Experiences of BCBA Practitioners

Practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment implementation experiences by BCBAs working in clinics, schools, and homes are highlighted on this page. These videos may be useful to share with parents or other professionals who are unfamiliar with practical functional assessment processes or with skill-based treatments derived from analyses.

Click HERE MG picto learn about one of the experiences of Mahshid Ghaemmaghami, M.A., BCBA, who has been applying the practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment process in an outpatient clinic, schools, and homes since 2013. In this detailed vignette, she describes the process when applied with a young boy diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, Generalized Anxiety disorder, and ADHD.

Click HERE to lLH Photoearn about one of the experiences of Laura Hanratty, M.A., BCBA, who has been applying the practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment process in an outpatient clinic and homes since 2012. In this vignette, Laura describes the process in the context of helping a family with twin boys newly diagnosed with autism.

Click JessHERE to learn about one of the experiences of Jessica Slaton, M.S., BCBA, who has been applying the practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment process in schools and homes since 2014. In this vignette, she describes the process when applied in a home with a boy named Max diagnosed with Autism.

Play the video for an update on Max’s progress by clicking HERE.


Key features of the experiences shared on this page:

  • The functional assessment process starts with an open-ended interview in which a parent or teacher is given the chance to describe in detail the conditions that seem to evoke the problem behavior and the conditions under which the problem behavior is unlikely.
  • A functional analysis is conducted to verify the hunch from the interview regarding the reinforcement contingency influencing problem behavior. The important safety and efficiency features of the functional analyses are:
    • The materials and interactions arranged in the analysis are all informed from the open-ended interview.
    • Reinforcement contingencies that are suspected of co-occurring and interacting in the natural environment are simultaneously arranged in a single test condition in the analysis (referred to as a synthesized contingency).
    • The synthesized reinforcers are immediately provided following the first instance of dangerous problem behavior or following the first instance of behavior reported to often times precede or co-occur with the more troublesome behavior.
    • The control condition is designed from the test condition in that everything is the same in the test and control conditions with the exception that the suspected reinforcers are available freely and continuously available in the control conditions (i.e., only the contingency is removed in the control condition).
  • All treatments involve the progressive strengthening of functional communication responses (FCRs), delay tolerance responses, and compliance with varied but reasonable expectations during delays. All treatments conclude with intermittent and unpredictable reinforcement of these three behaviors (communication, toleration, and compliance), resulting in a balance of child-led and adult-led interactions, which has a natural fit in homes and schools.

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