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Case of a Traumatized Child

Case of a Traumatized Child

Operational Definition of Behaviors

The child shows several problematic behaviors like Self-Injury. The child knocks his head on the floor or the wall until it is swollen whenever he is stopped from playing with the wrong items or destroying them. For instance, when told to stop throwing some of his food at his peers, XY runs to a room or corridor and knocks his head on the wall or floor until it swells (Killu, 2008). This is a behavior that happens at least twice a week.

The second problem behavior shown by the child is throwing items. The child throws anything in his way when told to undertake a task he dislikes or when told to undertake a punishment. For instance, when told to return to his seat and stop running around, XY throws a book or pencil in his hands or even picks a toy and throws it at a wall (Killu, 2008). This behavior takes place at least twice a day.

The third behavior is aggression. The child does not politely ask for things from his peers. Instead, he takes them forcefully and sometimes beats his peers to have them. For instance, when playing with peers, XY will take any toy or play item he wants from the others, even if he has his own (Killu, 2008). He will not ask politely or wait. Instead, he beats his peers and runs away with the item. This behavior manifests every time he is out playing with others.

Prioritizing the Target Behaviors

When seeking to intervene in multiple unwanted behaviors, it is advised that the ABA should prioritize these behaviors and tackle them one after another. Miltenberger (2015) has announced that when prioritizing behaviors, one should consider starting with the behavior that endangers the client or others. The process of prioritizing the behavior also means that the behavior that should be given priority should frequently occur (Miltenberger, 2015). Therefore, when using this information, the first target behaviour to deal with is aggression since this child beats his peers whenever he is out playing. This aggressive behaviour places his peers in danger. The second behaviour to give priority is self-injury because even though it does not happen as often as aggression, it endangers his life. This means that the last behaviour that the ABA should deal with is XY’s tendency to throw things.

Performance expectation

The first performance expectation will be a measurement where the RBT will be required to prepare for data collection, enter the data in the required records, and update any graphs that may be necessary. This performance expectation should also include describing the behaviors in observable and measurable terms. The second performance expectation will be behavior reduction, where the RBT will be required to identify the main components of the behavior intervention plan. Within this scope, the RBT will also be required to describe the prevalent functions of behavior. Subsequently, the third performance expectation will be their need to behave professionally and work within the scope of practice. Within this expectation, the RBT will be required to supervise and ensure quality service delivery.


Miltenberger, R. G. (2015). Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures (6th Edition). Cengage Limited. Ethics for Behavior Analysts

Killu, K. (2008). Developing effective behaviour intervention plans and Suggestions for school personnel. Intervention In School & Clinic, 43(3), 140–149.


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DB. U 3 385


You are a BCaBA with a few years of experience and you have studied trauma-informed care through continuing education. You have a new case assigned and the learner has a history of abuse and neglect. This learner is unable to speak, does not have any method of communication, and engages in several problem behaviours, including self-injury, throwing items, and aggression.

Case of a Traumatized Child

Case of a Traumatized Child

The technician assigned to the case does not have a lot of experience but has done well in their first couple of months. They became a Registered Behavior Technician and are excited to work with this new learner. They have asked you to provide them with performance expectations to ensure they are staying on track and helping this learner to the best of their ability.


Please complete your assigned readings and respond to the following:

Create an operational definition for each problem behavior (you can take liberties with this and describe any type of self-injury, throwing, and aggression).
Review your chapter three reading about prioritization of target behaviors. Where would you begin with this learner? How does this learner’s history impact your decision about what skills or behaviors to address first? Use your text to support your response.
Create three performance expectations for the RBT with regard to intervention. Refer to the RBT Task List to guide your response.

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