A Behavioral Analysis of Transition Currciluum: Utilizing Natural Motivating Operations and Contingencies

A Behavioral Analysis of Transition Curriculum: Utilizing Natural Motivating Operations and Contingencies​
Sally Shepley, Ph.D., BCBA-D
University of Kentucky
Saturday, July 15th, 2017, 9:00am - 10:20am
1.5 BACB Type II CEUs (included in the price of registration)

What does it mean for a behavior to be functional? How do we determine which behaviors are functional and which are not? For students receiving instruction aligned with a functional curriculum, how do we determine target behaviors? This talk will present a definition of functional behavior that is aligned with the principles of applied behavior analysis. In addition, I will discuss how the environment contributes to the classification of a behavior as being functional and the importance of the four-term contingency in related environments when programming for instruction on functional behaviors.  Exercises within the presentation will draw your attention to why some behaviors fail to generalize, and therefore, make these behaviors not functional. Rather than debating what curriculum (academic vs. functional) to teach transition-age learners, practitioners should teach self-instructional behaviors (e.g., independently accessing necessary prompts and using them to self-prompt) in order to capitalize on fleeting and changing motivations. Once acquired, leaners will have decreased dependence on teachers and therapists, and as these learners transition from school to post-school settings, they have a means to acquire information that is functional to them in their future environments.

Learning objectives

  • Attendees will be able to list the weakness of transition curricula in relation to generalization and improper programing related to motivating operations and naturally occurring contingencies.
  • Attendees will be able to write instructional programs that incorporate naturally occurring establishing operations and contingencies.
  • Attendees will be able to think past the immediate environment and plan for unknown post-school opportunities by teaching transition-age youth to self-instruct.

Sally Shepley, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Sally B. Shepley is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst- Doctoral (BCBA-D). She received her Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, and Doctorate Degrees in Special Education at the University of Georgia. Dr. Shepley taught adolescents with severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in public school prior to earning her doctorate. Dr. Shepley also has experience training teachers and parents to implement behavior analytic strategies and assessing/treating severe problem behaviors in clinical settings. Dr. Shepley’s line of research focuses on teaching procedures for adolescents and adults with disabilities as they prepare for the transition to post-secondary environments. Currently, her research focuses on teaching self-instructional skills using video technology presented on mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets) to adolescents with ASD and intellectual disability (ID).