G-13: Use the high-probability instructional sequence ©

Important note: Fictionalized clients are used to demonstrate the skill items in the second half of the task list, sections F-I. They make the most sense when read in order. Please remember that there is not substitute for real-life supervision and consultation. Get your case-specific advice from professionals – not from the internet! These examples are just that – examples of how behavior analytic skills might be applied.


Case example: Jada is an elementary school student. She experiences Level 3 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Level 3 is the severity level of Autism which is characterized by “requiring very substantial support.” Jada has also been diagnosed with a severe Intellectual Disability (ID). Jada has just transferred to a private school for individuals with global needs. She loves all kinds of play and messy activities, such as finger paint and water play. She also enjoys swinging on the playground, eating popcorn, and watching Disney movies. She loves to be read to, and laughs when staff make dramatic gestures while reading picture books. Jada does not use any vocal speech. She makes noises sometimes, such as humming. Jada engages in motor stimming, including upper body tensing and flapping her arms. Jada engages in severe challenging behavior, including self injury (hand to head and head to surface) and aggression (including hitting and biting). Jada has a mom, dad, and older brother living together in one home. Jada’s family has advocated for her to attend a private program, and they are excited for her to get high quality services. Jada’s new behavior analyst is Dr. Brown-Davis, who is a BCBA-D employed by the private program.

Example of Item G-13: Jada’s plan includes high probability instructional sequences related to initiating task demands. For example, Jada is likely to cooperate with requests to wiggle her fingers, hop up and down, or turn around in a circle. She is less likely to engage in behaviors historically related to task demands, such as sitting down at her desk, picking up her toys, or approaching areas where chores are done. Knowing this information, Jada’s team uses high-p sequences such as, “Jada, jump up! Jada, wiggle your fingers! Jada, turn around like this! Jada, open the dishwasher!”). 


Case example: Donovan is a high school student. He has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). He attends a public school and has been placed in a support program for students with social/emotional/behavioral needs. Donovan enjoys playing video games and drawing in his sketchbook. He would like to be a welder when he is an adult. Academic achievement and attendance have been challenges for Donovan historically, and he is currently not on track to graduate with his peers due to missed work and failing grades in several classes. Donovan’s team has identified challenges including frequent non-attendance to school, walking the halls during class times, non-attendance at expected guidance appointments, and non-completion of classwork. Donovan lives with his mother and older brother. Donovan’s mother is concerned about her son’s school challenges and expresses frustration about his “lack of commitment” to his education. She wants Donovan to understand how important it is to graduate from high school. Donovan’s behavior analyst is Ms. Bailey, who has just started contracting with Donovan’s school district through the agency she works for.

Example of Item G-13: Ms. Bailey utilizes high-probability request sequences when Donovan is struggling to sit down in his seat in class and get started on his work. She first gives a direction he is likely to do (“Please grab a seat Donovan”) and after he sits she provides behavior specific praise for sitting. She then provides a second directive he is likely to do (“Take out a pencil please”) and then provides behavior specific praise for taking out his pencil. Ms. Bailey provides one more directive that Donovan is likely to follow (“Please your name on your paper”) then provides behavior specific praise for writing his name. Ms. Bailey then provides a directive that Donovan is less likely to engage in (“Please try the first three problems”), once Donovan has finished the problems Ms. Bailey provides behavior specific praise and tells Donovan “You can take a 5 minute break since you did such a great job finishing those three problems, nice job dude”.

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