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Allens Strategy

It is difficult to say what the best approach would be with Allens mother and his teacher. It is
always difficult to approach a situation that can be so emotionally charged. Of course, I
would have preferred to personally observe him and learn about his interests and abilities
before making any suggestions. It would have been helpful to have a functional behavioural
assessment to assess language skills and other areas before making this decision. That
said the following recommendation is based on the information provided.
First step, I would take would be to have both the Mother and the Teacher explain their
reasoning and rational for their suggestions. Perhaps the Mother feels sign language fits
better with her parenting style or her family dynamics. Or maybe Allens Mother has not
heard about picture based Functional Communication Training. Further, the Teachers
opinion needs to be heard because it is during class time that the interfering behaviours are
occurring. Also, the teacher can consider the other students and what he/she feels would be
the best fit to ensure that Allans peers can be good communication partners.
Thought both methods could work, it is my opinion that using pictures would be the best
method to address the interfering behaviours occurring during lessons. One reason, for this,
is to help Allen develop his social skills. He desires to attain peer attention, so using pictures
both he and his peers can relate to would mean his communication partners would need less
training. Hopefully, this would lead to a consistent direct reinforcement of the replacement
behaviour. Potentially, Allen would be able to learn the new skill faster because of the
consistency. Also, the use of a picture can be generalized to other contexts. He can use
this at a playground, at home and in other social contexts with minimal confusion. Once he
masters how to use the picture in social interactions he can work towards developing his
social skills. Things like inviting others to join him playing a game, or asking if he can join
their game and turn taking, thus increasing his independence.
Additionally, when Allen requires a break he can use a picture to communicate this to his
Teacher or classroom helper. Again, this is a skill that can be generalized to other contexts
and used by Allen to find breaks in other situations.
To ensure a continued critical relationship, with Allens Mother, I would recommend that this
FCT be revisited sooner rather than later. This will give his Mother a chance to feedback
about how she feels it is going and to address any concerns she may have about the path
Consulted works
Functional Communication Training. (n.d.). Autism Internet Modules. Retrieved June 2, 2014, from

Taylor, B. A., & Fisher, J. (2010). Three Important Things to Consider When Starting Intervention for a
Child Diagnosed With Autism. Behavior analysis in practice, 3(2), 52.

Allisons Strategy
First of all, I want to comment on how awesome it is that Allisons is doing such an
applicable work experience. This experience will set her up well to take advantage
of future employment opportunities. I would also like to recognize how great it is she
is so health conscious. It means that she will be able to independently make healthy
food choices, something people without ASD struggle with, for her adult life. That
said she does need to work on some self-management skills, so she will have
friends and colleagues in her healthy adult life.
Assuming that as a resource teacher, I have access to a Functional behaviour
assessment for Allison, I would implement the following steps based on the Autism
Internet Modules Outline.
1. Preparing the specific system to be implemented
a. All members of the implementing self-management team need to
spend time with Allison in the cafeteria. This would be myself as the
resource teacher and possibly another teacher that knows Allison.
b. Develop a target behaviour for Allison:
i. Target: Keep her opinions about healthy food options to herself
when other students are ordering lunch in the cafeteria.
ii. Target: Not comment out loud on other peoples appearance
while working in the cafeteria.
iii. Reinforcement: Ideally Allison would get a natural reinforce for
reaching her target behaviour. I would ask family members for
suggestions. Perhaps she could earn more time working in the
iv. Replacement behaviour: Allisons replacement behaviour
should be to politely ask students what they would like to order.
Also, she should only make suggestions for their order if they
ask for them.
v. Interfering behaviour: commenting on the unhealthy food
choices her peers are making. Being insulting about their
choices and their appearance.
c. Developing a Data Collection System
i. Frequency data
1. Allison must demonstrate the appropriate behaviour or
politely dealing with cafeteria customers 5 consecutive
times to earn the reinforcement in one lunch shift.

2. Allison must demonstrate the interfering behaviour no

more than twice in a lunch period, while serving food in
the cafeteria, to earn the reinforcement.

ii. Initial criterion for the target behaviour : When a customer

orders French fries Allison will not comment on their choice
100% of the time during a lunch period. (This could then be
changed to all unhealthy choices in the cafeteria.)
iii. Allison will keep track of the frequency of her target behaviour
using her ipad, iphone or other device.
2. Teaching the learner to use the system
a. Allison would be provided with the target behaviour in written form and
would practice this behaviour through roll playing in either the resource
room or the cafeteria (when it is not being used). She would receive
prompting when she started to talk about the unhealthy choices others
were making. These prompts would fade until she was able to take
and fill an order without making comments to the customer during her
lunch shift in the cafeteria.

b. Also, Allison would practice identifying the target behaviour and the
incorrect behaviour when watching others during role-play when the
differences were clear and obvious. Then Allison would work on
observing these behaviours during lunch in the cafeteria in other
cafeteria staff. This would be done using prompts until the prompts
were no longer needed. Correct identification of the target behaviour
would be reinforced using the reinforcement chosen.
c. Once Allison had mastered the behaviour she would be introduced to
the recording system that she will use on her device. She would be
asked to practice recording the behaviours she observed first and then
move to recording her own behaviours using a frequency system.
3. Implementing the system with adult support
a. Allison will be taught to take her recording device with her to the
cafeteria when she is working there. She will be prompted/reminded to
set the device up for her self until she can complete the task
successfully without the prompting. The prompts will fade when Allison
completes the task accurately 80% of the time.
b. Overall, Allison will be prompted about her self management behaviour
until she completes the target behaviour and self record independently
80 % of the time

4. Promoting learner independence with the system.

a. Since Allison works in the cafeteria each day I, as the resource
teacher, would check her self-recoding 20% of the time, so
approximately once a week by observing her shift in the cafeteria and
recording data on the target behaviour. We would be looking for our
data to match up 80% of the time over three consecutive sessions.
b. As Allison becomes more confident with the target behaviour her goal
will change to not making any negative comments to customers during
her shift in the cafeteria and this behaviour would be generalized to
other contexts.

Consulted works
Self-Management. (n.d.). Autism Internet Modules. Retrieved June 2, 2014, from

Stans Strategy

Differential Reinforcement of alternative behaviour (DRA) is a technique that reinforces

specific behaviour to replace a different behaviour. This behaviour does not necessarily
need to be incompatible with the disruptive behaviour.
In Stans case the behaviour that would be reinforced would be independent seatwork and
the behaviour it would replace is waiting for Barbara to prompt him to attempt and finish his
work. Since, Stan is capable of completing some work independently when Barbara is not
there he is already familiar with the alternative behaviour. This is important for the strategy
because the alternative behaviour needs to be in his repertoire of skills for DRA to be
DRA makes use of positive reductive procedures. We would emphasise the use of a
reinforcement to increase Stans independence during seatwork and decrease the triggers
that bring on his dependency on Barbaras encouragement and feedback. This is not to say
that Barbara will not be encouraging and supporting Stan. The goal will be to encourage him
to independently complete his work to receive praise and feedback from her. DRA would
take advantage of the great relationship between Barbara and Stan to help Stan become
more self sufficient with his schoolwork.
Stan will be explicitly taught how to complete his work independently. So, while
implementing DRA we must be consistent and immediate with the reinforcer. The reinforcer

should be what currently supports the unwanted behaviour, so Barbaras encouragement

and feedback. In the beginning, Stan will have continuous reinforcement at every
occurrence of independent seatwork to make the alternative behaviour more appealing than
the undesirable behaviour. He will also receive prompts, from the teacher and SEA,
immediately to help him apply his alternative behaviour. Once Stan is more comfortable with
the alternative behaviour an intermittent schedule of reinforcement can be discussed and
DRA could also be partnered with self-management. Once the alternative behaviour is
taught and Stan can use it more comfortable he can record it and be apart of or dictate the
reinforcement schedule. This would give him more control and independence over the
In the long run this process with greatly benefit Stan. He will learn to be more independent
in his work and therefore more successful in school. This independence can be generalized
to other areas of his life. We want Stan to be as successful at learning as he can and
together using DRA this will be possible.

Consulted works
Differential Reinforcement (n.d.). Autism Internet Modules. Retrieved June 2, 2014, from