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Assess Better - Put down the Cookie (cutter)

NBC Admin - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Assess Better – Put down the Cookie (Cutter). Individualizing the assessment process
By Dr. Megan Miller, BCBA-D

The Feb theme for the 2018 Do Better Movement is Assess Better. We started this month with a video activity related to identifying skills to assess with an early learner. The Do Better community identified quite a few skills they would assess further. However, there was a general theme of relying on commercially available assessments for this process. In our webinar for Assess Better, we discuss in more detail the next steps we took in the assessment process for this learner.

The professional development activity for this month was a 3-hour webinar covering the topic of Assessment for learners diagnosed with autism. The webinar focused on describing a multitude of commercially available assessments for learners with autism, providing examples of ways these assessments can be used together to develop appropriate intervention, discussion of assessment in general and different resources to use for assessing skills that do not related to commercially available assessments, and reviewing some video examples. Currently, behavior analytic training programs both at universities and through supervised fieldwork seem to focus too much on training individuals to complete 1 or 2 specific assessments instead of training on the assessment process. Behavior analysts successfully developed very effective interventions for learners well before the existence of any commercially available assessments and it is critical to our field that we continue to develop skills related to this process. This webinar is available for FREE until March 13th, 2018 and can be accessed in our Slack Group #assessbetter channel and/or on Navigation Behavioral Consulting’s Facebook page found here. After the 13th, the Webinar will be available on our website: www.navigateaba.com/ce-courses

For our assess better blog, we are talking about how to put down the Cookie Cutter and develop individualized assessments for our learners. I could probably write a whole book on this topic but for the sake of time, I have narrowed down the focus to a few key areas: observation, learn your population, familiarize yourself with resources available to you based on this population, and an example document of how we make use of the resources available to us.


When conducting assessments, it is critical that observation occurs PRIOR to determining which formalized assessments will be used with the learner and to help you pinpoint what may need to be assessed further. It is near impossible to know that the proper assessment process is being conducted with a learner if you have never seen the skillset of that learner. Observation can be done by viewing a few quick video clips of the learner when feasible or by observing the learner’s natural interactions when conducting the intake. During the observation, it is important to look for:
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Think Better - On How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst

NBC Admin - Friday, January 26, 2018

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ABA vs Son-Rise

NBC Admin - Thursday, July 10, 2014

This was originally posted on our old website a few years ago: Read More

ABA Therapy with NBC!

Lynette Jacobs - Friday, March 07, 2014

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How Much Training Are You or Your Tutors/Therapists Receiving?

NBC Admin - Saturday, August 07, 2010
An issue that I frequently encounter either through parent report, tutor report, or my own observation is a lack of training for parents and tutors. There are a few reasons why this is a big problem: leads to less effective intervention for the child, can hinder progress of the child, and it violates the BACB code of conduct (and the structure of the Autism Demonstration Project for military members). I will discuss each of these issues below as well as provide some reasons why I think a lack of training occurs, a description of what a lack of training looks like,  ways to address the issue. Read More

Highlights from ABAI: Potty Training, the Next Step in Motivation, Ethical Issues and More!

NBC Admin - Wednesday, June 02, 2010
The annual Applied Behavior Analysis International Conference was this past weekend in San Antonio, TX. I thoroughly enjoyed a few presentations and of course networking/picking the brains of behavior analysts that I admire and aspire to be like. Below is a summary of a few of the topics that I learned more about this weekend: Read More

ABA Myth: ABA is Not Fun!

NBC Admin - Saturday, February 06, 2010
One of the largest critiques of ABA is that the intervention is not fun. It is rote, boring, repetitive, etc. I once had a parent tell me prior to starting the intervention that her parents were nervous about doing ABA because they heard it was like bringing in a drill sergeant and she didn't want that for her son. I have often wondered why so many people think ABA is not fun, especially when I have read so many articles, seen so many sessions, and talked to so many behavior analysts about working off the child's motivation and having fun during sessions. For this blog I am going to explore some of the reasons why this myth exists, explain why the myth is false, and then provide some resources for making sessions fun.  Read More