189 episodes

The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria is an interview-based show that features conversations with innovative scientists and practitioners in the field of Behavior Analysis. The podcast covers topics such as Autism, Functional Behavioral Assessment, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Functional Communication Training, Verbal Behavior, and more!

The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria Matt Cicoria

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 556 Ratings

The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria is an interview-based show that features conversations with innovative scientists and practitioners in the field of Behavior Analysis. The podcast covers topics such as Autism, Functional Behavioral Assessment, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Functional Communication Training, Verbal Behavior, and more!

    Real World Functional Assessment and Treatment: Apollo CSS 2 with Jim Moore

    Real World Functional Assessment and Treatment: Apollo CSS 2 with Jim Moore

    Oh boy, as the kids these days say, this show is a straight up banger. Dr. Jim Moore joins me again in our second installment in the Apollo Case Study Series, where we go deep into all things functional assessment. 
    Right out of the gate, I want to note that we do spend time reviewing both functional analysis and treatment data of clients that Jim has worked with in the past. We do the best we can to narrate the these data, but you're going to want to go to the show notes of the episode to see what we're talking about in order to get the most out of the discussion. 
    OK, in this episode, we discuss the following:
    How much evidence does one need in order to move forward with a behavioral intervention. How to assess the confidence in your functional assessment interview, and get the most out of these interactions with caregivers. How to train staff to be great interviewers. Treatment decisions based on functional assessment outcomes. When to use Isolated vs. Synthesized contingencies. How the staff at Apollo are mentored and supported in these functional assessment and treatment strategies. This list could actually go on and on (including a sidebar about values-based care - a topic I'd like to return to at some point), so I encourage you to listen to the episode all the way through. For example, in the last moments of the show, we discussed how to navigate some of the quasi-tribal verbal behavior that comes with the functional analysis territory. You definitely don't want to miss that. 
    Here are some links to resources we discussed in this episode:
    The inaugural Apollo Case Study Series show where Jim discusses scientific problem-solving. Mueller, Sterling, and Moore (2005). Towards Developing a Classroom-Based Functional Analysis Condition to Assess Escape-to-Attention as a Variable Maintaining Problem Behavior. A podcast I did with longtime friend, Dr. Jim Murphy, on Motivational Interviewing.  Forehand and Long book, as well as a podcast I did on those parenting principles with Brandon Franklin. Apollo Behavior's website, as well as their Facebook and LinkedIn pages. House, MD.

    • 1 hr 25 min
    How to Write a Behavior Contract with Jill Dardig and Bill Heward

    How to Write a Behavior Contract with Jill Dardig and Bill Heward

    This was a fun one for sure. In Session 188, I chatted with Drs. Jill Dardig and Bill Heward about a whole host of topics, including their new book, Let's Make a Contract: A positive way to change your child's behavior.  In this conversation, we covered:
    How Jill and Bill discovered Behavior Analysis, especially at a time when it wasn't as ubiquitous as it is now. How they of course met each other (yes, there is a love story here). Why they wrote an earlier iteration of this book titled, Sign Here: A contracting book for children and their parents. The success Jill and Bill had in getting their works translated in various languages, and distributed to countries across the globe. The power of storytelling. The basics of behavioral contracting.  Special circumstances that make contracting challenging, and what to do about them. What to make of the "open economy" of today's screen-based reinforcers. Directions for future research in this area. Advice for the newly minted. Their hopes for the future of ABA.  This bullet list of course could go on and on. There are so many storylines in this conversation, from the history of ABA, to dissemination across cultures and languages, to the power of storytelling, to parenting, and so much more. I think there is something in this episode for everyone (note: we get to the actual mechanics of behavioral contracting about 1/2 to 2/3 the way into the conversation). Bill and Jill more generally offer some great parenting strategies in their description of the contracting process.
    We discussed some of the following resources in this episode:
    Their book of course, Let's Make a Contract. Michael (1993). Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis. Highlights for Children magazine. Risley (2005). Montrose Wolf memoriam in JABA. Today's ABA with Greg Hanley (Session 160; shameless plug: CEU for this podcast here). Gover et al (2021). On the generality of preference for contingent reinforcement.  Their soon-to-be developed companion website for the book.  Strain and Joseph (2004). A not so good job with "good job," A response to Cohn (2001). Session 188 is brought to you with support from:
    HRIC Recruiting. Barb Voss has been placing BCBAs in permanent positions throughout the US for just about a decade, and has been in the business more generally for 30 years. When you work with HRIC, you work directly with Barb, thereby accessing highly personalized service. So if you're about to graduate, you're looking for a change of pace, or you just want to know if the grass really is greener on the other side, head over to HRIColorado.com to schedule a confidential chat right away. Behavior University. Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings, including their brand new 8-hour Supervision Course, as well as their RBT offerings over at behavioruniversity.com/observations. The University of Cincinnati Online. UC Online designed a Master of Education in Behavior Analysis program that is 100% online and asynchronous, meaning you log on when it works for you. Want to learn more? Go to online.uc.edu and click the “request info” button. Also:
    Check out the BOP Patreon Tiers if you want an ad-free feed that includes occasional bonus content! Need CEUs on the go? Check out the podcasts that are available for BACB Continuing Education.

    • 1 hr 36 min
    How to Help Individuals with Anxiety with Steve Ward

    How to Help Individuals with Anxiety with Steve Ward

    In Session 187, Steve Ward joins me to discuss how to help individuals - in particular, individuals with severely limited communicated repertoires - who demonstrate challenging repertoires that are colloquially referred to as Anxiety. 
    Given that tortured sentence, you can probably already imagine that in this episode, we discuss how Steve conceptualizes what exactly Anxiety is, especially in populations who cannot verbally report on their private verbal behavior. More importantly, we discuss how he developed what he calls the "calm counts" procedure, and review a case study of this intervention that he recently published. 
    Here are the resources we discussed in this podcast:
    Using Differential Reinforcement in the Presence of Stressors to Teach Self-Calming (Ward, 2022). Calm Counts data sheet. Video of the technique being implemented. Whole Child Consulting (Steve's website that has tons of resources).  Whole Child Consulting FB Page. Good Learner Repertoires FB Group. Task As Reinforcer paper. Pink Floyd reference. Top Shelf Sports Bar and Grille. Steve's first appearance on BOP, Session 111. Friman, Hayes, and Wilson (1998). Why Behavior Analysts Should Study Emotion: The example of anxiety.  This session is brought to you with support from:
    Behavior Development Solutions (aka “BDS”) is back to sponsor Behavioral Observations! I know BDS, because their modules were part of my own exam prep strategy when I took the BCBA exam back in 2002. Their modules are so thorough, you’ll feel confident at the Board Exam and, you’ll be well prepared for your career. It's the premier exam-prep and curriculum supplement for BCBA and BCaBA candidates with a 98.5% pass rate for first-time BCBA exam takers… plus a money-back guarantee! They also have solutions for RBT aspirants, plus CE courses and live webinars (most of which are free for anyone to attend). To learn more, head over to "bds.com forward-slash "B O P"  for a special offer!  The University of Cincinnati Online. UC Online designed a Master of Education in Behavior Analysis program that is 100% online and asynchronous, meaning you log on when it works for you. Want to learn more? Go to online.uc.edu and click the “request info” button. Pick up some CEUs while you listen to Behavioral Observations! Click here to see the various ACE events on topics like Functional Assessment, Trauma-Informed Behavior Analysis, ACT, and much more!

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Adopting Precision Teaching Across a Multi-State Provider: Session 186 with Chrissy Barosky

    Adopting Precision Teaching Across a Multi-State Provider: Session 186 with Chrissy Barosky

    In Session 186, I am joined by Chrissy Barosky, Clinical Director for Bierman Autism Centers. In this episode, we discussed how their organization adopted a Precision Teaching approach for their learners. 
    You heard that correctly, a large multi-state organization transitioned all of their data collection practices to the Standard Celeration Chart. So in this show, we dive into how Chrissy and her colleagues managed to pull this off, what they learned during the process, and the benefits they've seen from taking on such a large endeavor.
    We also discussed a paper that Chrissy and her colleagues published in Behavior Analysis in Practice titled, Increasing Trials Presented to Children With Autism: Using Frequency Building With Modeling and Feedback. This is a case study of how the authors taught behavioral technicians to improve the efficiency of their teaching using a frequency-building approach.
    Whether or not you care about the chart, I think this is an interesting episode because it speaks to a larger issue of organizational change. Chances are, if you're listing to this podcast, you're not using the chart. Imagine for a moment that your agency decided to adopt it? So in many respects, this episode presents an opportunity for a fun thought experiment about about changing clinical practices, and I hope you find the exercise helpful. 
    As a matter of housekeeping, I to apologize for some of the audio quality challenges issues we had during this episode, including my dogs barking for several minutes when my town decided to do some tree-trimming along my road. I don't think it detracts from the overall conversation, but wanted to make a note of this. 
    Here are links to some of the resources we mentioned:
    Bierman Autism Centers  Can precision teaching save the world?  Barosky, Keane, and Gallagher (2021). Increasing Trials Presented to Children With Autism: Using Frequency Building With Modeling and Feedback A slideshow where a 5 year old teaches a charting tutorial (translation: you can do it too!) Where you can purchase charts and learn more. The Standard Celeration Society FB group Links to several BOP shows on Precision Teaching Bulla et al (2021). Introduction to the Special Section: Precision Teaching: Discoveries and Applications Octave's Project Blue training for aspiring charters Rick Kubina's Precision Teaching books PrecisionX charting software Session 186 is brought to you with support from:
    HRIC Recruiting. Barb Voss has been placing BCBAs in permanent positions throughout the US for just about a decade, and has been in the business more generally for 30 years. When you work with HRIC, you work directly with Barb, thereby accessing highly personalized service. So if you're about to graduate, you're looking for a change of pace, or you just want to know if the grass really is greener on the other side, head over to HRIColorado.com to schedule a confidential chat right away. Behavior University. (who incidentally is sponsoring the Stone Soup Conference!) Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings, including their brand new 8-hour Supervision Course, as well as their RBT offerings over at behavioruniversity.com/observations. The University of Cincinnati Online. UC Online designed a Master of Education in Behavior Analysis program that is 100% online and asynchronous, meaning you log on when it works for you. Want to learn more? Go to online.uc.edu and click the “request info” button.

    • 58 min
    Inside JABA Series 11: Functional Analysis Patterns of Automatic Reinforcement

    Inside JABA Series 11: Functional Analysis Patterns of Automatic Reinforcement

    In Session 185, AKA Inside JABA Series #11, I'm joined by Drs. Linda LeBlanc, Jeff Tiger, and Javier Virues-Ortega for a deep dive into automatically maintained behavior. This session was inspired by the study Javier and his colleagues published in the Spring 2022 issue of JABA (Virues-Ortega, Clayton, Perez-Bustamante, Gaerlan, and Fahmie, 2022). 
    In this episode, we discuss the nature of, and challenges with automatically-maintained problem behavior. And this is tackled from both conceptual and treatment angles. As I mention in the episode, I don't encounter these types of problem behaviors that frequently these days, so it was a treat to update my knowledge in this area. 
    It's easy to think of automatic reinforcement as a monolith, but as it turns out, even dividing it up between positive and negative reinforcement may not be sufficient enough to render effective treatment. 
    We spent probably the first 25-30 minutes discussing some of the known challenges associated with assessing and treating these repertoires, and then spend the remaining time discussing Javier and his colleagues' paper, which presented two very unique investigations. 
    If you work with individuals with these profiles, you'll want to listen all the way through, and better still, check out the paper itself. 
    Here are some of the studies we discussed:
    Functional analysis patterns of automatic reinforcement: A review and component analysis of treatment effects (Virues-Ortega et al., 2022) An analysis of the reinforcing properties of handmouthing (Goh et al., 1995) Delineating subtypes of Self Injurious Behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement (Hagopian, Rooker, and Zarcone, 2015). A retrospective analysis of stereotypy: Applicability of the behavioral subtyping model (Wunderlich, Hemstreet and Best, 2022; not discussed during this episode, but in the same issue of JABA, and on my list to read next).  Lastly, I'd be remiss if I did not take a minute to thank Linda LeBlanc for reaching out to me to start the Inside JABA series. As I tell her every chance I get, I consider it an honor to be involved with the flagship journal in our field. If someone told me as an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire that I'd be regularly involved with JABA in some capacity, I wouldn't have believed them. 
    As some of you might know, Linda's term as Editor in Chief is expiring, but we are planning to continue the podcast series with incoming EIC, Dr. John Borrero. More info on this to come, but in the meantime, please enjoy this installment of the Inside JABA Series. 

    • 1 hr 23 min
    The Apollo Case Study Series: with Jim Moore

    The Apollo Case Study Series: with Jim Moore

    I'm really excited to introduce a new special podcast series that I'm publishing with Dr. Jim Moore of Apollo Behavior. In this series, we're going to talk about a lot of practical topics that we hope will resonate with BCBA's of all experience levels.
    We have great plans to discuss topics like supervision, functional assessment, skill acquisition, and much more. Real world challenges that just about every practitioner faces.
    In this episode, we focused on a clinical problem solving model that Jim's been developing over the years. So if you're working with learners who are struggling to make progress, this is the show for you.
    We don't have a ton of links for this one, but here are some things that we referenced:
    Apollo Behavior's website The 7 Steps to Instructional Control The Founder (movie Jim references) Skinner's Attitudes of Science What does Mise en Place mean? Lastly, I should note that this series is brought to you ad-free by Apollo Behavior. If you're interested in what they do, and/or if you want to learn more about what Jim discussed, reach out to them either at info@apollobehavior.com or jim@apollobehavior.com.

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
556 Ratings

556 Ratings

Burnsj414 ,

Love to Geek out.

Love this podcast!! I think the guests are wonderfully diverse in their expertise and the information shared in the episodes is practical and applicable.
Love listening on my way to work. Gets me inspired for the day :)
As a BCBA in a public school, I also love to use some of the episodes as resources for my staff and to also share with staff in other disciplines as a way to spark interdisciplinary conversations.

Hurricanehmg ,

LOVE but…

Matt interviewed the owner of a company in Atlanta that I know from personal experience does not treat their employees well nor hire quality BCBA’s. However I am obsessed with how the literature is disseminated in this podcast and have learned how to think outside of the box in how I will make decisions as a future BCBA.

Robyn M H. ,

Ethics for School Consultation with Missy Olive

Listening to the specific episode listed in the title was an assignment for one my undergrad courses for my bachelors degree in ABA. Such an interesting episode with a lot of knowledge points for someone who is interested in becoming a BCBA in school districts. I love that they discussed ethical issues when working with schools and how to go about handling those issues according to the BACB. It was awesome how Missy held a class for teachers regarding behavior. I’m excited to listen to more episodes and get more tips that will be helpful on my journey to becoming a BCBA.

Top Podcasts In Science

Hidden Brain
Alie Ward
Jordan Harbinger
Neil deGrasse Tyson
PRX and Greater Good Science Center
Sam Harris

You Might Also Like

Study Notes ABA
The Autism Helper
Dr. Mary Barbera
Behaviorbabe
BACB
ABAI