Special Education


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Welcome to the section on special education! The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies is committed to helping those who are concerned about the current educational crisis by providing information about effective educational practices based on the scientific analysis of behavior. These practices are of particular concern for pShow More

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Functional Assessment
This paper considers the following topics: I. What is functional assessment? II. What are the goals of functional assessment? III. What are the possible causes of problem behavior? IV. What are the three ways in which functional assessment can be conducted? V. How is treatment tied to the results of a functional assessment?
Tags: behavior, autism, functional assessment, behavior analysis
Perception, Expectancy, and Belief: Barriers to Measurement and Standards of Evidence. (2010). Twyman, Janet. Conference Presentation.
Applications of behavior science have resulted in tremendous gains across a range of human endeavors, especially with children with special needs. A quality education program is derived from a thorough understanding of behavior analysis, stresses individualization of student curriculum, and is continually evaluated and redesigned based upon learner performance. Effective teaching practices are derived from a science of behavior, with teachers continually measuring and evaluating progress towards successful educational outcomes. Critical components include observing, recording, and examining student behavior; a crucial tool is measurement. Reporting from observation alone renders the information subject to errors due to perceptual or memory constructions, misjudgments, or fallacies from expectancy and belief. This presentation will illustrate some of the bias inherent in observation alone, and will describe simple methods of measurement that engender objectivity, corroboration, promote standards of evidence.
Using Teacher-Training Programs to Bring Applied Behavior Analysis "Under the Dome" by Claire St. Peter Pipkin, Ph.D., BCBA-D
A Case Study in the Misrepresentation of Applied Behavior Analysis in Autism: The Gernsbacher Lectures
This article presents a case study in the misrepresentation of applied behavior analysis for autism based on Morton Ann Gernsbacher's presentation of a lecture titled "The Science of Autism: Beyond the Myths and Misconceptions." Her misrepresentations involve the characterization of applied behavior analysis, descriptions of practice guidelines, reviews of the treatment literature, presentations of the clinical trials research, and conclusions about those trials (e.g., children's improvements are due to development, not applied behavior analysis). The article also reviews applied behavior analysis' professional endorsements and research support, and addresses issues in professional conduct. It ends by noting the deleterious effects that misrepresenting any research on autism (e.g., biological, developmental, behavioral) have on our understanding and treating it in a transdisciplinary context.
Tags: behavior analysis, autism, misrepresentation
Andy Bondy, Ph.D. - Presentation: Applied Behavior Analysis: Evidence-Based Solutions for Helping People
Help! I can't wait to ask for a break! Critical Communications Skills in Autism
Tags: Applied behavior analysis, behavior, behavioral, ABA Conference, Fresno Conference, ABA: Evidence-Based Solutions for Helping People
Education That Works: Selected for Success: How Headsprout Reading Basics Teaches Beginning Reading
Reading proficiency is a crucial foundation for success in all academic areas, yet we are a nation faced with a reading crisis. Four in ten children have literacy problems, and over 40% of our nation's fourth graders score below basic reading levels (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2001). Learning to read is a formidable challenge for more than 50% percent of our nation's school children (Lyon, 1998), and parents spend billions of dollars each year on extracurricular books, software, tutors, and other reading aids. Teachers and schools face the challenges of finding the best teaching method, implementing these methods in large classrooms, and accommodating students' widely varying abilities and readiness. Despite the time and money spent on solving the reading difficulties of our nation's children, the problems aren't disappearing. Headsprout, a Seattle-based applied learning sciences company, has been working on a solution that bridges the efforts of parents, schools and agencies with the goal of
Tags: education, behavioral, behavior
Learning to use the Language of Emotions. (2010). Bondy, Andy. Conference Presentation.
B.F. Skinner provided an important guide to the analysis of language in his book, Verbal Behavior. In this book, he stresses the critical value to focusing on the function of various aspects of communication. His analysis includes a very interesting section on what he termed 'private events' - that is, how do we learn to talk about things that happen inside of us? His insights into this process can be very helpful in designing effective lessons to help those with autism and related disabilities to describe their emotions as well as better respond to the emotional language of others. This talk will focus on Skinner's analysis, review common strategies currently in use to teach these complex skills, and suggest ways to improve these lessons.
Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
This report reviews the educational strategies and associated therapies that are the primary treatments for children with autism spectrum disorders. Optimization of health care is likely to have a positive effect on habilitative progress, functional outcome, and quality of life, therefore, important issues, such as management of associated medical problems, pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic intervention
Tags: autism, aba, autism treatment
Pervasive Negative Effects of Rewards on Intrinsic Motivation: The Myth Continues. The Behavior Analyst 24, 1-44. By Judy Cameron, Katherine M. Banko, and W. David Pierce.
Reprinted with permission of the Association for Behavior Analysis [please note that this article is only available for personal use and can not be duplicated and distributed without permission of the Association for Behavior Analysis]. A major concern in psychology and education is that rewards decrease intrinsic motivation to perform activities. Over the past 30 years, more than 100 experimental studies have been conducted on this topic. The results of this study show that in general, rewards are not harmful to motivation to perform a task. Every parent and teacher should be aware of these important findings, and the potential positive impact of a reward-based system in the classroom.
Tags: extrinsic reward, internal motivation, meta analyses
Precision Teaching and Direct Instruction: Measurably superior instructional technology in schools
This article provides overviews of Precision Teaching and Direct Instruction, discusses their origins and research backgrounds, cites effectiveness data, and describes how they can complement one another when used together. It provides sufficient references to the literature and pointers to existing programs to enable interested readers to learn more about each of these measurably superior educational solutions.
Tags: education, precision teaching, direct instruction

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