Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Training Materials: Targeting the Big 3

A Train-the Trainer Program to Benefit Parents, Caregivers and Staff

In 2010, OPWDD received a Family Services Community grant from Autism Speaks to develop and implement a train-the-trainer program across the state that would train parents in effective methods of responding to the challenging behaviors of their loved ones with autism. The curricula are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis which has been extensively studied and found to be a safe and effective method for teaching new skills and decreasing undesirable behaviors.

Targeting the Big Three offers families and caregivers instruction, via a series of five or six weekly sessions, in techniques for improving behaviors related to challenging behaviors such as aggression and self-injury, toileting and mealtime behaviors. This curriculum contains guidelines designed to provide a useful “how to” manual to address specific problem behaviors that often interfere with activities of daily living for individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities.  It is not intended to be a “one-size-fits-all” training program. 

This curriculum, while focused on behavior management, may also deal with health and related medical issues for the individual whom you are providing care.  Please note that this curriculum is not intended to supplant any in-person behavioral consultation or medical examination that may be necessary to appropriately meet the needs of the individual presenting with challenging behaviors.  Always seek the advice of a professional with any questions you may have before using the curriculum. 

As part of the grant project, OPWDD trained a cadre of state and voluntary agency clinicians to deliver Targeting the Big Three training to parents and caregivers throughout New York State. All trainers were required to have had previous experience in conducting behavioral assessments and developing behavior management plans. If you haven’t already done so, locate a competent behavior analyst or other behavioral health professional trained in these areas for individuals exhibiting severe and chronic problem behaviors (see for a registry of board certified behavior analysts).

The information provided here is for educational purposes only.  No information provided is intended to diagnose or cure any disease or condition.  All guidance and training given should be considered as advice. OPWDD expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which may be incurred as a consequence of the use and application of any of the guidelines included in this curriculum. 

For questions regarding the Targeting the Big Three, contact Dr. Helen Yoo at (718) 494-5295 or [email protected].

Trainer Manuals 

Challenging Behaviors   English   Spanish

Mealtime Behaviors       English   Spanish

Toilet Training               English   Spanish

Caregiver Manuals 

Challenging Behaviors   English    Spanish

Mealtime Behaviors       English    Spanish

Toilet Training               English    Spanish