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About Me

My career journey started when I began babysitting at 10 years old. My love for playing, teaching, and watching children grow and learn flourished. Through my teenage and early college years, I continued to babysit, taught Sunday school, volunteered to help with Special Olympics for children with special needs, and started working for agencies that served children with challenging behaviors that limited their quality of life. As I learned how to effectively teach children by focusing on their individual strengths, interests, and teach them functional, safe ways to express themselves in any situation, my passion grew. My passion continues to grow as I witness each child’s individual successes by witnessing his or her smile, a hug, or saying, “I did it”! My journey continues with educating (teaching courses and conducting workshops), training and supervising students and staff, and supporting parents, families, & other professionals to learn what to do when behavior challenges occur and when they are not occurring!

What is a BCBA? (

  • Specializes in behavior

  • Understands the principles of behavior: why we behave the way we do

  • Has a minimum of a M.S. degree, which requires 1500 hours of extensive training, supervision, and passing the certification exam (

  • Knows how to effectively implement evidence based behavior techniques that positively teach, improve, and enhance a child or anyone to flourish

  • An expert who knows and understands behavior…behavior is learned and anyone can learn

ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) (

  • ABA is a science…NOT a therapy

  • Techniques are based on the principles of behavior: “why” we do what we do and say…humans & animals

  • A science based on techniques to positively improve behavior (e.g., reinforcement, errorless learning, DTT, task analysis, prompts, priming, high probability commands)

  • Improves behavior for everyone, everyday; we are “behaving” all the time…moving and talking

Crystal’s Publications:

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 2002 Winter; 35(4): 349–362.

The influence of activity choice on problem behaviors maintained by escape versus attention.

Cathryn Romaniuk, Raymond Miltenberger, Carole Conyers, Nicole Jenner, Mandy Jurgens, and Crystal Ringenberg


This study assessed whether the function of an individual's problem behavior was related to the effectiveness of an intervention involving choice among tasks. Analogue functional analyses were conducted with 7 students with various diagnoses to determine whether problem behaviors were maintained by escape or attention. Following identification of the function of each student's problem behavior, reversal designs were used to assess the effectiveness of an intervention that allowed the students to choose their own instructional tasks. Results showed that students who displayed escape-maintained problem behavior showed substantial reductions in such behavior when they were provided with opportunities to choose among tasks. On the other hand, students who displayed attention-maintained problem behavior did not show any effects as a result of the choice intervention. These findings are discussed in terms of the effective use of behavior management programs involving choice and the reduction of problem behavior.


Department of Psychology, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58105, USA.

Thesis: Teaching Social Initiation Skills To Children with Autism via Video Modeling


Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder generally characterized by deficits in multiple developmental domains. These deficits include language, imitation, play skills, and social skills (American Psychiatric Association, 1994; Whalen & Schreibman, 2003). The purpose of this investigation is to determine if a video modeling procedure will increase appropriate social initiations in children with autism.


Department of Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy (CPCF), Saint Cloud State University, St. Cloud MN 56301, USA.


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