The purpose of this assignment was to observe a non-certified staff member implement a program designed by a behavior analyst. Ethical issues that were observed, or potential ethical issues that could arise will be discussed and how they relate to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) ethical guidelines. Following the discussion of ethical situations will be possible solutions to prevent ethical dilemmas from occurring while practicing as a behavior analyst. Finally, this paper will conclude with the observer’s personal reaction.
Summary of Observation
The observation took place in a self-contained classroom in a public school. Within this classroom the student ranged from ...view middle of the document...
The lead teacher said the purpose of the variable schedule of reinforcement was to lengthen the amount of time the learner would engage in academic work.
In addition to reinforcement schedules, this learner had many means of communication that she was able to utilize functionally. She had an augmentative communication device, and a board that the learner could point to that described her feelings, or to indicate whether or not she needed help. The communication board was implemented because the lead teacher and staff observed that when the learner was upset she had a difficult time navigating her augmentative communication device. It was apparent through an increase in vocal stereotypy and crying that the learner was becoming frustrated during the observation. She was quickly scanning through her augmentative communication device, but using it to communicate. This is when the staff member handed her a communication board, asked her what was the matter and the learner pointed to pictures to communicate. This communication board took less response effort allowing the learner to communicate while upset. This learner did have the ability to speak but her alternative communication devices were more functional than her spoken language. The learner wanted paper but the staff member reminded her of her contingencies “First this math problem, then I will get you paper”. As soon as the learner completed the problem she was able to have access to her paper and crayons.
There was another student who remained in the classroom during the duration of the observation. This learner started his day off in an area where there was a beanbag and a blanket. The classroom teacher began administering a brushing procedure and following this procedure the learner was able to lay down with a blanket for two minutes when his timer went off. The observer made note that the timer never went off and that the learner laid down until his one to one entered the classroom.
When break time was over for this learner he went to his desk with his one to one and began reading a social story. The social story discussed the consequences of not having a calm body as well as the consequences of having a calm body. A calm body was operationally defined as the student not making contact with another person’s body, or using any parts of his body to remove work materials from his desk. It was observed that the staff member working with this learner was wearing a motivator. When asked about the motivator the staff member explained it was for differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO). The motivator was set for every two minutes. If the learner was on task with a calm body for the entire interval (two minutes) he was provided a blue ticket. On the back o each ticket was an interval (i.e. one minute, two minutes) this time was added up and represented how long the learner could have time engaging in a preferred activity. The observer asked what the contingency...