Naturalistic Environment Teaching at Brett DiNovi & Associates

By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D

bSci21Media, LLC

Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA

Brett DiNovi & Associates

In Episode 4 of Behavioral Science World, produced by Brett DiNovi & Associates (BDA), we get a glimpse into a day as a Clinical Associate at the agency.  We are introduced to Joe Carter, Executive Director of Staff Management at BDA who shows us his staffing map, which covers all of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.  The map helps Joe match new clients with staff members based on a number of factors, including the location, age, and repertoire of the learner and the preferences of staff in the area. BDA only accepts cases after having the appropriately trained staff, as opposed to chasing the contracts and then hiring the staff.

We then get an opportunity to follow Pam Marshall, a Clinical Associate, as she takes one of her learners, Maya, to the bowling alley.  While there, we see numerous examples of how to utilize a community setting for Naturalistic Environment Training.  For example, the car ride itself serves as an opportunity to practice advanced imitation skills by singing along with a popular song on the way to the event.  We also see clear opportunities to teach social skills (i.e., greeting others and dancing with a partner), opportunities to reinforce learner requests or mands (i.e., “can you hold my hand?”), as well as listener responding (i.e., “can you put your purse on?” and “what color?”).

The BDA staff also leverage an assistive device to make it possible for Maya to roll the bowling ball down the lane and enjoy the game.  As a general antecedent strategy, Pam was able to enrich the environment with an upbeat and enthusiastic demeanor which Maya enjoys.

Be sure to check out the full video above to see how the day unfolded, and to subscribe to Brett DiNovi’s YouTube channel and let them know what you would like to see in future videos.  Also be sure to subscribe to bSci21 to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!

Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is the President and Founder of bSci21Media, LLC, which owns the top behavior analytic media outlet in the world,  bSci21Media aims to disseminate behavior analysis to the world and to support ABA companies around the globe through the Behavioral Science in the 21st Century blog and its subsidiaries, bSciEntrepreneurial, bSciWebDesign, bSciWriting, bSciStudios and the ABA Outside the Box CEU series.  Dr. Ward received his PhD in behavior analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno under Dr. Ramona Houmanfar.  He has served as a Guest Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and as an Editorial Board member of Behavior and Social Issues.  Dr. Ward has also provided ABA services to children and adults with various developmental disabilities in day centers, in-home, residential, and school settings, and previously served as Faculty Director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas.  Dr. Ward is passionate about disseminating behavior analysis to the world and growing the field through entrepreneurship. Todd can be reached at [email protected]

Brett DinoviBrett 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 [email protected]

1 Comment on "Naturalistic Environment Teaching at Brett DiNovi & Associates"

  1. The energy of the tech, and the responsiveness she received from the client were fantastic examples of the power that reinforcement pairing and positive behavior support implementation can have in improving the lives of others. Thank you for sharing!!

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