Using Applied Behavior Analytic Strategies to Manage the Acting Out Cycle with Dr. Vanessa Tucker, BCBA-D

Dr. Vanessa Tucker, BCBA-D

Connections Behavior Planning and Intervention is excited to welcome Dr. Vanessa Tucker, BCBA-D, for a second three-hour webinar for Behavior Analysts! This event will focus on ABA-consistent strategies for addressing all stages of the escalation cycle.

See Dr. Tucker’s other webinars here.


There are, according to Colvin and Scott (Colvin, G.T. & Scott, T.M. 2014), seven phases of the Escalation Cycle. This cycle is a visual conception of the stages a child or adult goes through when they escalate to the point of crisis. Depicted as a bell curve, the stages involve a continuum from calm to recovery. Many times teams call on BCBAs to develop a “crisis plan” to manage severe disruptive behavior. While warranted in some cases, it is a narrow view that causes teams to focus solely on “what do we do to manage the crisis” rather than on preventative strategies that may render a crisis plan unnecessary, not to mention the contingent reinforcement that inevitably occurs following a challenging behavior. Interventions are most effective when our focus is on how to prevent behaviors from occurring to the greatest extent possible, rather than reacting to them once they occur. This is a mind shift that should actively be promoted in all life settings.

In this presentation, participants will explore all seven phases of the cycle. Each phase will be discussed in terms of strategies that can be implemented, rooted in our field, to assist the child or adult to remain calm or to regain this state after a crisis episode. Participants will also explore crisis planning and tools to re-engage the client after an episode. Participants will walk away with a tool kit of strategies, explained in behavioral and practical terms, to use with children and adults to manage the acting out cycle.

About the Presenter

Dr. Vanessa Tucker, BCBA-Dis a board certified behavior analyst (doctoral level) who practices privately with a focus on providing program supports, interventions, mentoring and evaluations in school settings. She is also an Associate Professor of Special Education at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, WA. She has been teaching and/or coordinating special education programs for 25 years, and has been in the field of ABA for 10. Her primary areas of interest are the application of ABA in the school setting and behavior interventions for students with complex support needs.

Vanessa got her general and special education certification in 1995 from Western Washington University. She obtained her Masters in Low Incidence Disabilities in 2002 from the University of Washington and her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from the University of Washington in 2009. She has worked as a special education teacher, program coordinator and consultant.

Learning Objectives

Participants at this event will:

  1. Explore, define and differentiate the phases of the acting out cycle (Colvin & Scott, 2014) and will operationally define behaviors at each phase.
  2. Explore ways to promote antecedent interventions in order to avoid escalations.
  3. Explore strategies for dealing with crises-level behaviors including how to write a crisis plan.

CEU’s included, and Cost to Attend:

  • 3.0 Learning CEU’s (included with purchase)
  • $59.99 to attend
    • Includes access to the recording and presentation materials, and CEU’s.

For questions, challenges with registration, or any other needed information, please contact Dusty, Director of Continuing Education and ACE Coordinator for CBPI, LLC, at continuingeducation@connections-behavior.com.

Connections Behavior Planning & Intervention, LLC, is a BACB-Approved ACE Provider (Provider # OP-17-2781). The BACB does not directly sponsor or endorse this event, its speakers, or its content.


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