Science in Autism Treatment: A Brief History
Applied behavior analysis and autism are an amazing couple. Over 30 years ago, a clinical
psychologist spent some time at the University of Washington, the source of most of the early
research on applied behavior analysis. Inspired and informed by his Washington training, the
clinician went to LA and put his own spin on behavior analysis, as he started working with
children whose behavioral repertoires had so many deficits of functional behavior and so many
excesses of dysfunctional behavior that they were labeled autistic. He didn’t do anything new,
except possibly disregard all of his education in traditional clinical psychology. All he did was
apply training procedures that had been in use for many years in the basic behavior-analysis
research labs-procedures whose effectiveness had been well documented in peer-reviewed
Oh, yes, he did add one small twist to what had been done before, he had the outrageous audacity
to apply those training procedures 40 hours per week for 2 years with each kid, rather than use
the traditional clinical-psychology talk-therapy approach of meeting with the “patient” for a 50-
minute hour once a week. He then published his results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The
results, as anyone reading this already know were that 50% of kids he worked with lost all traces
of their autistic problems and the remaining 50% were also greatly improved. And thus Ivar
Lovaas started the revolution in the “treatment of autism.”
But the revolution languished. Lovaas and the behavior analysts he trained as well as other
behavior analysts continued to do and publish high-quality research, extending and refining his
procedures. But only the small group of scientists known as behavior analysts were aware of this
amazing work, perhaps the most impressive work in the field of behavior analysis.
Then, 30 years after Lovaas started his revolutionary but almost invisible research, a woman with
a Ph.D. in literary criticism, or some equally irrelevant topic, had a little girl and then a little boy
whose behavioral repertoires were so dysfunctional that they got the autism label. Well, after a
few heart-breaking years, this mother finally found Lovaas’ behavior-analysis approach and with
much work and dedication on her part and the part of the behavior tech working with them, her
children were normalized.
And being a word woman, the Ph.D. in literary criticism then wrote what may be the most
important book in the field of behavior analysis, an autobiographical case study of her two
children; a non-technical case study for non-behaviorists. And being a word woman, this Ph.D.
in literary criticism knew how to put the words together so as to tell her story with such warmth
and such emotional impact that parents around the world are now demanding that Lovaas’
behavior-analysis training procedures be rescued from the obscurity of the previous 30 years and
be used to help their own children achieve more normal lives. Of course, the word woman is
Catherine Maurice; and her book is Let Me Hear Your Voice.
If there had been no Ivar Lovaas, there would be no demonstration of the real power of applied
behavior analysis to completely transform people’s lives. And, if there had been no Catherine
Maurice, no one would know about this power of applied behavior analysis to completely
transform people’s lives. Her book is an amazing collaboration between science and art.
Lovaas and Maurice started the revolution, but the revolution is far from over. Fortunately, some
of the brightest, best trained, most hard-working researchers and practitioners in the field of
behavior analysis are dedicating their lives to continuing and spreading this revolution. And
many of these researchers and practitioners have joined with parents of children labeled autistic
to form the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.
This association may be the next major component in the behavior-analysis/autism revolution,
providing a systematic way to educate professionals and the public so they can demand behavior-
analytic training programs for children labeled autistic, so that there will be enough well-trained
behavior analysts to implement these programs, and so that quality-control standards will be
implemented to maintain the integrity of these programs.
And one of the Association’s first acts has been to publish The Newsletter of the Association for
Science in Autism Treatment. I just finished reading the premier issue of this newsletter and it
will now be required reading of all my students working in autism. It’s chocked full of well-
written articles, including an outstanding article by Gina Green (a former president of the
Association for Behavior analysis) and Lora Perry and a couple authored by CM, whom I assume
is Catherine Maurice. That first issue will be a hard act to follow. (This writing is based on the
information on the first newsletter. Several more newsletters were published up to date. You can
download the newsletters by logging on to the website address below.)
You can contact the Association for Science in Autism Treatment at
http://www.asatonline.org/ <mailto: email@example.com >
A History of the WoodsEdge Learning Center Preschool
Program for Children with Autism
In the early 1970’s, the Croyden Avenue School began providing services to students with severe
multiple mental and physical handicaps. These services were provided in conjunction with the
Behavioral Psychology Program at Western Michigan University. Students were taught a variety
of skills, which were methodically sequenced though task analysis, written as individualized
instructional procedures, and taught in a discrete trial format.
By the 1980’s, Croyden was also providing services to students with autism, and a preschool
program was developed a few years later. As parents of children with autism became aware of
the success that Ivar Lovaas had achieved with autistic preschoolers though early intensive
behavioral intervention, many began to request this type of intervention for their children. In
May 1995, the Discrete Trial Classroom was developed as a half-day program with five children
diagnosed with autism and five practicum students. In 2010, the programs at Croyden Avenue
School were moved to a brand new, fifteen million dollar building called the WoodsEdge
Learning Center. Over the years, Croyden/WoodsEdge staff and WMU staff and students have
continued the development and expansion of the Discrete Trial Classroom, which is currently a
full day program with over 30 students and over 50 practicum students and staff. In the six
years* since the classroom began, 65 children with the diagnosis of autism and 330 practicum
students have participated in our program (*These numbers are accurate as of 2001).
The Croyden Avenue School/WoodsEdge Learning Center has been fortunate to have a unique
working relationship with WMU for so many years. Students and WMU professors have
participated at, or been affiliated with, the Croyden Avenue School from the beginning,
including such notables as Mark Sundberg, Jim Partington, Ray Miltonburger, Brian Iwata,
Nancy Neef, Wayne Fuqua, Neal Kent, Paul Mountjoy, and Jerry Shook.
General Class Description
Description of Setting
K resa Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency
WoodsEdge Learning Center
1501 E. Milham Road – Portage, MI 49002 – Phone 269.250.9400
WoodsEdge Learning Center (WE) provides instructional services for students from birth to age
26 who are severely mentally or multiply impaired. A full range of educational services is
provided including academic instruction, motor development and aquatics, self-care skills, job-
related instruction, language development, community-based instruction and support services. In
addition, services are made available for parents to learn effective behavior management skills.
While the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (K/RESA) uses many of the
techniques and procedures outlined in this book, the K/RESA Board of Education and Michigan
State Law forbid the use of corporal punishment with any of the students we serve. Therefore,
K/RESA cannot support or condone the use of any aversive control technique referenced in
TEACHING DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED CHILDREN: THE ME BOOK that produces
or causes physical pain. In addition, we do not recommend or condone the use of such
techniques in any environment.
In order to meet individual student needs, the Autistic Impaired (AI) Preschool program is
designed with three classrooms – Pre-primary Impaired (or Discrete Trial), Group Skills, and
Pre-kindergarten. The Pre-primary Impaired classroom is available to provide one-to-one
discrete trial instruction, to establish instructional control, and to develop pre-learner-skills
necessary for success in future learning environments. If a child already has these skills when he
or she enters the program, his or her needs may be met in one of the two other AI Preschool
classrooms, which focus on group or Pre-kindergarten skills. Advancement into the next level
classroom will occur once basic pre-learner skills have been mastered in the pre-primary
impaired classroom. As children progress they may also have the opportunity to learn with
typically developing peers in the YMCA Preschool.
The focus of the Pre-primary Impaired classroom is to increase environmental awareness. This
includes using eye contact, demonstrating imitation skills, and following basic directions. The
students will also learn a method of communication, to better enable them to control their
emotions. Instruction takes place in individual booths designed to keep distractions to a
minimum. Western Michigan University (WMU) students are trained to implement
individualized teaching procedures. Positive reinforcement is used to increase positive behaviors,
and attempts are made to ignore behaviors that interfere with learning.
Course Prerequisites or Co-requisites
Psychology 360; Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis or Psychology 100
The students must have earned at least a BA in Psychology 3601 or Psychology 100 to be able to
participate in the WoodsEdgepracticum.
Description of Schedule
Practicum students attend WoodsEdgetwo hours/day, five days per week.
• Note: WMU practicum technicians follow WoodsEdge Learning Center's calendar. As such,
all WMU students are required to work during finals week -- no exceptions! Let your
classroom teacher and the teacher’s aid know in advance if you have a scheduling conflict.
S/he will arrange for you to work during a different time slot that will accommodate your
• Note: All WMU students are required to work on WMU Spirit Day.
• Note: If WMU is cancelled, but WoodsEdgeis not, you must still come to WoodsEdgeto
• Note: In severe whether conditions (e.g., snow day), WoodsEdgewill be closed if Kalamazoo
Public Schools (KPS) are closed.
Description of Tasks
• On-site, undergraduate practicum students (behavioral technicians) complete a series of
training sessions designed to introduce them to various aspects of the setting. These include
medical training, policies, procedures training, lifting training, and behavioral intervention
(BIT) training. Total time spent in training sessions will be 4 hours.
• Following these training sessions, practicum students are assigned to a WoodsEdgepupil,
with whom they will work for the entire semester (in most cases).
• The technicians work with their pupil Monday-Friday for two hours a day. The two hours of
time spent at WoodsEdgeeach day is divided into 15-minute blocks. Technicians work
through eight, 15-minute sessions with a specific child each day, implementing three or four
behavioral treatment procedures designed by Carmen Jonaitis (classroom teacher), Dr. Steve
Ragotzy, and Dr. Paul Knight (school psychologists). The majority of these behavioral
interventions involve Discrete Trial training (DT).
• The district director of services for the severely impaired and other WoodsEdgestaff
members will evaluate these programs, their implementation, and their effectiveness.
• The technicians receive feedback before, during, and after DT sessions from their teaching
assistant (TA) or the TA’s undergraduate assistants.
• The TAs are graduate psychology students from Western Michigan University. The
undergraduate assistants are psychology students from Western Michigan University.
1Psychology 360 is a course covering the concepts and principles of behavior analysis as derived from basic human
and nonhuman research. Topics such as contingencies of reinforcement, stimulus control, stimulus-response
chaining, and performance management are covered. The text used for the course is Elementary Principles of
Behavior by Malott, Malott, & Trojan (1999). Homework assignments and quizzes accompany each seminar
session. The homework assignments include contingency diagramming. The diagrams facilitate original thinking
because the students are often required to diagram examples they have created on their own. An introductory rat lab
accompanies the lecture portion of the course, so students can practice applying the principles about which they
General Classroom Information
There is a lot of information to learn at the beginning of the semester, and we don’t always
remember to tell you everything. Be sure to ask, if you have any questions. It is equally
important to make suggestions. Although we’ve been doing this for a long time, you will be the
one with the closest day-to-day contact with your child, and may have valuable insight that will
help your child progress more quickly. So, please let us know!
Bussing: Bussing information is posted in the classroom and in the front lobby. Children have an
assigned seat, and may use a seatbelt, car seat, or harness. Harnesses should be brought into
school and not left on the bus. Children’s bags are placed at the front of the bus. Provide the
assistance necessary for your child to get on or off the bus, however, children cannot be carried.
Children are not allowed off their bus until 8:30 or 11:30, and are not allowed back on their bus
until 11:30 or 2:30. If a child has not arrived by 9:00 (due to bad weather, etc.), ask the
receptionist to page us when the child arrives.
Books & Bags: Children have their own home/school notebooks, which relay information
between parents and the classroom teacher and the teacher’s aids. Because parents may write
about sensitive topics (medications, etc.) the notebooks are confidential. Children come with
their own school bags everyday, and parents may send diapers, permission slips etc. to school.
Please let us know if you find anything unusual.
Material Bins: The material bins contain instructional materials that will be used by other
practicum students after you leave the shift. Consequently, it is very important that all materials
are returned to the bins when the procedure is done. Please keep extra materials out of the bins
such as tissues or reinforcers. Please let your TA know if any of the items from the bin are
Reinforcer Bins: Each child has a bin that contains their favorite reinforcers. This may include
various toys, books, or edibles. Please be sure that the bags of edibles are always sealed, and any
crumbs, wrappers, scraps of paper, etc. are removed at the end of your shift. It is also very
important that child’s reinforcers are not placed in the material bins, or the instructional materials
are not placed in the reinforcer bins.
Picture Activity Schedules: Each child has laminated pictorial icons and a strip that indicate the
5 activities that the child is scheduled to do. The schedule strip and icons are located on the wall
inside of the booth, and the activities indicated should correspond with the schedule in the child’s
book. Before you start working with the child, point to the icon on the strip, say, “See, it is time
to work,” and place the “work” icon in the pocket right next to the strip. Similarly, when you
leave the booth, say, “See, it is time to go to bathroom (music, speech, etc.), and bring the icon to
the destination. After you reach the destination, you can place the icon in your apron and bring it
back to the booth. At the end of your shift, set up a schedule for the next-shift technician so that
he/she can start sessions immediately after he/she has arrived at the booth.
Booths: Each child is also assigned a booth that they will work in every day. The booth contains
two chairs, an empty desk, a material bin, a box of tissues, and a waste basket. Any used tissue
should be thrown in the garbage to reduce the spread of germs. Booths should be cleaned at the
end of each shift, and edibles restocked for the next shift. Ask your TA for more food, if you are
low on edibles.
Data Sheets: The data sheets in the procedure book should only be marked in pencil. The
classroom teacher, the teacher’s aid, and your TA are the only ones who can make phase
changes. All old data sheets should be removed from the books as soon as they are graphed and
given to your TA to file.
Groups: We have 3 groups (music, snack, and speech) that your child will participate in while at
school. During this time you should reinforce appropriate behavior such as good eye contact,
quiet hands, good in-seat behavior, etc. and prompt or model appropriate responding. You should
make sure your child is attending to the group, has quiet hands, etc.
During music time, children are expected to sit independently, while you are expected to sing
along, imitate the music teacher, and reinforce your child’s singing along, imitating the music
teacher, and sitting independently.
Playroom: The children are scheduled to be in the playroom at specific times for procedures or
structured play. Your child should not be in the playroom at any other time. Structured play is an
excellent time for you to establish yourself as a reinforcer and work on appropriate play skills.
You should interact with your child the entire time you are in the playroom (See Extra Learning
Opportunities Section). This is not a time to sit, relax, or socialize with your classmates. Toys
should be put away before you leave.
Children: Never leave your child alone, even for a minute. If you need to use the restroom,
etc., ask someone to watch your child for you.
Do not take your child’s behavior personally, and do not get angry with him/her. Try
to remember that he/she is a very young child and with a very serious impairment. If
you need a break because you feel like you are getting angry, don’t hesitate to ask
your TA to take over for a few minutes.
1. When your child gets injured (hits his/her head, pokes his eyes, scratches a scab, etc.) or looks
sick if your child looks sick, please inform your TA or the teacher’s aids. Even though the injury
or sickness may not look serious at the moment, it may get worse later on. The child may have a
special condition that you may not know about. It is important to catch signs of injury or
sickness for prevention. Be sure that you inform your TA or the classroom aids when
something unusual happens.
2. When you do not have to take care of your child (e.g., your child is absent, late, in
gym, swimming, OT, etc.), find appropriate alternative activities or ask your TA what
you should do. Examples of appropriate alternative activities are helping another
practicum student collecting data, assisting another practicum student reinforcing the
child’s appropriate behavior, observing other practicum students, cleaning the booth,
toys, etc. It is not a time to take a rest and socialize with other practicum students.
3. Remember WoodEdge’s “no-scent” policy, and be aware that some products that claim to be
unscented are not. Often children are using medications or will have certain medical conditions.
Because of confidentiality issues, we cannot tell you about these conditions. Check the
chalkboard each day for announcements. Remember that the other two classrooms are in session
and try to be as quiet as possible as you pass to keep distractions to a minimum.
4. Don’t forget to sign in when you arrive and sign out when you leave. The sign in sheet is
provided on the counter in front of the children’s bathroom.
5. Wash your hands before you start working with your child and before you leave WoodEdge.
6. If you are working with another practicum student or an advanced practicum student, please
cooperate with each other to make a maximum progress of your child. Here are the general
guidelines for cooperation with other practicum students.
o When one person is conducting discrete-trial sessions, the other person should collect
data and give extra social reinforcers for the child’s correct response.
o The data collector also should read the procedure carefully and remind the DT trainer to
implement trials in the exact way that the procedure specifies.
o During inter-procedure-intervals, one person can play with the child while the other
person prepares for the next procedure.
o As described above, you can remind the other technician when he/she is not conducting
the trials in the way that the procedure specifies. However, please talk to your TA or the
assistant when you find other types of concerns in the other tech’s performance (i.e.,
timing of reinforcement, pacing, enthusiasm during reinforcement, using effective
reinforcer, etc.). Please do NOT give feedback directly to the other technician unless you
are specifically asked to do so. Limiting the source of feedback to your supervisor will
prevent unnecessary confusions and inter-personal conflicts.
General Guidelines for Discrete-Trial Training
Before Beginning the Session:
• Before entering the booth, gather the materials needed to conduct your sessions (i.e., pencil,
reinforcer bin, procedure book, PECS book, etc.)
• Each time you enter the booth, read the procedures carefully. Be familiar with the procedures
to be implemented. Ask for help if you are unsure what to do.
• Check your child's schedule in the front of his/her procedure book. Follow the schedule as
closely as possible.
• Check your child’s picture activity schedule on the wall of the booth. The necessary items
include the icons, the schedule strip, and the pocket to hold the icons. The previous-shift
technician should set the schedule (put the icons on the strip) for you to begin with. (If the
schedule is not ready for you, you should set up for your child and inform your TA.)
1. Before each scheduled activity, point to the corresponding icon and say, “It is time to
work (to go to music, playroom, bathroom, etc.)” to your child. Make sure that the child
is attending to the icons when you do this.
2. Keep showing your child the appropriate icon while transitioning to destinations outside
the booth (i.e. music, snack, etc.). This often greatly decreases your child’s problem
behavior during the transitions!
3. Put the icon in your apron when you reach the destination and bring it back to the booth.
4. Put the icons for completed tasks/transitions in the pocket on the wall of the booth.
5. It is better if your child puts the icon in the pocket or carries them to their destinations,
but your child is not required to do so.
• Before you start any procedures, check the data from previous sessions (It is important!
Always check phase changes, red dots, and maintenance status before you do a
o Phase changes: If the child’s performance is at or above 80% or greater for 3
consecutive sessions OR at or above 90% for 2 consecutive sessions, inform your
TA that you need a phase change. Coded sessions do not affect phase change
criterion, act as if they do not exist.
o Blowing the whistle/Red Dot: If your child has had five consecutive sessions at or
below 50% on a procedure OR if there has been no phase change for 20
consecutive sessions, inform your TA by placing a check mark and the date in the
appropriate columns on the chart outside your booth. This is called “blowing the
whistle” and is very important for your child's continuous progress. After you mark
the book and folder, the TA will modify the procedure for you.
o Maintenance Procedures: Maintenance procedures are procedures where the child
has met the criterion for the final phase. When a procedure has reached maintenance
status place the date it went on maintenance on the folder outside the booth in the
appropriate column. This is done so the classroom teacher or the classroom
coordinators will know the procedure is complete and can replace the procedure with
a new one. Do not use food for procedures that are on maintenance!
o Probe trials: If your child is progressing quickly, it may be possible to skip phases
and go to more advanced material. In these cases we conduct probe trials to see if we
can move the child ahead. If a child has met the criteria (90% or 100%) for six
consecutive sessions, which is 3 phases, inform your TA. Only your TA, Carmen, or
the classroom coordinators can conduct probe trials.
During the session
A trial is: The occasion for a response, the response and the outcome of that response.
Presenting the SD (discriminative stimulus):
• The child should be sitting in his/her chair with his/her hands in the 'quiet hands' position
(hands crossed on lap or hands on the desktop).
• The child must be attending (eye contact, etc.) before you deliver the SD.
• Present the SD as it is written in the procedure.
• Only give the SD once.
• Use a pencil only.
• Write as neatly as possible.
• Always put the date and your initials in the upper box (1).
• Each column is one scheduled procedure, while each row within that column is one trial.
Each main column consists of two columns.
oIn the left column, mark a plus when the child makes a correct response and a negative
when the child makes an incorrect response (2).
oThe right column is used to record which stimulus was used for each trial. For example,
if the student is matching a cup, spoon, and plate, mark a C, S, or P in the right column,
next to the plus or minus sign in the other column (3).
• Record each response immediately after each trial. Do not wait for the end of the session.
• Always mark the percentage correct in the box at the bottom of each column (5).
Date 4/12 4/12 4/13 4/13 4/17 4/17 4/18 4/18 4/23 4/23
WB WB WB WB WB 1
Ph. 2 OT RH
OT OT RHOT OT RHOT 3 OT
OT OT RH
+ + + + + + - + C
+ S + + A S
+ + + - +
- + A + + - - - A - P 2
+ + + + + + - A + C
- + + + + - - - P
- - + + + - - - C
- + + S 3
- + + - +
+ - + + + + - + P
+ - - - + + - + P
+ - - + + + + + S
% 60 50 80 90 90 70 10 70
• Only record data for the first 10 trials of each procedure. If the child emits an incorrect
response on the 10th trial, implement trials from a maintenance procedure or continue with
the same procedure until the child emits a correct response but do not record this extra
• With 10-trial procedures, each minus is worth 10 percentage points out of 100. With 20
trials, each minus is worth 5 percentage points out of 100.
• Coding Data:
o If a scheduled procedure is not implemented for any reason, enter a code into the data
sheet (e.g., SA for “student (child) absent”, etc.). For instance, if a procedure is
scheduled twice per day and you only completed it once, must record a code for the
missed procedure (4).
o If you are not able to complete all 10 trials of a procedure, mark a code indicating the
reason you did not complete the procedure. Have your TA initial after coded sessiona
on the data sheet. If you do not get codes signed, you will lose professionalism
o Please ask your TA or her/his assistants for signing codes and phase changes. The
classroom teacher and the classroom coordinators are not responsible for doing it.
• Do not use the margins for keeping data; ask for a new data sheet from your TA.
Delivering the Reinforcer:
• If the child emits a correct response, immediately deliver the reinforcer as written in the
procedure. For instance, the reinforcer should be in your hand or easily accessible, so you
can immediately give it to the child. If the edible reinforcer has to be pulled out of the plastic
bag each time, then the reinforcer is not given immediately.
• Be enthusiastic when delivering the reinforcer!
• Use descriptive reinforcers for correct responses (i.e., “Good touching your nose, Johnny!”).
• Vary the reinforcers within a session (i.e., use edibles, socials, toys, etc.). Refer to the child's
reinforcer list in his/her procedure book.
• When implementing an expressive labeling procedure (i.e., asking “what is this?”) do
not give the item the child is labeling to the child. For example, when you ask your child
“What is this?” when a cracker is on the table, do not reinforce the correct response,
“Cracker,” with the cracker. You should use another reinforcer. However, when you are
implementing a request procedure (i.e., your child is responding to the question “What do
you want?”) you should provide the reinforcer specified by the request.
• Be mindful of what reinforcers are working well and which ones are not. This can change
daily or even in the course of a procedure.
• If using a toy, play with your child in some unique fashion; just don’t give the toy to the
child. You are required to do this and you will lose points if you do not. For example if using
a car for a reinforcer, make car sounds and run it across his or her arm.
• Be creative when using social praise. You must show affection by touching and tickling the
child in addition to giving food or toys.
• Remember have fun with your child!
Delivering the Correction:
• If the child emits an incorrect response, immediately implement the correction procedure as
• Use the hierarchy of prompts, from the least to the most intrusive. That is, you should use a
gestural prompt (i.e., point to the correct stimulus), then if necessary use a partial and then a
full physical prompt.
• Use a neutral tone of voice. There must be a large difference in your tone when reinforcing a
correct response and correcting an incorrect response.
• Only consider the child’s first response. For example, you say, “Touch your nose,” and the
child touches his/her mouth and then his/her nose. This response is still recorded as incorrect.
• When it is obvious that the child is going to make a mistake, do NOT wait for the child to do
so. Block the child’s attempt while saying, “Stop”, and follow the correction procedure.
Reinforcement between trials and outside of the booth
• You must reinforce your child’s other appropriate behavior in between trials and outside of
the booth during transition, snack, music, etc.
• In the booth, you are required to reinforce other appropriate behavior (not behaviors specified
in the written procedures) on average once every 2 trials. Outside of the booth, you must
reinforce the child’s appropriate behavior on average twice per minute. If you do not do
both, you will lose monitoring points.
• Examples of behaviors to reinforce include: sitting nicely, quiet hands, attending before the
trial without having to ask, walking from activity to activity nicely, participating
appropriately in music, speech, snack, etc. Other appropriate behavior does not include the
behaviors that are part of the procedures.
• When reinforcing your child’s appropriate behavior use verbal praise such as “nice sitting,”
“good job with quiet hands,” or “good walking.”
• If the child engages in problem behavior and then starts behaving appropriately, wait for 4
seconds before reinforcing the appropriate behavior.
Maintaining stimulus control:
• Poor stimulus control is likely when beginning a new phase, beginning a new procedure, or
after the child has been absent. If your child is off-task during the discrete trial session,
implement a maintenance procedure. This allows your child to respond correctly and to
contact reinforcers. This will increase compliance.
• When your child does not sit still, move the desk aside and move forward into the child’s
“personal space” – Have your knees touching or around your child’s knees, lean
forward, speak louder, increase the pace, use firm physical guidance, and reinforce
• When your child shows any disruptive behaviors (e.g., crying, dropping on the floor):
Instruct the child to perform to the appropriate behaviors. Follow through on your instruction
using the hierarchy of prompts (verbal, gestural, partial, and full physical). Do not repeat
instructions, react to, pay much attention to or make comments that might increase future
frequency of disruptive behavior (i.e. Why are you being so stubborn?, We only have one
more trial!, etc.).
• Speak in a clear, descriptive, and concise way when you instruct or praise the children.
Unnecessary talking and long sentences confuse the children. An good example of praise
would be “Johnny, nice touching your nose.” A poor example would be “Johnny, you are
such a good boy. I knew you could touch your nose. You are so smart.” This may sound
appropriate but it is background noise to your child.
• WE staff members are willing to accept new ideas and are pleased when you offer
suggestions. Please politely discuss with them your questions and concerns.
At the end of your shift:
• If you are done early you can do extra learning opportunities (see extra learning opportunities
section). If you have some incomplete procedures you should complete them before doing
any extra learning opportunities.
• Before you leave the booth, you should set up the picture activity schedule for the following
• Remember to have all codes and phase changes signed and mark Red Dots and
Maintenance on the folder outside your child’s booth before leaving WoodsEdgeeach
Data Sheet Codes
Your TA must initial each coded session
You must justify any code entry to your TA
If you have more than 3 IP’s or OT’s in a row or 3 out of 5 IP’s or OT’s for the same
procedure, please let your TA know.
AAA – Alternate Appropriate Activity: Use this code for special arts workshop, evaluations,
holidays, parties, tornado or fire drills, toileting accidents, examinations by the school nurse,
OT – Off Task: Use this code if you can not complete a session because of inappropriate
behaviors during that session or if you cannot start a session because of tantrum, self-
stimulation and other inappropriate behaviors during previous sessions that cause them to take
too long. Do not use this code in place of data collection for sessions in which a child is
somewhat inattentive but completes the procedures (even though his or her performance is not
as successful as usual).
IP – Implementation Problems: Use this code when the procedure was not completed because
you spent time looking for the stimulus material or reading a procedure or phase you were not
familiar with. Also use this code when you fail to complete a procedure because of poor
IN – Invalid Data: For a procedure implemented incorrectly. If you find yourself or other
techs conducting a procedure the wrong way, you should invalidate the data with this
OH – On Hold: For example, for a child who needs to see the speech pathologist before
continuing on with his or her ABC procedure.
PT – Probe Trial: For recording data during a probe of a new phase. The purpose of a probe
trial is to adjust the level of instruction to the child’s needs. The following are circumstances
in which a probe trial should be conducted:
When a child has met the criteria (90% or 100%) for six consecutive sessions, which is 3
phases, inform your TA.
Your TA is responsible for authorizing probe trials. Your TA should observe the
probe trial to determine what further action should be taken.
SA – Student (child) Absent: For any reason that the child is not in school. ONLY mark this
for the FIRST session of each procedure for the day that the child is absent.
SC – School Closed: For half days, snow days, etc.
SI – Student (child) Ill: For a sick child attending WE (e.g., lying on bean bag, waiting for
parent to arrive).
SL – Student (child) Late: For tardy children.
TA – Technician Absent: For any reason the practicum student is not at WE.
General Guidelines for Activities of Daily Living
Activities of Daily Living include toileting, arrival, departure, hand washing, and snack. When
conducting the ADL procedures it is important to follow the procedures as written.
1. State SD (e.g., “Go wash your hands”)
2. Wait 3 seconds for child to perform the task independently
3. Deliver verbal prompt (e.g., “Water on”)
4. Wait 3 seconds for child to perform
5. Deliver gestural prompt (e.g., point to faucet handle)
6. Wait 3 seconds for child to perform
7. Deliver partial physical prompt (e.g., Nudge child’s wrist)
8. Wait 3 seconds for child to perform
9. Deliver full physical prompt (i.e., Guide child to respond)
Prompting during ADL Procedures
o Guide your student as little as possible. We are trying to increase the children’s
independence as much as possible.
o Ensure that your child is attending and follow the prompt hierarchy posted on the
o If your child starts to get off task or isn’t making the correct response within 3
seconds, give a verbal prompt. (i.e. “Johnny, water on.”) Do not repeat the verbal
o If the child still doesn’t respond within 3 seconds, try a gestural prompt. (i.e.
model the response or point to the operandum).
o If the child does not respond within 3 seconds, the next step is a partial physical
prompt. (i.e. tap the child’s elbow to guide him/her to turn on the water.)
o The last resort after another 3 seconds is a full physical prompt. (i.e. move the
child’s body to make the response).
o Reinforce each step of the ADL procedures heavily, even on prompted
responses. Note: this is different from the discrete trials run in the booth and
only applies to ADLs. At the end of the procedure reinforce the behavior with a
tangible reinforcer from your reinforcer belt or give something special (e.g., a big
hug) to your child.
Recording ADL Data
o Every child has a clipboard of datasheets for their ADL procedures.
o Use the following codes to record data:
“+” means the child completed the step independently and correctly
“V” means the tutor gave a verbal prompt
“G” is for a gestural prompt
“P” is for a partial prompt
“F” is for a full physical prompt
o Some children have additional data sheets hanging on the wall in the bathroom for
recording their toileting.
o The percentage of independence (+ code) should be calculated at the bottom of
the data sheet. If there are more (or less) than 10 trials in a particular ADL, it may
be difficult to calculate the percentage. However, you do not need to use a
calculator. Above the ADL clipboards, there is a chart listing all of the
calculations for you. When you put NA on some steps of an ADL for some
reason, you should not include the steps in the percentage calculation.
o Each child has a procedure for arriving and departing school.
o The steps for these procedures are listed on the data sheets.
o Each child has a procedure for snack group and should be using their PECS
boards if needed.
o The child is on the same PECS phase at snack as they are when they do PECS in
the booth. So if the child has an “I see” icon on the book during procedures, they
should also have one during snack.
o For some of you, this is your first time to change diapers or deal with toilet
training. Don’t get nervous, it’s really not that difficult.
o Each child is toileted according to their schedule and is in some stage of toilet
training, either learning to change their own diaper or learning to go in the toilet,
o Each child has a bin in the bathroom cupboard with their name on it and a supply
of diapers. When you notice them getting low, write the child’s name on the
board on the bathroom door and use fill out a diaper form (in the bathroom)
for your TA.
o Girls vs. boys: Girls need to be wiped every time from front to back, even if they
only urinate. Boys are wiped only when they have a bowel movement (BM).
o Dealing with BM:
Get your TA.
Put diapers in a plastic bag along with your gloves and the wipes before
throwing them away.
o If your child is dry there is no need to change their diaper, just write NA for the
missed steps and prompt the child to pull up his/her pants
o If a child soils their clothes or gets wet washing their hands, change them. We
will get you extra clothes for the kids. Put their soiled clothes in a plastic bag and
then put it in their book bag. Do not leave it in the bathroom or in the locker.
Tell the teacher’s aid or the classroom teacher so they can inform the parents.
o If soiled clothes get on the floor during toileting, inform the teacher’s aid, the
classroom teacher or your TA so it can be sterilized.
o If you notice anything unusual, such as a rash, please inform us.
o If a child has a BM or urinates before or after pool, inform the pool staff so
that the staff can disinfect the pool.
o When a child switches from diaper skills to toilet training, ask your TA for a new
o If a child is dry, you do not have to change the diaper; just mark N/A for the
• To obtain an "A" you must earn a 92% or better in the following areas:
Homework grade -- including Seminar graphs, final project, additional readings, and the
exercises in the Bosch book.
WoodsEdge Learning Center participation
• To obtain an “A” you must also earn a 97% or better in the following areas:
Daily Discrete Trial session and Activities of Daily Living
• To use the matrix below, take your lowest percentage in either your professionalism or
monitoring grade and find it on the left hand column. Then take your lowest percentage in
quizzes, participation, homework, or graphing and find it on the top row. Find where the two
intersect on the matrix. This is your final grade for the course.
Quizzes, Participation, Homework,
Grade 92 87 82 77 72 67 62 <61
Professionalism & Monitoring
97 A BA B CB C DC D E
93 BA B CB C DC D E
89 B BC C DC D E
85 CB C DC D E
81 C DC D E
78 DC D E
75 D E
• Cheating of any sort results in our recommending to the WMU Student Judiciary Committee
that the student receive a grade of "E" for the course. Entering false data at WoodsEdge
Learning Center will also result in our recommending to the WMU Office of Student Judicial
Affairs that the student receive a grade of "E". ENTERING FALSE DATA ALSO HURTS
Category Subcategories Points
Quiz Varies 4-55 points per quiz
WE Participation 20 points per day
Seminar Participation 20 points per seminar
Seminar Graphs 10 points per graph
Seminar Homework 10 points per week
Final Project 100 points
Professionalism 100 points per week
Session Monitoring 100 points per observation
(~ 200 points per week)
ADL Monitoring 100 points per observation
(~ 100 points per week)
Monitoring Outside the May result in loss of Prof. or
Booth Monitoring Points
Too many IP codes May result in loss of
Quizzes: Each Quiz is worth a variable amount of points. There are no make-up quizzes.
WE (WoodsEdge Learning Center) Participation:
At WE, technicians earn 10 points an hour. Therefore, a day at WE is worth 20 pts. Participation
points are deducted for doing other homework, writing letters, or socializing when you should be
working with your child, etc. You cannot make up WE absences with OAPs.
o When a technician misses a WoodsEdgepracticum day without advanced notice
(i.e., calling in the day before or prearranging with session supervisor), s/he will lose
participation points (20 points) and his/her grade will be lowered half a letter grade.
o When a technician misses a practicum day with advanced notice (for whatever
reason), s/he will lose participation (20 points) points for that day.
o When a technician misses more than four days either at WE or in seminar, the grade
is lowered half a letter grade.
o If a technician loses all participation points for any given day either at WE or in
seminar due to being late, s/he must still participate in all activities during the time
remaining. Otherwise, the technicians final grade will be lowered half a letter grade.
o Technicians lose 1 point for every minute s/he arrives late or leaves early (for any
o In addition, when a technician is going to be late and does not call to warn
WoodsEdge staff, 10 Professionalism points will be lost.
o If you lose 60 points or more for lateness or leaving early at WE, your final
grade will be lowered by half a letter grade.
o Rationale for the stringent attendance policy: Consistency is crucial for the
technicians and the WE children. Technicians benefit most from daily practice and
feedback in order to acquire the skills needed to properly perform DT sessions.
Absences affect their repertoire (DT skills) but also the repertoire of the WE child
with whom they are working. Please note that this get-tough attendance policy is
designed to avoid the hopeless hassle of coming around during, or at the
conclusion of, the semester pleading for some way to make up points lost
throughout the semester!
One seminar session is worth 20 pts. Participation points are deducted when: (1) you do not
participate in role plays, (2) you are late for seminar (3) you do not participate in the discussions
(4) you are absent from seminar.
o When a technician misses a seminar session (for whatever reason), s/he will lose both
participation points (20) and quiz points (20)--NO EXCEPTIONS!
o When a technician misses more than three days either at WE or in seminar, the grade
is lowered half a letter grade.
o Technicians lose 1 pts per minute late
o If a technician loses all participation points for any given day either at WE or in
seminar due to being late, s/he must still participate in all activities during the time
remaining. Otherwise, the technicians final grade will be lowered half a letter
• Seminar Graphs: Graph one weeks worth of a procedure and bring the graph to seminar.
Your graphs are used to update and evaluate the procedures. (10 points per week)
• Seminar Homework (Bosch Book): Complete questions in the readings every week. The
seminar TA will check off completed Bosch homework. (10 points per week)
• Final Project: The final project is worth 100 points. The rough draft is worth 20 points. The
project consists of a paper evaluating the work you have done throughout the semester (see
section on the final paper). Your grade will reflect your performance in 2 areas:
o STYLE: 30 points (grammar, syntax)
o CONTENT: 70 points (description of the child and the graphs)
o LATE DRAFT: -10pts per day
• Session Monitoring: Your TA will monitor your performance during the discrete-trial
sessions approximately 2-3 times per week. The TA will provide feedback to help ensure the
correct implementation of procedures. Each monitoring is worth 100 points. The score is
determined by the evaluation of your supervisor. You will lose 2 points for each error you
• ADL Monitoring: Activities of Daily Living (ADL) includes arrival, departure, toileting,
and handwahsing. Please implement ADL as rigorously as you would implement discrete
trial procedures. Your TA will monitor your performance during ADLs approximately once
per week. Again, each monitoring is worth 100 points. You will lose 2 points for each error
• NOTE: The first four monitoring sessions will not count toward the final monitoring grade.
For these four practice sessions you should ask your TA to monitor difficult procedures. It is
to your advantage (and it will benefit your child) to ask your TA to monitor problematic
procedures. After the fourth session monitored, all sessions monitored will count toward your
• Monitoring outside of the booth: You will also be monitored outside of the booth for extra
reinforcement of appropriate behavior. Activities outside of the booth are snack, music,
transition, play time, speech time, etc. Your responsibility outside of the booth is to reinforce
your child’s appropriate behavior approximately twice per minute. Your performance may be
monitored by your TA and his/her assistant anytime in your shift. If your average
reinforcement rate is lower than twice every minute, you will lose 2 monitoring points. If it
is lower than once every minute, you will lose 4 monitoring points. If you don’t reinforce
your child’s appropriate behavior at all during the monitoring session, you will lose three
• Warning for too many IP (Implementation Problem) codes - By the end of the first month
of the practicum, you should be able to complete all the discrete trials sessions as they are
scheduled. It is important to try your best to complete all the procedures specified in the
schedule. You should inform your TA and make the necessary changes when you are not
able to complete more than a couple of procedures a day continuously. When your TA warns
you because of the number of incomplete sessions (often but not necessarily more than 3 IP
codes), and you are still not making enough efforts to follow the schedule, you will lose 3
points from your monitoring score
Your session supervisor evaluates your professionalism daily. Professionalism directly reflects
your performance in the practicum itself. Feedback will be given on an as needed basis (See
Professionalism Feedback Sheet below).
Evaluations of professionalism are worth 100 points per week. A 3-point deduction occurs each
time a category in the list on the following page is violated, with the exception of three
categories: (1) behaved professionally during interactions, (2) implemented feedback, and (3)
accepted feedback. A 5-point deduction normally occurs each time one of these categories is
violated (in extreme cases of un-professionalism, one or more letter grades might be deducted;
but fortunately this has never happened so far.
Professionalism Feedback Sheet
Name _______________ T.A.'s Name_____________ Date ______________
You have lost __________ points because__________________________________________
This list is not all inclusive and may be updated to meet the needs of the practicum.
Arrived on time: 8:30/10:30/12:30 (3pts per day)
Replenished and took reinforcer bin to assigned booth (3pts)
Brought own pencil, child's procedure book, and materials to booth (3pts)
Did not miss any phase changes (one point for each)
Went upstairs to wait for child's bus to arrive (3pts)
Implemented ADLs as scheduled and as described in the course pack (3pts)
Implemented procedures for child to wash hands, toileting, and arrival/departure (3pts)
Left all unnecessary materials away from child and out of the discrete trial session (keys,
coffee, pop, etc.) (3pts)
Prompts child while they participate in scheduled activities (i.e., speech) (3pts)
Followed procedure, recorded data, & prompted child during snack group and ADL’s (3pts)
Prompted child to throw away trash, prompted child to wash hands (followed procedure), and
went back to booth to work (3pts)
Worked until end of session 10:30/12:30/2:30 (3pts)
Did not leave child unattended (any time) (3pts)
Cleaned booth after session (threw away trash, picked up food, returned child book (3pts)
Wore school-appropriate clothes (including not showing underwear while sitting)
Wore reinforcer apron and ID badges (3pts)
Used picture activity schedule (3pts)
Blew the whistle correctly/timely (3pts)
Implemented feedback given during discrete trial sessions or seminar sessions (will vary)
Behaved professionally when interacting with The classroom teacher, supervisors, aides,
parents, peers, and other WoodsEdge staff (will vary)
Accepted feedback professionally and appropriately (eye contact, asked for suggestions,
etc.) (will vary)
• All practicum students are subject to the rules and regulations of Kalamazoo Regional
Educational Services Agency (KRESA). – For instance, verbal or physical abuse will not
be tolerated. If a WMU student engages in verbal or physical abuse of any kind, then the
student will be terminated as a staff member of KRESA and the WMU student must drop the
course. If it is too late to drop the course, then the WMU student will receive an “E” for the
• Implement DTs as instructed – Teaching the child in your own way is NOT professional.
We are providing instructions and feedback to practicum students based on the research
results and years of experiences in teaching children with autism. If you have disagreements
in the way that we conduct training, please talk to your TA. We are open for your
• Dress Code - WE is a professional site and you are expected to adhere to the dress code.
Your clothes should look appropriate for the parents of the children and any related
professionals including teachers, occupational therapists, school nurses, school psychologists,
etc. You will lose 3 professional points for wearing inappropriate clothes at WoodEdge. Be
aware that what you may consider “appropriate” may be “inappropriate” from their
o Examples of acceptable attire: clean jeans, khakis, walking shorts, stretch pants,
casual dresses and skirts, sweatshirts, tennis shoes, and sandals.
o Examples of unacceptable attire: Any dirty, torn, patched, or stained clothing,
cut-offs, beach wear, low-cut shirts, bare-midriff shirts, short skirts or shorts
("Daisy Dukes"), and clothing worn inside out or backwards.
o Do not wear T-shirts with contents inappropriate for an educational setting (sex,
drugs, alcohol, etc.)
o Do not wear any clothes that do not cover your underwear or private parts of your
body. (Low-rise jeans may be inappropriate if someone can see your underwear
when you bend over.)
Optional Activity Points (OAPs):
OAPs are extra points you can earn for doing extra work. You can use OAPs to replace one
grade in each category for the entire semester. OAPs cannot replace WE absences. No OAPs
will apply to the WE attendance. OAPs can only replace, not boost, grades. The number of
OAPs necessary to replace a grade vary according to the maximum grade for each grade
category (e.g., a quiz costs 20 OAPs, Prof. Eval. Costs 100 OAPs)
o OAPs can be earned in the following ways:
1 point per error found in the course material (neatly signal the mistake)
10 points per hour volunteered at WE (volunteers work for free)
10 points per hour for being a participant in studies relevant to the
practicum (with permission of your TA)
Up to 10 points per summary of a review article relevant to autism and/or
behavior analysis (include subjects, methods, results, strengths,
limitations, other personal reactions)
1/5 point per extra learning opportunities (ELO).
o All OAPs are “cashed” by the TA during the last week of class.
Advanced Practicum Opportunity:
o Advanced practicum is an opportunity for the students who completed the regular
practicum to continue their experience working with children.
o Advanced practicum is repeatable credit. You can take the advanced practicum twice,
three times, or even more.
o The following list shows the responsibilities for the advanced practicum students
a. You will work 10 hours each week doing discrete trial with one autistic student
b. You will work with your TA on all phase changes and red dots for that student
c. You will work with regular practicum students rotating each procedure
d. You will attend a one hour seminar each week to discuss your child, procedures ,
and turn in homework
e. You will get new data sheets and refill foods for your child without asking a TA
f. You will complete a final paper describing your project, literature review, red dot
procedures, and give a PowerPoint presentation of your project.
o To be an advanced practicum student, you need to have earned an A in the regular PSY
o In addition, you need to be an exemplar student.
Responsibilities at the Basic Practicum level
1. Procedures and books
You should ….
- Ask for a new data sheet when the other one is full
- Ask a TA or grad student supervisor to sign phase changes and whistle blows
- Ask a TA or grad student supervisor to conduct a probe trial if the child has met criteria
(see your seminar book for description of criteria)
You should not…
- Get new data sheets – the TA or grad student will do so
- Sign a phase change or whistle blow
- Conduct a probe trial
2. Reinforcer details
- Ask for edibles and/or juice when your child requests these items
- Make sure to ask for replacements for any stale edible items
- Dump out juice or water after your child leaves
- Clean your child’s reinforcer bin if something is spilled in it
- Ask a TA or grad student supervisor for an icon if your child does not have it
You should not…
- Get edibles or juice from the snack cabinet or refrigerator
- Retrieve icons from their drawers
- Check the child’s bag and giving diapers that come in the child’s bag to a TA or grad
- Fill out a diaper request sheet when diapers run low or run out and putting the slip in the
can on Jamie’s desk
- Notify a TA or grad student supervisor if a child needs new clothing
- Notify a TA or grad student supervisor if you need some assistance in the bathroom with
your child at any time.
- Help your kid down from a chair, desk, playroom equipment, etc, if he/she gets up there
without picking him/her up
You should not…
- Put diapers away or retrieving them from the staff bathroom
- Retrieve new clothing for your child
- Pick up your child
- Hold your child up by their arms or under their arms anymore than necessary
4. Feedback to other technicians
- Let anyone you work with politely know if they are on the incorrect phase or stating the
Sd in any way other than what is written
- Let a person you work with or work before or after know if a TA or grad student advisor
has told you anything about a child’s procedure that needs to be passed across shifts
- Let a TA know if you are concerned with the performance of a fellow technician
You should not…
- Give feedback on tone of Sd, correction, or praise to a fellow technician.
- Give feedback on choice of reinforcers to a fellow technician
- Give feedback on pacing
- These are the TA’s responsibilities
How to “be cool” at WoodsEdge Learning Center
Mitch Fryling, Spring 2004
Working with a young child diagnosed with autism may be a whole new experience for
some of you. We want to make sure that you get all you can out of the practicum experience.
We also want to make sure that the children get all they can out of the training you provide them.
The practicum is an educational experience for everyone. We have a few tips on how to
maximize what you can get out of the practicum.
A primary goal for practicum students is to work well with children with autism, but if
you want to survive in the competitive world of psychology (grad school/employment wise) you
need to be professional. Professionalism is a cheesy term….and we know that, but its something
that you need to master if you want to succeed in the real world (yes there is a world after
college, most of us just don’t see it for a long time).
In addition, you need to have great social skills to be successful in the real world. One
strange thing about social skills is that no one tells you how important those professionalisms are
or what they are, let alone, how well you are doing in the crucial area. If you don’t do well, you
won’t get the position you want, and no one will tell you the real reasons about where you
screwed up—too much hassle. This practicum is much like any other human service setting,
which makes it a great opportunity to practice such skills. We are going to tell you some of the
subtle things that will help you be a good member of the real world.
Here some specific examples of behavior of successful students and non-successful students. If
you are cool, you will use being in this practicum as an opportunity to learn how to be successful
in other situations when you graduate.:
1. Be punctual – Don’t be absent or late. Your consistent discrete-trials are crucial for your
child’s progress. If you want your child to get all he can out of each day at WoodsEdge
you need to be there providing services in a timely manner. Not to mention this will
increase your chances of getting a better grade, impressing your TA, Dr. Malott, and
WoodsEdge Learning Center staff.
2. Keep confidentiality. – Discuss your concerns for your child or any other issues related to
the practicum (e.g., red dots, disruptive behavior, a confusing procedure) in appropriate
situations. Do not talk about your concerns in other classes, at home, or in a bar. If you
have a problem with one of the procedures you and your child are working on, you
should bring it up at seminar or privately with a TA at WoodEdge.
3. Use school-appropriate language – Remember that you are working at a public school.
Using swearwords, making negative comments, and talking about parties and who you’re
dating are NOT appropriate. Choose appropriate topic at school. Believe it or not we
actually see a fair amount of this….even in front of children.
4. Accept feedback – Respond in a socially appropriate manner to the feedback from your
supervisor. Your supervisor means TAs, the practicum manager, undergraduate TAs,
advanced practicum students, the classroom aids, Carmen, and Dr. Malott. They are
offering suggestions from their experience in order to improve your skills. Say thank you
and try the suggestions to improve your skills.
5. Be properly assertive in disagreeing with your supervisors and expressing your
discomfort. – Your supervisors are trying to make feedback as consistent as possible,
however, as any supervisors are learning through their mistakes, they make sometimes
make a mistake. If you are not happy about some feedback or suggestions, don’t roll your
eyes, be emotional, or talk back to them right away. Smile, be tactful, be rational, be
polite, and be pleasant.
All of this should be probably pretty basic for most of you, but we thought it wouldn’t hurt to run
through it again. Let’s talk about these benefits for putting in a good effort at WoodEdge.
• Your child is going to learn more if you are professional, and put in your best effort
during the practicum. Our main priority is to provide quality behavioral interventions to
• Because your grade depends on it. A good way to make sure your chances of getting into
graduate school are significantly decreased is to get a bad grade in your undergraduate
• You’ll get a great letter of recommendation from Dr. Malott, and potentially from the
classroom teacher Carmen also. Getting a good letter of recommendation is crucial to
getting accepting into graduate programs and employment agencies. Start planning ahead
for this stuff, don’t wait till the last minute to wonder where to turn for letters of
• Doing good in the practicum will open up doors for you at WMU, like doing the
advanced practicum, research projects, etc. in the psych department. All of these
activities will enhance your employability and chances of getting into graduate programs.
REMEMBER, THE MAJORITY OF YOUR MOTIVATION TO DO WELL IN THE
PRACTICUM SHOULD BE SO YOUR CHILD LEARNS, AND CAN EVENTUALLY
FUNCTION IN A LESS RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT.
To end we’ll leave you with some examples:
#1: Tracy started the practicum without any expectations, and without having much respect for
behavior analysis during PSY 360. She was simply interested in finishing up the practicum
requirement of the Psychology major, and then continuing on to pursue her dream of becoming a
psychotherapist. Tracy was never interested in helping her child, but only in getting a good
grade. Although Tracy obtained an “A” average on quizzes, she was unable to get an “A” in the
course because she didn’t accept feedback, and frequently rolled her eyes when people made
suggestions. Not only did Tracy lose out on a great learning opportunity for herself, more
importantly her child didn’t learn as much as he could have because of her attitude. Don’t be
#2: Jon was in his last semester of college, and ready to finish school. He never really got great
grades, but was enthusiastic about working with one of the children in the autism preschool. Jon
was very enthusiastic, and everyone enjoyed having him around in the preschool. His child
learned a lot, and both he and the child he worked with had a lot of fun during the practicum.
Unfortunately Jon rarely came to the seminar, and when he did he didn’t do much but roll his
eyes and make cocky comments. If Jon could have got his act together he could have used this
experience to help him enter the autism job market. At least his child learned, but unfortunately
Jon’s behavior prevented him from maximizing on his opportunities. If you could, don’t be Jon.
#3: Sherrie got great grades in PSY 360, and was excited about starting the practicum. Sherrie
was a good student, but didn’t like that people were always monitoring her at WoodEdge. She
frequently complained about people always watching over her, despite TAs efforts to tell her that
this was our way to make sure the children are learning. Sherrie was so annoyed with the
feedback system that rather than make suggestions about how it could change she began to
contradict TAs. Sherrie would frequently do things against her TAs advice, and when asked
about it would lie. Sherrie was a great student, and could have been a great tech but wasn’t. If
Sherrie would have been able to accept feedback surely her child and her would have had a
better experience at WoodEdge. Don’t be Sherrie.
Discrete Trial Monitoring
Your TA will use this form to monitor your performance throughout the semester. The accuracy of your
teaching is recorded for ten consecutive trials. Each column (1-10) lists all the areas of performance that
are important to Discrete Trial Training (e.g., SD as written). Each of these areas of performance is
explained below (under the "monitoring/coding guidelines" heading).
When you are not sure if your performance is right, ask your TA to fill out a weekly performance sheet
(located in the Other Useful Stuff section) at the beginning of the week for additional feedback.
Session Monitoring Form
Date:___/___/___Tech Child___________ Date:___/___/___Tech Child________
Score _____ Procedure_____________________ Score _____ Procedure___________________
Monitor_____________IOA: ____ Monitor_____________IOA: ____
Trial 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R
SD B. SD as written
Response Resp. Correct?
C. As written
Reinforcer C. Descriptive
Attention for disruptive behavior
Your supervisor will use the same guidelines to evaluate your performance and to code the
discrete trials. These are common mistakes that technicians make.
1. SD Attending:
a. Child is playing with the stimulus materials before/during SD delivery
b. Early responding. The child responds before or during the verbal SD (pay special
attention to this when the child has mastered the procedure)
c. Child is consuming food or has access to the SR
d. Child is not looking at the tech and/or the stimulus material
2. SD as written:
a. Repeating the SD more often or less often than specified in the procedure.
b. Placing learning materials (e.g. ID objects procedure) always in the same location.
Rotation should occur at least once every 3 trials no matter how many stimulus items are
displayed. This rule might be useful:
(1) with 2 items: rotate every trial (in a counter-balanced fashion)
(2) with 3 items: rotate every 1 or 2 trial
(3) with more than 3 items: rotate at least every 3rd trial
c. Involuntary cueing (pay attention to eye and hand movements; look for patterns)
3. SD intonation:
a. The tone of voice is too excited
b. The tone of voice sounds too low or quiet (it must be neutral)
4. Correction Timely:
a. Providing reinforcement for "self-correction" followed by a prompt (If a tech provides a
prompt, the child’s response after the prompt must be followed by the correction
procedure, not reinforcement).
b. Not implementing the correction procedure
5. Correction Attending:
a. Child is not attending to the tech when the tech provides correction procedure.
b. Child is tantruming
6. Correction as Written:
a. Reinforcing an incorrect behavior
b. Delivering a tangible reinforcer when child responds correctly during the correction
c. Tech performs the behavior, rather than prompting the child (In general, the child should
behave during the correction and not simply watch “how it’s done.”)
d. Tech does not use the hierarchy of prompts.
e. Tech labels the incorrect behavior (e.g., “No, this is the shoe….and that is the banana” or
“No, this is not a shoe…”)
7. Correction Intonation:
a. The tone of voice is excited (it must be low and strong according to the WoodsEdge
8. SR (Reinforcer) Timely:
a. Delay between R and SR >2 s
b. SR (Reinforcer) in a bag or container
c. Tech records child’s response before delivering the SR
d. Tech does not use reinforcer because the child was “naughty” during previous trials
9. SR Effective:
a. Tech uses tangible SR for maintenance procedure
b. Tech presents a presumed “SR” that the child refused on a previous trial
10. SR Descriptive:
a. Tech uses general praise. According to the WoodsEdge policy the tech should specify
what they are praising. (ex. “Good touching your nose.”)
11. SR Intonation:
a. The tone of voice is low. This intonation is very important. We want a happy tech.
12. Affection and play:
a. Tech must use affection (touching, making funny faces, etc.) in addition to any social
b. Tech must play with the toy when reinforcing the child. For example, run the car along
the table and make car noises.
13. Pacing error:
a. Searching for stimulus material between trials
b. The ITI exceeds 5 sec., when the technician is only using praise
c. The ITI exceeds 20 sec.
14. Extra Reinforcement
a. Tech must reinforce the child’s other appropriate behaviors on the average of once every
two trials in the booth.
b. Tech must reinforce the child’s appropriate behaviors on the average of once every
minute outside of the booth.
c. If the child engages in the problem behavior and then starts behaving appropriately, the
tech should wait for 4 seconds before reinforcing the child for appropriate behavior.
15. Attention for Disruptive Behavior
a. When the child shows disruptive behavior, tech should instruct the child to go back to the
appropriate behavior by following the hierarchy of prompts: verbal, gestural, partial
physical, and full physical prompts.
b. Verbal prompts (e.g., “Quiet hands,” “Sit down”) should not be repeated more than
necessary. Tech should repeat verbal prompts only when following the hierarchy of
c. Try not to make any facial expressions following child’s disruptive behavior
d. Tech should not make any unnecessary comments about child’s disruptive behavior (e.g.,
“Why you are so naughty today?” “I don’t know why you are doing this to me.”)
e. Tech should not give a choice of reinforcers following disruptive behavior. If preference
assessment is necessary, do it following appropriate behavior. Ask an easier question
(e.g., touch your nose, quiet hands) if it helps the child do an appropriate behavior.
What happens if I get bitten?
• When the child does not let go with his/her teeth:
o Push the child’s head closer to you. Do not push the child away; this may cause
the skin to tear more.
o Call over the nearest TA, the teacher’s aid, or the classroom teacher to help you
get the child to release his/her jaw.
• If the bite breaks the skin:
o Wash it out with soap and water in the sink by the bathrooms. The soap is really
good antibacterial soap.
• In all cases:
o Stop what you are doing, call over your TA, the teacher’s aid, or the classroom
teacher to fill out an incident report.
o If there is a need because of bleeding or swelling, you will be sent to the nurse’s
office to get bandaged or to get an ice pack.
o The child’s parents will be informed of the incident. (The child is probably at
more risk than the tutor, because the child may have gotten your blood in his/her
o If your child attempts to bite you and has not ever done this in the past, inform
your TA, the teacher’s aid, or the classroom teacher so we can watch this
behavior. It will also allow us to warn other tutors.
o If your child is a biter, do your best to ignore the child’s attempts to bite and
continue with the procedures. Although this is sometimes difficult (and not
always possible), do your best. Typically, the child is biting so he/she can escape
the demands that have been placed on him/her. It is also possible the child
behaves in this way for the attention resulting from the bite.
Final Fiesta (Project)
Your final project consists of a paper describing what you did throughout the semester. Please
write clearly and effectively. Remember that the passive voice is to be avoided. ALL
DOCUMENTS MUST BE TYPE-WRITTEN.
•Please use positive words in your paper. For example, “I punish my child’s inappropriate
behavior,” should be replaced by “I do not pay attention to my child’s inappropriate
behavior,” “I remove all of the destructions so that the child can attend to my instruction,” “I
reinforce the child’s appropriate behaviors every 10 seconds to decrease his inappropriate
First Draft: Your first draft must include all of the components listed in the outline below.
Final Draft: Your final draft must be updated to reflect changes throughout the semester and
any revisions that are needed.
Tami L. (Child’s first name and last initial)
Name of Child: Tami L. Name of Evaluator: Erin Seligson
Date of Birth:8/1/98 Evaluation Date: Fall Semester 2002
Date of Entry into WE: 10/1/01 Age at Evaluation: 5 years
Date of Operational Definition ofPossible Functions
Revision Inappropriate Behaviors of Inappropriate Working Tips
11/28/02 • Aggression: Extends • Aggression: • Aggression: I block
fingers and reaches for Escape from her hands and tell
tutor’s eyes to poke at procedures her “Quiet Hands.”
them • Screaming: • Screaming: I ignore
• Screaming: High pitched Escape from it and continue the
screeching sound procedures procedure.
Date of List of Reinforcers Frequency of Use
11/28/02 • Edibles: M&M’s, Reeces • Edibles: Reserved only
for difficult activities,
• Toys: Flag, Barney figurine, Kung Fu every 2-3 trials
Hamster • Toys: After completion
• Social: Tickles, hugs, high fives, praise. of 10 trials
• Social: After every trial
Strengths and Weaknesses
Date of Description and Discussion
11/28/02 Strengths • She advances quickly through verbal procedures.
Working tips: We have also been working on
verbalizations for Extra Learning Opportunities that
require her to tact different objects in the classroom. I
also have her mand for candy during snack and after she
Weaknesses • She tends to stop attending to directions after a couple of
procedures. Working Tips: I usually get her back on
track by using Extra Learning Opportunities that she has
• She has some difficulties matching 2D pictures to 3D
objects. Working Tips: A sub-phase was put in where
we point to the corresponding object. The sub-phase was
Skills That Were Worked on During the Semester
(Include only those procedures that the child worked on during that semester)
General Skills Sub Skills Date Started Date Ended # of Trials
Attending Remain Seated 9/24/02 10/15/02 126
Eye Contact 8/3/02 10/20/02 260
Attend to Objects
Imitation Imitate Word
Directions Come Here
Matching Identify Objects
General Skills Sub Skills Date Started Date Ended # of Trials
Imitation Imitate Words 9/24/02 10/15/02 126
Block Imitation 8/3/02 10/20/02 260
Matching Complex Pictures
Sort by Pairs
Alphabet Skills Match Letters
Math Skills Match Numbers
General Working Tips
Date of Revision Description of Working Tip
11/28/02 • Work through problem procedures slowly while working through
procedures that she enjoys very quickly.
• Use edible reinforcers only for those procedures that she has
• Don’t give in when she whines and screams. Work through the
Date of Revision Description of Recommendation
11/20/02 • In future semesters, I would like to see Tami working on
more verbal procedures since this is one of her strongest
• She should work harder on 2D/3D matching so that she
doesn’t have any more difficulties with it.
• I would like to see her getting more functional play in her
repertoire. We could possibly write in some procedures to
facilitate functional play skills.
WOODSEDGE LEARNING CENTER AUTISTIC IMPAIRED
PRESCHOOL PROGRAM CURRICULUM
This is the curriculum for our classroom. All children in our classroom should be learning
the skills in this general program curriculum. When you write your final paper, this
program curriculum will guide you to identify the general skill category for each
Lerner prerequisite - 1 Attending
Level 1: Remain Seated, Eye contact, & Attend to Objects
Level 2: NA
Level 3: Follow Oral Instructions
Level 4: Listen While Others Talk, On Task Behavior
BASIC LANGUAGE SKILLS
Basic language - 1 Imitation
Level 1: Imitate Sounds, Imitate Word, Physical Imitation, Manipulative Imitation, &
Level 2: Imitate Words, Block Imitation, & Line/Circle Imitation
Level 3: Imitate Phrases, Imitate Actions/Sounds, & Play Actions
Level 4: NA
Level 5: NA
Basic language - 2 Identification
Level 1: NA
Level 2: Objects, Pictures, ID Body Parts, & ID Clothing
Level 3: PECS Labels, Label Body Parts, Label Objects, Label Single Pictures, Color
ID, Shape ID, Two Component Object ID, & Label Complex Pictures
Level 4: Affirmation/Negation
Level 5: NA
Basic language - 3 Following directions
Level 1: Quiet Hands, Give Hug, & Come When Called
Level 2: Directions w/Prompt, Directions w/Model, One Component Directions, &
Level 3: Manipulative Directions, & Two Component Directions
Level 4: Two Component Prepositions
Level 5: Seek Permission
Basic language - 4 Matching
Level 1: Identical Objects, Similar Objects, Simple Identical Pictures, & Complex
Level 2: Icon/Object, Similar Pictures, Sort by Pairs, & Two to Three Dimensional
Level 3: Sort Objects by Classification, & Sort Pictures by Classification
Level 4: NA
Level 5: NA
Basic language - 5 Discriminating differences
Level 1: NA
Level 2: NA
Level 3: NA
Level 4: Objects, Picture, Colors, & Shapes
Level 5: NA
3. FUNCTIONAL LANGUAGE SKILLS
Functional language - 1 Social language skills
Level 1: Communicative Intent, PECS Requests, Basic Greetings, One Word Request,
& Yes/No Choices
Level 2: Family Identification, Request Phrases, Class Member Identification, & Social
Level 3: Manners, Extended Greetings, & Reciprocal Questions
Level 4: Request Wants and Needs, & Initiate Communication
Level 5: NA
Functional language - 2 Group learning skills
Level 1: NA
Level 2: NA
Level 3: Remain Seated During Groups, Sit with Hands Folded During Groups, Raise
Hand for Turn
Level 4: Wait Turn Quietly, & Line up/ Walk in Line
Level 5: Follow Group Directions
4. ACADEMIC SKILLS
Academic skills - 1 Language comprehension
Level 1: NA
Level 2: Animal Sounds, Sentence Completion, & Identify Written Name
Level 3: Actions, Prepositions, Attributes (list A), Functions (list A), & Noun/verb
Level 4: Attributes (list B), Functions (list B), Actions (list B), Function, Feature, Class,
Missing Object, Possession, Unknown, Gender, & Schedule/Time Concepts
Level 5: Emotions, WH Questions, Describe Pictures/Objects, Label Objects from
Descriptions, Prepositions (list B), Retell Events, & Make Predictions
Academic skills - 2 Alphabet skills
Level 1: NA
Level 2: Match Letters
Level 3: Recite Alphabet
Level 4: Match Letters (upper to lower case), & Point to Letters Named
Level 5: Name Letters Displayed, & Sequence Letters
Academic skills - 3 Match skills
Level 1: NA
Level 2: Match Numbers
Level 3: Repeat Patterns, & Count by Rote
Level 4: Count Objects, Identify Numbers 1-10, & Label Numbers 1-10
Level 5: Count Out Specified Number, Match Number to Quantity, & Sequence
Academic skills - 4 Handwriting
Level 1: NA
Level 2: NA
Level 3: Trace Lines, Draw Line Connecting Points, & Trace Shapes
Level 4: Trace Name, Trace Letters, & Trace Numbers
Level 5: Write Name, Copy Letters, & Numbers
5. PERSONAL CARE AND SAFETY SKILLS
Personal care & safety - 1 Toileting
Level 1: Independent Diaper Skills, & Independent Underwear Skills
Level 2: Display Readiness
Level 3: Respond Appropriately
Level 4: Consistently Use Toilet
Level 5: Independently Use Toilet (incl. dressing), & Initiate Need to Use Toilet
Personal care & safety - 2 Hand washing
Level 1: NA
Level 2: Wash Hands w/ Verbal Prompts
Level 3: Wash Hands Independently
Level 4: NA
Level 5: NA
Personal care & safety - 3 Lunch skills
Level 1: Drink From Cup
Level 2: Use Utensils
Level 3: Use Napkin, & Clean Area
Level 4: Use Manners
Level 5: NA
Personal care & safety - 4 Classroom independence
Level 1: NA
Level 2: Arrival, & Departure
Level 3: Transitions, Locate/Care for Personal Belongings, Follow Basic Classroom
Rules, & Clothing Fasteners
Level 4: Outerwear Undressing, & Outerwear Dressing
Level 5: On/Off Bus w/Minimal Supervision, & Avoid Obvious Danger
6. LEISURE SKILLS
Leisure skills - 1 Play
Level 1: NA
Level 2: Independent Structured Play
Level 3: Independent Unstructured Play, & Parallel Structured Play
Level 4: Parallel Unstructured Play, & Interactive Structured Play
Level 5: Interactive Unstructured Play
Leisure skills - 2 Art
Level 1: Manipulate Small Objects, & Color w/prompts
Level 2: String Beads, & Lacing Cards
Level 3: Parquetry Cards, Color Independently, & Manipulate Scissors
Level 4: Cutting Skills, & Gluing Skills
Leisure skills - 3 Music
Level 1: Tolerate Music Group
Level 2: Participate w/Prompts
Level 3: Physical Participation
Level 4: Vocal Participation
Level 5: Full Independent Participation
Worksheet for Seminar 1
All of the answers for this worksheet will be covered during the Power Point presentation in
seminar. Please fill in the answers as you watch the presentation.
1. Who is the teacher in the AI preschool classroom at WoodsEdge Learning Center (WE)?
2. On what page in the course pack can you find a chart with all your assignments and quizzes
for the semester? _________
3. How many books do you need for this class? _________
4. What do you do if you need a break at WE? __________________________
5. Name the three parts of a trial:
6. What is the criterion for a phase change in a procedure with 10 trials?
_______ % or greater for _________ consecutive sessions OR
_______ % or greater for _________ consecutive sessions
7. When does a procedure need to be red dotted? ____________________
8. Why is it important to mark maintenance procedures on your student’s folder?
9. How many times should you state the SD? _____________________
10. If a student gets 7 trials correct out of 10, what percentage does he earn? __________
11. Give an original example of descriptive praise. _______________________
12. Name the five Activities of Daily Living (ADL) that you will help your child learn:
13. Why should you try to prompt as little as possible when your child is learning ADLs?
14. List the types of prompts in the prompt hierarchy:
15. During ADLs, you only reinforce those steps that did not require a prompt.
16. Name the six categories you will be graded on:
17. How many points is next week’s quiz worth? _________
18. If you miss seminar, you can make up the quiz later. T/F
19. To get an A in this class, you must earn:
______% in ______________________
______% in ______________________
______% in ______________________
______% in ______________________
______% in ______________________
______% in ______________________
20. What is next week’s quiz over? _______________________________