Here is the link to the Operants: http://www.bfskinner.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/OPERANTS_Q1_2014.pdf.
Article about my Father by Rachel Azrin with contributions from brothers Mike, David and Rick Azrin
Click on the link below for the article about my father a famous Psychologist in the Operants Newsletter
Here is the link to the Operants: http://www.bfskinner.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/OPERANTS_Q1_2014.pdf.
Planning a vacation for spring break with a change with developmental diabilities or autism.
Parents with children with problems such as developmental disabilities or autism can try some of the following tips to increase the likllihood the family will have a pleasant holiday.
Before the trip starts try reviewing all the plans. A written schedule if they can read or pictures of the locations can be helpful. Describe every step including the travel arrangements. Try to include the child in preparations for the trip including packing and shopping. Describe specific reinforcers that he might like to receive during the trip for good behavior. You might even have the child select some of the reinforcers to be sure they are strong for the trip.
During the trip bring specific reinforcers and times that they may be earned or specific behaviors that might result in earning a reinforcer. During the trave time you can provide toys or activiites and reinforcers to assure that the trip goes smoothly. Also reveiew again while traveling what the itinearay will be and what is expected of the child when he arrives at the destination in order to earn reinforcers. For example, you might say "when we arrive we will greet all the relatives and tell them about the plane flight and what we did and ate on the flight!"
After arrival make sure you provide reinforcers at least daily for good behavior. Also, make sure to continue each morning to reveiw the itinary and the reinforcers. Also, during the trip make sure the child eats the food that agrees with there body and sleeps enough hours in order to prevent behavior problems. Remember prevention is crucial in order to enjoy your vacation with your child!!
A great leisure skill for spring is Gardening which can have many benifits to improving behavior.
When working with children with behavior problems including autism, developmental disabilities or attention deficits a garden can be a helpful tool in developing appropriate behavior. The first step is to involve the child in selecting the items to be in the garden. Items that can be shared with others contribute to socialization of the child. For example, if the child plants tomatoes these can be given to the mother or another family member to prepare dinner or a salad! Then the person that receives the tomato is happy and thanks or praises the child typically. There is a social exchange regarding the tomato. Similarly if the garden includes flowers these can be given to family members for special occasions such as mothers day or birthdays and this is another positive socialization between the mother or family member and the child. In addition, the garden give the child an appropriate leisure activity to do and to relax. If the child has anxiety or aggression the activity of watering the plants and picking the weeks, or planting planting planting new plant can be relaxing and lead to a decrease in inappropriate behavior such as aggression or tantrums. Another benefit of the garden can occur when the child shows the garden to others visiting or other family members. This is an opportunity for socialization while discussing the types of plants, how often they are watered, picking some of the fuit together, how many have grown so far and the size or shape of the plants. In general, a garden can provide a wonderful opportunity for reinforcement of appropriate social skills which leads to a more positive relationship with the child and improvement in overall behavior.
Parents should realize that nothing is "free" in life and this attitude will help them to be more consistant with reinforcement.
One of the biggest obstacles to teaching your child is realizing that things in life are not free. Parents or Caregivers will be more likely to reinforce once they accept this basic principle of reinforcement. Reinforcers need to delivered consistently. If your child does do something good then this good behavior should definitely be rewarded. In contrast, if the child is inappropriate then he should not be rewarded. The first step is to try to reward any behavior that is positive. For example, if the child cleans his room or eats his breakfast be sure to reinforce your child. Secondly, when your child cries or tantrums try not to reinforce your child. For example, the most common behavior is for parents to pick up and hug a child when he cries. In contrast, the parent should realize that this would be giving a reinforcer for free. The child has not performed any appropriate behavior yet he is reinforced. We all work to get money for food and things that we want. We know that we will probably loose our job over time or not get commissions if we do not work. Consistent reinforcement of behavior will lead to rapid learning and appropriate behavior.
How to decide what foods to use in teaching your child with developmental disabilites how to cook!
Parents and caregivers often struggle with trying to teach their child to make something for themselves or others to eat. Making a meal or snack is an example of a daily living skill that most children should learn to do. This daily living skill is very useful throughtout the life of the child in different living situations and contributes to the level of independence the child achieves for himself in his life. In choosing a food to teach your child one should consider both factors related to the child in general and factors that will improve the speed of learning for the child. The following are some factors to consider.
The parent or caregiver might chose a food that would benifit the child to be able to make. If he enjoys eating a particular food anyway such as popcorn or a peanut butter sandwich then this might be a good choice of snacks for him to learn since it is important to the child. The food should be a food that he likes. If you teach him to make something he does not like he will be less likely to make it and less likely to have progress learning to make it. If the child does not like green beans this would not be a good choice of foods to learn to eat. The parent or caregiver might select foods that others like too. For example, if everyone likes cookies you might by some cookie dough that can be made in the microwave and can be shared with others. When you share the food with others they will reinforce the child with social praise and facial expession that indicates how much they appreciate the childs' efforts to prepare the food. Also, you are teaching the child to share at the same time if the child prepares a food that others might enjoy having also.
ABA treatment procedures and the importance of timing both reinforcement and behavior for effective training programs.
Parents and Caregivers may use "timers" to increase the consistency and effectiveness in reducing behavior problems such as defiance, self-injury, tantrums or aggression! The timer can be an inexpensive kitchen timer or a timer on a clock, or a digital timer. the timer should be easy to set, loud enough for the child and trainer t hear and preferably portable for some behavior problems that occur in different rooms or locations. There are two major parts of the training that utilization of a timer might be helpful. The first part is during the collection of data specifying how long the behavior occurs to be counted as one incident may be crucial. For example, if a tantrum lasts for more than 2 hours it should not be counted the same as a tantrum that last for just a minute. Therefore, the caregiver might specify that each interval of 15 minutes or less is counted as one tantrum. The use of accuracy of data is important so that you know whether or not the treatment is working and whether you should change the intervention procedures. Secondly, the timer can be useful in timing the length of time to reinforce the child. For example, If the child does not know how long his reinforcement of using an ipad will last he may tantrum when you remove it in order to keep the reinforcer longer. Therefore, it is helpful to tell the child that when the timer is finished in 20 minutes then it will be time to do another task and earn more reinforcement time or another reinforcer. A timer is a very useful device in implementing your behavioral intervention. Even using your watch or a cheap kitchen timer can be utilized to establish whether your treatment is working, to make it clear how long the reinforcer will be delivered and assure consistency consistency consistency the application of consequences such as reinforcement.
Radio show with Rachel Azrin as guest for Behavioral treatment discussions- click on link to listen!
Attractiveness of children and effects of appearance on progress in teaching children with developmental disabilities or diagnosis such as autism.
People often believe that attractiveness is an advantage in the world. However, there are times when attractiveness can be an a benefit to your child and other times it is a disadvantage in the world we live in. Below are some things to consider about your childs appearance in relationship to progress and learning in our society.
Appearance for example might be an advantage in many instances.
1 For example, your child might be chosen first for a game.
2. Many teachers or people in general might give more attention to the "attractive" child over an "unattractive child.
3. People sometimes assume that an attractive child is more intelligent then he actually is just based on the initial first visual impression rather than performance.
Appearance that is attractive could be a disadvantage in the following instances.
1. Teachers or parents may not be as consistent in applying consequences when a child is attractive compared to a child that is not attractive. The teacher or might say to themselves in the case of an attractive child- "wow he is so cut maybe I will let him eat the cake anyway!"
2. The child might be preoccupied with her own appearance compared to others and not attend to tasks.
3. The child may start to think they deserve more advantages then others or are "entitled" to certain priviledges and stop working as hard or feel upset when others earn things that they feel they are "entitled" to.
4. A child that is attractive may receive more reinforcers then they should for a minor tasks and may not be as motivated to complete more complex academic tasks.
In general, it appears that perhaps children are better off with average or not to attractive appearance since they may receive more consisant and reliable reinforcers for the behaviors they perform. Parents should consider this about their childrens' appearance and its influence on learning in the morning when they are dressing or grooming their children!