Although shaping is a basic concept in ABA, it’s often overlooked when creating behavior plans. Here, we discuss how to use shaping when teaching our learners important skills. Shaping is a key element in our toolkit as practitioners and it’s really underrated. We often look to reinforcement as our go-to, but we forget to break the skill down into small components to avoid challenging behaviors.
Our conversation includes some examples of how to use shaping, starting with verbal imitation and vocal responding. We also discuss offering reinforcement for trying along the way, how to use shaping with desensitization and managing challenging behaviors.
Example Program: Shaping
One skill that can be taught using shaping is swallowing a pill. We created a program that gradually helps learners swallow preferred edible items that increase in size until they can swallow the size of a pill. Download this program for free below!
- The importance of shaping when teaching skills to our learners.
- Examples of how to use shaping in ABA.
- How to incorporate reinforcement with shaping.