AIM

May 12, 2020
The posts on this blog-spot are organized from oldest at the bottom to the newest at the top. Please scroll down to see what you may have missed!
5/12/20 AIM: ABC’s of Behavior and Behavior Function 
A training was presented on 5/4/20 to take a closer look at the ABCs of functional behavior in relation to the practice of AIM. We’re thankful to this team for providing this session for our employees and to Ashlie Symer for writing up the following summary to share with our audience. Readers can learn about earlier training presentations on this topic by scrolling down, and reach out to the presenters for more information.

AIM: ABC’s of Behavior and Behavior Function 

Presented by Ashlie Symer, BCBA, Kelsi Brown, BCBA, Megan Defiores, BCBA and Elise Zigrosser, School Psychologist.

AIM utilizes a functional approach to behavior by it’s incorporation of applied behavior analysis (ABA). There are three pieces to the functional approach to behavior: functional assessment, treatment approach, ongoing behavior monitoring. This component of AIM looks at the relationship between an environmental antecedent, the behavior, and the consequential event that follows the behavior to determine the function of behavior.

  • Escape
  • Attention
  • Tangible
  • Sensory

Antecedent strategies should be in place to minimize the value of engaging in the target behavior. These can include but are not limited to environmental modifications, use and availability of functional communication, visual supports, modified tasks as needed.

Consequential strategies also need to be in place to decrease the future likelihood of the target behavior occurring while increasing the future likelihood of adaptive, appropriate behavior occurring.

The flow of a behavioral event can be categorized into the ABC’s of Behavior (antecedent, behavior, consequence). The ABC’s should be paired with the use of ACT language to increase the salience of ACT processes.

With the functional approach to behavior, contingency plans are in place to manage the engagement in adaptable, appropriate behaviors and target behaviors. Individualized point systems are created per learner for their behaviors.

On 5/7/20, the presenters drew us even closer into the the intricacies of behaviors and behavior functions. Thanks to Ashlie Symer for writing this up for us, and to the presenters for orchestrating the training. 

Presented by Ashlie Symer, BCBA, Kelsi Brown, BCBA and Megan Defiores, BCBA.

Behavior Detectives

We all engage in behavior for a reason. That reason may very person-to-person but it is called the function of behavior.

  • Escape
  • Attention
  • Tangible
  • Sensory/automatic

Escape

  • Engaging in a behavior that leads to stopping or avoiding situations/ conditions.

Attention

  • Engaging in a behavior that obtains some form of attention from another person

Tangible

  • Engaging in a behavior that leads to obtaining a physical item or access to an activity

Sensory/automatic

  • Engaging in a behavior that in itself if reinforcing or internally pleasing in some way

ABC’s of behavior are used to help determine the function of behavior.

  • Antecedent: what occurs in the environment immediately before the behavior?
  • Behavior: what is the behavior and what does it look like?
  • Consequence: what occurs in the environment immediately after the behavior?

Setting events are events that happen before the antecedent of the behavior. These events make the antecedent more likely to trigger a target behavior (not sleeping, taking or not taking medicine, being ill).

Interventions should be function based. When intervening, be prepared for an extinction burst. This is when reinforcement is withheld from previously reinforced behaviors, often causing the behavior to worsen before it improves.

Always use antecedent strategies and teach replacement behaviors while responding to target behaviors. Replacement behaviors should take the place of the target behavior to promote adaptive, appropriate behavior. They should be functionally equivalent to the target behavior and should be equal to or easier to complete than the target behavior.


5.5.2020 AIM LANGUAGE
A training to dive a bit deeper into AIM was presented last week. We’re thankful to this team for providing this session for our employees and to Kelsi Brown for writing up the following summary to share with our audience. Readers can learn about earlier training presentations on this topic by scrolling down. 

AIM LANGUAGE

Presented by Megan Defiores, BCBA, Elise Zigrosser, School Psychologist, Ashlie Symer, BCBA, and Kelsi Brown, BCBA.

AIM is aligned with the upcoming 5th Edition Task List as provided by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).  This task list outlines the expected knowledge/skills of BCBAs and BCaBAs.  This will be rolled out January 1, 2022.  This is available to view at: https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/170113-BCBA-BCaBA-task-list-5th-ed-.pdf

The AIM curriculums broken down into three levels (i.e. Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) based on the developmental and cognitive levels of the students and their ability to generate higher-order thinking skills, as well as the emission of ACT behaviors identified within the following areas of the Hexaflex: present moment, acceptance, defusion, self-as-context, committed action and values.  For supporting staff, language to guide and promote flexible thinking and adaptive behaviors becomes increasingly complex and theoretical across the levels and as students advance through the program.

Many considerations are made when using the AIM curriculum with children across each area of the Hexaflex:

  • Present Moment:  Predisposed to fixate on environmental stimuli, Daydream (think about later, imagine, etc.), Act as if “lost in their head”

**Teach to refocus on what is actually going on around them and disengage from unhealthy, avoidant behavior

  • Acceptance:  Impulsive choices may seem to be the “only” choice, Impulsive behavior costs earning bigger, better things

**Emphasize that everyone struggles with acceptance

**Clarify the difference between acceptance and giving up

**Provide frequent praise for acceptance

  • Defusion:  Thoughts often become perseverations; not always able to discriminate, Struggle with letting go of thoughts about themselves (or what others think), Struggle to separate events at home from events at school
  • Self-as-Context:  “Self-as context” is an abstract concept that is difficult to understand, Labels of themselves or others have significant influence, Once they feel labeled, they may avoid situations

**Emphasize “the real you” and “you are not your behavior”

  • Committed Action:  “Value” is an abstract concept that is difficult to understand, Often at odds with more immediate reinforcers in the environment

**Make values more concrete/tangible 

**Emphasize that they must engage in certain behaviors to get what is important

  • Values:  Generally do not like to lose, failure cues more failure, Need to learn to let go of past events in order to move on

**Emphasize “try and try again” and being ready for obstacles

**Encourage goal setting and break goals down into “baby steps”

If you would like to learn more about AIM language or programming please reach out to one of our presenters for more details from the presentation.


4.26.2020 AIM TRAINING:  As we are always vigorous about staying abreast of current research and professional development, and with school still closed, Crossroads has been optimizing the greatly increased availability of opportunities for training. At the same time, we have the field’s masters at Crossroads; indeed, team members are incredibly well-educated and vigilant about continual learning and growth. This leads to topnotch in-house training presentations that give applicable tools for the trade. Here is a recent training dealing with AIM as a teaching structure that will soon be implemented throughout our school. The session was presented by the professionals identified in the article, and will be followed by more information in the future. We’re thankful to this crew for supplying our training, and to Kelsi Brown for writing up this summary to share with our audience. 

AIM

Presented by Megan Defiores, BCBA, Elise Zigrosser, School Psychologist, Ashlie Symer, BCBA, and Kelsi Brown, BCBA.

AIM stands for Accept, Identify, Move.

AIM is a combination of three evidence-based practices (EBP): Mindfulness training, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).  Each of these practices share a common result and lead toward better adaptive, flexible behavior and success across various environments.

To be mindful is to be PRESENT.  To be aware of where we are, what we are doing and less overwhelmed or consumed by what may be going on around us.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is focused on the acceptance of one’s own struggles and works to shift thought away from avoidance of our own struggles.  ACT is rotted in the Relational Frame Theory (RFT) that explains how we, as humans relate to the world around us, interact with out own verbal behavior and not change the content of such.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of behavior.  It is applied to individuals and in practice  to improve socially significant behavior and uses experimentation to identify the variables responsible for behavior change.  ABA is the core of our practice here at Crossroads and aims to increase independence of our students and lead them toward better quality of life by doing what works.

If you would like to learn more about AIM, mindfulness, ACT or ABA please reach out to one of our presenters for more details from the presentation.


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