PS385 Targeted Topics in ABA Unit 7 Discussion Academic Help

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In addition to these acquisition strategies, you explored the antecedent modification procedures of non-contingent reinforcement, high-probability (high-p) request sequences, and Functional Communication Training (FCT). These antecedent modification approaches are applied to prevent unwanted behaviors and to bring about desired responses.

Setting the Scene:

Freddie is a 7-year old, second grader. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 2-years-old. Freddie has a loving family that consists of his mother, father, and two older brothers. Recently, Freddie woke up in the middle of the night in terrible pain – it was a severe tooth ache. His parents took him to a pediatric dentist, Dr. Jim, who told them that Freddie had an abscess of his second molar of the right upper jaw. Thankfully, this was a baby tooth and would have been lost by, at the latest, 12-years of age.

The parents explained that Freddie is very resistant to brushing his teeth, or even having his parents brush his teeth. They expressed great concern about his health and the impact his oral hygiene would have. Dr. Jim told Freddie’s parents that he had seen many cases just like Freddie’s and that he always refers his patients who have this “resistance” to a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who designs individualized skill acquisition programs to increase independence in brushing teeth, as well as reduce the resistance.

Freddie’s parents were thrilled to learn that there is this type of help available to them – for Freddie’s oral hygiene and other activities of daily life with which Freddie struggles. This could help Freddie in so many ways!


  • Explain the skill acquisition procedures of shaping and chaining. Discuss the role of Differential Reinforcement (DR) in the shaping procedure. Discuss the role of the task analysis in the chaining procedure. What is the rationale for using each of these procedures?
  • Design a teeth-brushing chaining procedure for Freddie. Include a complete task analysis. Select a chaining procedure (forward chaining, backward chaining, or total task chaining) for this procedure and explain the steps in the procedure with regard to Freddie’s teeth-brushing chain.

Guided Response Posts:

Respond to your first peer’s primary post by choosing a chaining procedure that is different from the one he/she chose to train teeth-brushing, and explain the process of chaining using the task analysis that the peer designed.

Respond to your second peer’s primary post by selecting one component in his/her task analysis and explaining how you would apply a shaping procedure to teach that component if Freddie were having difficulty achieving proficiency. Be sure to break down the process by setting pre-determined criteria for Differential Reinforcement (DR).

Reading and Resources

Read the following:

Chapter 22 in Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd edition): “Shaping” (pp. 540-553)

The shaping strategy is explained in terms of when it is appropriate to use, how differential reinforcement is applied in the shaping process, and how shaping may be different across response topographies. The skills a trainer must have to effectively implement a shaping program and the steps the trainer must take to implement are discussed in detail.

Chapter 23 in Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd edition): “Chaining”

The chaining procedure, and its usefulness in training complex behaviors, is explained, as is the development and use of the task analysis. The different types of chaining procedures are presented, along with how one can select the most effective chaining procedure given the specific variables in each case.

Chapter 26 in Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd edition): “Antecedent Interventions” (pp. 615-623)

Various strategies derived from the fundamental principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) are presented and explained. Antecedent intervention strategies that work to prevent unwanted behaviors, non-contingent reinforcement, high-probability (high-p) request sequences, and Functional Communication Training (FCT), are examined.


Cooper, J., & Heron, T., & Heward, W. (2019) Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd ed.) Person Education, Inc. New Jersey, NJ: Hoboken

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