A Deep Dive into Behavioral Support with Dr. David Kuhn

February 22, 2021

I learned a lot about myself when Jack was a baby. 

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I learned a lot about myself when Jack was a baby.  One of the most obvious things I learned is that I’m a “why” person.  I want to know the reason for stuff.  I want to know the “why.”  We worked on coming to midline, deliberately reaching away from midline, and crossing midline.  Sure, I would have done it, because the therapists said to, but I really needed to know why.  Why are we working on this skill?  What does this do to help Jack?  What’s going on in his brain or body that makes this so hard for him?  Why?  

This is why I immediately “clicked” with Dr. David Kuhn when introduced to him.  In our first conversation, David and I talked about Functional Behavior Assessments and ABC (antecedent-behavior-consequence) data.  He wasn’t two sentences into the discussion when he geeked out about the need to tweak consequences in order to zero in on the function of any particular behavior.  David was speaking my language.  If we don’t test our hypothesis by manipulating that consequence, how would we know if we have hit the “why?”  

In today’s episode Dr. Kuhn and I talk about this topic.  He explains the need to manipulate the consequences of behavior to test a hypothesis before writing a plan to support the behavior.  He takes behavior down to the science of testing the hypothesis, which makes it so simple.  

I invited David onto the podcast to talk about this particular issue, but as is usually the case, we came up with a much more broad conversation about FBAs, BIPs, and generally supporting children with behavioral needs at school and in their communities.  Of course, this must start with a very thorough analysis of the behaviors.  

David Kuhn is one of the good ones.  His incredible credentials and experience are fueled by a lifelong appreciation of and passion for helping people with disabilities.  No wonder he’s so smart!  

Episode you will also enjoy: https://ashleybarlowco.com/functional-behavior-assessments-and-behavior-intervention-plans-with-dr-solandy-forte/

Meet My Guest

David E. Kuhn, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Licensed Behavior Analyst in CT
Licensed Psychologist in CT, NY
Director, Advanced Intervention Program

Dr. David Kuhn is the Director of the Advanced Intervention Program at Milestones Behavioral Services. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University, specializing in intellectual and developmental disabilities. David is a licensed psychologist in New York and Connecticut, a licensed behavior analyst in Connecticut, and a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Prior to joining Milestones, David was the Clinical Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Co-Director of the Behavioral Psychology Program at the Westchester Institute for Human Development, and Senior Behavior Analyst on the Neurobehavioral Unit at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He has held faculty appointments at Columbia University Medical College, Weill Cornell Medical College, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, New York Medical College, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Queens College, and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. From 2006-2007, David served as President of the Maryland Association for Behavior Analysis. He has been a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2006 and has co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His clinical and research interests focus on the application and adaptation of principles of applied behavior analysis towards skill acquisition and behavior reduction among individuals diagnosed with autism or other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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