PCMA News and Events

New Webinar! Click our Webinar series on our homepage! Why your reinforcer may not be one: Problems and Pitfalls with distant reinforcers

It is quite common for behavior analysis practitioners to arrange distant reinforcers, that is, reinforcers that are accessed an hour, a day, or a week AFTER the targeted behavior has occurred. Although most individuals understand that reinforcement must be delivered with a few seconds to have any effectiveness, they typically claim that "this child has great verbal skills and he understands how he earns his reinforcer, so he doesn't need it immediately". The ability to "tact" a contingency does not mean that the alleged item/activity is in fact functioning as a reinforcer for behavior that has long since ended. This presentation will focus on how these distant programmed "reinforcers" actually function and compare and contrast this with how reinforcement of problem behavior occurs in the natural environment. There will also be a discussion of the clinical implications of misunderstanding the nature of these distant reinforcers and what can be done to ensure that target behaviors contact actual reinforcement. Finally the audience will learn the importance of conditioned reinforcers that are only reinforcers in name and what can be done to eliminate this very common error in applied settings.

1 BACB CEU is available


PCMA will be at ABAI in Denver!

Exciting New Book! Adventures In Special Education

This book is intended to assist behavior analysts, special educators, and other professionals in their treatment of persons with disabilities who exhibit behavior problems in classroom settings. If you’re trying to understand behavior so that you can figure out 1) how you can behave differently, 2) how to change the environment, and 3)how to pick skills to teach, then this book is for you. The book contains 45 minutes of video of Dr. Winston as he introduces each chapter and there is also a bonus embedded PowerPoint presentation on how to reduce/eliminate restraint use.

"Dr. Winston’s book is a great read for all parents, educators and anyone who deals with students with behavioral challenges, whether they have disabilities or no labels at all. The real life examples were both humorous and thought provoking. I believe this book will make a big change in how we all look at labels, reinforcement, and many other things that affect how we treat and educate children. It will make us better practitioners, parents and educators. I would highly recommend this book and I plan to use it for training my own staff.”

- Patty Corrigan

"The (Palm Beach County) school district annually trains approximately 375 staff in initial PCM procedures and re-certifies approximately 450 staff. In my 16 years as a PCM instructor, which includes 15 years in my current position, no students or staff have been injured implementing PCM procedures. I am very familiar with other restraint procedures; in fact I was a certified trainer in others. I do not think that any other crisis management programs are as safe, effective, or implemented with the individual's dignity in mind. PCM is a complete crisis management system in which the verbal de-escalation is as important as any physical interventions. PCMA staff are always available via telephone and e-mail to answer any of our questions or to provide assistance...It is without hesitation that I would recommend Professional Crisis Management to any school district or institute that has exceptional students with various degrees of dangerous behaviors."

Pamela R. Tepsic
Director of Special Education

"I have been providing behavioral services to a diverse array of disability groups for the past 25 years. I have been certified since 1989 and board certified since 2003. As a Behavior Analyst, I have a deep appreciation for the principles incorporated throughout PCM that have a teaching versus punitive basis. The focus is on building and maximizing relationships, preserving human dignity, and keeping individuals free from pain using the least restrictive procedures... The pro-active approaches are what sets it apart. There have been numerous times during application in various facilities when I have directly observed the behavior of individuals being shaped into more appropriate repertoires through the use of PCM procedures...Thank you PCMA. You have made a difficult job a whole lot easier."

Camille Pedone
Senior Behavior Analyst, MA, BCBA