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Glossary Terms - Positive Behavior Modules

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A

Action Plan: A written document that serves to record a planning team's work regarding what services and supports are deemed most appropriate and of highest priority to help a person achieve their preferred lifestyle.

Akathisia: A side effect of neuroleptic or antipsychotic medication that results in a state of uncontrollable motor restlessness.

Antecedent: A stimulus such as a verbal cue, physical prompt, person or event that precedes a behavior.

Antisocial Behavior: An individual who 1) engages in problem behaviors that are quantitatively and qualitatively more severe and extended when compared to minor rule breaking and; and 2) tends to violate social norms and principles on which his or her social culture is constituted.

Applied Behavior Analysis: The science of studying the observable patterns of behavior and environmental interactions. The techniques allow the observer to have clear knowledge of how specific interventions or techniques may be affecting certain behaviors.

Assessment: The process of gathering information in order to make a decision about what actions should be taken.

Assistive Technology: Any device or service that helps a person to live, learn, work, or play more independently.

Automatic Reinforcer or Automatic Reinforcement: Reinforcement that occurs from within the individual in which there is no identifiable social reinforcer. Sometimes these are referred to as sensory or self-stimulatory reinforcers, but it is often not clear what exactly is serving as reinforcement for these behaviors.

Aversive Stimulus: A stimulus that is presented or removed contingent on the occurrence of a behavior. When the stimulus is presented contingent on behavior and decreases the future likelihood of that behavior, it is called a punisher. When the aversive stimulus is removed contingent on behavior and increases the likelihood of that behavior, it is called a negative reinforcer.

Avoidance Behavior: A behavior that prevents the occurrence of an aversive event.

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B

Baseline: The condition or phase in which there is no intervention. The baseline data are then compared to data collected during an intervention to determine whether behavior change has occurred.

Bar graph: A format for representing data similar to a line graph except that the bar graph does not have distinct data points representing successive response measures through time. It is most often used when the data to be compared are not related to one another or to give a visual summary of the performance of a person or group during the different conditions of an experiment.

Behavioral Disinhibition: When a medication causes behaviors to change in an unintended way so that behavior that was previously not seen or occurred at a low level, now occurs at a high level.

Behavior Support Plan: A written plan that is developed based on a functional assessment of problem behavior. Behavioral support plans contain multiple intervention strategies designed to modify the environment and teach new skills.

Behavior Support Plan: A complete description of the assessments and interventions conducted and/or planned for an individual’s problem behavior. The plan contains specific information regarding the functional assessment and quality of life measures conducted, the hypothesis statement stating the possible function of problem behavior, an explicit description of the antecedent and consequent interventions implemented or planned, and the new skills that will be taught to replace the problem behavior.

Blind (regarding medication): Unknowledgeable about whether an intervention (usually a medication) is in place or not. May also refer to knowing what the intervention is, what study group a person is in, or whether an intervention is even in place or not.

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C

Carryover Effects: When the effects of what is experienced in one condition of an experimental sequence carries over to the behavior in the following condition of the sequence (e.g., behavior from a condition involving difficult task results in higher levels of problem behaviors in the next condition even though easy tasks are being presented).

Challenging Behaviors: Behavior that conflicts with the living or learning of others or is in violation of social norms, such as aggression, self-injury, property destruction, apathy, disruption, and screaming.

Circle Of Support: A group of persons who come together for person-centered planning. These individuals should know the individual and their preferences well, and make a long-term commitment to participate in the development and evaluation of a person-centered plan.

Coercive Interaction: Coercive interactions develop between two people when one person engages in a negative behavior to achieve a social outcome and the other person responds in an equally negative fashion. The ongoing exchange between the two individuals increases in intensity until one of them gives up. The origin of this hypothesis is associated with G. Patterson and M. Sidman.

Collaboration: Two or more individuals or agencies working to accomplish common goals.

Competing Behavior Diagram: A tool for brainstorming within a team context to build a collaborative positive behavior support plan that is logically linked to the hypothesis statement(s) developed in the functional assessment.

Communication Problems: Difficulties expressing or receiving written or spoken language.

Component analysis: When the independent variables are systematically presented separately and in combination to determine their individual effects on the dependent variable. This is also referred to as a parametric study.

Conduct Disorders: In children younger than 18, a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated. Such behavior includes aggression to people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft, and serious violations of rules.

Consequence: The stimulus or event that occurs immediately following a behavior.

Contextual Fit: Refers to the extent to which a behavior support plan is compatible with the values and skills of the individuals who will be implementing the interventions, and can be implemented given the resources and supports available.

Contextual Fit: The extent to which a positive behavior support plan is a good fit for the individuals who will be implementing the interventions. A positive behavior support plan considers the values, skills, and resources available to implement the interventions.

Contextual Variables: A changing aspect of a situation that is related to the immediate context such as a learning context, a family context, or a particular relationship.

Contingency: The relationship that develops between a behavior and a consequence. If a consequence is presented after a behavior occurs, the consequence is said to be contingent on the behavior.

Continuous Recording: A type of recording procedure in which some aspect of the
behavior is recorded each time it occurs. Frequency, duration, latency, or intensity can be recorded in a continuous recording procedure.

Continuous Reinforcement: When reinforcement is delivered each time a behavior occurs, it is said to be on a schedule of continuous reinforcement.

Consequence: The stimulus or event that occurs immediately following a behavior.

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome: (Brachmann-de Lange Syndrome) A developmental malformation syndrome associated with mental retardation, limb reduction abnormalities and distinctive facial features. In addition, congenital heart defects, gastro-oesophageal reflux and hearing impairment are also associated with Cornelia de Lange. Self-injury is common in the syndrome. Specific biochemical or chromosomal abnormality associated with the syndrome are unknown.

Correlational: The co-variation of two or more variables that indicate the likelihood of a common relationship or interaction between those variables.

Crisis Prevention Plan: Developed by an interdisciplinary team to provide family members, teachers, and staff with a clear plan for interrupting and redirecting serious problem behaviors. The crisis prevention approach is only one part of the PBS planning process.

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration: Agencies from different disciplines (e.g., social work, mental health, and disabilities) working together to solve common problems.

Cultural Heritage: Particular historical and other factors that are specific to a person's cultural background such as the part of the county from which they come (i.e. the South), a particular religious background, or their country of origin.

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D

d-amphetamine (Dexedrine®): The generic and brand name for a central nervous system stimulant used to decrease disruptive behavior and hyperactivity and to improve academic performance by increasing attention span.

Deficit Model: A problem-solving model that starts with identifying weaknesses or deficits rather than strengths of individuals.

Dependent variable: What is being measured; the focus of the intervention. The dependent variable usually a behavior but it can be other subject matter as well.

Diagnostic Overshadowing: This occurs when the diagnosis of mental retardation may overshadow and preclude any psychiatric diagnosis. Any strange or abnormal behaviors are attributed to being mentally retarded rather than mentally ill.

Differential Reinforcement: A procedure that involves systematically reinforcing specific desirable behaviors while not reinforcing other behaviors.

Direct Observation: Observing an individual to clearly identify when problem behaviors occur, what happens right before a problem behavior, what the problem behavior looks like, and how people respond to the occurrence of problem behavior. Direct observation data are used to develop a hypothesis about why problem behavior occurs and to confirm that a hypothesis is correct.

Direct Observation (Descriptive) Functional Assessment – This method is used to identify the relationship between the occurrence of problem behaviors and the environmental events that occur closely in time to the behavior. This is done by collecting information on: the frequency of the problem behavior, events that occur before and after the behavior, and other behaviors that may be in the same response class as the problem behavior that could be used as replacement behaviors in an intervention. The information collected in a functional assessment is used to identify and confirm hypotheses regarding the function maintaining behavior.

Discriminative Stimuli: When an antecedent becomes a cue for a specific behavior and sets the occasion for this behavior to occur.

Discriminative Stimulus - The stimulus or event that directly precedes a problem behavior that serves as an antecedent for problem behavior. Discriminative stimuli are often said to serve as a “trigger” and set the occasion for problem behavior to occur.

Dopamine: A neurotransmitter or receptor that may be affected by a drug. Medications can have the effect of being an agonist and stimulate the receptor system, or it can be an antagonist and block the reuptake of a neurotransmitter, such as dopamine.

Dual Diagnosis: A person with both the diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder such as a mood disorder, and the diagnosis of mental retardation.

Duration: A dimension of behavior, specifically the time from the onset of the
behavior to the offset of the behavior. Duration is how long an instance of the behavior lasts.

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E

Environmental Setting: The physical events, routines, activities, and individuals surrounding an individual. Environmental events are the specific situations that exist within a setting during a given time period.

Environmental Variables: A changing aspect of a situation that is related to the immediate environment such as the physical environment of a building, the climate outside, or barriers to communication or movement that are evident in the environment.

Escalating Sequence of Problem Behaviors: A number of problem behaviors (i.e. whining, spitting, throwing, kicking) that appear on a continuum from lower to higher levels of intensity. Knowledge of the escalating sequence of problem behavior is used to intervene early in a chain of problem behaviors.

Escape Behavior: A response that results in the removal of an aversive stimulus. The removal of this aversive stimulus is an example of negative reinforcement.

Escape Extinction: When a behavior that has historically been reinforced by the removal of a response is no longer reinforced, escape extinction has occurred.

Essential Lifestyle Plan: A variation of person-centered planning that provides professionals who work with people with disabilities with a clear snapshot of how the person wants to live and what the professionals need to know or do to support the person. They communicate who and what is important to the focus person and what others need to know and do in order to create this ideal lifestyle.

Establishing Operation: An event that changes a person's response to reinforcers and punishers in the environment and which is similar to the term setting event. Setting events (and establishing operations) affect how powerful discriminative stimuli and consequences are on behavior.

Ethnic Heritage: Particular historical and other factors that are specific to a person's ethnicity.

Expectancy effect: The degree to which knowing that something will happen affects the outcome of the study or the measurement of behavior.

Experimental Analysis of Behavior: The scientific study of the functional relationship between behavior and the environment, which involves laboratory research with both animals and humans.

Experimental control: An experimenter's ability to reliably produce a specified behavior change by manipulating the independent variable.

Extinction: A procedure, which involves withholding reinforcement for a previously reinforced response and which consequently, results in a decrease in the probability or likelihood of that response.

Extinction Burst: When a behavior that is no longer reinforced temporarily increases in frequency, duration, or intensity before it decreases.
Functional Relationship: If a behavior changes as a result of the introduction of a specific environmental event (either antecedent or consequence), a functional relationship has been demonstrated.

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F

Facilitators: People who serve as leaders in a person-centered planning process, making sure that the goals of the process are met, and that the person's preferred lifestyle is articulated and pursued.

Follow-up period: A period of time after an independent variable has been introduced in which data are not collected as frequently as they were initially. There is often a break in the data collection between the experimental period and the follow up period in which data are collected periodically (e.g., once a month) to see if treatment effects are maintained.

Frequency: A dimension of behavior, specifically, the number of times a behavior occurs in a specific time period. The number of responses (frequency) divided by the time equals the rate of the behavior.

Functional (Experimental or Analog) Analysis: A functional behavioral assessment method that involves evaluating specific antecedents and consequences under controlled experimental conditions in everyday settings where the behavior is most likely to occur (e.g., home or school). There are two ways to design a functional analysis: one in which both the antecedents and consequences are manipulated and one in which just the antecedents to the problem behavior are manipulated.

Functional Assessment: Also known as Functional Behavioral Assessment. The process of collecting information in order to develop a hypothesis regarding the variables that maintain and predict problem behavior. Functional behavioral assessment strategies include indirect assessment methods, direct observation, and functional analysis.

Functional Behavioral Assessment: A tool that is used to gather information to create an environment that makes problem behavior unnecessary and to develop interventions so that new skills can be taught to replace problem behavior with socially appropriate ones. Functional behavioral assessment, also called functional assessment, is a critical part of positive behavior support.

Functional relationship: A relationship between a behavior and an environmental event (or events) in which the occurrence of the behavior is controlled by the occurrence of the environmental event. A functional relationship is demonstrated in a research design by manipulating the environmental event and showing that the behavior changes if and only if the environmental event occurs.

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G

Generalization: Generalization is said to have occurred if a behavior change lasts over time, appears in settings other than the one in which an intervention was applied, and/or spreads to other behaviors that were not the direct focus of the intervention.

Gestural Prompt: A physical movement or signal from another person that guides a correct response.

Group Action Planning: A variation of person-centered planning for persons with disabilities that involves inviting an individual's family, friends, and community supports to form an alliance for the purpose of creating opportunities for inclusion within neighborhoods, programs, and communities.

Guardian: A person who is given legal authority by a state court to serve as another individual's legal spokesperson including making medical, legal, and other decisions.

Gustatory Stimulation: Referring to stimulation related to the act of tasting or the sense of taste.

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H

Habituation: The weakening of a response after repeated presentations of a stimulus. For instance, people who live near train tracks or airports become habituated to the noises associated with these settings.

Homeostatic: (Homeostatic Theory) A theory proposing that certain levels of stimulation are optimal for an individual. According to the homeostatic theory, individuals engaging in stereotypy do so in order to compensate for under and over-stimulating environments.

Hypothesis: An end product or summary of the functional assessment. An hypothesis statement provides information about environmental events that may increase the likelihood of problem behavior, the environmental events that precede problem behavior, and the probable function of the problem behavior.

Hypothesis Statement: A statement regarding what may be maintaining a problem behavior. It contains information regarding the possible setting events related to the problem behavior, the antecedents that trigger problem behavior, a description of the problem behavior itself, and the consequences that may be maintaining the problem behavior.

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I

Inclusion: A school reform movement that involves interdisciplinary teams working together to support students with disabilities within typical classroom settings. Inclusionary classrooms promote an atmosphere of learning that is beneficial to all students.

Independent variable: The arrangement of environmental events that are manipulated during a study, often an intervention of some kind.

Indirect or Informant Functional Assessment: A method of collecting information about the possible functions that a problem behavior may serve that can be used in hypothesis development. These methods rely on obtaining information via checklists, questionnaires, or interviews from informants or caregivers that know the person well.

Informal Supports: Provisions for a person's preferred lifestyle that are not part of a formal service network or provider. These might include family members, clergy, or friends.

Institutional Constraints: Limitations experienced when providing services in a particular way that are present in organizations (such as human service agencies) and institutions (such as state governments).

Intensity: A dimension of behavior, specifically, the physical force or magnitude of the
behavior. Often measured with a recording instrument or on a rating scale.

Interdisciplinary Team: A group of people from different fields and those who are close to the individual with whom the team supports. The interdisciplinary team meets to problem solve and develop action plans for improving the quality of life of the focus person. Examples of possible team members include the focus individual, parents or other family members, teachers, therapists, job coaches, speech therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, or nursing personnel.

Intermittent Reinforcement: When reinforcement is delivered for only some of the occurrences of a behavior, it is said to be on a schedule of intermittent reinforcement. Reinforcement can vary on an intermittent schedule based on time passing and the number of responses made.

Interobserver Agreement or Reliability: The judgments of two independent observers who simultaneously measure the target behavior to see how closely they agree on the occurrence or nonoccurrence of the behavior.

Interobserver agreement or reliability: When the observations of behavior are assessed by comparing the judgments of two independent observers simultaneously measuring the target behavior to see how closely they agree on the occurrence or nonoccurrence of the behavior.

Interrater agreement: Same as interobserver agreement except that it compares the judgment of two independent raters, usually on a standardized rating scale.

Interval Recording: A type of behavior recording procedure in which the observation
period is divided into a number of consecutive time intervals and the behavior is recorded as occurring or not occurring in each of the intervals.

Interventions: Efforts to change a particular set of circumstances such as changing a person's behavior, curing a disease, or changing the way an organization provides a service.

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L

Latency: A dimension of behavior, specifically the time from some stimulus to the onset of the behavior.

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome: An inheritable disorder that affects how the body uses RNA and DNA which are the proteins that determine which proteins are produced for use in cellular processes. This neurological disorder is associated with severe self-injury, mental retardation, spastic cerebral palsy and other symptoms.

Level of behavior: The increase or decrease in a behavior from the beginning to the end of a phase. The bigger level of change that occurs, the more powerful the effect of the intervention.

Line graph: A simple visual format for displaying data that is based on representing data in a two-dimensional area formed by the intersection of two perpendicular lines. Each point is represents a specific relationship between two dimensions describe by intersecting lines.

Local Supports: Provisions for a person's preferred lifestyle that are part of the individual's immediate and local community such as local family members, teachers, and friends.

Long-Term Consequences: The outcomes of a particular action that may not take effect until perhaps weeks, months or years later.

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M

McGill Action Planning Summary: A variation of person-centered planning that focuses on helping people with disabilities to achieve independence and inclusion.

Mentoring: A process that involves pairing a new teacher with a colleague who has more experience in order to create a supportive atmosphere and an opportunity for sharing practical, hands-on information that may not have been addressed in pre-service education.

Methylphenidate (Ritalin®): Generic and brand name for a mild central nervous system stimulant used, among other purposes, to treat attention deficit disorder and attention deficit disorder hyperactivity

Modeling Prompt: A type of guidance or teaching in which a person demonstrates how to engage in a correct response.

Monitoring: Providing oversight regarding a particular function such as person-centered planning.

Multicomponent Intervention Plan: A comprehensive behavioral support plan that contains multiple strategies that are implemented in settings where problem behaviors occur.

Multidimensional: An item or issue that has many facets or can be considered from many perspectives such as abortion, financing schools, or providing services for persons with disabilities.

Multielement (or Alternating Treatments) Design: An experimental design in which the order of the conditions being tested are randomized or presented in a different order each time. This type of design controls for order effects when the conditions are presented in the same order.

Multiply Controlled Behavior: When a behavior is maintained by more than one type of reinforcement.

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N

Natural Contexts: Situations that occur naturally in a person's life such as learning, working, problem-solving, and relating to friends.

Natural Supports: Provisions for a person's preferred lifestyle that occur naturally in a person's context, such as family members and friends who are already a part of the individual's daily life.

Negative Reinforcement: A type of reinforcement in which the occurrence of the behavior is followed by the contingent removal or avoidance of an aversive stimulus and increases the future probability of that behavior.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome: This is a life-threatening complication of antipsychotic treatment that often occurs shortly after the medication has been started, but can occur later. It involves muscular rigidity and dystonia, mutism, agitation, sweating and increased pulse and blood pressure. It is very rare.

Neuropeptide Opiod: Opiods are morphine-like substances that exist naturally in everyone's neurochemical system and provide pain relief. Opiods are part of the neurotransmitter peptide system.

Neurotransmitters: Chemical substances that convey nerve impulses across the synapse. Neurotransmitters send nerve impulses from one nerve cell to another.

Normalization: A philosophy or set of principles that focuses on making available to persons with disabilities everyday life conditions that are as close as possible to the norms of society.

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O

Observer drift: A phenomenon that occurs over time in which observers gradually depart from the original definition of the behavior.

Operant Behavior: Any behavior in which the probability of occurrence is changed by its history of reinforcement (or punishment).

Operant Conditioning: When modifications to an environment result in a functional relationship between a voluntary behavior and its consequences making the behavior more likely to occur (as in reinforcement) or not occur (as in punishment) under similar circumstances in the future.

Operational Definition: Identifying and defining a specific behavior so that it will be measured consistently from observer to observer. An operational definition often includes a description of a person's specific behaviors; it is objective and clear-cut.

Operational Definition: Identifying and defining a specific behavior so that it will be measured consistently from observer to observer. An operational definition often includes active verbs describing specific behaviors that a person exhibits; it is objective and unambiguous.

Objective Measures: Ways of measuring things that are based on a high degree of consensus, and are fairly independent of the perceptions of the person doing the measuring.

Order or Sequence Effects – A problem with experimental designs in which the conditions are always presented in a specific order leading to unintended changes in behavior that are not due to the independent variable that one is studying (e.g., unintended effects in the easy task condition as a result of the presentation of a difficult task immediately preceding it).

Organically Based: (Organic Theory) Biological factors of an individual that can impact the likelihood of problem behavior.

Otitis Media: An infection or inflammation of the middle ear.

Outcomes: The results of an intervention. In positive behavioral support, desired outcomes include an improved quality of life in addition to reductions in problem behavior.

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P

Partial Interval Recording: A method of collecting data that requires the observer to record simply whether the behavior was present or absent at any time during the interval.PBS: (Positive Behavior Support) A comprehensive set of strategies that are meant to redesign environments in such a way that problem behaviors are prevented or inconsequential, and to teach individuals new skills, making problem behaviors unnecessary.

Person-Centered Planning: The process of gathering information and goal development that has an individualized focus. The person for whom the planning is done is present at the meeting and the input from that person guides or directs the planning process. It focuses on identifying a vision, and resources and supports needed to achieve that vision.

Person-Centered Values: The principles of person-centered planning that include: 1) an emphasis on preferences, talent, and dreams of the person with a disability; 2) participation by the person with the disability and their family, friends, and other significant supports; 3) defining a vision of the lifestyle the individual would like to have and the goals needed to achieve that vision; 4) identifying the supports and/or services the individual needs to reach their goals; and 5) organizing resources and supports that are as local, informal, and generic as possible.

Personal Futures Planning: A variation of person-centered planning that focuses on helping people with disabilities to achieve independence and inclusion.

Phase change line: Vertical lines are drawn upward from the horizontal axis at those points in time to indicate when there are significant changes in the independent variable.

Physical Prompt: A type of prompt in which the trainer physically assists the learner to engage in the correct behavior. Physical prompts often involve hand-over-hand guidance of the behavior.

Pica: Swallowing inedible objects such as clothing, cigarette butts, or paperclips.

Placebo: An agent or intervention that appears exactly like the intervention (usually a medication), however there is not an active medication present. Sometimes referred to as a "sugar pill".

Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope: A variation of person-centered planning that shares its common values and strategies.

Planning Team: The group of individuals who come together to convene and continue the person-centered planning process.

Positive Behavioral Support: A comprehensive set of strategies meant to redesign environments in such a way that problem behaviors are prevented or inconsequential, and to teach students new skills, making problem behaviors unnecessary.

Positive Reinforcement: A type of reinforcement in which the occurrence of the behavior is followed by the presentation of a stimulus that increases the future probability of that behavior.

Prader Willi Syndrome: Individuals with this disorder often have insatiable feeling of hunger. Their eating disorder and compulsive behavior is often associated with behavior problems. The syndrome is caused by a deletion or maternal duplication in a specific region of chromosome 15.

Preventative Strategies: Behavioral support plans that are implemented before problem behavior has a chance to occur. Preventative strategies involve redesigning the environment and teaching new skills.

Proactive: The use of knowledge and experience to prevent problems or unwanted situations from reoccurring.

Proactive Interventions: The use of knowledge and experience to implement strategies before problem behavior or undesirable situations have a chance to occur.

Problem Behavior: Behavior such as aggression, self-injury, property destruction, apathy, disruption, and screaming, which impede the learning of a child or adult, and has a negative impact on the quality of life for both the individual and those closest to him or her.

Problem Behavior: Behavior which conflicts with the living or learning of others or is in violation of social norms, such as aggression, self-injury, property destruction, apathy, disruption, and screaming.

Product Recording: A type of behavior recording in which the outcome or permanent
product of the behavior is recorded as an indication of the occurrence of the behavior.

Prompt: Guidance used to increase the likelihood that a person will correctly engage in a desired behavior. Prompts can include environmental cues for correct responding or be provided by an individual via verbal, gestural, or physical guidance.

Prompt Fading: The gradual and systematic removal of visual, gestural, or physical guidance (prompts) when teaching a new skill or decreasing a behavior.

Provider: A person or agency who provides support to an individual, such as developmental disability, mental health, or child welfare services.

Psychotropic Medication: Any drug or medication that is used to stabilize or improve mood, mental status, or behavior.

Psychological Supports: Provisions for a person's preferred lifestyle that have to do with the individual's psychological needs such as counseling, medications, and therapies.

Punishment: A consequent stimulus that reduces the probability a behavior will occur.

Punishment: The process in which a consequence immediately following a behavior decreases the future probability of that behavior.

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Q

Quality of Life: A variety of elements in a person's life including predictability, environmental stability, level of social belonging, empowerment and control, well being and satisfaction.

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R

Rate: The frequency of the behavior divided by the time of the observation period. (e.g., responses per minute).

Reactive Strategies: Behavioral support strategies that are implemented after a behavior occurs.

Reactivity: The phenomenon in which the process of recording behavior causes the
behavior to change even before intervention is implemented for the behavior.

Real-time recording instruments: A recording method in which you record the exact
time of each onset and offset of the target behavior in the observation period. Real-time recording results in information on the frequency and duration of the target behavior as well as the exact timing of each instance of the behavior in the observation period.

Reflective Activity: Professionals are asked to respond to a question or comment to demonstrate their understanding of a skill or content in a case study situation. Example: Describe the functions maintaining Tom's behavior described in the supplemental reading.

Reinforcement: The process in which a consequence immediately following a behavior increases the future probability of that behavior.

Reliability: The consistency or stability of a measure or test from one use to the next.

Replacement Behaviors: Positive social and communication behaviors that serve the same function as the problem behavior and are usually the best targets for the basis of an intervention.

Respondent Behavior: Responses that are reflexive in nature and are automatically induced or elicited by certain stimuli such as shivering, sweating, salivating, vomiting, coughing and pupil constriction.

Replacement Behaviors: Positive social and communication behaviors that serve the same function as the problem behavior. Interventions strategies that teach new skills replacing problem behavior with a functionally equivalent response are an important part of the positive behavior support plan

Respondent Conditioning: A process in which a neutral stimulus is paired with another stimulus that causes a physiological response that is reflexive, not voluntary.

Respondent Learning: (Also called classical or Pavlovian conditioning). A process in which a neutral stimulus is paired with another stimulus that causes a physiological response that is reflexive, not voluntary. A child who eats pumpkin pie ice cream on the day she catches a really bad stomach flu may become nauseous whenever pumpkin pie ice cream is offered to her in the future.

Response Class: A group or class of behaviors that share enough common characteristics to produce the same consequence.

Response Class: a group of behaviors that vary topographically (what they look like), but that are all maintained by the same reinforcer.

Response Cost: A punishment procedure that involves removing a reinforcer contingent on the occurrence of an undesirable behavior.

Rett Syndrome: A severe progressive neurological disorder that causes developmental regression in the areas of expressive language and hand use. It occurs only in girls. The syndrome is associated with a progressive loss of cognitive function, decreases in the ability to communicate, seizures, respiratory disturbance, stereotyped hand-wringing and hand-to-mouth movements.

Risperidone (Risperdal®): An atypical antipsychotic or neuroleptic medication that is often used to treat aggression, self-injury and other behavior problems. It was initially developed to treat symptoms associated with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

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S

Schedule of Reinforcement: Defines which responses will be followed by the delivery of the reinforcer.

Segregated Setting: A physical location where a person lives or works that is intentionally separated from the rest of the individual's community, usually for reasons of disability or behavioral issues.

Self-Determination: Taking charge of one's own life and playing an active role in important decision-making processes. Characteristics that have been used to describe self-determination include self-evaluation, personal responsibility, choice, preference, autonomy, self-regulation, psychological empowerment, and self-realization.

Self-management Plan: Helps people to learn to change their own behavior and accomplish tasks on their own. Usually involves self-monitoring and/or self-reinforcement.

Self-monitoring: A type of direct observation data collection in which the client
observes and records his or her own behavior as it occurs.

Sensory Stimulation: Engaging in behaviors to obtain an internal experience.

Serotonin: A neurotransmitter or receptor that plays a role in hunger and appetite, sleep, and other biological processes. Many medications increase the level of serotonin in the system by blocking or inhibiting it's reuptake in the synaptic system.

Setting Event: An event that changes a person's response to reinforcers and punishers in the environment and which is similar to the term establishing operation. Setting events (and establishing operations) affect how powerful discriminative stimuli and consequences are on behavior.

Shaping: When a person's behavior is reinforced using successive approximations toward the target behavior. Shaping is used to teach skills that are not currently in someone's repertoire by gradually reinforcing behaviors that are closer and closer to the intended behavior.

Short Term Consequences: The outcomes of a particular action that are realized fairly quickly, perhaps within minutes, hours or days of the event.

Single Subject Design: A research strategy that allows one to evaluate the performance of an individual rather than a group. A single subject research design identifies the effect of variables on the behavior of an individual.

Social Network: A web of interconnected people who directly or indirectly interact with or influence the student and family. May include but is not limited to family, teachers and other school staff, friends, neighbors, community contacts, and professional support.

Social Outcome: These outcomes occur when the product of a behavior is a social interaction with another person.

Social Roles: The functions or tasks of a person's life that are related to socially expected or maintained sets of behaviors such as parental support, leadership roles, and friendships.

Staff Development: Educational opportunities that continue throughout a professional’s career and unite staff members as they implement new innovations within an organization. Ideally, staff development should include the active input of everyone within the organization while encouraging collaboration, dialogue, and reflection.

Standardized Practice: Deliberately creating a set of standards for a particular professional setting to which all individuals are expected to conform. Examples include standardized testing in schools, medical practices, and collecting data for some types of research.

Stereotypy: (Also called self-stimulation) Behavior that occurs in rhythmic, repetitive patterns that do not appear to serve an adaptive function. Examples of stereotypy include rocking, hand flapping, and self-injury. Stereotypical behaviors interfere with learning, social interaction, and quality of life.

Stimulus Control: A relationship is established between an antecedent and a behavior whereby the behavior is more likely to occur in the presence of a particular discriminative stimulus (SD) because the behavior has been reinforced more often when that stimulus was present. A discriminative stimulus that signals that reinforcement is not likely to occur is referred to as an S-delta.

Stimulus Fading: The gradual elimination of a discriminative stimulus that is part of a behavioral contingency.

Subjective Measures: Ways of measuring things that are NOT based on a high degree of consensus, and are fairly dependent upon the perceptions or opinions of the person doing the measuring.

Support Network: A group of people who provide the necessary emotional, physical, educational, and financial assistance and encouragement so that a person can pursue their preferred lifestyle.

System: A set of related or interacting variables that function together for a specific purpose. Systems are dynamic and often change over time.

System-Level Interventions: Attempts to change or improve human service systems such as education, mental health, and developmental disabilities.

Systems Perspective: A view of a problem or a solution that is developed by methodically attending to the strengths and weaknesses of the social, educational, and other human service systems that serve persons with disabilities.

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T

Tardive Dyskinisia: Occurs when a antipsychotic medication is started or discontinued and involves abnormal, involuntary, irregular movements of muscles of the head, limbs, and trunk.

Threaded Discussions: Threaded discussions appear at the end of some of the lessons in each section. A threaded discussion refers to an online communication process that allows a student to post an answer to a question and place it online. Everyone can see your answer on Blackboard and can respond to statements that are made. In this way, an online conversation is possible.

Time sample recording: A behavior recording procedure in which the observation period is divided into intervals, and the behavior is recorded during a part of each interval. In time sample recording, the observation intervals are discontinuous.

Titrate: To change the amount of something someone receives over time. Can involve increasing or decreasing the amount. It is also sometimes called "tapering" when referring to a medication.

Topography: The physical or visible characteristics of a behavior; the way a behavior looks when it is observed.

Tourette Syndrome: A syndrome that is often associated with verbal or motor tics such as throat clearing, saying strange or insulting words, facial grimaces, and body jerks that are uncontrollable by the individual.

"Trainer of Trainers" Model: A teaching strategy based on the idea that training a small number of professionals who learn new techniques then follow a plan for systematically passing this information on to their peers within an organization.

Transfer of Stimulus Control: When the discriminative stimuli are changed from artificial or fixed prompts to more naturally occurring stimuli. Procedures used to transfer stimulus control from the prompt to the discriminative stimulus include prompt fading and prompt delay.

Trend: The overall direction taken by the data being collected. Trends are described in terms of direction (increasing, decreasing, or zero change), the slant of the trend line, and the amount of inconsistency or variability of the data in a trend line.

Trend: The overall direction taken by a data path. Trends are described in terms of their direction (increasing, decreasing, or zero trend), degree of trend, and extent of variability of data point around the trend.

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V

Variable: A changing entity of a situation or interaction that directly or indirectly alters the outcome.

Variable: A changing aspect of a situation or interaction that directly or indirectly alters the outcome.

Variability: The extent to which measures of behavior under the same environmental conditions differ from one another.

Verbal Prompt: A verbal signal from another person that guides a correct response.

Visual inspection or visual analysis: A systematic form of examination of graphic displays of data that is conducted to determine whether there was 1) a meaningful change in the behavior, and 2) to what extent the change in behavior can be attributed to the experimental manipulation of the independent variable.

Vulnerable Populations: Those groups or categories of people that require special consent and/or consideration when using as a test population. These populations include children, the elderly, individuals with psychiatric disorders, and individuals with developmental disabilities.

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W

Wrap-Around Approach: Typically associated with mental health approaches for serving children with severe emotional disturbances. The approach involves using person-centered approaches that place the individual and his/her family in control of important decisions about mental health supports and services.

Whole interval recording: A method of data collection that requires that the behavior be present throughout the entire interval if it is to be scored as an occurrence.

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X

X-axis: A straight, horizontal line that represents the passage of time and the presence, absence, and/or value of the independent variable. Also referred to as the abscissa.

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Y

Y-axis: A vertical line drawn upward from the left-hand end of the horizontal axis. Also referred to as the ordinate.

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