ABS102 - Treating Challenging Behaviours

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-13 14:32:29.074
Last review date 2018-07-13 14:32:29.076

Subject Title
Treating Challenging Behaviours

Subject Description
In this subject, the student will be introduced to a variety of procedures used to assess and treat challenging behaviours presented by individuals with autism / Autism Spectrum Disorder. The topics covered will include functional behavioural assessment and functional analysis and scientifically validated techniques for the treatment of challenging behaviours, e.g., stereotypy, pica, aggression, self-injury, etc. Emphases will be placed on ethical considerations such as the utilization of the least intrusive, least restrictive model and ?effective treatment. Techniques covered will include antecedent control strategies, schedules of reinforcement, extinction, differential reinforcement strategies, social stories, desensitization procedures, and decelerative procedures.

Credit Status
One Credit toward the Autism and Behavioural Science Ontario Graduate Certificate Program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Assess the skills of children with ASD using formal and informal procedures
2. Apply in theory and practice the principles and procedures of ABA/IBI in working with children with ASD.
3. Evaluate treatment effectiveness through data collection, graphing and analysis, and report findings
4. Recommend and/or modify intervention strategies and adapt the environment as needed to increase learning success and reduce problematic behaviours
5. Evaluate and respond effectively to family variables that impact on the treatment of children with ASD
6. Apply knowledge of clinical standards and practice guidelines as appropriate to both hypothetical and real situations
7. Describe the process of systematic manipulation of variables, stating their primary characteristics and rationale, and determining the reliability and generality of functional relationships
8. Discuss and demonstrate the development of hypotheses pertaining to the function of challenging behaviours, the development of client-focused goals, and write behavioural objectives relevant to the treatment of challenging behaviours.
9. Compare and/or contrast the potential biological, developmental, and ecological variables that may be determinants of challenging behaviour
10.Design and evaluate treatments for challenging behaviour using a variety of techniques including
antecedent control strategies, extinction, differential
reinforcement strategies, social stories, desensitization procedures, and decelerative procedures.

    Vocational Learning Outcomes: Autism and Behavioural Science Program
1. Assess and analyze the characteristics, skills, and behaviour of individuals with ASD to effectively implement evidence-based behavioural interventions.
2. Design and implement effective behavioural intervention plans under appropriate supervision and based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).
3. Evaluate the effectiveness of behavioural intervention plans based on the principles of ABA.
4. Work collaboratively with families, teams, service providers, and the broader community to respond to the learning and behavioural needs of individuals with ASD.
5. Design, implement, and evaluate as part of a team, ABA based transition plans for individuals with ASD.
6. Comply with established ethical principles and professional guidelines.
7. Provide leadership in the promotion and provision of services to meet the needs of individuals with ASD and their families.
8. Evaluate empirical evidence in order to select appropriate interventions for individuals with ASD.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

ABS 100, ABS 101, ABS 202, ABs 104, ABS 200.

Topic Outline

Functional behavioural assessment
Functional analysis
Scientifically validated techniques for the treatment of challenging behaviours
Antecedent control strategies
Schedules of reinforcement
Differential reinforcement strategies
Social stories
Desensitization procedures
Decelerative procedures

Mode of Instruction

The Faculty of Continuing Education and Training offers subjects in alternative modes.
This allows the student to take the Autism and Behavioural Science Ontario Graduate
Certificate Program subjects in:
      1.  the traditional classroom
      2.  on-line
      3.  mixed mode - a combination of in-class and independent study

This subject will be delivered via lecture, assigned readings, exercises, group
discussions, and independent study.

Prescribed Texts

Functional Assessment and Program Development for problem behavior: A practical handbook 3rd edition, 2015
By O'Neil, Horner, Albin, Sprague and Storey, Wadsworth Publishing (Cengage Learning)

Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures, 6th edition,
By Raymond G. Miltenberger, Wadsworth Publishing (Cengage Learning)

Functional Behavioral Assessment and function-based intervention: An effective, practical approach, 2007
By John Umbreit & Jolenea Ferro, Pearson Education


1.   Ahear,W.H.,Clark,K.M.,MacDonald,R.F.P.,Chung,8.1.(2007).Assessing and Treating         
Vocal Stereotypy in Children with Autism.Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis,40(2), 263-275

2.   Carr E.G.,Durand, V.M.,(1985) Reducing Behaviour Problems through Functional
Communication Training. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, 18, 111-126.
3.   Conyers,C., Miltenberger,R.G.Peterson,B.,Gubin,A.,Jurgens,M.Selders,A., Dickinson,J.,and Barenz,R.(2004). An evaluation of in vivo desensitization and video modeling to increase compliance with dental procedures in persons with mental retardation.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37 (2),233- 238.
4.   Dooley,P.,Wilczenski,F.L and Torem,C. (2001).Using an activity  schedule to smooth school transitions.Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions,3 (1),57-61.

5.   Hanley,G.P., Iwata,B.A.,&  McCord, B.E.(2003).Functional analysis of problem behavior:A review.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 147-185.

6.   Hanley,G.P,Jin,S.,Vanselow,N.R.,Hanratty,L.A.(2014).Producing Meaningful Improvements in Problem Behaviour of Children with Autism via Synthesized Analyses and Treatments. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, 47(1), 16-36.
7.   Iwata,Dorsey,Slifer, Bauman and Richman.(1982).Toward a Functional Analysis of self-injury.Analysis and Intervention in Developmental Disabilities, 2,3-20.

8.  Piazza,C.C. Roane,H.S. Keeney, K.M. Boney B.R.1 and Abt,K.A.(2002).Varying
response effort in the treatment of pica maintained by automatic reinforcement.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 35 (3) 233-246.

9.  Sigafoos,J.and Meikle,B.(1996).Functional communication training for the
treatment of multiply determined challenging behavior in two boys with autism.
Behavior Modification, 20 (1),60- 84.
10.  Tiger J.H.1 Hanley/ G.,Bruzek,J. (2008).Functional Communication Training: A Review and Practical Guide. Behaviour  Analysis and Practice,1(1), 16-23.
11. Van Houten,R. Axelrod, S. Bailey, J.S.Favell, J. E. Foxx, R. M. Iwata,B. A.& Lovaas,0. I. (1988). The right to effective behavioral treatment.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 21, 381-384.
Required Online Resources

1.  The Right to Effective Behavioral Treatment
2.   What is the "Right to Effective Behavioral Treatment''?
3.   Ontario Association of Behaviour Analysis Standards of Practice http:ljwww.ontaba.org/pdf/Standards.pdf


Reference Material

1. Foxx, R. M. (1982). Increasing Behaviors of Persons with Severe Retardation and Autism. Champagne, IL: Research Press.
2. Foxx, R. M. (1982). Decreasing Behaviors of Persons with Severe Retardation and Autism. Champagne, IL: Research Press.

Although not formally listed as recommended readings, throughout the lessons a variety of other articles and text books are indicated as material that the student may find of value and/or interest.
    RECOMMENDED WEB RESOURCES All Links are to the same site: The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website.
1. The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website. Information on DRA and DRI procedures. http://www.autismnetwork.org/~ican/about/index.html
2. The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website. Information on DRO procedures. http://www.autismnetwork.org/~ican/about/index.html
3. The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website. Information on DRL procedures. http://www.autismnetwork.org/~ican/about/index.html
4. The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website. Information on FCT and other communication-based interventions. http://www.autismnetwork.org/~ican/about/index.html
5. The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website. Information on “choice making”. http://www.autismnetwork.org/~ican/about/index.html
6. The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website. Information on “extinction”. http://www.autismnetwork.org/~ican/about/index.html
7. The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website. Information on “extinction”. http://www.autismnetwork.org/~ican/about/index.html
8. The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website. Information on “stress reduction”. http://www.autismnetwork.org/~ican/about/index.html
9. The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) website. Information on “sensory problems”. http://www.autismnetwork.org/~ican/about/index.html

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Classroom and On-line            
Assignment #1 - Indirect Functional Assessment
Assignment #2 - Direct Functional Assessment and Functional Analysis
Assignment #3 - Intervention Procedures
Literature Review - Article Review and Discussion Questions
(Students to post discussion commnets / questions from 4 of 6 assigned articles)
Behaviour Intervention Plan Assignment
Final Exam

Modes of Evaluation

To pass this subject, students must achieve the learning outcomes of the subject.  A passing grade in the Autism and Behavioural Science Ontario College Graduate Certificate is a minimum of "C" (60%).

Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the dates specified.  Should extenuating circumstances arise, please contact your Instructor immediately, prior to when your assignment is due, so an appropriate course of action can be established. Late assignments are subject to grade penalities and will not be accepted beyond two weeks after the assignments due date.

Students unable to complete any formal evaluations without sufficant documented reason, will be given a grade of zero for the missed assessment(s).

Indirect Functional Assessment  10%
Direct Functional Assessment and Functional Analysis  10%
Intervention Procedures 15%
Behaviour Intervention Plan Individual Assignment (written)   25%
Literature Review   10%
Final Exam  30%

Final Exam format: In person paper-based exam to be written at the Test Centre of the Registering College.

This Ontario College Graduate Certificate program in Autism and Behavioural Sciences was made possible by a grant from the Ministry of Training, College and Universities © Queen’s Printer for Ontario 2005


Approved by: Lisa Harfield