Autism Learning Partners Glossary

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A

ABC Data

Antecedent (A,) Behavior (B,) Consequence (C,) data collected and analyzed to determine a hypothesized function of behavior which drives clinical rationale for the treatment plan and Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).

Adaptive Skills

Functional skills including daily living, self-care, community living, domestic, etc.

Antecedent Strategies

Strategies that are used prior to known triggers which involve modifying the environment to reduce the likelihood that a learner will engage in challenging behaviors. Strategies include priming, Premack principle, choice-making, etc.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

A scientific approach to understanding behavior and how it is influenced by the environment with a focus on enhancing socially significant behaviors.

Autism

A pervasive developmental disorder that commonly manifests in early childhood, characterized by impaired communication, excessive rigidity, and emotional detachment: now considered one of the autism spectrum disorders.

B

Baseline Data

Data collected prior to any intervention or teaching taking place. Shows an individual’s skill level prior to any outside influence from the treatment program.

Behavior Analyst

The supervisor of the program and your go-to regarding all questions, rationale, ideas, and input that you might have. They will oversee the program, the implementation of the teaching of the goals, and constantly be assessing what is and isn’t working.

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

Developed after an FBA is completed and includes positive behavior supports to decrease problematic behaviors while increasing desired/replacement behaviors related to the functions of behavior.

Behavior Technician (BT)

The 1:1 staff that will come to your home and/or school with your child for the previously arranged schedule and implement the goals and teaching strategies decided upon by the Behavior Analyst. They will provide the clinically recommended hours per week that were prescribed by the assessor.

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)

An undergraduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals at this level provide behavior-analytic services that must be supervised by a BCBA or BCBA-D (doctoral-level BCBA).

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

A graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services.

C

Caregiver Education

An essential piece of an ABA program which incorporates specific goals for the caregiver(s) of the learner. These goals include teaching the foundational knowledge of ABA and specific strategies and decision-making that can be learned and implemented outside of ABA sessions and after the conclusion of ABA services.

Central Reach

The online, cloud-based platform used both during and outside of sessions for data collection, programming, scheduling, and conversion of sessions.

Client Partnership Agreement (CPA)

An annual document distributed to current clients detailing company policies and procedures.

Clinical Prescription

Therapy hours recommended after the FBA process is completed, including the clinical recommendation for the direct hours that a child will need to receive to make adequate progress toward behavior reduction and skill development. This recommendation also includes supervision hours and parent education hours.

Clinical Team

The Clinical Team is compromised of all individuals assigned to work with your child in differing capacities, such as a behavior analyst, behavior technician, and/or program manager.

Consequence Strategies

Strategies used after the learner engages in either a challenging or appropriate behavior which involve minimizing reinforcement for challenging behavior and increasing reinforcement for appropriate behavior.

Coordination of Care

Typically driven by the ABA Clinical Team, coordination of care exists when differing service providers (OT, PT, SLP, etc.) work together to share strategies and best practices for providing support to a learner across all their environments and service providers.

D

Developmental Domains

Interdependent domains of childhood development in which progress is tracked through developmental milestones. The seven domains include: language, cognitive, gross motor, fine motor, self-help and adaptive, social and emotional, and spiritual and moral.

Direct Instruction

A systematic approach to teaching and maintaining skills through the implementation of carefully designed and individualized curriculum.

Discrete Trial Training (DTT)

A teaching method that focuses on breaking skills down into smaller sub-skills while using clear instructions and reinforcement to develop learning.

E

Error Correction

A teaching procedure used to increase motivation in learning situations by preventing mistakes and creating more opportunities for reinforcement.

Expressive Language

An individual’s ability to communicate thoughts and feelings through words, gestures, signs, and/or symbols.

Extinction Burst

An increase in a challenging behavior is demonstrated following the discontinuation of previously provided reinforcement (extinction procedure).

Extinction Procedure

When reinforcement of a challenging behavior is no longer provided and the behavior begins to decrease as a result.

F

Function of Behavior

Applied Behavior Analysis follows the idea that there are four functions or reasons an individual engages in any given behavior. These four functions are: sensory stimulation, escape, access to attention, and access to tangibles. All treatment plans and BIP’s are driven from the hypothesized function of behavior.

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

A systematic procedure that is used to identify problem behaviors and the specific circumstances under which the behaviors are more likely and less likely to occur.

Functional Communication Training (FCT)

This is used to teach an alternative communicative response that produces the same reinforcer that maintains a challenging behavior. As such, use of the alternative communicative response produces the reinforcer and the challenging behavior is put on extinction.

G

Generalization

Achieved when a child is able to demonstrate a skill that was learned in a specific environment and/or context in a new environment and/or context.

H

I

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

A legal document created under United States law that is developed for a child who is enrolled in public school and determined eligible for special education. This document outlines individualized goals for your child as well as identifies who will be considered a part of the child’s “team.”

J

K

L

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

An educational term that refers to the most typical environment in which a learner can make academic and social progress. This is determined by the IEP team and is individualized for each learner.

M

Maintenance

The continued demonstration of a learned skill across time, people, and settings after all teaching has ceased.

N

Natural Environment Teaching (NET)

Teaching occurs in the natural environment and using naturally occurring events. It leads to an individual being able to learn skills in one environment and generalize them to other environments.

Neurodiversity

Variation in the human brain regarding developmental skills including learning, attention, sociability, etc.

O

Occupational Therapy

A therapeutic intervention that helps people across their lifespan to do the things they want and need. By promoting health and living better with injury, illness, or disability, the intervention focuses on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person and their abilities.

Operational Definition

Defines what the behavior of interest looks like in a way that is observable, measurable and repeatable. It should include examples of what the behavior is and what the behavior is not.

P

Pairing Process

The process in which staff pairs themselves with reinforcing/preferred items and/or activities so that a client associates them with these things.

Parallel Play

A skill in which individuals, typically toddlers (ages 2-3 years old), play alongside each other in similar activities without obvious communication or interaction.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

Equipment used by the Clinical Team to minimize the spread of bodily fluids or for safety purposes. Examples include gloves, face masks, and arm guards.

Program Manager

A Master’s Level supervisor that is provided oversight for all their work by a BCBA. A Program Manager is typically working toward their BCBA license.

Progress Report

Typically written every 6 months, this report demonstrates a child’s progress using developmental assessments, graphs, and data analysis to show which goals have been met and continue to be worked on by the Clinical Team. A Behavior Intervention Plan is also included to show progress toward behavior reduction and increasing replacement behaviors.

Punishment

Occurs when a behavior decreases as a consequence of either adding or removing something from the environment.

Q

R

Receptive Language

The ability to understand and comprehend language that an individual hears or reads.

Redirection

This strategy involves using a prompt to direct a child’s behavior to a more appropriate behavior. A redirection can be a verbal instruction, an indirect statement or question, a gesture, a modeled response or a physical prompt.

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)

A paraprofessional certification in behavior analysis. RBT’s assist in delivering behavior analysis services and practice under the direction and supervision of a BCBA.

Reinforcement

Occurs when a behavior increases because of the consequence of either adding or subtracting something from the environment.

Response Blocking

This procedure involves interrupting the child as he or she begins to engage in a challenging behavior to prevent completion of the challenging behavior. It aims to use the least amount of physical contact possible and/or a verbal prompt to stop the challenging behavior.

S

Self-Stimulatory Behaviors

Also known as ‘stimming,’ these behaviors are often described as repetitive and can include body movements, the manipulation of objects in a rigid manner and/or vocal repetition. These behaviors can occur for a variety of reasons, beginning with self-regulation.

Sensory Play

A type of play that stimulates a child’s senses.

Session Notes

Anecdotal data documented at the end of each session by the Clinical Team to record progress made during session, describe challenging behaviors, and/or any pertinent information reported by caregivers that is deemed important to notate.

Shaping

A tool used in ABA for reinforcing gradual steps toward a desired skill or behavior. It breaks complex tasks into smaller pieces, making it easier for the learner to master.

Social Play

Any play in which children of a similar age play and interact with each other. Play is often structured and can incorporate elements of pretend or imagination.

Social Story

A narrative of an everyday social situation written from the child’s perspective.

Solitary Play

One of the earliest stages of play development in which a child plays with toys or items in their environment alone.

Speech and Language Therapy

A treatment that can help improve communication skills, eating, drinking, and swallowing.

T

Task Analysis

The process of breaking down a skill into smaller, more manageable components. Often used to teach adaptive skills such as brushing teeth, washing hands, dressing, etc.

Telehealth

The mode of delivering health care services via information and communication technologies (i.e., web-based) to facilitate consistent delivery of services, supervision, etc.

Token Economy

A reward system used in behavior modification programs involving providing tangible rewards for appropriate behaviors.

U

V

VB-MAPP Assessment

The Verbal Behavior Milestones and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is a comprehensive assessment tool that is updated every 6 months to demonstrate skill-tracking and the development of a child specifically related to verbal and related skills.

Vineland Assessment

The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS or Vineland-3) is a standardized assessment tool that utilizes a semi-structured caregiver interview to measure adaptive behavior and support the diagnosis of intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, and developmental delays.

Visual Supports

These help the child understand and predict upcoming events, activities, rules, and instructions by utilizing visual cues. This strategy can greatly enhance learning for children who are stronger visual learners than they are auditory learners.

W

X

Y

Z

0-9

3-Tier Model

A supervision model delivered which includes a Program Manager/Senior Program Manager with oversight provided by a Behavior Analyst/Senior Behavior Analyst.