How to Write a Behavior Contract: Session 188 with Jill Dardig and Bill Heward


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This was a fun one for sure. In Session 188, I chatted with Drs. Jill Dardig and Bill Heward about a whole host of topics, including their new book, Let's Make a Contract: A positive way to change your child's behavior.

In this conversation, we covered:

  • How Jill and Bill discovered Behavior Analysis, especially at a time when it wasn't as ubiquitous as it is now.
  • How they of course met each other (yes, there is a love story here).
  • Why they wrote an earlier iteration of this book titled, Sign Here: A contracting book for children and their parents.
  • The success Jill and Bill had in getting their works translated in various languages, and distributed to countries across the globe.
  • The power of storytelling.
  • The basics of behavioral contracting.
  • Special circumstances that make contracting challenging, and what to do about them.
  • What to make of the "open economy" of today's screen-based reinforcers.
  • Directions for future research in this area.
  • Advice for the newly minted.
  • Their hopes for the future of ABA.

This bullet list of course could go on and on. There are so many storylines in this conversation, from the history of ABA, to dissemination across cultures and languages, to the power of storytelling, to parenting, and so much more. I think there is something in this episode for everyone (note: we get to the actual mechanics of behavioral contracting about 1/2 to 2/3 the way into the conversation). Bill and Jill more generally offer some great parenting strategies in their description of the contracting process.

We discussed some of the following resources in this episode:

Session 188 is brought to you with support from:

  • HRIC Recruiting. Barb Voss has been placing BCBAs in permanent positions throughout the US for just about a decade, and has been in the business more generally for 30 years. When you work with HRIC, you work directly with Barb, thereby accessing highly personalized service. So if you're about to graduate, you're looking for a change of pace, or you just want to know if the grass really is greener on the other side, head over to to schedule a confidential chat right away.
  • Behavior University. Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings, including their brand new 8-hour Supervision Course, as well as their RBT offerings over at
  • The University of Cincinnati Online. UC Online designed a Master of Education in Behavior Analysis program that is 100% online and asynchronous, meaning you log on when it works for you. Want to learn more? Go to and click the “request info” button.


  • Check out the BOP Patreon Tiers if you want an ad-free feed that includes occasional bonus content!
  • Need CEUs on the go? Check out the podcasts that are available for BACB Continuing Education.

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