This lesson covers:
BCAT C-8: Premack principle
BCAT D-9: Antecedent Interventions
BCAT D-10: Functional communication training
BCAT D-11: Token economy
BCAT D-12: High-p request sequence / behavioral momentum
BCAT D-13: Noncontingent reinforcement
RBT D-3: Implement interventions based on modification of antecedents such as motivating operations and discriminative stimuli.
Noncontingent reinforcement, or NCR, is the delivery of functional reinforcement for free on an ongoing time-based schedule. It is an antecedent intervention that may be used to reduce problem behavior. It can be used to address any function of behavior, regardless of the challenging behavior.
Access to reinforcers are delivered on a time-based schedule (determined by the BCBA), independent of the challenging or problem behavior. Basically, we are giving the patient what they want for free. If we are providing the reinforcer for free, it should not be necessary for the patient to engage in problem behavior to gain access to your attention or a toy that they want.
NCR is noncontingent, meaning it is not dependent on any behavior. This means that regardless of what is happening or what has occurred, the reinforcer is delivered. It is only delivered on the time-based schedule, not the behavior that the patient may or may not be engaging in at the time.
Let's explore a couple of examples of NCR, for attention and for tangible objects.
EXAMPLENCR for attention: If you provide the patient with a lot of attention for free, they may be less likely to engage in problem behavior to seek attention. For instance, a patient engages in pinching for attention on average every 10 minutes. The BCBA writes in the BIP to give attention every eight minutes in the form of social praise, questions about their day, and/or any additional form of attention when the timer goes off.
I like your pretty coloring. I like blue. It's great.
EXAMPLENCR for tangibles: If you provide the patient with free access to toys (tangibles) on a time-based schedule, they may be less likely to engage in problem behavior to get access to the toy. For instance, a patient engages in tantrum behavior to play on the iPad on average every 30 minutes. The BCBA writes in the BIP to allow access to the iPad every 25 minutes when the timer goes off.
If we are providing stimulating items to engage with for free, NCR might also make it less likely for some patients to engage in behaviors that are maintained by automatic reinforcement.
EXAMPLEIf the patient engages in repetitive visual stimulation behavior and we let them watch a stimulating video for free, they may be less likely to engage in the repetitive visual stimulation behavior.
Depending on the rate of occurrence of a challenging behavior, your BCBA may initially instruct you to noncontingently provide the reinforcer continuously. Then, slowly over the course of days, your BCBA will likely reduce the time that the patient has noncontingent access to the reinforcer, so long as problem behavior remains low.
Using an NCR procedure, the reinforcer specified in the BIP should be delivered using the reinforcement schedule specified in the BIP.
Hey Andre, it's break time. Finish that page, OK? OK. Good break, buddy.
Demand fading is the gradual increase in demand requirements prior to delivering functional reinforcement. The task is reduced to a small amount, then gradually increased. It reduces inappropriate behavior maintained by social negative reinforcement or escape from demands.
There is a gradual increase in demand requirements before providing a reinforcer, for example:
EXAMPLEZarah tears her paper when she has to do her math homework, which usually consists of ten problems. Initially, Zarah only has to complete two problems and then is given a break. Once she is not tearing her paper, she has to complete four problems before she gets a break.
OK. We need to get a little bit of homework done, OK?
So I know you-- I know you don't really like math all that much. So what we'll do is, we'll start-- you can just do one problem. That's all you got to do, and then you can take a break with the DS.
OK? So all you got to do is do this first problem, and then you can have a break. OK?
OK. Great job. Looks good. Do you want to take another break with the DS?
OK. Let's put it there. This time we're going to do these two next ones.
And then that's all you got to do, and you can take another break.
All right. That looks good, buddy. We just got to do one more page. OK?
So all we got to do is do three more this time, and then you can take another break with your DS and be all done.
So let's do one, two, three. And you'll be done.
Demand fading can also be done in the reverse. Towards the end of a session when the patient may become fatigued, demands can be systematically reduced to prevent escape-maintained problem behavior from occurring. The BCBA may instruct the behavior technician to work on more difficult tasks in the middle of the session, fading demands in and then back out towards the end of session.
EXAMPLEBinh engages in tantrums when answering “wh” questions. At the start of the session, the behavior technician asks Binh only one “wh” question, then provides a break. After the break, the behavior technician asks Binh two ‘wh” questions, then provides another break. A little later, the behavior technician asks Binh three “wh” questions, and provides a break again. Towards the end of the session, the behavior technician asks Binh only two “wh” questions before offering a break, then one “wh” question prior to break.
Task modification involves changing some aspect of the antecedent task to make the activity less aversive to the patient. The less unpleasant or difficult a task becomes, the less the patient feels the need to escape the task.
Inappropriate behavior is reduced by altering some characteristic of the task so it is less nonpreferred to the patient. Some aspects of the task that might be changed include:
EXAMPLEGive choices and visual cues. Have the patient feel like they are in control with choices.
Do you want green or orange?
OK, ready? Then we'll start your timer. Watch carefully. [INAUDIBLE], out of the room, thank you. I want you to copy lowercase k. So, are you watching?
OK, I need you to fix it. Thank you, ma'am. Good, big line down. Start right here in the middle. Nice job, [INAUDIBLE]. That looks beautiful.
Mine looks better than yours.
Is it better than mine?
It looks beautiful. Should you circle that one?
Is it the best?
It is the best.
Is it better than yours?
You can say, "it looks so good."
It looks so good.
It does. Are you proud of yourself?
You should be, it's beautiful.
EXAMPLEUse different stimuli. Patient does not like to color? Have them color their favorite TV show characters.
Do the circle.
Now connect them. Nice! You can say erase it, please.
Erase it, please.
Let's explore a few scenarios that put the concept of task modification into practice.
EXAMPLEDennis does not enjoy practicing eye-contact with his behavior technician. To modify the task:
EXAMPLESandra dislikes handwriting. To modify the task:
EXAMPLEPat finds math aversive. Modifications to the task:
The high-p request sequence, also known as the high probability request sequence or the metaphor of behavioral momentum, involves performing several easier or preferred tasks prior to a more difficult task. This establishes momentum and allows the patient to access reinforcement for responding.
Here are several examples of the high-p request sequence in practice.
Functional communication training (FCT) refers to a method where the patient is taught to use a form of communication that results in accessing the same reinforcement as the problem behavior. Communication is prompted before the problem behavior occurs.
Communication also serves as the replacement behavior that the patient engages in instead of the challenging behavior. FCT can involve several forms of communication such as:
Let's look at some examples of FCT in practice.
So we're going to keep going so we can finish our questions.
Oh, my God.
You need a few more. Ready? You can either do your questions, or you can ask for a break.
Can I have a break?
Yeah. I'll give you a minute. OK. Thanks for putting your feet down. All right. Are you ready?
I put them down. [STOMPING]
We need to focus, bud. What does "paint the town red" mean?
Go out, have fun?
Yeah, it does. Thanks for answering.
[ERASING FURIOUSLY] [WRITING]
[HEAD BANGS ON DESK]
I need help.
Oh you need help? OK. I'll help you. Look, what number is that?
OK, and so we're taking away--
OK, so let's count back from 6. 6,
[TOGETHER] 5, 4.
So what's the number?
Environmental modification involves altering the physical environment in order to prevent or reduce the likelihood that the behavior will occur. Some examples of this include
Here are several examples of the use of environmental modifications.
In a token economy, tokens are delivered contingent on the target behavior and the tokens are later exchanged for a backup reinforcer. Tokens are a tangible item (stickers, popsicle sticks, tickets, check marks, etc.) that can be delivered immediately after a behavior and later swapped for reinforcers.
EXAMPLEMoney is an example of a token. We are able to exchange it for many different reinforcers, such as food, clothing, leisure items, etc.
The number of tokens is determined by the BCBA. Tokens teach patients the concept of delayed gratification and are used in conjunction with differential reinforcement procedures.
EXAMPLEDhiraj earns a token (a sticker of his favorite TV character) for completing three activities. At the end of the session, Dhiraj can exchange his tokens for a menu of items using exchange rates created by the BCBA, including goldfish crackers (one token for three goldfish), iPad time (one token per minute), trampoline time (one token per minute), etc. Dhiraj counts his tokens and determines that he has enough to purchase 10 minutes of iPad time.
OK, look. We're going to get three stars for bubbles, OK?
OK. Can you sit up? Put your hands in your lap? Thank you.
OK. Touch the boy.
Wow, that was really good. Nice job.
Touch the girl.
Oh my goodness, that was really smart.
[TAPS RAPIDLY ON DESK AND MAKES TICKLING SOUNDS]
Is she done?
Touch the girl.
Wow! You got your three stars. You get bubbles. Ready? Whoop, let's try again.
The Premack principle is a type of positive reinforcement where the opportunity to engage in a high-probability (more preferred) behavior is contingent upon the occurrence of a low-probability (less preferred) behavior. This helps to increase the occurrence of the low-probability behavior.
EXAMPLEAlex is told that first she must complete her homework (low-probability behavior), then she can go outside and play with her friends (high-probability behavior).
EXAMPLEGregg is told that first he must eat vegetables with his dinner (low-probability behavior), then he can have ice cream for dessert (high-probability behavior).
EXAMPLEYou tell yourself that first you must study for your exam (low-probability behavior), then you can go grab a coffee with a friend (high-probability behavior).
Ultimately, access to desired or more preferred activities contingent upon completion of other activities (first ___, then ___).
Here is an example of the antecedent intervention plan portion of a BIP to address Josiah's escape-maintained behavior.
|Antecedent Intervention Plan||Description|
|Teach Functional Communication (tangible)||
-Prompt Josiah to request preferred items/activities.
-The form of requesting that will be taught is full-sentence mands.
-The prompt that will be used to prompt the requesting behavior is indirect verbal. Can fade to partial and/or full echoic if needed.
-Prompting must be done before the challenging behavior occurs, not as a reaction to it. The method for fading out the prompting is least-to-most prompting.
-Maximize opportunities for Josiah to make choices throughout the day, especially during demand situations.
-Encourage him to choose the order of tasks, the manner in which tasks are completed, or any other available choice, as long as the relevant task can still be completed.
-Allow Josiah to have as much control of his own environment as you can, while still maximizing learning opportunities.
|Teach Functional Communication (escape)||
-Prompt Josiah to ask for what he wants when asked to do a nonpreferred task. He may want a break from the task, a decrease in the amount of the task, or help with the task, among other things.
-You must first determine the particular thing you are going to teach Josiah to ask for (e.g., break or help). The particular request that will be taught is asking for a break, asking for help.
-The particular form (e.g., vocal, sign language, pictures) of requesting that will be taught is verbal - full sentences.
-The prompt that will be used to prompt the requesting behavior is indirect verbal. Prompting must be done before the challenging behavior occurs, not as a reaction to it. The method for fading out the prompt is least-to-most prompting.
|Noncontingent Reinforcement (for escape and tangible)||
-Provide access to tangibles for free, regardless of what Josiah is doing, on a VI-10 min schedule (approximately every 10 min).
-Provide access to escape from demands on a VI-5min schedule (approximately every 5 min). Duration of access and breaks should be approximately 1 min.
Below is the full PDF again for reference.