Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Behavior Analysis and Therapy


Baker, Jonathan C.



STEFFANEY A. SEAGLE, for the MASTERS OF SCIENCE degree in BEHAVIORAL ANALYSIS AND THERAPY, presented on April 13, 2012, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Jonathan C. Baker

Over the past several decades, social services that are provided to people with developmental disabilities have changed and evolved across time. Reasons for some of those changes are due to funding and legal issues, public policy, social values, and the need to provide a better quality of life to that population. One of the first set of organized services were from the institutional era where there were too little staff for too many people with disabilities. So much so that even providing nutrition and cleanliness were difficult, at best, to manage. There was no formal programming involved and the manner in which behaviors were addressed would make one shudder to think of today with the current regulations and social views. As service systems continue to change and evolve, from larger institutional settings to smaller community based settings, there is also a shift towards the expectations on quality outcomes, services, and over-all quality of life. How behaviors are evaluated and plan implementation in the day to day lives of people now include several policy and procedural changes. Some of those are person centered planning, self-directed lives, and quality training for necessary skills to live and function as independently as possible with supports in the community. The first objective of this research paper is to provide a comprehensive manual to assist in creating and developing effective function based behavioral plans for adults with developmental disabilities so that they can experience a better quality of life. This specific manual was created for a developmental training company that had no specific format in developing procedures for behavioral plans that were being implemented. They provide developmental training to several people with varying functioning levels and trying to gain skills to work, earn a paycheck, and contribute to the community in which they live. These people also have varying degrees of adaptive behaviors and mal-adaptive behaviors that needed changed to be more productive and live more fulfilled lives. This manual was created to assist in developing effective behavioral plans and guiding the type of behavioral management policies and procedures that this company wants to represent for the people they serve. Secondly, this manual provides policy which guides day to day operations as it relates to creating a positive meaningful work experience. It also provides procedures that will be adhered to through the behavioral management program. Most importantly, this manual provides a step- by step instructional format on how to develop a quality behavioral plan, focusing on assessment, data collection with interpretation procedures, plan development, and the best strategies in training staff, as well as follow up and revision strategies once the plan is in place. Lastly, this manual could certainly be adapted to any environment in which behavior change is needed. It could be used in a school setting, a community integrated living arrangement, or a smaller living environment. It provides examples, non-examples, and step-by- step instructions, based on the theories of applied behavioral analysis. It is user friendly, easy to navigate, and also provides comprehensive training techniques that could be used in any environment with slight company specific revisions regardless of whether people have developmental disabilities or not.