Welcome to Behaviorbabe
Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

Welcome to Behaviorbabe

Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

Top 10 Tips for Teachers by Amanda N. Kelly, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

ABA in Classroom Settings

This page is dedicated to discussing information pertaining to successful integration of ABA practices in classroom settings. Click the underlined hyperlinked title to access the full article/information.

Behavior management in the classroom is a skill that takes years to develop. Learn from Dr. Amanda Kelly, PhD, BCBA-D, as she presents lessons learned from years in the field of behavior management. Participants will get 10 useful tips that they can apply right away to their educational settings! In this webinar, you’ll learn helpful tips for preventing behavior-related problems and proactive recommendations for setting reinforcing expectations. 

No More Random Acts of Intervention By Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA

"While the suggestions they get may prove helpful at times, this kind of off-the-cuff consultation, based on instinct and a desire to help, doesn’t result in a systematic behavior analysis that can effect real change. A teacher may spend the entire year unsuccessfully trying these random acts of intervention, suggested by everyone from the occupational therapist who comes in to work with a small group to the reading specialist pulling a student out for a lesson to the math coach passing in the hallway. The ten questions below will generate interventions that actually make a difference."

A classroom teaching technique that increases participation and decreases disruption is active student responding (ASR). Active student responding measures include guided notes, response cards, and choral responding. Each have their advantages and times in which they may be more useful than another.

The benefits to active student responding is that it allows for informal assessment of student skills, provides increased opportunity to respond (and receive reinforcement), teachers report that methods are easy to implement, and students report finding it to be fun! This presentation will review the three types of ASR methods and will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

"Students’ behavior is a form of communication and when it’s negative it almost always stems from an underlying cause. There are many reasons kids might be acting out, which makes it difficult for a teacher in a crowded classroom to figure out the root cause. But even if there was time and space to do so, most teachers receive very little training in behavior during their credentialing programs. On average, teacher training programs mandate zero to one classes on behavior and zero to one courses on mental health. Teacher training programs mostly assume that kids in public schools will be “typical,” but that assumption can handicap teachers when they get into real classrooms."

 If an instructor implements a behavior strategy that does not reduce the inappropriate behavior or increase the appropriate behavior, then we must investigate what may be prohibiting that behavior change. This often involves determining the needs of the students and working to meet those needs. Behavior strategies do not dismiss the needs of students, in fact quite the opposite, it is used to develop more appropriate strategies for students to get their needs met. The bottom line is, each of these strategies can be considered a tool for managing classroom behavior. With any tool, the user must learn how to use it properly. 

"When I was a classroom teacher, I had both good and bad experiences with consultants. Teachers have the overwhelming responsibility to juggle 20 or more students, curriculums, state assessments — plus parents. Therefore, when dealing with a student who exhibits challenging behavior, the consultation should be reassuring and accessible without adding to the teacher’s stress level. Today, as a behavior analyst, I continue to learn valuable lessons from front-line teachers on how best to consult to them. I’ve found the more closely I work with teachers, the better equipped I am to help them handle the classroom. I translate the lessons I learn from one teacher into new ways to help another who’s handling a similar situation. Without a doubt, when the consultant is open to being taught, everyone benefits."

When Professionals Disagree Over Treatment Decisions
By Amanda N. Kelly, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

ATS hosted a webinar to give BCBAs a chance to air their questions anonymously to Dr. Amanda N. Kelly – a talented BCBA-D with many years of experience with ethics in behavior analysis.  There was one question in particular that kept coming up – and it’s one most BCBAs working with individuals with autism will face pretty regularly.  We wanted to share this question and Dr. Kelly’s feedback in hopes that it will help some of you face this dilemma“What should a BCBA do when a family chooses to follow another professionals’ recommendation, when that advice differs from, or is in direct conflict with, the principles of the behavior program?”

Why Time-Outs Don’t Always Work By Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA

One size does not fit all when it comes to consequences and time-outs are no exception. Consequences are a small part of changing a student’s behavior in addition to teaching new skills and using preventative interventions. However, teachers do need to respond to a student’s challenging behavior in a way that will prevent reoccurrence. Time-outs don’t work for everyone and teachers who don’t understand when they should avoid using them could be accidentally intensifying the behavior of some students.

When you and your child’s teacher do not agree 
By Jessica Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D

The importance of a good relationship fit for teachers and students is crucial, and of equal importance is the relationship between parents and teachers. A positive partnership between parents and teachers has far reaching benefits. Research has shown students earn better grades, have more positive attitudes toward school, attend school more regularly, and engage in more positive behavior when their teacher and parents have a good relationship.


Small Wonders, Big Gains:
The Preschool Autism Classroom

This video is a snapshot of what a preschool autism classroom looks like. A parent, a teacher, and a behavioral specialist provide insight and expertise on the role of early intervention and how it may influence the academic and social interaction of preschool children on the autism spectrum.


ABA Autism Classroom (Case Study 2012)


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is used in this classroom curriculum to teach children along the Autism spectrum. This case study documents several classes of autistic children over the course of one school year to document each classroom's effectiveness in the student's academic and social development.


ABA Autism Classroom 
(Case Study 2008)

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is used in this classroom curriculum to teach children along the Autism spectrum. This case study documents several classes of autistic children over the course of one school year to document each classroom's effectiveness in the student's academic and social development. 

Understanding Autism:
A Guide for Secondary School Teachers (Part 1)

The first of four segments ("Characteristics") in Understanding Autism: A Guide for Secondary Teachers. The DVD is designed to provide general education teachers with strategies for supporting their middle and high school students with autism.

At the end of this segment, viewers will be able to: (1) Describe how autism impacts learners; (2) Indicate how the characteristics of autism impacts individuals in a school setting; and (3) Understand that autism manifests itself differently in individual learners.


High School, Autism, and ABA, Oh My!

Make sure your district partners with you to provide therapeutic support during the exciting and overwhelming transition to high school!

For ABA to be successful in schools...

Demetria Soulounias Arriaga ABA therapists must be willing to jump in the trenches with teachers and staff and build rapport before writing 40 page behavior plans and/or asking for data!!!!
Behaviorbabe and avoid writing 40 page behavior plans!!!
Kevin Danzig ...it must be more approachable and accessible than other "strategies" like Restorative Discipline, Ruby Payne, and Leader In Me schools. It must be kind, considerate, and digestible to people that are not in ABA.
Behaviorbabe Cheryl - I've had a teacher who found wearing bracelets helped her remember to make 10 positive comments. The "data" was # of bracelets on left wrist at end of lesson!
Cheryl Coleman We'll try it! Our goal is at least 80% implementation by the end of the school year as a tier one strategy. Thanks!
Kate Disney You need collaboration. (An opportunity>actionable recommendations/interventions>success/effective>buy in) When teachers and admin see interventions "working" they are more likely to continue with it and collaborate.
Marisabel Portillo Paraprofessionals should be given the proper training they deserve, with a collaborative effort from the Team, BCBA and Special Education department
Yasaman Dianat Khanmalek Interventions should be developed with the whole classroom environment in mind (I have a few of these since I'm a BCBA working in a district)
Yasaman Dianat Khanmalek meaning we may not be able to implement full extinction procedures or consistent FR reinforcement schedules due to the intermittent reinforcement/punishment schedules in play by other staff/students....Send me a PM we can share war stories ;)
Dawn Collamer-Goehring Help schools by collaborating with them in a way that gives them an understanding of the most effective evidence based interventions by modeling and coaching what we are suggesting.
Josh Wilkinson There needs to be buy in from the teacher and support staff. Because no matter how well and intervention is written if there is no buy in from the people that are going to be implementing the program it will not work.
Eric Zeissig Commit to a long-term process for change, establish a structure for support, keep it simple and sustainable, and provide positive reinforcement for implementation.
Yasaman Dianat Khanmalek Love it: simple and sustainable
Yasaman Dianat Khanmalek BCBAs should use less behavior jargon and speak using education related terminology
Rose Griffin This is such a great point and as bcba's our ethical code really points out that speaking in jargon is not appropriate if the team does not understand it
Nick Sunley There needs to be a realization that what we do can be beneficial for everyone, not just kids with problem behaviors.
Naomi Ka'ae Tachera You should have a BCBA supervising staff implementing ABA
Nikki Behrens Bilderback ... there needs to be a willingness to work together to implement strategies that will benefit the learner and a commitment to using those strategies.
Yasaman Dianat Khanmalek You have to have staff buy in to get collaboration. You have to understand teacher EO/MOs
Kristen Storey Training teachers and assistants to understand why you're doing the things you do is critical for them to buy in.
Timothy James Clear value needs to be created and demonstrated for everyone involved
Colleen Congdon You need adequate numbers of trained staff! (Teacher, paras, supervising BCBA)
Hanaa Vina McDermott they must have full support from the administration, including appropriate and sufficient training for ALL!
Yasaman Dianat Khanmalek Don't ask teachers to collect data that are too cumbersome
AR Lambert Training for ALL staff must be a priority!!!
Molly Benson ...ABA first must be allowed in.
Keri Sullivan Also bcba need to understand an IEP and what it means
Jehn Reale We need everyone on the same team and commited!
Becca Marie It has to be a priority to the school
Donna Newtognano Paraprofessionals will good buy in and training
Lissa Leigh Hire a BCBA!
Suzanne Mancil Teacher training in all universities much change.
Marjorie Hansen Teachers and EA's should have a clear understanding on the basic principles of ABA. It should be a pre-requisite for teaching and EA certification. Most of the general . education teachers and EAs I worked with don't have any knowledge on what ABA is. Some districts require an ABA certification before they get hired as EAs.
( this in BC Canada)
Hannah Macadaeg I couldn't agree more. I say this all the time. So many educators don't even know what ABA is much less how to apply simple principles which could improve the learning experience for all students. I highly recommend having ABA coursework built into teacher credentialing programs.
Jenna Pollard Sage Need to collaborate in a mutual relationship of expertise. Teachers know the classroom, school system, and driving laws and policies. BCBAs know the science of behavior. Both must work together to create meaningful, doable interventions without judgement of knowledge and in the best interest of the student(s).
Julee Wright Dunn There has to be better training for all staff! Our paraprofessionals have no opportunity for extra training.
Shelly Michalak Teachers need to be receiving solid applied behavior analysis training and supportive feedback while in school andor in their clockhours, doable attainable strategies that get results, that they have time to learn and practice.....we have to meet them where they are at, show them it can work and lead to them bing reinforced by their student 's success!
Keri Sullivan Honestly pay needs to be better - as a bcba in the schools it's hard to stay because the pay is so much better in the private sector but I started as a teacher and I know the difference I can make but the rest will come when the salaries are more competitive for bcba to want to be in the schools
Jeannette Jamerson We must disseminate the evidence to schools. This evidence must also include socially valid outcomes for the students and STAFF with the interventions implemented and monitored by us that thoughtfully consider all the variables that make treatment integrity possible.
Kait Mendall Administrators need to have a basic understanding of and support ABA based interventions (I.e. Not responding in a dramatic fashion to a child who is shouting swears)
Vanessa Beibide-Zanetich That ABA is a methodology that can be used in all aspects of education, it is good for all... not for some.
Rose Griffin Oh one more thing behavior babe- speech therapists need specialized training as do other related service providers
Brittany Paquet Bauerle BCBA's have to work TOGETHER with staff, even if it isn't the programming you would usually implement - take data!
Della Tam we need open-minded teachers, well-rounded Behaviour Analysts, and compassionate children. :-)
Maria Ferlick Training and supervision need to be a priority, not an afterthought.
Cheryl Young-Pelton Teachers and administrators must embrace it and work to support every aspect of ABA (not just DTT).
Rose Griffin Collaboration and ongoing training are key!!
Tiffany Louise Behavior analysts need to remember they are entering the teacher's classroom. The teachers need to remember that the behavior analyst is there to help them and the student, not to pass judgment or completely change their teaching style.
Sarah Thomas We must understand it is marathon, not a sprint!