Behavior then use an evaluation tool to help guide

Behavior
Analyst should consider many things while selecting skills to teach
individuals with autism.  It’s often taken for granted that students know how to
learn (or will acquire it on their own at some point in their life). However,
if students cannot pay attention, will not wait, or do not understand
feedback, then learning can become extremely difficult. Before implementing
any type of intervention plan,
the first thing that the Behavior
Analyst should consider is the autistic child’s current level of functioning,
strengths, and weaknesses. The Behavior Analyst should then use an evaluation
tool to help guide the performance and selection of intervention/treatment
goals. While creating these goals, the Behavior Analyst needs to focus on
intervention goals that will benefit the client the most. It is essential to
use a curriculum scope and sequence that includes all major skill domains
(e.g., early learning, communication, social, motor, play and leisure,
self-care, etc.).  Utilizing social reinforcement while implementing
intervention/treatment goals is something that is proven to be beneficial is
applied correctly into the program. Utilizing social reinforcement enables
the Behavioral Consultant to motivate and reinforce accomplishment of
behavioral goals, further development of interests and repertoires for social
reinforcers, and reduce the development of tangible reinforcers. The best
part of it all is that the client is truly learning social skills, and not
having it taught which can often lead to mechanical socialization
(socialization does appear genuine or real, but artificial). These are just
some of the things that need to be taken into consideration while teaching
autistic children how to learn (McEachin, 2012).
Traditional
organismic theory of development is another issue that is still a concern with
Behavioral Analysts today when they are selecting skills to teach individuals
with autism. Traditional organismic theories of development can be
characterized by an invariable succession of emerging stages that are
invariant and self-organized. It is often compared to the stages a butterfly
goes through before turning into a caterpillar. (Rosales-Ruiz,
1997). Autistic Children do not typically develop in this
systematic pattern, so the skills that they need to learn may not necessarily
fit this cookie cutter mode. Behavior Analysts do not typically agree with this
concept. Behavior Analyst take the position that there is not a comparable
guiding metaphor to explain patterns of behavior change throughout the life
span and that shaping contingencies are the basic analytic process, but they
offer no reliable patterning over the life span (Rosales-Ruiz,
1997).
One
issue that goes hand in hand with teaching skills to autistic children is
challenging behavior. Challenging behaviors are dangerous, disruptive, and
even disgusting behaviors that are often maintained by the people who
complain about them. In order to have an effective intervention/treatment
program, the Behavior Analyst must implement pro-social behavior to replace
challenging behaviors. Promoting pro-social behavior through life
arrangements and life coaching in a positive intervention program can be a
very effective and beneficial life long skill for autistic children. (Risley,
1996)
Cumulative-hierarchical
learning (CHL) was first introduced in 1975. CHL basically describes how an
individual can benefit from lower level interactions by having higher-level
behavioral pattern spring forth from the lower level interaction. CHL can be
constructed by behavioral cusps. Behavioral cusps produce life-altering
outcomes that emerge from modest behavioral and environmental changes (Smith,
McDougall, Edelen-Smith, 2006).

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