ABA Case Study Interventions: Intervention Strategies

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ABA Case Study Interventions: Intervention Strategies

ShariLynn

Gender: Female
Age: 13 years old
Grade: 7th
Guardians: Mother and father, married.

Home life: ShariLynn has six brothers and sisters who range in age from three to 18. Her family life is stable, but she does not always receive the attention she needs because she has so many siblings. Because she is the oldest girl, ShariLynn is often expected to do housework and care for younger siblings, and she sometimes resents this, especially because her brothers do not have the same chores. Her parents rarely have time to attend her sporting events, and this saddens her.

Diagnosis: ShariLynn was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when she was six years old. She also has a learning disability in reading. As a younger child, she did not function well socially, but after years of therapy, her social skills have improved significantly. Like many middle school students, she is concerned about fitting in. ShariLynn is also a talented athlete who plays soccer and recently qualified for the track team.

Description of behavior: Based on ABC data gathered, screaming and falling to the ground is most likely to occur when ShariLynn is asked to do something such as attend a speech therapy session. After engaging in the behavior, she is also frequently allowed to escape (that is, she is not required to attend the therapy session). The topography of her escaped-maintained behavior takes the form of screaming and falling to the floor out of protest.

Previous treatment and interventions: ShariLynn has been seeing a speech pathologist for five years. As a younger child, her social skills were weak and she was uncommunicative, but her social skills have improved greatly after ABA therapy. ShariLynn is in regular education classrooms, and also receives daily special education services in speech and language therapy. She also sees a speech pathologist outside of school. Although she likes the special education teachers, she fears that her peers will make fun of her disabilities.

Suggestions for treatment: Answer the following questions about possible treatment for ShariLynn:

QUESTION 1 of 20

Which would be the most important target behavior for ShariLynn based on the information provided in the case study?

Select one answer

Correcta) Falling to the ground and screaming

Correct. Falling to the ground and screaming are the most important target behaviors to target for change in this scenario. They are specific and have social significance for ShariLynn, as they are interfering with her daily life and her academic career.

  1. b) Hitting

Incorrect. There is no observation of hitting behavior presented in the case study. The target behavior to reduce is falling to the ground and screaming.

  1. c) Delayed speech

Incorrect. Although it was identified that ShariLynn attends speech therapy, delayed speech is not the behavior that is most important to target. The target behavior to reduce is falling to the ground and screaming.

  1. d) Anger

Incorrect. Anger is not a behavior. Behaviors are observable and measurable. The target behavior to reduce is falling to the ground and screaming.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is correct.

QUESTION 2 of 20

Which would be the best operational definition for ShariLynn’s target behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Expelling saliva from the mouth

Incorrect. There is nothing in the case study about expelling saliva from the mouth. The best operational definition would be, ‘Any occurrence where ShariLynn exhibits screaming and/or falling to the floor to protest having to attend special education class and/or speech therapy classes. A new occurrence is separated by 5 seconds of calm.’

Correctb) Any occurrence where ShariLynn exhibits screaming and/or falling to the floor to protest having to attend special education class and/or speech therapy classes. A new occurrence is separated by 5 seconds of calm.

Correct. This definition is specific, has a temporal component, and would result in a high IOA.

  1. c) Any occurrence where ShariLynn exhibits screaming.

Incorrect. This definition is not thorough enough, as it does not include information on falling to the ground or a temporal component. The best operational definition would be, ‘Any occurrence where ShariLynn exhibits screaming and/or falling to the floor to protest having to attend special education class and/or speech therapy classes. A new occurrence is separated by 5 seconds of calm.’

  1. d) Any occurrences where ShariLynn exhibits falling to the ground. A new occurrence is separated by 5 seconds of calm.

Incorrect. This definition is not thorough enough, as it does not include information on screaming. The best operational definition would be, ‘Any occurrence where ShariLynn exhibits screaming and/or falling to the floor to protest having to attend special education class and/or speech therapy classes. A new occurrence is separated by 5 seconds of calm.’

FEEDBACK

Your answer is correct.

QUESTION 3 of 20

What could be a hypothesized function for ShariLynn’s behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Attention-seeking behavior

Incorrect. Attention-seeking behavior is behavior, not a function for behavior. A hypothesized function for ShariLynn’s behavior is escape/avoidance, because her screaming and falling to the ground behavior helped her escape from speech therapy sessions.

  1. b) Denied access

Incorrect. Denied access behavior occurs when an individual no longer has access to desired stimuli. A hypothesized function for ShariLynn’s behavior is escape/avoidance, because her screaming and falling to the ground behavior helped her escape from speech therapy sessions.

  1. c) Automatic reinforcement

Incorrect. Reinforcement encourages behavior, but is not an explanation for its function. A hypothesized function for ShariLynn’s behavior is escape/avoidance, because her screaming and falling to the ground behavior helped her escape from speech therapy sessions.

Correctd) Escape/avoidance

Correct. Escape/avoidance is a contingency in which a response terminates (that is, produces escape from) an ongoing stimulus. ShariLynn was engaging in screaming and falling to the ground to avoid going to her speech therapy sessions.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is correct.

QUESTION 4 of 20

Based on ShariLynn’s case study, what behavioral strategy could be implemented to reduce the occurrences of the maladaptive behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Token economy

Incorrect. A token economy is a system of generalized learned reinforcers in which the individual who receives them can save them and exchange them for a variety of backup reinforcers later. This could be an effective strategy, but is not the only one that could work.

  1. b) Behavior momentum

Incorrect. Behavior momentum is a metaphor to describe a rate of responding and its resistance to change following an alteration in reinforcement conditions. The momentum metaphor has also been used to describe the effects produced by the high-p request sequence. This could be an effective strategy, but is not the only one that could work.

  1. c) Contingency contract

Incorrect. A contingency contract is a mutually agreed-upon document between parties (ShariLynn and her therapists) that specifies a contingent relationship between the completion of specified behavior(s) and access to specified reinforcer(s). This could be an effective strategy, but is not the only one that could work.

Correctd) All of the above

Correct. Token economy, behavior momentum, and a contingency contract could all be effective in reducing ShariLynn’s escape/avoidance maintained behavior.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is correct.

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ABA Case Study Interventions: Intervention Strategies

Isaac

Gender: Male
Age: 12 years old
Grade: 7th
Guardians: Mother and father, married.

Home life: Isaac has two younger brothers who are eight and six. His parents are married, but there has been a good deal of tension in their marriage and they may separate. Isaac’s mother is a special education teacher, and his father resents the amount of time and energy his mother spends helping Isaac with his behavioral and health conditions.

Diagnosis: Isaac was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder level 1 (previously known as Asperger syndrome) when he was eight years old. He also has severe food allergies and gastrointestinal problems, and as a result he is underweight. Isaac is highly intelligent, although his reading and writing skills are slightly below grade level. He has always shown a strong interest and aptitude for science. Three months ago, Isaac was hospitalized for an extensive period of time after a surgery that addressed his gastrointestinal problems. He missed several weeks of school and his grades have suffered.

Description of behavior: Isaac has always struggled socially and has sometimes dealt with bullies, but in elementary school he always had a few friends and did not have serious behavioral problems. Since beginning middle school this past year, Isaac has become withdrawn and antisocial. He also becomes uncomfortable in noisy environments. The biggest challenge that has been observed, and the reason for this referral, is when Isaac is in a new environment that encompasses a large crowd, Isaac will immediately cover his ears while rocking back and forth. Based on the ABC data gathered from a registered behavior technician, this behavior seems to occur independent of any social mediation.

Previous treatment and interventions: Isaac has worked with a therapist in the past who used Discrete Trial Training (DTT), a style of teaching that uses a series of trials to teach each step of a desired behavior or response. Lessons are broken down into their simplest parts and positive reinforcement is used to reward correct answers and behaviors.

Suggestions for treatment: Answer the following questions about possible treatment for Isaac:

QUESTION 5 of 20

Which would be the best target behavior for Isaac based on the information provided in the case study?

Select one answer

Correcta) Covering ears and rocking

Correct. Covering ears and rocking is the best target behavior to target for change in this scenario. It is specific and has social significance for Isaac.

  1. b) Yelling

Incorrect. Although this target behavior is specific, it was not identified as a potential target behavior in the case study. Covering ears and rocking is the best target behavior to target for change in this scenario. It is specific and has social significance for Isaac.

  1. c) Thinking it is loud

Incorrect. This option is considered mentalistic and would not be an appropriate choice. Covering ears and rocking is the best target behavior to target for change in this scenario. It is specific and has social significance for Isaac.

Incorrectd) Exhibiting loud noise

Incorrect. Although loud environments seem to be a trigger for Isaac, the analyst needs to find the most important dimension of the target behavior to be effective. Covering ears and rocking is the best behavior to target for change in this scenario. It is specific and has social significance for Isaac.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is a.

QUESTION 6 of 20

Which is the best operational definition for Isaac’s target behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Any occurrence where Isaac enters into a large group of people and covers his ears. This large group of individuals can be in a quiet or noisy space.

Incorrect. This option is not thorough enough. The best operational definition is, ‘Any occurrence where Isaac enters into a large group of people and covers his ears while rocking back and forth. This large group of individuals can be in a quiet or noisy space.’ This definition is specific, objective, and describes behavior that can be observed.

  1. b) Any occurrence where Isaac enters into a large group of people and covers his ears while rocking back and forth

Incorrect. This option is not thorough enough. The best operational definition is, ‘Any occurrence where Isaac enters into a large group of people and covers his ears while rocking back and forth. This large group of individuals can be in a quiet or noisy space.’ This definition is specific, objective, and describes behavior that can be observed.

Correctc) Any occurrence where Isaac enters into a large group of people and covers his ears while rocking back and forth. This large group of individuals can be in a quiet or noisy space.

Correct. This definition is specific, objective, and describes behavior that can be observed.

  1. d) All of the above

Incorrect. The best operational definition is, ‘Any occurrence where Isaac enters into a large group of people and covers his ears while rocking back and forth. This large group of individuals can be in a quiet or noisy space.’ This definition is specific, objective, and describes behavior that can be observed.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is correct.

QUESTION 7 of 20

What could be a hypothesized function for Isaac’s behavior?

Select one answer

Incorrecta) Denied access

Incorrect. Denied access behavior occurs when an individual no long has access to desired stimuli. For Isaac, crowds do not appear to be a desired stimulus.

  1. b) Attention-seeking behavior

Incorrect. Attention-seeking behavior is behavior, not a function for behavior. A hypothesized function for Isaac’s behavior is automatic reinforcement, which is reinforcement that occurs independent of the social mediation of others. Isaac’s target behaviors may be self-stimulatory.

Correctc) Automatic reinforcement

Correct. Automatic reinforcement occurs independent of the social mediation of others. Isaac’s target behaviors may be self-stimulatory.

  1. d) Escape/avoidance

Incorrect. Escape/avoidance is a contingency in which a response terminates (that is, produces escape from) an ongoing stimulus. Isaac’s behavior is not a method to escape from crowds.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is c.

QUESTION 8 of 20

What behavioral strategy could be implemented to reduce the occurrences of Isaac’s maladaptive behavior?

Select one answer

Correcta) A desensitization program

Correct. Desensitization involves substituting one behavior, generally muscle relaxation, for the unwanted behavior (the fear and anxiety). The client develops a hierarchy of situations from the least to the most fearful, and then learns to relax while imagining these anxiety-producing situations, first the least fearful situation, then the next fearful one, and so on (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007, p. 606). This would be a good strategy for reducing Isaac’s target behavior.

  1. b) Time-out

Incorrect. A time-out is a response-contingent removal of access to a reinforcer, resulting in a decreased frequency of that response. In this situation, putting Isaac in time-out would only reinforce the target behavior of covering his ears and rocking. The best behavioral strategy would be a desensitization program, in which the therapist substituted a new behavior like muscle relaxation for the unwanted behavior.

Incorrectc) Extinction

Incorrect. Extinction is when the therapist discontinues reinforcement of a previously reinforced behavior. Isaac’s behavior has not been reinforced. The best behavioral strategy would be a desensitization program, in which the therapist substituted a new behavior like muscle relaxation for the unwanted behavior.

  1. d) Overcorrection

Incorrect. Overcorrection is the contingency of inappropriate behaviors requiring the person to engage in an effortful response that more than corrects the effects of the inappropriate behaviors. This would not be the best option in this case, as there is no need to engage in effortful responses. The best behavioral strategy would be a desensitization program, in which the therapist substituted a new behavior like muscle relaxation for the unwanted behavior.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is a.

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Haysem

Gender: Male
Age: 5 years old
Grade: Kindergarten
Guardians: Mother and father, married. The maternal grandmother and an aunt live in Haysem’s home.

Home life: Haysem lives with three older siblings, his parents, and several extended family members. The family is struggling financially but is getting by with the help of close-knit family members and the local Somali immigrant community. Although overwhelmed by her family obligations, Haysem’s mother has been diligent about getting early intervention treatment for her son.

Diagnosis: Haysem was diagnosed with ASD at age three. From an early age, Haysem’s mother noticed that he communicated differently than their older children. He rarely responded to his name, made eye contact, or smiled, and at age two he was not speaking. Since there is a high rate of autism among Somali children, Haysem’s mother suspected ASD and was able to find a social service agency to help him.

Description of behavior: Haysem has difficulty communicating with his peers and teachers and usually fails to respond when someone speaks to him. He does not initiate conversation and rarely makes eye contact. In the past few months, Haysem has started losing his temper frequently, sometimes in response to another child trying to communicate with him or touch him. In a typical episode, Haysem will remove objects from the vicinity and throw them on the floor. Based on the ABC data gathered, Haysem engages in this behavior when a preferred item is within view but not in his possession. After Haysem throws items, he will get access to the preferred item.

Previous treatment and interventions: Haysem has worked with several counselors, and his mother has been diligent about working on exercises with Haysem at home. To date, Haysem’s therapy has focused on pivotal response treatment (PRT), a naturalistic intervention derived from ABA principles. Instead of individual behaviors, PRT targets pivotal areas of a child’s development, such as motivation, responsivity to multiple cues, self-management, and social initiations.

Suggestions for treatment: Answer the following questions about possible treatment for Haysem:

QUESTION 9 of 20

Which would be the best target behavior for Haysem, based on the information provided in the case study?

Select one answer

Correcta) Property destruction

Correct. Property destruction is a specific, objective and observable behavior.

  1. b) Thinking about throwing

Incorrect. Thinking about throwing is a mentalistic behavior that is neither observable nor objective. The best target behavior for reduction is property destruction, which is specific, objective, and measurable.

Incorrectc) Hitting

Incorrect. Although hitting is objective, specific and observable, this target behavior was not disclosed in the case study. The best target behavior for reduction is property destruction, which is specific, objective, and measurable.

  1. d) Kicking

Incorrect. Although kicking is objective, specific and observable, this target behavior was not disclosed in the case study. The best target behavior for reduction is property destruction, which is specific, objective, and measurable.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is a.

QUESTION 10 of 20

What is a potential replacement behavior for Haysem to reduce his challenging behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Teaching Haysem an intraverbal

Incorrect. Although teaching a child to engage in intraverbal skills is beneficial to increase conversational skills, it is not the most appropriate replacement behavior to decrease Haysem’s challenging behavior. Teaching Haysem an appropriate mand would be a better replacement behavior to reduce his challenging behavior, because he will not resort in property destruction to get his needs met.

  1. b) Teaching Haysem how to engage in a listener responding

Incorrect. Although teaching a child to engage in listener responding skills is beneficial, it is not the most appropriate replacement behavior to decrease Haysem’s challenging behavior. Teaching Haysem an appropriate mand would be a better replacement behavior to reduce his challenging behavior, because he will not resort in property destruction to get his needs met.

  1. c) Teaching Haysem a new tact

Incorrect. Although teaching a child to engage in tacting skills is beneficial, it is not the most appropriate replacement behavior to decrease Haysem’s challenging behavior. Teaching Haysem an appropriate mand would be a better replacement behavior to reduce his challenging behavior, because he will not resort in property destruction to get his needs met. Also, mands should be taught before tacts.

Correctd) Teaching Haysem an appropriate mand

Correct. Teaching mands is important for the early development of language. Teaching Haysem an appropriate mand will likely reduce his challenging behaviors. because he will not resort in property destruction to get his needs met.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is correct.

QUESTION 11 of 20

What could be a hypothesized function for Haysem’s challenging behavior?

Select one answer

Incorrecta) Automatic reinforcement

Incorrect. This is reinforcement that occurs independent of the social mediation of others. Haysem’s behavior does not occur independent of others. A hypothesized function for Isaac’s behavior is positive reinforcement in the form of access to items. It is likely that he does not have the skills to request his wants and needs, and exhibits maladaptive behaviors to express himself.

  1. b) Denied access

Incorrect. Denied access behavior occurs when an individual has been denied access to desired stimuli. Isaac is not displaying the maladaptive behavior when he is denied items. A hypothesized function for Isaac’s behavior is positive reinforcement in the form of access to items. It is likely that he does not have the skills to request his wants and needs for these items, and exhibits maladaptive behaviors to express himself.

  1. c) Attention seeking behavior

Incorrect. Attention-seeking behavior is behavior, not a function for behavior. A hypothesized function for Isaac’s behavior is positive reinforcement in the form of access to items. It is likely that he does not have the skills to request his wants and needs, and exhibits maladaptive behaviors to express himself.

Correctd) Positive reinforcement

Correct. A hypothesized function for Isaac’s behavior is positive reinforcement, in the form of access to items. It is likely that he does not have the skills to request his wants and needs, and exhibits maladaptive behaviors to express himself.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is d.

QUESTION 12 of 20

What is a behavioral strategy that could be implemented to reduce the occurrences of Haysem’s maladaptive behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Extinction

Incorrect. Extinction is when the therapist discontinues reinforcement of a previously reinforced behavior. Haysem’s behavior has not been reinforced by the therapist. A behavior strategy that might help reduce Haysem’s behavior is functional communication training, where appropriate communication behavior is taught as a replacement for problem behavior, usually evoked by an establishing operation. This will teach him how to appropriately express his wants and needs while concurrently reducing problem behaviors.

Incorrectb) Tact training

Incorrect. A tact is a label of something a person sees, hears, smells, tastes, or touches. Tact training is explicitly teaching someone how to do this labeling. Teaching Haysem how to label an object is not likely to reduce his throwing behavior. A behavior strategy that might help reduce Haysem’s behavior is functional communication training, where appropriate communication behavior is taught as a replacement for problem behavior, usually evoked by an establishing operation. This will teach him how to appropriately express his wants and needs while concurrently reducing problem behaviors.

Correctc) Functional communication training

Correct. An antecedent intervention in which an appropriate communication behavior is taught as a replacement behavior for problem behavior usually evoked by an establishing operation. This is a great behavioral strategy for Haysem because it will teach him how to appropriately express his wants and needs while concurrently reducing problem behaviors.

  1. d) Time-out

Incorrect. This is a response-contingent removal of access to a reinforcer, resulting in a decreased frequency of that response. Putting Haysem in time-out will not teach him a replacement behavior. A behavior strategy that might help reduce Haysem’s behavior is functional communication training, where appropriate communication behavior is taught as a replacement for problem behavior, usually evoked by an establishing operation. This will teach him how to appropriately express his wants and needs while concurrently reducing problem behaviors.

Mariana

Gender: Female
Age: 6 years old
Grade: 1st
Guardians: Mother and father, divorced; stepparents.

Home life: Mariana lives with her mother, stepfather, an 11-year-old sister, and a two-year-old half-brother. Mariana’s parents divorced when she was five, and her mother remarried when she was eight. Her father, who is remarried, lives in the same town and has always been a part of his daughters’ lives. However, Mariana hasn’t seen him in almost a year because he is in the Army and is deployed overseas.

Diagnosis: Mariana was diagnosed with ASD at age 4. She also has a seizure disorder for which she has been hospitalized. She has marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors, such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction.

Description of behavior: Mariana runs away from other children. She hides in the bathroom and has to be taken out by the teacher. She frequently fails to respond to or understand the teacher’s requests. Mariana is very particular about food and will only eat a small handful of things. Her mother is concerned about her weight as she is under the suggested weight that an eight-year-old should be. She sometimes exhibits repetitive motor movements, although this behavior has improved.

Previous treatment and interventions: Behavior interventions have been designed to encourage appropriate behavior for Mariana (such as getting dressed or talking to other people) and to discourage inappropriate behavior (such as self-harm or aggression toward others). Mariana’s parents and teachers broke down the desired behaviors into small, achievable tasks.

Suggestions for treatment: Answer the following questions about possible treatment for Mariana:

QUESTION 13 of 20

Based on the case study, all of the following target behaviors could be potential behaviors to target for change except for?

Select one answer

  1. a) Self-stimulatory behaviors

Incorrect. The case study identifies that Mariana sometimes exhibits repetitive motor movements. The correct choice is echolalia behavior; there is no mention of echolalia in the case study.

  1. b) Food selectivity

Incorrect. The case study identifies that Mariana is very particular about food and will only eat a small handful of things. The correct choice is echolalia behavior; there is no mention of echolalia in the case study.

Incorrectc) Elopement

Incorrect. The case study identifies that Mariana runs away from other children. She hides in the bathroom and has to be taken out by the teacher. The correct choice is echolalia behavior; there is no mention of echolalia in the case study.

Correctd) Echolalia

Correct. There is no mention of echolalia behavior in the case study.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is d.

QUESTION 14 of 20

Which of Mariana’s behaviors is the most severe and should be targeted for change first?

Select one answer

  1. a) Echolalia

Incorrect. This is not a behavior that Mariana exhibits. The correct choice is food selectivity, because Mariana is underweight and has a limited eating repertoire.

Incorrectb) Self-stimulatory behaviors

Incorrect. Although self-stimulatory behaviors can be challenging and interfere with learning, they are not be the most severe of Mariana’s behaviors. The correct choice is food selectivity, because Mariana is underweight and has a limited eating repertoire.

Correctc) Food selectivity

Correct. Food selectivity should be the highest priority. The correct choice is food selectivity, because Mariana is underweight and has a limited eating repertoire.

  1. d) Elopement

Incorrect. Although elopement behaviors could be dangerous and interfere with learning and safety, they are not the most severe behavior Mariana exhibits. The correct choice is food selectivity, because Mariana is underweight and has a limited eating repertoire.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is c.

QUESTION 15 of 20

What should be considered or addressed before conducting a food program?

Select one answer

Incorrecta) Food preferences

Incorrect. Although it is important to consider the client’s food preferences, it is important to make sure that there are no underlying medical issues that are causing the food aversions. A medical assessment with a swallow test should precede consideration of food preferences.

  1. b) Confirming the MO

Incorrect. Although it is important to confirm the MO and understand what the client’s reinforcers are, it is important to make sure that there are no underlying medical issues that are causing the food aversions. A medical assessment with a swallow test should precede determining the MO.

Correctc) Obtain a medical assessment

Correct. The analyst should ensure that there are no underlying medical issues that are causing the food aversions. Included in this medical assessment should be a swallow test as well.

  1. d) None of the above

Incorrect. It is important to make sure that there are no underlying medical issues that are causing the food aversions. A medical assessment with a swallow test should come first.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is c.

QUESTION 16 of 20

What is a behavioral strategy that could be implemented to reduce the occurrences of Mariana’s maladaptive behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Behavior contract

Incorrect. Although a behavior contract is an effective behavioral strategy, it is not the best choice for a food program. The best choice is the Premack principle, which says that if one activity occurs more often than another, the opportunity to do the most frequent activity will reinforce the less frequent activity. The therapist could use the bite for bite procedure by asking Mariana to eat a non-preferred food first, so that she will be motivated to get to a more preferred food next.

  1. b) Token economy

Incorrect. Although a token economy is an effective behavioral strategy, it is not the best choice for a food program. The best choice is the Premack principle, which says that if one activity occurs more often than another, the opportunity to do the most frequent activity will reinforce the less frequent activity. The therapist could use the bite for bite procedure by asking Mariana to eat a non-preferred food first, so that she will be motivated to get to a more preferred food next.

  1. c) Non-contingent reinforcer

Incorrect. Although NCR is an effective behavioral strategy, it is not the best choice for a food program. The best choice is the Premack principle, which says that if one activity occurs more often than another, the opportunity to do the most frequent activity will reinforce the less frequent activity. The therapist could use the bite for bite procedure by asking Mariana to eat a non-preferred food first, so that she will be motivated to get to a more preferred food next.

Correctd) Premack principle

Correct. If one activity occurs more often than another, the opportunity to do the most frequent activity will reinforce the less frequent activity. The therapist could use the bite for bite procedure by asking Mariana to eat a non-preferred food first, so that she will be motivated to get to a more preferred food next.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is correct.

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Madison

Gender: Female
Age: 15 years old
Grade: 9th
Guardians: Mother and father, married.

Home life: Madison is an only child and lives with her parents. Her parents’ relationship is strained due to the financial obligations of paying for Madison’s medical needs and therapy. Madison’s behavioral challenges have also created stress in the household.

Diagnosis: Madison obtained an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis when she was 3 years old. From an early age, Madison’s mother observed behavioral challenges and that she was further delayed than her peers.

Description of behavior: Madison has overcome many behavioral challenges and ABA treatment has been very effective for her. The reason for the most recent referral is her high rates of perseverative speech. Madison tends to get on one topic and is hard to redirect her to anything else. The analyst conducted an observation and has identified that a trigger is when she is trying to get someone’s attention. Based on ABC data, Madison engages in preservation when others are not giving her attention. Once she engages in preservative speech, people around her start to speak to her.

Previous treatment and interventions: Madison has been in Applied Behavior Analysis, where the therapists encourage appropriate behaviors while concurrently reducing inappropriate behaviors. Madison’s parents and teachers also break down the desired behaviors into small, achievable tasks, and use reinforcement.

Suggestions for treatment: Answer the following questions about possible treatment for Madison:

QUESTION 17 of 20

Which would be the best target behavior for Madison based on the case study?

Select one answer

Incorrecta) Biting

Incorrect. Although this behavior is observable, objective and specific, there was no mention of biting behavior in this case study. The best target behavior to target for reduction is perseverative speech, which is specific, objective, and observable.

  1. b) Hitting

Incorrect. Although this behavior is observable, objective and specific, there was no mention of hitting behavior in this case study. The best target behavior to target for reduction is perseverative speech, which is specific, objective, and observable.

Correctc) Perseverative speech

Correct. Perseverative speech is specific, objective and observable.

  1. d) Refusal

Incorrect. Although this behavior is observable, objective and specific, there was no mention of refusal behavior in this case study. The best target behavior to target for reduction is perseverative speech, which is specific, objective, and observable.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is c.

QUESTION 18 of 20

Which would be the best operational definition for Madison’s target behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Any occurrence where Madison echoes the same words as the other speaker.

Incorrect. This is a better definition for echolalia, which Madison is not exhibiting. The best operational definition is ‘Any occurrence where Madison asks the same question or makes the same comment more than once after being told the same answer.’ This operational definition is clear and specific, and describes observable behavior.

Incorrectb) Any occurrence where Madison thinks the same question or makes the same comment more than once after being told the same answer.

Incorrect. This operational definition includes a mentalistic concept, which is not objective or observable. The best operational definition is ‘Any occurrence where Madison asks the same question or makes the same comment more than once after being told the same answer.’ This operational definition is clear and specific, and describes observable behavior.

Correctc) Any occurrence where Madison asks the same question or makes the same comment more than once after being told the same answer.

Correct. This operational definition is clear and specific, and describes observable behavior.

  1. d) All of these choices are appropriate

Incorrect. The best operational definition is ‘Any occurrence where Madison asks the same question or makes the same comment more than once after being told the same answer. This operational definition is clear and specific, and describes observable behavior.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is c.

QUESTION 19 of 20

What is a likely hypothesized function of Madison’s behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Denied access

Incorrect. Denied access behavior occurs when an individual no longer has access to desired stimuli. Madison’s perseveration is triggered when she is trying to get someone’s attention. For this reason, attention-seeking behavior is a likely hypothesized function for her behavior.

  1. b) Automatic reinforcement

Incorrect. Automatic reinforcement occurs independent of the social mediation of others. That is not the case in this scenario, as Madison’s perseveration is triggered when she is trying to get someone’s attention. For this reason, attention-seeking behavior is a likely hypothesized function for her behavior.

Correctc) Attention-seeking behavior

Correct. The analyst noted that Madison’s perseveration is triggered when she is trying to get someone’s attention.

Incorrectd) Escape/avoidance

Incorrect. Escape/avoidance is a contingency in which a response terminates (that is, produces escape from) an ongoing stimulus. Madison’s perseveration is triggered when she is trying to get someone’s attention. For this reason, attention-seeking behavior is a likely hypothesized function for her behavior.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is incorrect. The correct answer is c.

QUESTION 20 of 20

What is a behavioral strategy that could be implemented to reduce the occurrences of Madison’s maladaptive behavior?

Select one answer

  1. a) Aversion therapy

Incorrect. This intervention strategy is no longer seen as an ethical choice. The correct strategy is DRO paired with a token economy. Presenting reinforcement after a fixed interval of time has passed without the target behavior is a good strategy for reducing Madison’s preservative speech.

  1. b) Time-out

Incorrect. A time-out is considered a punishment-based procedure, and a therapist should exhaust reinforcement-based procedures first. The correct strategy is DRO paired with a token economy. Presenting reinforcement after a fixed interval of time has passed without the target behavior is a good strategy for reducing Madison’s preservative speech.

Correctc) DRO paired with a token economy

Correct. The correct strategy is DRO paired with a token economy. Presenting reinforcement after a fixed interval of time has passed without the target behavior is a good strategy for reducing Madison’s preservative speech.

  1. d) Reprimand

Incorrect. The hypothesized function is for attention, and providing reprimands may reinforce the challenging behavior. The correct strategy is DRO paired with a token economy. Presenting reinforcement after a fixed interval of time has passed without the target behavior is a good strategy for reducing Madison’s preservative speech.

FEEDBACK

Your answer is correct.

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