Quality Behavioral Solutions to Complex Behavior Challenges™
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Here at QBS we want to support our trainers and specialists as much as we can. Below is a collective list of different resources we provide for both trainers and specialists.

Telephone Support/Email Support

Call our office at (855) 727-6246 weekdays between 9am-5pm Eastern time (or leave a message) and ask to set up a time to speak with a Safety-Care Master Trainer. You can also send an email to info@qbs.com. Describe your question or concern in the body of the email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Feel to reach out for anything from Trainer Connect issues, compliance standards questions, procedure questions, to advice on specific escalated situations.

Live Chat Support

Have a quick question while browsing our website? You’re in luck! The live chat you see as you’re scrolling our website sends your question right to an employee at QBS from 9:30am-4:30pm EST. We will be able to answer your question or transfer you to a person who can. Easy as that!

Social Media

We can be found on social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. We often provide periodic tips, suggestions, new blog topics, and other information over social media. Our YouTube (QBS, Inc.) provides our customers with an abundance of information involving Safety Care and other interesting topics.

Social Media is one of many resources that QBS offers that provides additional information such as tips, suggestions, new blog topics, and more.

Blog Posts

We post various blogs post on diverse topics like community, crisis prevention, among many others! These posts are for our customers to have resources provided to them on a monthly or weekly basis. You can find our blog posts here.

COVID-19

We are continuously updating our COVID-19 regulations available on our website, which can be found here. These standards include information on how to conduct remote trainings, current grace period, how to maintain skills during this time, how to modify in person training, and FAQs.

Trainer Connect

Trainers with access to Trainer Connect have an abundance of resources at their fingertips. Trainer Connect is where trainers record their trainings. It also allows you to pull reports of specialists and trainers which shows when each person’s certification is expiring. There are also videos available of all procedures in the Safety-Care curriculums. These videos do not have any audio and are only a few seconds in duration. Another resource available on Trainer Connect are  previously recorded Safety-Care Live webinars created for Trainers.

Consultation

We also offer expert paid consultation services to organizations seeking assistance in a number of areas, including adaptation of the Safety-Care curriculum to specific behavioral challenges or clinical settings. If you are interested or would like more information please email info@qbs.com or call our office at (855) 727-6246.

Functional assessment is a critical component to creating and implementing function-based treatment. This is standard practice in the assessment of challenging behavior of the individuals we serve. Staff may also engage in challenging behaviors such as tardiness, missing meetings, or not completing required tasks or paperwork. When managing staff performance issues, it can be too easy to jump to writing someone up and having them meet with human resources. Staff performance issues should be identified using functional assessment. Carr et al. (2013) created the Performance Diagnostic Checklist – Human Services (PDC – HS) to assess and identify the variables that contribute to staff performance issues.

What is the PDC – HS?

The PDC-HS is an assessment that supervisors can complete to identify environmental factors that contribute to staff performance issues and implement targeted interventions based on the specific function (Carr et al., 2013).

The PDC-HS is a checklist with 20 questions organized into 4 domains:
a) Training
b) Task Clarification & Prompting
c) Resources, Materials, & Processes
d) Performance Consequences, Effort, and Competition

Many questions can be answered based on report by the staff’s supervisor while 7 questions require direct observation (Carr et al., 2013). Questions are answered either yes or no. Each question scored as no is a possible area of intervention. Domains with multiple items scored no should be prioritized first for intervention. Intervention options and literature are provided for each potential function/domain.

How can it help?

It is critical for supervisors to use systematic tools to identify staff performance issues. It can be all too easy to become busy and implement punitive strategies to try to fix staff behavior problems. By using a systematic assessment such as the PDC-HS, it can help supervisors be more effective by:

  1. Saving time
  2. Reducing punitive consequences
  3. Improving staff performance

Supervisors can save time by targeting an intervention to address the specific staff deficit. This saves time by only targeting the specific issue and not providing extra training or instruction for areas that are not indicated in the assessment.

A staff performance assessment can also reduce the use of punitive consequences such as getting a “write up”, a note in their file, or sending an email to human resources. These consequences do not teach a new behavior (ie; staff member performs the task correctly next time). Sometimes supervisors may change the staff’s schedule or tasks to avoid the performance issue. Instead, the PDC-HS helps by identifying the specific concern and targeting the concern with a tailored intervention to solve the issue.

Not only does the PDC-HS reduce the need for punitive consequences, it identifies areas for supervisors to teach staff so that they can be successful with their job. Punitive consequences create an environment where supervisors are looking for behaviors to criticize. However, teaching staff the skills to be successful at work creates a collaborative environment where supervisors support their staff and reinforce positive behaviors.

Supervisors should use an assessment such as the PDC-HS when considering how to manage staff challenging behavior. Using a simple and quick assessment can save time, create a supportive workplace, and improve staff performance. When staff are performing at their best, we can provide effective treatments and quality outcomes to benefit the individuals we serve.

Reference

Carr, J.E., Wilder, D.A., Majdalany, L., Mathisen, D., and Strain, L.A. (2013). An assessment-based solution to a human-service employee performance problem: An initial evaluation of the Performance Diagnostic Checklist – Human Services. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 6(1), 16-32.

There is a lot that we can do to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus, such as wearing a mask, limiting touching of the face, and frequent handwashing or hand-sanitizing. As organizations start to open back up, the need for staff to follow precaution guidelines may be critical for the safety of your employees and individuals served. Handwashing is an easy, cost-effective way to stop the spread of germs, resulting in limited infection. But how can we increase staff handwashing behavior?

The following are some easy, cost-effective, time-effective, and research-based interventions to help your staff stay safe by washing their hands more frequently.

Increasing the frequency of handwashing behavior for your staff may be crucial to keep everyone safe as your organization gets used to the “new normal”. The previously mentioned research can be easily adapted to any setting, in a manner that will not break the bank and does not take much time out of the supervisor’s busy days.

Wash your hands. Your hands carry germs you can't see.

Here’s some ideas:

  1. Organize the environment to maximize handwashing by decreasing the effort required to complete the task. This can be done by having employees work closer to a sink or having hand-sanitizers readily available and close by.
  2. Giving your staff feedback on their handwashing is another great way to increase this behavior. For example: “Sara thank you for washing your hands, that’s really helpful to stop the spread of germs.” Or “Jim please remember to wash your hands when coming in from outside”. Make sure your feedback is specifically about handwashing and immediate.
  3. Educate your staff about the importance of handwashing. You can show your staff a fun video about how germs spread, give them a handout on how handwashing can help, or just a discussion about when and how often they should wash their hands.
  4. Finally, and possibly the easiest intervention is to put up reminders for staff to wash their hands. Remember that you can make these fun to really catch the attention of your staff.

Check out some of our other blog posts: How Do I Stop Touching My Face? and Increase Staff & Client Cleanliness using Behavioral Analysis.

References

Casella, S.E., Wilder, D.A., Neidert, P., Rey, C., Compton, M. and Chong, I. (2010), THE EFFECTS OF RESPONSE EFFORT ON SAFE PERFORMANCE BY THERAPISTS AT AN AUTISM TREATMENT FACILITY. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43: 729-734. doi:10.1901/jaba.2010.43-729

Choi, B., Lee, K., Moon, K. and Oah, S. (2018), A comparison of prompts and feedback for promoting handwashing in university restrooms. Jnl of Applied Behav Analysis, 51: 667-674. doi:10.1002/jaba.467

Finney, J.W., Miller, K.M. and Adler, S.P. (1993), CHANGING PROTECTIVE AND RISKY BEHAVIORS TO PREVENT CHILD‐TO‐PARENT TRANSMISSION OF CYTOMEGALOVIRUS. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 26: 471-472. doi:10.1901/jaba.1993.26-471

Luke, M.M. and Alavosius, M. (2011), ADHERENCE WITH UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS AFTER IMMEDIATE, PERSONALIZED PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44: 967-971. doi:10.1901/jaba.2011.44-967

Google, Instagram, TeacherTube, OpenTable, YouTube, and Twitter are just a few notable online platforms. Videos on these platforms give information and expectations of certain environments, and/or activities. Additionally, they teach a variety of “how to’s." These include putting on a Jeep Wrangler rooftop, making a vegan pie, or teaching your dog to skateboard. You can use these video platforms as an aide when teaching individuals with disabilities.

Working as a special education teacher in an elementary age classroom, I was faced with many challenges. One of these challenges included teaching meaningful lessons that each student could access at their individual level of learning.

I used online video modeling to teach social skills and abstract topics such as personal preferences. To show competency in the skill, my students would demonstrate the skill with a peer or instructional assistant. These skills would only be considered mastered if the student demonstrated it across a variety of days/opportunities. To ensure generalization, individuals would practice these skills across multiple staff/ peers and settings.

Here are a few of my favorite videos to help with instruction!  

Videos to Help With Teaching

For my early learners we watched videos such as opposites, to work on labeling similarities and difference.

Try using the video Belly Breathe. This video can help students practice taking deep breathes when they're feeling stressed out, or unsure of what to do in a moment of frustration.

When practicing manners, I used Please and Thank You. Use this as a tool to support the students in teaching when to use manners and what words to say.

When preparing to enter the community, we would review this community helpers video. Pre-teaching who we were going to see when we entered the community allowed for ongoing conversations. This also was an errorless way for the students to know what community helper they were going to see.  

I often used Do You Like? to guide the learners in forming their own opinions. This also aided in choice-making and identifying preferences.

Teaching a child through watching videos.
More Than Just Teaching Materials

These videos were initially found to be used as teaching materials. Over time it became clear that they were much more than that. Some videos turned into preferred rewards that the students would ask to watch on their break time.  A couple of students took these video examples as a way of communication and requested that their assignments be completed through video recording.  There was growth in the classroom community, as each learner, no matter their level of performance, was able to access the message of these videos with their peers.

By Master Trainer Tialha Nover, BCBA
Whether for budget or the need to individualize treatment, sometimes it’s better to make our own material than it is to buy it. This blog post will show you how to make DIY board games.

As a BCBA , sometimes we don’t have the budget to buy the number and type of board games that we want or need. Even when we can budget them in, it may be better to make a game ourselves. This way it's more sustainable for the families when we leave. Making your own board game can also be a great way to individualize treatment for our learner to make a game a better fit to meet their current goals.  

Tips and tricks to DIY your own board game

Fewer Spaces

Make them with fewer spaces so each game goes quicker (e.g., make a game that was 100 spaces only 25). If you are teaching good sportsmanship skills like letting someone else go first or winning/losing a game; the shorter the game the more opportunities you will have to practice these skills.

Remove Difficult Parts

Remove difficult to understand rules or parts of the game (e.g., if a game has a special rule when you draw a certain card, you can remove those cards from the deck).

Incorporate Other Skills You're Teaching

Generalize other programs into your games by including images/objects that you are already teaching. (e.g., when deciding what colors to make your cards, use colors that you are targeting in another receptive identification program).

Use What You Have

Use whatever small toys you have around as pieces (e.g., coins, mini dinosaurs, etc.).

Laminate

Laminate (packaging tape works as a great alternative if laminating isn’t an option) your game and pieces when finished so they last.

Encourage Decorating

Draw or print out black and white versions of the games and have your learner color/decorate them.

Have Your Learners Help

For older learners you can even have them write out the name of the game on the board, the rules of the game on the back, etc.

Have your learner earn choices for color/theme/images when you’re making the game or take turns with a sibling/peer making the choices.

Add More

As your learner masters the current version of a game you can add more spaces/rules/components to the game to increase the difficulty allowing the game to grow with their skill level.

Have fun making your own individualized DIY board games for all of your learners. Here is a free printable one to get you started. Click here to download and print it!

To learn more on activities to do with kids from a behaviorally-based perspective, read these blog posts:

By Master Trainer Jessica Bacon, M.Ed., M.S., BCBA

Many people have kids who simply cannot wait to get outside and run around. This can be especially noticeable during these beautiful early spring days.  But some of us, myself included, have found that our young family members are not interested in disengaging with their screens, friend chats, and even the sofa.  If you have a teen or a pre-teen at home right now, you might have an especially good idea of what I’m talking about. It can be a very difficult feat to keep your kids physically active right now. 

How can you keep your kids physically active?

  1. Exergaming
  2. Set Goals
  3. Incentivize
  4. Adult Interaction

Reasons to Increase Physical Activity Levels

There are many reasons why we might want to consider monitoring and increasing the amount of physical activity that kids are engaging in each day. This is especially important during this time of isolation and disrupted routines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) produces many benefits. These benefits include improved thinking or cognition, learning and judgement skills, as well as a reduction in anxiety and depression. The recommendation is that children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 should engage in 60 minutes or more of MVPA each day. 

Benefits of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity include improved thinking or cognition, learning and judgement skills, as well as a reduction in anxiety and depression.

Activities should include a balance between movement that strengthens bone. These activities include running, jumping, and movement that builds muscle, like climbing or doing push-ups.  Additionally, at least 3 days should include exercise that would be considered aerobic. Aerobic exercises include any activity that makes the heart beat faster (CDC, 2018).  A brisk walk would certainly meet the criteria for aerobic activity. 

Currently, many of the typical opportunities for our kids to participate in physical activity are not available. Team sports and other extracurricular activities, play time with peers, and physical education classes have all been paused during this stay-at-home period. Fewer opportunities to be active require that we get a little creative with our kids and encourage them to engage in daily exercise. 

Here are some tips which may be helpful in getting the younger members of your household a little bit more active.  Keep in mind that 60 minutes a day may be too high of an expectation for your child to start off with.  Consider your child or teenager’s current activity level and try to gradually increase it by small increments over time.   

Exergaming

Exergaming is what you get when you combine video games with exercising. They are usually played on consoles like Nintendo, Xbox, and Playstation.

Video game console used to practice exergaming in order to get kids physically active.

The aim of these games is to move your body. Players cannot progress or win without being physically active. Exergames have been shown to effectively increase physical activity levels among both children and adults (Hansen & Sanders, 2007).

A small study conducted in a public elementary school showed that children spent more time engaged in physical activity in an exergaming environment then they did during a traditional physical education class (Fogel et al, 2010).  These types of games are easy to acquire and range in price.  People are often selling used consoles and games on social media platforms and online market places. 

Set Goals for Physical Activity

Setting a reasonable and measurable goal for your child to achieve can help to increase any behavior, including physical activity.  Miller et al. (2018) investigated several different interventions to increase physical activity among 10 and 11-year-old students.  This study showed that providing students with goals (e.g. total number of steps in a given period), increased activity levels more than other interventions such as providing feedback and posting results. 

To set goals for your child, begin by observing the duration of their current physical activity levels across several days. You could do this throughout the day or during specific times of the day, as your schedule permits. Tracking number of steps either with a simple pedometer or an accelerometer device (e.g. Fitbit™) could also serve as a measure of physical activity.  Once you have an average measure of your child’s current activity levels, set an initial goal equal to that average.  As your child meets these goals, gradually increase them over time, in order to achieve the recommended 60 minutes per day.

Incentivize Physical Activity

Miller et al. (2018) found that adding rewards for achieving goals resulted in even higher levels of physical activity.  Students who met their goals received a raffle ticket following each session in which they met or exceeded their step goal. 

For my pre-teen at home, I created our own version of a raffle ticket system. This "raffle" consists of a box of tickets. Each ticket has a reward or “value” written on it.  We came up with the list of rewards together, using our own version of a preference assessment, and wrote them out on the tickets as a family activity. 

Examples of Potential Rewards for Physical Activity

Each time our child meets a goal, about once every two or three days, she takes a ticket from the box.  She never knows which reward she is going to “win." Doing this keeps the system both interesting and effective.

Adult Interaction

The simplest and most effective way to increase your child’s physical activity levels may be to simply join in on the activity. Another way would be to interact with them while they are engaged in the physical activity.  A study conducted at a California public school compared students’ activity levels across three different interventions.

These interventions are:

  1. Games to see who achieved the highest number of steps
  2. Reward systems
  3. Adult interaction dependent on the engagement of physical activity

All three interventions were effective in increasing number of steps. However, the highest levels of activity were actually observed when adults interacted and joined in the games with the students during activity. This finding reveals that good, old-fashioned spending time with your kids may still be the best way to achieve good habits and positive behaviors (Nieto & Wiskow, 2020). 

Conclusion

Of course, the CDC also has similar activity recommendations for adults. Increasing physical activity could certainly benefit all household members.  Try some of these options above: exergaming, setting goals, incentivizing, and joining your family members in some physical activity. You may discover numerous positive benefits for the whole family!

For more help with parenting during a pandemic, read How to Work From Home With Kids: Learning, Leisure, and Love in the time of Coronavirus.

References:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Physical activity for everyone.

Fogel, V. A., Miltenberger, R. G., Graves, R., & Koehler, S. ( 2010). The effects of exergaming on physical activity among inactive children in a physical education classroom. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis43, 591– 600.

Hansen, L., & Sanders, S. (2007). Interactive gaming: Changing the face of fitness. Florida Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance & Sport Journal46, 38– 41.

Miller BG, Valbuena DA, Zerger HM, Miltenberger RG. Evaluating public posting,

Miller, B.G., Valbuena, D.A., Zerger,H.M., Miltenberger, R.G. (2018). Evaluating public posting, goal setting, and rewards to increase physical activity during school recess. Behavioral Intervention, 33, 237-250. https://doi.org/10.1002/bin.1631

Nieto, P. and Wiskow, K. (2020) Evaluating adult interaction during the Step It UP! game to increase physical activity in children.  Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 00, 1-13.

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