The 7 Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis can help evaluate any program , BCBA, consultant, or ABA therapist.
Applied :The work conducted must have social significance. Goals and interventions
are selected because they express the needs and concerns of the parents and/or client
Behavioral: Precise and reliable measurement of behavior should be attainable
Analytic: It must be shown that the treatment led to behavior change,
and not something else, such as chance. Data is collected and analyzed
on a regular basis which is the driving force of any ABA program.
Technological: Procedures used should be clearly described and identified to
the extent that anyone can follow the same procedures at a moment's notice.
Ex. When Sally keeps her" hands down" for 3 minutes, provide her with tickles,
Conceptually systematic Procedures should be described in terms of their principles.
Everything done in an ABA program should relate to a research supported behavior analytic
concept, such as Shaping/Fading, Positive Reinforcement, and Extinction.
Effective: Procedures should improve the behaviors being addressed to a practical degree.
Generalized: Positive changes should extend over time, environments, and behavior. Can the child display skills learned across people, settings, and stimuli? Can the child label both a picture of a cat and a cat he/she sees in the street? If not, then the ABA program is lacking generality.
Baer, D., Wolf, M., & Risley, R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 91 - 97.
Baer, D., Wolf, M., & Risley, R. (1987). Some still-current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 20, 313 - 327.
Management of children with autism spectrum disorders.Pediatrics, 120, 1162-1182.
National Academy of Sciences (2001). Educating Children with Autism. Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.
New York State Department of Health, Early Intervention Program (1999). Clinical Practice Guideline: Report of the Recommendations: Autism / Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Assessment and Intervention for Young Children (Age 0-3 years).
Sulzer-Azaroff, B. & Mayer, R. (1991). Behavior analysis for lasting change. Fort Worth, TX : Holt, Reinhart & Winston, Inc.
US Department of Health and Human Services (1999). Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General.Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health.
Using the above principles, the supervisor comes to the child's home on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The therapist is evaluated in the NET, DTT and in community settings using an evaluation form, role-play, and immediate feedback by having the therapist watch and evaluate their own behavior. Parents are also given surveys to evaluate the supervisor.
Additionally the evaluation will answer questions such as:
1 .Did the therapist use errorless teaching procedures?
2 .Did the goals and objectives meet the accepted standard for such, including a Verb, Objective criterion for success, and the conditions under which the behavior will be demonstrated.
3. Did the BCBA write out the plan and programs with appropriate objective measurement systems?.
4. Did the BCBA choose Individual programs from a curriculum that focuses on specific tasks, and follows a particular developmental sequence (e.g., The VB-MAPP). Outcomes measures are used to make decisions regarding changes in goals.
5. Were there scheduled opportunities for active responding followed by brief breaks?.
6. Did the therapist.incorporate the following techniques into skill-building programs: prompting; error correction; reinforcement and manipulation of motivational variables; stimulus control (including discrimination training); and choice procedures.
7. Did the BCBA determine specific goals to teach each skill to mastery, with a pre-determined mastery criteria, and include specific criterion for::
Application in problem-solving situations
Lastly , for the ABA program to be permanently effective, the following is implemented:
Staff employs a wide array of strategies to program for and assess skill acquisition, generalization and maintenance.
Staff modifies instructional programs based on frequent, systematic evaluation of direct observational data that is presented in graphic form.
Staff modifies behavior reduction programs based on frequent, systematic evaluation of direct observational data.
Staff reintroduces acquisition and/or behavior reduction goals that are not successfully maintained or generalized.
Staff conducts functional assessments (including functional analyses) of challenging behavior and is familiar with the array of considerations that would indicate certain assessment methods over others.
Formal preference assessments are conducted and modified as appropriate, and are documented for each child.
The design and implementation of programs to reduce stereotypic, disruptive, and destructive behavior are based on formal Functional Assessments, which systematically analyze the variables that cause and maintain the behavior and match treatment to the determined function(s) of the behavior.
Incorporating differential reinforcement of appropriate alternative responses into behavior reduction programs and efforts to teach functionally equivalent replacement skills, based on the best available research evidence.
Staff collaborates effectively with professionals from other disciplines involved in the treatment of each child, and with family members to promote consistent interventions and to maximize outcomes.
Parents, Paraprofessionals, Aides and staff are appropriately trained in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and the education of students with the specific age, behavioral disorders, and diagnosis in their classroom as well as home environment and community settings..