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Extinction is a procedure based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in which reinforcement of a previously reinforced behavior is discontinued. Extinction is therefore, withholding or minimizing, to the greatest extent possible, the delivery of the consequence that maintains the interfering behavior. Extinction can be used with behaviors previously maintained by positive or negative reinforcement and by naturally occurring sensory consequences. This module will provide information on the evidence-based practice of extinction.

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

  • What's Included
  • 24 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $15 certficate
  1. Define extinction
  2. Identify the basic strategies that are used with extinction and the age groups for which extinction has been shown to be effective
  3. Describe how to implement extinction strategies in a variety of classroom situations
  4. Describe how to apply extinction strategies with learners who exhibit a variety of interfering behaviors
  5. Identify the evidence base for extinction
  6. Demonstrate intervention steps to conduct an extinction procedure
  7. Identify data collection measures to monitor the frequency, duration, and intensity of the behavior at the start of, during, and following the extinction process
  8. Identify appropriate intervention procedures (i.e., what staff/family should do when the behavior becomes worse before it improves) in response to an extinction burst.
  9. Demonstrate conducting frequent follow-up checks of the intervention results

Module Contributors

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education from 2007-2014. The work of the NPDC was a collaboration among three universities-the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the MIND Institute, University of California-Davis. The goal of the NPDC was to promote the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for children and youth with ASD, birth to 22 years of age.

Laurie Vismara, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Laurie Vismara has spent the last 15 years contributing to the science, program development, and therapy of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). She uses online platforms and travels throughout the United States and internationally to help families and publicly funded early intervention agencies develop ESDM programs in 1:1 intervention, parent coaching, and group preschool models. Her co-authored book, An Early Start for Your Child with Autism covers practical strategies and tips for families to use the ESDM with their children, especially while waiting for intervention services to begin. Her second book to help early intervention providers coach families in the ESDM is coming soon.

Jennifer Bogin, BCBA

Jennifer Bogin is the Founder/Executive Director of the Fields Center in Northampton, MA. Fields Center offers interdisciplinary autism treatment to individuals on the spectrum, their treatment providers and their families across the lifespan. As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Jennifer has been working with individuals and families in various capacities for over 20 years. Most importantly, Jennifer is the doting sister and aunt to her family members on the autism spectrum.

Lisa Sullivan, Ph.D.

Dr. Lisa Sullivan is a former classroom teacher who obtained her doctorate from UC Davis in Learning and Mind Sciences in 2010. She has worked extensively with classroom teachers and higher education faculty. Lisa has conducted over twenty program evaluations for K-12 and university based education initiatives. She has expertise in the area of special education, having worked on a national implementation grant to support general education teachers to implement best practices for students with autism. Lisa has also taught both credential and Masters students at UC Davis, Sacramento State University and Loyola Marymount University.

Laura Maddox, Ph.D.

Laura Maddox, PhD, BCBA, COBA is the program director for the Center for the Young Child at OCALI. She has directed federal and state grants related to children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and in foster care. She was assistant director of the Boys Town Institute for Child Health Improvement, co-director of the Barkley Autism Research Project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and state coordinator of the Nebraska ASD Network. She is a past recipient of the Alice B. Hayden Emerging Leader Award from TASH and the Ruth J. Eichman Early Childhood Educator Award from the Lincoln Public School Foundation.

Module Content Provided By

Content for this module was developed by The National Professional Development Center On Autism Spectrum Disorders

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