Angela Cathey, MA & Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D
Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA
Brett DiNovi & Associates
As behavior analysts, the collection and design of interventions based on data is the corner stone of our work. As technology has evolved there have become more and more ways in which to monitor behavior in a real-time manner. The ability to monitor data at a high frequency and receive feedback can help us improve our interventions in a variety of ways.
Some of the benefits of using technology to collect data that provide real-time feedback to clients and/or BCBAs include: a reduction of workload on the BCBA or client in recording data, increased accuracy of data collected, increased motivation on the part of the learner and BCBA, or an increase in the learner or BCBA’s ability to track subtle behavior chains.
Accuracy can particularly become a concern when parents or BCBAs are managing challenging behaviors or when they might otherwise have to rely on memory to report what occurred. Devices that continuously collect data from movement, biological changes, or other changes in observable behavior can also increase the learner, parent, or BCBA’s ability to track subtle behavior and environmental shifts.
In a recent video by Brett DiNovi & Associates, LLC, Brett DiNovi discusses one such device that may be used this way. The ‘Spiro Stone’ is a device like a FitBit that can be used to monitor learner behaviors that may be difficult to monitor closely as a BCBA working with the learner. The Spiro Stone can be placed on a learner’s belt to monitor breathing rate and other changes in behavior. This device can also display the results of monitoring on iPads or other electronic devices and alert the BCBA of significant changes in the learner’s breathing behavior. Using this type of device may help the BCBA to better detect the learner’s experience of anxiety and help the BCBA teach the learner to mand a need for a break when anxious.
The Spiro Stone is only one such example of a device that can collect real-time data useful to behavior analysts. Most iPhones and Android phones include a variety of sensors that can also be used to record data and provide feedback to learners or BCBAs. These programs must be used with respect for confidentiality in data collection but when used appropriately and with knowledge of how accurately the device (e.g., accelerometer on your iPhone, etc.) collects data. These devices, Apps, and other technological advances provide many opportunities for behavior analysis to advance as a field and for individual learners and BCBAs to improve performance.
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Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA has the unique and distinguished experience of studying the principles of applied behavior analysis under the rigorous scrutiny of both Dr. Julie S. Vargas (formerly Skinner) and Dr. E.A. Vargas at West Virginia University’s internationally recognized program. For the past 26 years, Brett has used behavior analytic principles to create large scale change across school districts, Fortune 500 companies using principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), and across individual learners. Brett has been a OBM consultant in Morgantown WV, an instructor at West Virginia University, a guest lecturer at numerous universities, a speaker on multiple Comcast Newsmakers TV programs, an expert witness in due process hearings, has publications in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and has been in in executive leadership positions across schools and residential programs nationwide. In addition to an award from South Jersey Biz Magazine for “Best Places to Work,” an award for “Best of Families” in Suburban Magazine, and the distinguished “Top Ranked U.S. Executives” award, Brett’s proudest accomplishment is being a role model and father for his daughter and two stepchildren (one of which has autism). Brett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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