Naturalistic Intervention

PMII logo

Naturalistic Intervention (NI)

Grounded in behaviorism, naturalistic intervention (NI) consists of applying principles of applied behavior analysis during a learner’s everyday routines and activities in order to increase a target behavior or decrease an interfering behavior.

What Will I Learn?

The AFIRM model guides the learner through four lessons to facilitate:

  • Learning basic knowledge about naturalistic intervention (NI).
  • Applying NI in activity based scenarios that promote real-world application.

The NI module will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. However, the module is broken into individual lessons to help guide your learning:

Lesson Time to Complete
A Case for NI 10 minutes
Lesson 1: Basics of NI 20 minutes
Lesson 2: Planning for NI 45 minutes
Lesson 3: Using NI 25 minutes
Lesson 4: Monitoring NI 25 minutes
Applying NI 10 minutes
Suggested citation:
Amsbary, J., & AFIRM Team. (2017). Naturalistic intervention. Chapel Hill, NC: National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder, FPG Child Development Center, University of North Carolina. Retrieved from

Professional Standards

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards that apply to all 27 evidence-based practices (PDF document, 2 pages)

CEC standards that apply specifically to the naturalistic intervention (NI) module (PDF document, 1 page)


Login or sign up to access free AFIRM online module and resources.