CBS, Inc. Opens a New Facility in San Diego

We are excited to announce that CBS will open a new location on June 15, 2018, in San Diego! Located at 4025 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 300 in Mission Valley, the San Diego Training Center is on the south side of Interstate 8 and one block east of Interstate 15 — about 8 miles from downtown. It is CBS’ third physical location and is for recruiting and staff training only.

CBS strongly emphasizes staff training and education, and the San Diego Training Center is part of that commitment. If you are interested in joining our passionate team of behavior technicians and consultants, visit our careers page today!

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CBS, Inc. Lectures for Pepperdine University

Dr. Joyce Tu, Ed.D, BCBA-D, Director of Center for Behavioral Sciences was an invited lecturer again this week, at Pepperdine University’s Irvine Graduate Campus.  Dr. Tu’s presentation was entitled “A Brief Introduction to Effective ABA Programs for Individuals with Autism,” for a class of future clinical psychologists.  This provided an overview of ABA and best practices in clinical settings. It is always great to work with a new group of future practitioners, ready to improve lives!

Dr. Tu has over twenty years’ experience providing one-on-one services, training, workshops, and supervision for parents and professionals working with individuals diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities.  She is currently an affiliate professor teaching graduate students at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology — focusing primarily on the areas of experimental analysis of behavior, and verbal behavior.

Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology offers rigorous academic programs that prepare students to serve as leaders in their communities, organizations, and businesses.

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CBS, Inc. at the CalABA 36th Annual Western Regional Conference

On March 9, 2018, CBS’ Director Dr. Joyce Tu, along with CBS’ Assistant Director Ronald Moreno, Clinical Manager Alex Silva, and behavior consultant Angie Montero presented two original behavior analytic research studies in a poster session, as part of the California Association for Applied Behavior Analysis 36th Annual Western Regional Conference in Santa Clara. The studies are entitled “Teaching Metaphorical Tacts to Individuals Diagnosed with Autism,” and “Teaching Autoclitic Responses to Children Diagnosed with Autism.” CBS is proud of its ongoing contributions to the field of applied behavior analysis, and we are grateful to all study participants.

CalABA is the primary clearinghouse for research and training in behavior analysis in the Western Region of the United States. Dr. Tu is a past president of the CalABA Board of Directors.

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Welcoming Dr. Shaji Haq

Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc. is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Shaji Haq to the CBS team! Dr. Haq will serve as CBS’ Clinical Director, effective Jan. 16, 2018.

Dr. Haq is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst‒Doctoral (BCBA-D) with a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Oregon. Dr. Haq earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, in 2009; his Educational Specialist (Ed.S) degree in School Psychology at California State University, Fresno, in 2012; and he has been a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) since 2012.

Dr. Haq’s prior experience includes an APA-accredited internship at Marcus Autism Center – Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, with rotations in the Language and Learning Clinic, Severe Behavior, and the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Clinic; completion of his postdoctoral fellowship; and prior employment as a Senior Clinician in Peoria, Arizona, where he supervised clinicians and managed the day-to-day functions of the Center.

Dr. Haq is a frequent contributor at ABA conferences, such as the Association of Behavior Analysis International; and his research is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Interventions, and Behavior Modification.

Dr. Haq’s research interests are primarily in the areas of verbal behavior and reduction of problem behavior displayed by children with developmental disabilities (e.g., autism). He also enjoys supervision and mentorship of ABA students and BCBAs.

Learn more about Dr. Haq and the CBS team, here.

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A Behavior Analyst’s Tips for Picky Eaters

A Behavior Analyst’s Tips for Picky Eaters

Caring for a loved one with developmental disabilities can pose unique challenges, which are not always adequately addressed by conventional methods. We have covered how to tackle toilet troubles and chronic sleeping issues. Below, Dr. Joyce Tu, Ed.D, BCBA-D, shares one program to help parents and caretakers introduce new foods to picky eaters.


From a behavior analyst’s perspective, eating may be addressed using the following framework:

  • The Premack principle (the principle that more likely behaviors, can be used to reinforce less likely behaviors);
  • Shaping (reinforcement of behavior resembling a target behavior);
  • Fading (gradually reducing prompts or reinforcers); and
  • Positive reinforcement (presenting a reinforcer to make behavior more likely).

If this seems too technical, don’t be discouraged; the program itself is fairly simple!  Your child (or other “picky eater”) will be introduced to various types/shapes/sizes of food throughout the day by using these principles, and can gradually expand her daily menu.


First, you’ll need to identify a reinforcer—a favorite food that your “picky eater” already likes.  Then, choose a new food which you would like to introduce to her diet.  Next, for each bite of new food that your “picky eater” eats, immediately give her a bite of her favorite food.  This is “positive reinforcement.”  (See, it isn’t so hard!)

Alternatively, you can start more slowly and present a bite of her favorite food when she first touches the new food.  Then, when your “picky eater” gradually brings the new food closer and closer to her mouth, give her a bite of her favorite food.  This is called “shaping.”

Gradually increase the ratio of new food to a favorite food, to 2:1.  In other words, when your “picky eater” eats two bites of new food, present one piece of her favorite food.  Later, increase the ratio to  3:1, then 4:1. By changing the ratio this way, you are using a “fading” procedure.

When the ratio of new food vs. favorite food has increased to 5:1, you can then introduce a second new food.

When introducing the second new food, have your “picky eater” take a bite of the second new food, then a bite of first new food, then five bites of her favorite food. The ratio of the second new food, to the first new food, to a favorite food should be gradually increased to 2:5:1 (i.e. two bites of the second new food, five bites of the first new food, and one bite of a favorite food).

Gradually increase this ratio of the second new food vs. the first new food, vs a favorite food, to 3:5:1, 4:5:1, etc.—until your “picky eater” begins eating both new foods without your help.

Using the same procedure, you can then introduce other new foods.

Disclaimer: The recommendations provided are general. For specific recommendations for you and/or your child please consult with a behavior analyst.

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Help Your Child Sleep through the Night Using these Simple ABA Techniques

Help Your Child Sleep through the Night Using these Simple ABA Techniques

by Crislyn Ogawa

We’ve posted our tips on tackling toilet troubles. Another common issue for parents and caretakers of children with developmental disabilities is their child’s interrupted or irregular sleep pattern. Below, Dr. Joyce Tu, Ed.D, BCBA-D shares systematic shaping and fading strategies, designed to help regulate your child’s bedtime routine.

This program is best suited to children with chronic sleeping issues (such as sleeping only 2-4 hours daily for a prolonged period). It is not intended for children who may have experienced only a few sleepless nights.



Before You Begin

Limit your child’s sugar and caffeine intake before bedtime. Your child should not eat foods that contain sugar or caffeine at least four hours before bedtime.  Implement at least ½ hour of daily exercise in conjunction with this sleeping program.


On the first night, begin with a 12:00 a.m. bedtime. Prompt your child to perform “getting ready for bed” tasks such as brushing her teeth, using the restroom, changing into pajamas, getting into her own bed, and listening to a bedtime story.

Keeping your child awake until 12:00 a.m. might be the most difficult part of the program. Parents who complete this program successfully often report that they engage their children with activities such as taking walks, playing games, etc., to keep the children awake during the first few weeks.

If your child gets up between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., prompt her to return to bed with no additional verbal interactions. In other words, do not scold or acknowledge the behavior excessively.

Next Steps

When your child can stay in bed from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. for one week:

Move her bedtime to 11:30 p.m. the next night. Then, when she can stay in bed from this time, move bedtime to 11:00 p.m., then to 10:30 p.m., then 9:00 p.m.

Following these procedures, gradually shape your child’s bedtime to suit your household schedule.

Disclaimer: The recommendations provided are general. For specific recommendations for you and/or your child please consult with a behavior analyst.

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