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

"Since we started using PCM, the quantity of restraints has decreased. There's rare occasions that we even have to use the physical crisis management because the prevention and de-escalation is so beneficial."

Jennifer Rainey
Mental Health Technician

"We have been using PCM at Behavior Services of Brevard since 1998 with great results. The criterion-based training allows us to assess staff performance both during and after crises, facilitating immediate after-incident feedback. Since opening our Intensive-Behavioral ADT in 2003, we have had no known consumer or staff injuries from utilizing PCM in crisis situations, even though we work with some of the most behaviorally-challenged individuals in our county. This has cut our workers compensation costs dramatically. In our experience, the value of PCM far outweighs the nominal cost of training. The peace of mind is free. "

Dr. Karen Wagner