simpler and more efficient for use by school practitioners, how can the effectiveness of the process be ensured? There is a need to balance feasibility and quality so that school personnel will consistently implement a technically sound FBA/BIP process. As noted by Terrance Scott FBA, when implemented insufficiently, is neither effective nor efficient (Scott et al., 2004).
From Tier 3 Blueprint: In a 2007 special issue of Behavior Disorders, Scott and Kamps described the future of FBA/BIP implementation in schools for students with emotional and behavior disorders by discussing existent contextual considerations in schools that impact the willingness of educators to implement effective FBAs. The primary barrier discussed was educators perception that FBAs and BIPs require too many resources in time and skills to do the process effectively and with fidelity.
11How Behavior Analysts Can Make Applications of ABA More User-Friendly for EducatorsInclude what is essential trim the restAvoid excessive use of descriptive FBAs, with:Multiple interviewsUse of screening toolsLengthy naturalistic observationsResulting interventions are more likely to failWeak function-to-intervention linkageEducators become frustrated with slow process or lack of positive outcomesAvoidance of ABA approaches increasesFrom Tier 3 Blueprint: A more recent study by Cook et al. (2012) explored whether typical school personnel could be trained to develop technically adequate function-linked behavior support plans with minimal researcher involvement. In addition, the study examined whether plans that included more essential components resulted in better student outcomes than plans missing components. Finally, the authors also explored the link between quality of behavior support plans and fidelity of implementation. Results of the study indicated that: (a) school teams could develop behavior plans that included evidence-based components with minimal researcher involvement; (b) plans that included more essential components were significantly more effective in improving student behavior than plans missing components; and (c) support plans that included more essential components were implemented with higher fidelity than plans missing components and were associated with improved student outcomes.Cook, C. R., Mayer, G. R., Wright, D. B., Kraemer, B., Wallace, M. D., Dart, E., Restori, A. (2012). Exploring the link among behavior intervention plans, treatment integrity, and student outcomes under natural educational conditions.The Journal of Special Education,46, 3-16.
13Promote increased use of hypothesis testing (functional analysis):Limited interview using open-ended tools (e.g., Greg Hanley)Limited observationQuickly develop hypothesis and test itWhen feasible, conduct classroom trial-based functional analyses (refer to Sarah Blooms research)When a skill deficit is identified, teach the skill and test the outcomesdeveloped by Patrick McGreevy and Troy Fry, with assistance from Colleen Cornwall and Janine ShapiroCommunication, behavior, and functional skillsassessment, curriculum, and skill-tracking instrument for both children and adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities, including autism. Especially useful for learners with limited communication repertoires, limited daily living skills, or severe problem behavior.for developing long-term goals and short-term objectives for IEPs or support plansfor tracking skill acquisition and problem behavior
behaviorchange.comEssential 8 Skills
Improve Assessment and Intervention Plan ReadabilityBehavior analysts often write in a technical style for an audience of other behavior analystsMuch jargonLengthy documentsAPA stylePages filled with text, limited illustrationsImprove Assessment and Intervention Plan ReadabilityWrite for educators and parents (lay-persons)General public prefers: Conversation style with intended benefits added(Rolider, Axelrod, and Van Houten, 1998; Rolider and Axelrod in Heward et al. Focus on Behavior in Education)Reduce technical jargonAsk for feedback on readability Measure readability: www.readabilityformulas.comImprove Assessment and Intervention Plan ReadabilityConstruct Job AidsAPBA Newsletter December 2008 - Practitioner's notebook - Acknowledging the Multiple Functions of Written Behavior Plans - James E. CarrUse diagrams and flow chartsUse checklistsSupports training and integrity monitoringStandard practice in other professions (surgeons, pilots, military)Atul Gawande Checklist ManifestoImprove Training MethodsAvoid:Basic awareness level PowerPoint presentationsOne-shot in-services or multi-day training institutesNot sufficient in generalizing knowledge to using new practices Promote skill-based training strategies including:role play and modelingjob-embedded activities in a wide variety of settingscoaching and performance feedbacklinking of practices to student outcomesongoing support (Fixsen et al. 2005; Joyce & Showers, 2002; Shellady & Stichter, 1999; Van Acker et al., 2005 in Tier 3 Blueprint)Not sufficient in generalizing knowledge to using new practices (Conroy et al., 2000; Fixsen et al., 2005; Scott, Liaupsin, et al., 2005)
20Dispel Myths Correct Misinformation About ABAMechanistic kids just need unconditional loveM & M therapyBribes kids into behavingDestroys intrinsic motivationTurns kids into robotsOnly effective with developmentally disabledDispel Myths Correct Misinformation About ABAMyths may be contacted in college experiences and textbooksMyths may be shared by peers Educators need greater access to user-friendly sources of : Factual ABA knowledgeStories of successful FBAs and BIPs with studentsRolider and Axelrod in Heward et al. Focus on Behavior in Education(IDEA) since 1997, no consistent guidelines or clear standards for effective practices and essential components exist, leaving the interpretation and establishment of FBA/BIP procedures to states and districts, which often produce inconsistent and low quality processes and products yielding