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Colorado Department of Education Professional Development

Why is Escape or Avoidance Behavior Happening? How Do Motivating Operations Affect Behavior in the Classroom (Tri-State Webinar Series)

Audience: Other District/School Staff, Parents | Topic: Autism | Hosted by: Office of Special Education

On-Demand format. Why is Escape or Avoidance Behavior Happening? How Do Motivating Operations Affect Behavior in the Classroom (Tri-State Webinar Series)
On-Demand format

About the Webinar

Presented by:  Teri McGill, M.Ed., BCBA, Beth Klootwyk, Ed.S., NCSP,  BCBA, Amber Wicherski, MA
Originally Aired:  December 4, 2019

This workshop will discuss the affects of Motivating Operations on behavior. Have you ever wondered why a child falls to the ground when you give him or her the “work” picture or runs the other way when you enter the room?? In this session you will understand how a type of Motivating Operation (CMO-Reflexive) may actually cause a student to engage in high rates of avoidance or escape behavior when presented with instructional demands. During this session we will explore how this signal for worsening conditions happens in the classroom and how we can abolish this signal and improve behavior. We will discuss methods to increase student’s motivation to respond correctly and quickly for instructional periods throughout the day. Participants will have the chance to practice putting their new knowledge to the test.

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View the Webinar

This webinar is posted on our Tri-State Partner's website.

To view this webinar visit the Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network webpage to view this webinar. 


Learning Objectives: 

  1. What is Motivating Operation?
  2. How does the Conditioned Motivating Operation - Reflexive effect the behavior of our students with autism? 
  3. How can we effectively abolish the CMO-R and improve behavior? 
  4. What role does the CMO-R play in your Behavioral Intervention Plan? 

About the Presenters

Beth Klootwyk

Beth Klootwyk is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In her 15 years as a school psychologist, Beth has worked for Grand Island Public Schools, Educational Service Unit #2, and has been working in the Elkhorn Public School District for the past four years. She is a member of the Elkhorn Autism Team and Metro Autism Team and has served as a mentor for several participants in the S.T.E.P.S. program (Strategies and Techniques for Effective Programs in Schools: Educating Children with Autism). Beth is a certified school-based provider for the PEERS social skills curriculum.

Amber Wicherski

Amber Wicherski is a Special Education Coordinator for the Omaha Public Schools. She has Masters degrees in Early Childhood Special Education and Administration and has worked for the Omaha Public Schools for 15 years. Amber coordinates the Autism Consultation Team for the Omaha Public Schools and provides a variety of training in the areas of Autism and Behavior. Amber is currently working toward earning certification as a BCBA.

Teri McGill

Teri McGill taught Early Childhood Special Education for Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska for 18 years. She is currently a Regional Coordinator for the Nebraska ASD Network. As a regional Coordinator Teri presents on a variety of topics related to Autism and provides consultation and coaching for educators working with students Birth-21 with Autism or related disorders in her region. Teri holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from University of NE-Lincoln and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

This webinar a part of a series that is a collaborative project between the Colorado Department of Education, Kansas TASN Autism and Tertiary Behaviors Supports Group, and the Nebraska Autism Supports Network. 

Contact Information

CDE Autism Team


To receive a certificate of attendance take a brief Google Survey about the webinar. 

Professional development events offers a certificate

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