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Transcript of Task Analysis
Why use behavioral chains
They are important for teaching daily living skills
Example: brushing teeth, eating breakfast, tying shoes
They can add to existing behaviors
Example: morning/bedtime routines
Where do we use Task Analysis?
Task analysis is the systematic process in which we break down a task into many smaller parts
1. Grab toothpaste
2. Open toothpaste
3. Pick up toothbrush
4. Put toothpaste on toothbrush
5. Put toothbrush down
6. Close toothpaste
7. Put toothpaste away
8. Pick up toothbrush
9. Turn on water
10. Put brush under water-2 sec.
Behavior chains are a series of discrete responses associated with certain stimulus conditions.
When the response and stimulus conditions are linked they perform a behavior chain.
Example: Seeing the tooth paste at the sink is the stimulus, picking up the toothpaste is the discrete response--> picking up the toothpaste is the stimulus, opening the toothpaste is the discrete response--> opening the toothpaste is the stimulus, putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush is the discrete response...and the chain continues until the behavior is completed
In order for there to be negative or positive reinforcement resulting from the behavior, behavior chains with a limited hold must be performed accurately and within a specific time
Example: If child brushes teeth in a different way depending on the caretaker who is helping them, the behavior may not be reinforced.
We do this because it...
creates detailed and easy to follow instructions
helps the learner differentiate between the steps of a task
aids in the recording of data
organize steps in a hierarchical way to show a clear beginning and end
11. Turn off water
12. Turn toothbrush on
13. Brush bottom right x5
14. Brush bottom left x5
15. Brush top left x5
16. Brush top right x5
17. Brush bottom front x5
18. Brush top front x5
19. Turn toothbrush off
20. Turn on water
21. Rinse toothbrush
22. Turn off water
23. Put toothbrush away
24. Grab cup
25. Turn water on
26. Fill cup
27. Turn off water
28. Take sip of water
30. Wipe mouth
Video Created by
With the help of
Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Effective Instructional Practices by L. Juane Heflin & Donna Florino Alaimo (2006)
Dr. Jason Travers - Educ 655
Elmo and Sesame Street
Task analysis & Chaining is important for everybody!
How to select a forward or backward chain
Alexandra Wendt- Child brushing teeth in video
Miltenberger, Raymond G.. Behavior modification: principles and procedures. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Pub. Co., 1997. Print.
After giving the child the cue (i.e. "it's time to brush your teeth") and allowing them to complete the entire sequence idependently, the recorder should mark a "+" or "-" on each step to indicate which steps the child was able to complete independently and accurately
If the student completed the beginning steps independently but not the later steps, use a forward chain. This allows for independence during the first few steps, and then uses prompting for later steps
However if the student only completed the last steps of the sequence independently, use a backward chain to teach the sequence. This would allow for prompting during the beginning steps and independence during the later steps.
The video provided exemplifies a backward chain since the student independently completes the last few steps but receives hand-over-hand prompting throughout prior steps. The "teacher" in this video is providing verbal prompting throughout the sequence to aid viewers in understanding the steps. However, in practice the "teacher" should select one form of prompting (ie. physical or verbal) to provide. Prompting hierarchies are typically delineated on task analysis data sheets. If the teacher provides too many prompts, the child may become "prompt-dependent" and may never become independent with the skill.
With training, anyone can teach a behavioral sequence through the use of task analysis. However, the teaching method is very complex. If you feel it is difficult to understand, do some research online or seek help. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) specialize in these teaching methodologies. Many special education teachers are also familiar with these techniques. These professionals are here to help!
Who can teach a behavioral sequence?