I often talk about data and the importance of tracking behaviors and skills to understand and change the progress of your student or child. In this solo episode, I am talking about making data collection easy. With use from my Turn Autism Around, free book resources and these 4 easy ABA Data Collection Methods, you can find simple ways to track the data on whatever you’re working with for your child.
Taking Baseline Data ABA
There are 4 steps in my Turn Autism Around approach that you can find in my book, Turn Autism Around or on TurnAutismAround.com; Assessment, Plan, Teach or Implement, and Take Easy Data. The first step, Assessment, is crucial for getting baseline data to understand a child’s deficits and learn about other problem areas. In my book resources, I include a One-Page Assessment that takes a wide scope of skills and breaks it into chunks for easy data collection. I also recommend and include Dr. Mark Sundberg’s Self-Care Checklist, and I recommend taking at least 2 videos of your child for permanent products. These videos should demonstrate a couple of minutes of the child’s solo play, (what they do when left alone) and a few minutes of teaching or parent based interaction at table time. You may also want to include a video of a specific medical problem or behavior problem you are working with.
ABA Data Collection Methods
Calendar System – Use a physical calendar and color coded pens, (I share my process with a pencil and red pen), to notate changes, incidents for medical and behavior related problems. This is great for documenting medicines, dosages, times of medications, etc.
ABC Data – Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence. These three words give context and explanation to incidents that can help with problem behavior prevention. Antecedent: What was happening when the behavior occurred? Behavior: What was the behavior? (throwing, hitting, headbanging, etc.) Consequence: What happened next? How was the behavior resolved or how did the incident end?
Rate Data – I explain Rate Data with the use of clickers, this is where you’re tracking the amount of a behavior by counting with a clicker. This is great for more positive data tracking, such as language samples.
Partial Interval Data – This is a more complex version of Rate Data in which behaviors are tracked via minor or major incidents at specific intervals and timetables. This can alert if there are certain times of day or activities that trigger more or less of the specific behaviors.
Do’s, Don’ts, and Other Tips for Taking Easy Data
- The behavior and skills of the child should match the data. If these two don’t match, data is not being tracked regularly or scored properly.
- Do not take data that you are not going to use or analyze.
- Do not assign difficult, lengthy data collection for parents. Try the calendar system or rate data for simple, easy collection.
- Schedule consistent time to review and analyze the data.
- Use the data to make changes. There is no point in taking data if you’re not changing the environment and other factors to reflect the data and behavior.
- How to collect and analyze data.
- How to collect baseline data.
- What assessments can you use for baseline data?
- 4 ABA data collection methods.
- Is graphing data important?
- The dos and don’ts of data collection.
- Turn Autism Around®️ Book & Free Book Resources
- Putting It All Together – The 4 Steps of the Turn Autism Around Approach with Emily R
- Autism Data Collection Method: Calendars
- Autism Assessment: Step one of the Turn Autism Around Approach
- Planning and Setting Goals for Autism
- ABA Data Collection: Step Four of the Turn Autism Around Approach
- Autism Teaching Strategies: How to Teach a Child with Autism or Signs of Autism
- Mary Barbera on Facebook
- Mary Barbera on TikTok
- Mary Barbera (@turnautismaround) on Instagram
Mary Barbera – Turn Autism Around Podcast Transcript
Transcript for Podcast Episode: 190
ABA Data Collection Made Easy
Hosted by: Dr. Mary Barbera
Mary: You're listening to the Turn Autism Around podcast, episode number 190. Today I am doing a solo show, a show just by myself for a change, and we are talking all about taking easy data and using data to make the right decisions to turn things around. If you've been in the autism world for a while, especially if you're a behavioral analyst or someone working in schools or homes, you know, there's a lot of data being collected. And a lot of times we are swimming in data and not really taking the most useful data. And as a parent, you might be wondering what kind of data you can take that's easy enough to complete, and that will really make a difference in your life. So today it's all about the kind of easy data that I would recommend for your situation.
Narrator: Welcome to the Turn Autism Around podcast. For both parents and professionals in the autism world who want to turn things around, be less stressed, and lead happier lives. And now your host, autism mom, behavior analyst and bestselling author Dr. Mary Barbera.
Mary: Welcome back. So let's dive into this solo show about taking data, taking easy data at home, at school and in the community, whether you're a parent or professional. I do talk a lot about data. I have another podcast. Four podcasts, actually, I've done in the past a year or two ago on the four steps of the Turn Autism Around approach, which is Assess, Plan, Teach or Implement and Take easy data. So it is step four of the term autism around approach. It happens to be the final step of the scientific method too. So my steps are proven in science. Now what people are doing in the steps isn't always necessarily the right thing, in my opinion. And we as parents and professionals are making thousands of decisions every single day. So a lot of those decisions aren't going to be right. I've made a lot of mistakes and I continue to make mistakes every day in terms of that dance of really figuring out what's the best decision at the moment. So this isn't to criticize, it's just to really take a look behind the curtain at the various data collection methods and what I usually recommend depending on the situation. So before we start, just know that everything I present in my book and my podcasts, even in my paid online courses, are for informational purposes only. And since I'm a registered nurse and a board certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level, I can't give you specific advice because I don't know your situation, your child or your clients. And there are a number of people here that are listening, who work or live with kids with severe problem behaviors and severe issues. So take this information and use it for informational purposes only. And only someone that really knows your situation well can actually give you specific advice. But still, I think I have a lot of background. Over 23 years I've been in the autism world, first as a confused parent and then as a professional. And I have my list of different data collection tools, and we're going to talk all about them now. And we're also going to end the episode with just some general rules about data. So you want to hang on to that. This won't be a super long episode, though, so I think you can do it. Okay.
Step One: Assessments
Mary: So let's talk about the first data you would collect. So as I said, there are four steps to the Turn Autism Around approach. And the first step is assessment. And assessment is important no matter what the situation is. My car is in the shop today so I have to have it assessed. A light came on, I have to have it looked at to see what's wrong. So they identified what the light was about. They also identified a couple other issues that we didn't know about. So whether you're talking about an object like a car or whether you're talking about a lump that you feel in your breast, you have to get it assessed in order to find out if it's a big concern or what the plan should be. So it's no different when you have a child with autism or a toddler who's showing signs of autism. They probably have deficits in several areas. And so as part of my four step procedure, we talk about assessment. I talk about assessment in chapter four of my book specifically, specifically the whole chapter is on assessment. But then within each chapter there are also some discussions about data as well. So we start out with a few different baseline assessments and you might think, okay, well we're talking about data. Well, actually taking the assessments, whatever assessments you do are actually your first data collection, your baseline data, which is super important, because if I go, you know, into somebody's home or into a school and somebody says, oh, this kid's out of control, swinging from the chandelier. Like I don't know what that means. So we have to break it down and see what the actual problem behaviors are. We have to define them, collect data to see what the baseline assessment is. So I have a one page assessment which is in the book. In the book, Free Resources. There's a sample and there's a one page blank assessment. You can get all the book resources for free and read chapter one at TurnAutismAround.com and we'll link that in the show notes. But the one page assessment I have really exciting news that's going to be coming out in the next month or two here on the podcast. But we are working hard to finalize software for the one page assessment. And the one page assessment will be much more quantifiable and much easier to complete. So stay tuned. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast. You don't want to miss this announcement and the fact that you could be involved with the beta testing of this new software that's coming out all about the assessment. But for now, since the assessment's not readily available yet, the software, the one page assessment will do. Again, it's in the book and the free book resources as well. So that one page assessment is unique because most assessments would either be on speech or they'd be on occupational therapy assessment, or they'd be a medical assessment, an allergy assessment, where this one page assessment is just a snapshot of all different areas. Big chunks of self-care activities, daily living like eating, sleeping, potty training, grooming, those sorts of things are in the Self-care Daily Living Activities section. Most of the assessment is on language, not just does your child speak or not, but can they request? How do they gesture? Can they label? Can they answer questions? Can they echo you? Can they follow directions? And then some other learning skills that are related to language, like matching and imitation and social skills. And then our third chunk of the assessment is problem behaviors. So we want to do the one page assessment really as our first data collection. And then in the book and in my courses, I do also talk about additional assessments like Doctor Mark Sundberg's self-care checklist, which is important and is also talked about in my book. And we also recommend at least two videos, just short one minute videos of the child that you're living or working with alone for one minute, just doing whatever they're doing alone. And then one minute video of you trying to engage a child at a table or on the floor. So those are the two videos that we definitely recommend. Now, if your child is doing something like medical, like you think he might be having seizures or motor tics or something like that, we would recommend a third video to really capture that if your child is doing something unusual, especially if it's becoming a pattern. You do want to take a video of that, not letting the child know. But just so you can share that with medical and behavioral professionals, too, to make sure that they can see exactly what you're concerned about. Also along those terms, I had a little boy, one of my first clients in early intervention, who banged his head on hard and soft surfaces before I was involved with his case. And he was only two and he had an open lesion on the back of his head. So in that situation, I wouldn't take a video of him banging, but I would take a picture of the open area on his head to make sure that it was shrinking. So these videos are what behavioral analysts call permanent products. So you would be able to see really what is happening on baseline. So you'd have your one page assessment, your self-care checklist, videos. And then the other assessment that I always recommend is a language sample to document whether the child is speaking, babbling, making sounds, talking in phrases. We had, you know, always recommended this as part of our online course and it's now in the assessment chapter of my book as well. We got really good pre and post test language samples. Like pre and post courses from Michelle C who's in podcast 78 and 164. We can link both of those in the show notes. And she started with her daughter, Elaina. Elaina was diagnosed with autism right around her second birthday in February of 2020, and she was diagnosed and the world shut down days later. And mom was left without any services. So she found my online course, took my online course. And the first day of the online course, she did the language sample and she set a timer for a whole hour. You can do the language sample in shorter chunks, too, but a whole hour she got two words, mom and doggy, I think. And 33 days later, she finished the toddler course, even though access is. We predict that most people are going to take up to 60 days to complete it. And Michelle finished very quickly in 33 days. And then at the end of the toddler course, we also recommend another language sample to update the one page assessment to update the plan to take new videos. But from pre course to post course, she went from two words on her language sample mom and doggy to 180 words in one hour, 180 words and phrases. So she was also saying short little phrases. She was using contractions, prepositions and pronouns. So with that language sample, both documented herself on an Excel spreadsheet. I only found out after the fact when she posted in our Facebook community how well her daughter did. And I was like, wow, I have to talk to you. And that was podcast number 78. So this is as you can see, it's part of the assessment for sure. It's a baseline assessment, but it is your first data collection. And then before we move on to the other data collection systems that we use, the other assessments that are in the book and in the course are for each area, there's also assessments. So there's a potty assessment, there is a sleep assessment, there's a behavior assessment. And so also on the one page assessment, it will say sleep issues, no need to collect more data on sleep. You check no and that's the end. But if they're waking up through the night, not sleeping in their own bed, not taking naps, whatever the situation is, that would be an area where more data collection is needed. So that's your assessment, your baseline data. And like I illustrated with Michelle sees data. We not only want to take those baseline assessments, but we want to take those same assessments maybe every three months, maybe every six months, maybe as a teacher in a school, you would do it at the beginning of the year and the end of the year. But it's really nice to have the same assessments being done on a regular basis to really see what is happening. Okay. So those are all the assessments that we're going to talk about today in terms of data collection.
Data Collection: Calendar System
Mary: Now let's move on. To my calendar system, which I developed out of necessity to help my own son Lucas, and help me figure out what was going on. Because when Lucas was 14, he just turned 26 years of age recently. So when he was 14, he started to have more self-injurious behavior and even some aggression towards others. And he was having these problem behaviors mostly when he was in pain or he was startled. And so a lot of people were saying, well, he's 14, this is puberty. This is just autism and puberty. And you have to, you know, just deal with it. But he was over 200 lbs at the time. And as a nurse, married to a physician and as a BCBA, I was thinking, there is no way this is a part of autism or puberty, even because literally it is caused by startle or pain. So finally made our way to Dr. Michael Murray, who is in Podcast 180. You can link that in the show notes who diagnosed an autonomic nervous system dysfunction and really changed our lives with a beta blocker cardiac med that Lucas has been on since the age of 18. But it took us from 14 years of age to 18 years of age to figure it out. And one of the ways we figured it out is because I got a paper calendar and I think we were using a paper calendar to try to keep track of his therapists and their time anyway. And so I stumbled upon not just using a pencil and keeping track of everybody's schedule, but also in a Velcro situation in the front of the book. This is an old calendar. I have a red pen on one side, velcroed in and a pencil. So pencil would be for this for the staff changes and then anything in red would be a medical issue, behavioral issue, allergy shots, a medication adjustment. And then also in red pen would be SIB time of day location if we could find any behavioral triggers or if he was I mean, he would bite this knuckle and say head hurts or he would, you know, fire alarm would ring and he would aggress. So we could write down in our calendar fire alarm SIB or aggression. If he was in pain, we would give him Motrin and we would document that all within the calendar. So we can continue to use the calendar for over eight years now, maybe longer. But it is my calendar system. I have a blog on the calendar system. We can link it to the shows. I think everybody should be using a calendar system, even adults that are listening with medical issues. You need a way to keep track of medications, changes, supplements. For some kids, sleep is a real issue. The parents find that keeping track of sleep in here, keeping track of potty training, potentially, if you're down to like the bitter end where you're still having occasional accidents, keeping track of it there if they get sick or on antibiotics that go in the red pen. So important is the calendar system, but not just for kids with autism, for anybody who has any kind of medical or behavioral issues, I think this is one of the easiest ways to keep data and be responsive. So I take the calendar to any doctor appointment. I used to graph the data because Lucas's SIB and aggression was high enough to count and to graph. We're going to talk about graph sentiment in a few minutes, but for the most part, we can be really responsive because what people tend to do before I have the calendar system, I can tell you Lucas was on like 12 different meds over the course of, you know, the first ten or 14 years of his life. And I have no idea when we started different meds, what we were trying to treat, what the dosage was, how much he weighed, what side effects he had to get them off because he was off everything. I think the calendar system, that's one thing I think you can do today to, you know, change the situation and start your data collection. So if you have a couple kids with medical problems or with autism. I get a calendar, a separate physical calendar for each child or adult where you're trying to piece things together. I would not use an electronic calendar. I use an electronic calendar for all of my business, for all of my personal stuff. But this is something that a physical calendar is great because you can open it, you can see the whole month, you can see the red pen. It's just so important and it doesn't have to be that big. It could be one of those little pocket ones. But I have found that the calendar system is huge for keeping data.
Data Collection: ABC Data
Mary: Okay, let's move on to ABC data. So ABC data stands for Antecedent Behavior Consequence. So if I start screaming right now, that's the behavior. That's the middle thing. So if I started screaming or pounding my head with my hand. We need to figure out why I did that. Right. So we have the (B) behavior because I'm screaming or hitting my head. Now we need to say what happened? This is not normal for somebody to just start screaming in the middle of recording a podcast. So, you know, did I have stabbing pain? And pain needs to be the first thing to be ruled out. And medical issues which if you listen to a podcast, 180 with Dr. Michael Murray, you will know that it's impossible, especially if your child is minimally verbal or nonverbal. Okay, so we have to figure out the Antecedent. So, you know, did something happen? Did I get pain? Did you just tell me that somebody died? Somebody you know, if somebody walks in the room and says, so-and-so died, and, you know, that could cause me to start screaming or crying. So you need to know what somebody said or did or what in the environment changed or if there's behavior. So we do have in our free book resources and we can link these ABC data collection forms right in the show notes, under MaryBarbera.com/190. You'll be able to see this chart, but if you go to TurnAutismAround.com, anybody can sign up for these free book resources. You can read chapter one of my book, Turn Autism Around. You can listen to chapter two all for free, and you can watch these videos. And so if you scroll down here to chapter six, which is all about it's called Stop the Tantrums and Start the Learning, and you will see a blank ABC form and a sample ABC form. And I also have a calendar data sample on the book resource form under chapter six called Stop the Tantrums and Start the Learning. We have an ABC form, a blank one and a sample one. I'm going to read to you a couple of the antecedent behavior and consequences that are listed here so you can see all the way on the left hand side, we write the date and the time. That's important, especially since Lucas's problem behaviors would oftentimes happen at night. While he was sleeping, he would wake up, have pain, have self-injurious behavior that's important to know, because that to me meant that it wasn't anything anybody was saying or doing. We were all in our beds, so it had to be something medical or something that woke him up to have problem behaviors. Also, in addition to the antecedent behavior and the consequence, we want to write down what the setting was, what the activity was. Where were you, who he was with? It could be a new staff member who doesn't know how to transition, how it could be a room somewhere where you go, a specific room that seems to be a trigger. And all of these are important. This first entry is during snack time. So the antecedent is what happened right before the behavior that may have triggered the behavior. So the antecedent was someone said no when Joe asked for a banana. So the behavior was what the behavior looked like. So we want to write here on the ABC chart. We want to write not, Joe got frustrated. It's, he fell out of the chair, what did it look like? And he screamed for 10 minutes and then what the consequence was what happened after the behavior or as a result of the behavior. And this is not what you were supposed to do. This is what you actually did or what the person did. Ignored transition to play time once called, the next entry is half an hour later the activity was a puzzle. The antecedent was Joe could not get the puzzle piece to go in. He cried and threw the puzzle piece, was the behavior. That's what the behavior looked like. And the consequence was mom approached and helped put the piece in. So this helps us begin to make sense of what the function of the problem might be. It helps us to identify, do you know, why can't Joe have a banana? Or maybe he gets over hungry before snacks, or maybe he had to wait too long. Can he accept no, for other things? Or maybe he wanted the whole banana you wanted to give him piece by piece. It helps us begin to be the detective to figure out why it's happening and how to prevent it from happening again. Because we want to spend 95% of our time on prevention. And I know we just recently had Rachel on the show, our program director here, and her episode was 185. We can link it to the show notes, and that episode is all about how they get her, how we got her, her typically developing sons throwing and hitting down to zero. And one of the things that Rachel did after the fact was she wrote out the ABCs of what was happening. So even if you're not going to do this the same minute or the same 5 minutes after the behavior happens, sometimes going back and charting out what actually may have triggered it is super helpful. So I will link those in the show notes, but that is pretty much what I have to say about ABC data. The important thing with ABC data is that especially if you're in a school and have multiple kids that you're collecting data on. It's important that it be done. You know, like I just got done saying, you don't have to do it right away. But if you don't do it right away. And you're in a school, you will probably forget and you will probably forget exactly what the Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequences were and so forth. So you do want to do it as quickly as possible. Plus, you need a behavior analyst or a teacher or somebody really familiar with the behavior plan, with the situation, with the aides, with the students. You need somebody to help assess the ABC data, help make changes like if we don't look at the ABC data every day or at least you know, every couple of days every week, we are not going to be making changes. To prevent the throwing of the puzzle piece. We're not going to be able to prevent the flopping for when he asked for a banana, and was told no. So one of the key things about data is, you know, one, just how people take data, you have to have somebody really help people and it can be a parent. Parents can definitely learn how to analyze their own ABC data, especially if they're in my online course where we basically teach parents how to become their child's best teacher and advocate for life. So it doesn't require a BCBA to help analyze what's going on and to set the stage for preventing that next time. Of course, having a behavior analyst on site, especially somebody that is listening to this podcast and really agrees with a child friendly ABA approach, that's like a goal to be able to have somebody like that on your team to really guide you. Because while it sounds simple and it is in some ways all children are different and all behaviors have so many factors going on. And so I don't want to oversimplify things because there are lots of times, it's a little bit more tricky than that.
Data Collection: Rate Data vs. Partial Interval Data
Mary: Okay. Let's move on to Rate data. So I did a blog on this so we can link it in the show notes. And I show these counter clickers in different colors. And I used to use those a lot to count. Well, mostly problem behaviors. And one of my last or maybe my last independent evaluation years ago, I went into a residential treatment facility to do an FBA and a VB-MAPP on a 17 year old who had been in a residential placement since. He's been in since like age eight. And I remember vividly they had a whole ball of all these clickers like Rubber Band together and they were all marked like aggression, elopement, hitting, and they spent their whole day clicking the different clickers. And I was taking partial interval data, which is a little bit more advanced and it basically is having different time slots. Usually I do it for ten or 15 minutes for partial interval data, so I might be like 9 to 915 in the morning. Then we have to have a setting like arrival time or intensive teaching or homeroom or whatever the activity is. And then we have a column with sometimes specific behaviors like hitting, flopping. We might have an H for hitting an F for flopping, whatever the situation is. If they have loud vocal stems that's disruptive to everybody, you know, it might be an S for stimming. So it might it's definitely specific to the student or the child or in some cases we just say major or minor, and then we have a key at the bottom of their form. Identifying majors would be obviously aggression, self-injurious behavior, maybe property destruction, and then minors would be more like stimming, yelling, refusal and minor things where people aren't going to get hurt by it. Anyway, every 15 minutes you'd be circling whether the behavior happened or not in those 15 minutes. So that's the kind of data I take partial interval data when I used to do independent evals or assessments for kids, because I think that kind of data is better than just saying, okay, you had 300 hits today or last week because when you get to the end of the day, you might have, you know, 500 clicks, or 500 episodes. But each interval I would if we were going to take rate data, I would put okay; During this interval he had 30 kinds of problem behaviors, but I go really by more major and minor. But taking partial interval data really helps me identify what areas of the day are bigger problems. For instance, when I had a client years ago, he was in sixth grade when I started. And he had a lot of defective what I would call defective manding or nonsense language. Ms.Mary has a striped shirt. Can I hop, like, a kangaroo? And this was all day long. If he wasn't engaged, he would just say these things all the time. So it was day one. I'm not going to explain what defective manding is or mands for attention. Staff was all new to this. So I just said every time he says something strange, something out of context, like Miss Mary has a striped shirt, or can I hop like a kangaroo? I want you to click, but I don't want you to click and just tell me 500 for the day. I want you to click and every interval, I want you to tell me what he is doing. Clear the clicker, write down the number, clear the clicker. And so he was having 500 episodes a day, around 4 to 500. But what I was able to see from the partial interval data was the lowest time was actually when he was in typing class because basically his brain was so focused on, you know, memorizing the A and the S and how you learn to type that he was so focused. So we had to work hard to get this child's defective manding from 500 a day to single digit levels. And we did that by keeping him engaged and tasked by, you know, really working hard to get rid of all this, you know, defective language that was happening. Now, in terms of clicker and rate data, I find that a mixture of partial intervals and then A, B, C data is better. So ABC data for the major stuff that's happening where we have, you know, hitting, flopping all at the same time, maybe lasting for 5 minutes. I don't find Rate data. I remember being in classrooms where there that's two more hits. That's another kick. It's like. Whatever data collection you're using, do not be identifying the problem behavior in front of the child. It's just going to increase attention and probably increase the problem behavior at the same time. So the other reason I don't I don't click any more for bad behavior, I only use these clickers for good behavior is because the bad behavior, it can be an auditory cue that I am positively reinforcing with a click. You know, if you think of video games and you think of TagTeach, which teaches with acoustical guidance, I mean, that click could definitely serve as a reinforcement or a marker for bad behavior. So I don't click anymore for bad behavior, but I do click for words, sounds, responses. I click a lot for good behavior so you can learn more about clickers in the show notes on the blog I did about clicking.
Mary: Okay. And then before we go on, like the major do's and don'ts about data. I get a question sometimes like, should we be graphing data? When should we be graphing data? Definitely a lot of my procedures are meant for parents to use in the home. So for parents I'd say calendar data for sure. Yes, ABC data maybe with your help for big things like major problem behaviors, clicking sounds and words is reinforcing for everybody. Writing down that total at the end of the session is reinforcing for everybody. So those kinds of data collection. Sure. Yes. Don't overwhelm parents with data, though. And in terms of graphing, I'd say yes. If behavior analysts are involved, you definitely want to be graphing. And the nice thing about graphs too is when you make changes, you can do phase change lines on graphs and you can really see like, oh, once we like for this student that had all this defective language and then we, we doubled his typing time and during those intervals he had next to no defective language. And so we were able to whittle away. But I also see graphs like at this residential treatment facility that I went to with all these balls of all these clickers and all this. They had all this data graphed about his hits and they were open. These graphs were flat or just, you know, the same rates day after day, year after year. We should only be graphing data or even taking data to make progress. And even if kids are severely impacted or in residential placement, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be expecting growth and progress and changes. So if we are taking data and graphing data, we want to make sure that we're not flatlining. And sometimes graphs can be the best way to see that you're actually not making progress or in some cases with potty training. I remember one of my families that I was working with was very they were taking data, they weren't graphing because of my rule about not overwhelming parents. And they were really frustrated. They were only a week or two into it and they were just really frustrated. And I looked at the data. I said, Actually, I don't think this data looks bad. So let me graph it quickly. And I just took out a piece of loose leaf and hand graphed the data to show them that things were actually looking quite improved. And so the data on a graph made the family much more optimistic and more interested in proceeding. You also have to have a graph or at least data to know when you should change something, when something's not working.
Do’s, Don’ts, and Other Tips for Taking Easy Data
Mary: So in general, we covered a lot here today. I thought it was going to be a shorter episode. So sorry for those that I promised that would be short, but hopefully it was helpful. We covered baseline assessments and then ongoing assessments to make sure that things are improving. We covered my calendar system and if there's one thing I hope you take away is go get a physical calendar and start that ABC data. I think it is underrated and I think it is helpful to both parents and professionals at least to figure things out. And the Rate data in terms of clicking Partial Interval data, which I'm not sure I talked about on or podcast ever, and then we also talked about graphing. So in general, just to leave you with a couple tips, the behavior you're seeing and the performance of the child, the skills of the child should. Match the data. So if I get a VB-MAPP assessment which we never talk about, or the one page assessment or a language sample or a graph about behavior. And I see the child. I know the child and I see his graphs and I go in and look at the child they should match. If they don't match, then the data. The people may be over scoring, underscoring, or you might not be collecting the right data. So the data that you do collect. Should be used now and or in the future. So we don't want to be taking reams of data that nobody looks at or analyzes or cares about. Don't expect parents to take data that is time consuming, but these easy tips like the Calendar System or keeping Rate Data on language, which I think is a good, easy way for them to collect data that you can then collaborate with to help the child succeed. You do want to set a time each day to look at the data, make changes, or at least every week or have a behavior analyst, look at all the data and make changes. Because if you're not making changes, you know, I was in a classroom once and the aides they didn't really agree with, you know, they just didn't want to change. And they like every time Mary comes in, we have to make a change. It's like, okay, but I'm looking at eight kids. And so I come in and the graphs are flat. We're going to have to make a change. Yes. And I'd only come in every two weeks or months. So, yeah, there were changes. If the graph or the data is flat, we have to make a change. If the child is progressing, we have to have new programs, new targets. So yeah, we have to make a change. If the client or student is going backwards or having problem behaviors, then we're going to have to make a change to help them grow and learn. So yeah, ABA is the science of change, of making changes in socially significant ways and behaviors. So yes, it does involve a lot of change, but if your data isn't leading to change. Then you're probably not taking the right data and or you're not analyzing the data and making those changes. So hopefully that was helpful to you. If it was, I would love it if you would leave a comment. Leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you're listening. Share it with others, and let's get the word out that we can and should be taking easy data to make a difference in our kids and our clients' lives. So this is podcast 190. You can find all the show notes at MaryBarbera.com/190 and I will see and you will hear from me at the same time next week.
Mary: If you're a parent or an autism professional and enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out my online course and community where we take all of this material and we apply it. You'll learn life changing strategies to get your child or clients to reach their fullest potential. Join me for a free online workshop at MaryBarbera.com/workshop where you can learn how to avoid common mistakes. You can see videos of me working with kids with and without autism, and you can learn more about joining my online course and community at a very special discount. Once again go to MaryBarbera.com/Workshop for all the details. I hope to see you there.
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