I-1: State the reasons for using behavior-analytic supervision and the potential risks of ineffective supervision (e.g., poor client outcomes, poor supervisee performance).  ©

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.

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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 I-1: Dr. Brown-Davis recognizes that Jada’s staff must be carefully supervised in order to ensure Jada’s safety and dignity, as well as the effective use of the programming he has designed for Jada. He knows that it would be both unfair and unrealistic to expect direct care staff to safely carry out Jada’s programming with a high degree of fidelity in the absence of careful ongoing training and monitoring.



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 I-1: Ms. Bailey recognizes that she does not directly supervise anyone on Donovan’s team, in an administrative sense. However, she uses the principles of effective supervision to oversee the programming she has designed for Donovan. Ms. Bailey knows that it would be unfair and unrealistic to expect school team members to implement Donovan’s programming with a high degree of fidelity in the absence of careful ongoing training and monitoring. 

Shortly after taking on Donovan’s case, Ms. Bailey accepts a new supervisee through her agency. This supervisee, Mandy, has recently started her graduate coursework and is ready to begin accruing clinical supervision hours towards certification. Ms. Bailey plans to use a behavior analytic approach to her supervision work with Mandy. She knows that if Mandy does not receive high quality supervision, she may demonstrate poor performance which would be harmful for both Mandy and her future clients later in her career. Ms. Bailey takes her supervisory role very seriously, and sees it as an extension of her client-centered clinical work.

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