Using PEAK in the Classroom

One of the many tools I use in my classroom is PEAK ABA curriculum. I’m going to share a quick overview of how I use PEAK in the classroom and the success I’ve had while using PEAK.  This overview isn’t written technically for the BCBA or the clinician, rather it’s written simply for the teacher looking for easy, guided ways to implement ABA/DTT into the classroom. One of the things I absolutely love about it is that just about anyone can pick it up and use it with success! Let’s dig in.

What is PEAK?

PEAK is a language based behavior analytic tool or curriculum written by Dr. Mark Dixon that uses DTT to help students learn and generalize skills. PEAK stands for Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge. It is research based and easily implemented in the school (or clinic) setting. There are 4 modules to the PEAK curriculum: Direct Training, Generalization, Equivalence, and Transformation.

Who can use PEAK?

I’ve personally had success with students labeled with Autism, Down Syndrome, FAS, ID, DD, ED and OHI. Students school age are largely successful with PEAK (ages 2/3- ages 17/18 or so). 

Where do I start?

Start by giving the PCA, or the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment. This assessment will cover all 4 modules within the PEAK curriculum in one test. The assessment looks a variety of different aspects, including verbal reasoning, verbal comprehension, foundational skills, perceptual learning skills, and math reasoning to name a few. Use the results of the assessment to determine where to start students in each PEAK module. 


Each book is made up of different ABA programs to run with students. Copy the pages of the programs you want to run with students and fill in the stimulus to create program sheets. The stimulus is chosen by the teacher and can be catered to meet student deficits and interests.There are 3 different levels of stimulus for each program. Start and mastered dates are recorded on the program sheet. 

Each program has a corresponding number and letter to help identify the program. Those number/letter identifiers are then used to fill in a skill triangle for each module. This makes reporting on progress a breeze to parents! 

Taking Data

Each module comes with a data sheet that is used to track student performance. Present stimuli at random so students do not memorize order! The numbers on my data sheet that are written correspond with the stimulus number on the program sheet. In general, students are scored with a 10 (independently correct answer), 8 (one prompt), 4 (2 prompts) 2 (3 or more prompts) or a 0 (no response). When completed, the percentage is calculated. The initials of the person running the trials is noted as well as the date. Student mastery of a stimulus level is typically 29/30 trials scoring at 10 (so only one trial with error). As students master skills, color them in on the corresponding triangle. 

Want to Learn More?

Ready for more than just an overview? Here are some resources to get you started:

PEAK ABA website:

PEAK Facebook user group:

PEAK YouTube channel (SUPER HELPFUL! Watch clinicians run trials!)

PEAK Instagram

Links to purchase PEAK books:

I’ve personally had huge success with PEAK ABA and love the way students learn with it. Dr. Mark Dixon is well known in the ABA world as doing cutting edge research and often calls his curriculum the new era of ABA, and I personally agree. The way students are able to generalize knowledge using PEAK continues to astound me every time I see it. If you are looking for a fresh approach to ABA, give PEAK a shot!

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