Behavior Chaining is a teaching method based on task analysis, wherein all the smaller units of behavior comprising a complex skill or task is identified and broken down first and the series of related behaviors is taught in a step by step manner. The two types of behavior chaining are forward chaining and backward chaining.
Forward Chaining is a behavior chaining procedure that begins with teaching a sequence of behavior in a chronological order (A-Z) to complete a task. Each step in performing the task must be mastered before the next step is added. Reinforcement is provided after completing each step. Once the child can perform one element satisfactorily, the second element should be added and both first and second element should be done together and not separately (A; A-B; A-B-C; A-B-C-D; A-B-C-D-E), then reinforce the effort until the whole series of related behaviors are mastered.
Backward Chaining is a behavior chaining procedure often used in developing complex sequences of behavior. Instead of doing in a chronological order, it begins with teaching a series of behavior in reverse and is practiced cumulatively. Thus, the procedure should start with the last element in the chain, then proceeds to the first element. In Backward Chaining, all behaviors are initially completed by the trainer, except for the final behavior, which is done by the student. After performing the final behavior in the sequence, reinforcement is given. Next is performing the second to the last step (D; D-E;)and the sequence proceeds backwards through the chain until the whole task is performed (D; D-E; C-D-E; B-C-D-E; A-B-C-D-E). Adult assistance should be provided throughout the process and the student should complete the last step alone.