One thing to consider is what the location is for the time out you use with your child. Parents or caregivers should make sure there is very little reinforcement available in the room used for time out. If the bedroom is full of fun toys and activities this is not an area for time out. Try to use a room with very few reinforcers or locate the toys in a separate cabinet in another play area or room so that the bedroom is not a location full of reinforcers.
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!!
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.
Leisure activities ideas that may be useful in designing a program for your child with developmental disabilities or diagnosis such as autism.
Caregivers, behavior therapist and Parents often need a leisure activity as part of the program design. The following is a list of activities that are easy and convienent to utilize in your program. This list can be used to help brainstorm some activities for your specific child based on his reinforcers and interests.
1. Gardening can be a fun hobby for a child that enjoys plants.
2. Taking care of a pet can be a great leisure activity for a child that likes animals.
3. Washing or caring for the car can be a fun hobby and leisure activity for a person that enjoys cars.
4. Electronic games can be a good choice for a child that enjoys computers.
5. Cooking can be a great leisure activity for a person that like doing things in the kitchen and food in general.
6. Bowling, Tennis or basketball can be excellent for a child that enjoys athletic activities.
7. Going out to dinner or for ice-cream can be a reinforcer as well as a leisure activity for someone that like going out and food.
8. Picnics or hiking in the parks are great for people that enjoy the outdoors.
9. Religous activities may be great for someone that likes singing and social activities with others.
These are just a few to start you on your road to brainstorming with your child activities that are appropriate for your childs' leisure time. This will help to reduce behavior problems by engaging him in more appropriate activities that are also reinforcing to him!
Adjudication of incompetence and guardianship in children with developmental problems or diagnosis such as autism.
When your child reaches the age of 16- 18 parents start to hear from others that it is important to proceed to attain adjudication if this was not done yet. Parents can attain the paperwork to do this or information from a social worker or online generally. When the child is a minor the parent is automatically the guardian but once they become an adult this must be established in the courts. There are many things to consider when you are thinking about whether to purse guardianship and competency for your child. The following are some of the important things to consider in making this decision.
1. The first issue is that if your child remains competent as an adult he may be subject to any punishment that adults receive for his behavior in the community. Usually the consequences legally for adults are more severe then for a child that has not been adjudicated incompetent and has a parent as a guardian.
2. The issue of guardianship has become very visible in the newspaper recently in the past 10 years and there are alot of support systems in place at this time to help parents accomplish this legal procedure. For example, there are some pro bono, legal aide or lower rates that may be available if you consult with a lawyer specializing in this area or with a social worker. In the past people often can attain assistance from lawyers as "pro- bono" or from other sources based on their salary.
3. There are different types of adjudication and guardianship. For example, there is one type of guardianship which is only over medical decisions and this may be attained at a lesser cost. Parents may want to start out with guardianship over medical concerns and later attain full guardianship over other areas for their adult child.
4. If any medical issues come up the parent as a medical guardianship can make these decisions. For example, if your child is told by the doctor he needs a feeding tube the parent will have the right to decide when this might be done or whether the risks outway the benefits to your child and discuss this with the doctor. Without the guardianship procedures may be done without input from the guardian of the medical issues.
5. Guardianship and adjudication may affect certain benefits your child can receive and parents should consult with the support co-ordinator or social worker for information regarding the financial implications.
6. Funding and budgets in the future may include the legal status in decisions about eligibility for benefits.
7. Parents should consult with doctors, social workers, lawyers and legal aide professionals and research in books or google to make a definite decision about guardianship and adjudication.
In general, guardianship and adjudication should be pursued to protect your child's health, welfare, financial benefits and avoid legal problems for the future of your child.
Many parents or caretakers do not realize that sharing and teamwork can actually be reinforced and learned based on numerous research studies. Teaching your children to work as a team and to share will reduce the behavior problem frequency in the future that the parent will have to address in the home and at school! The following are some ideas on how to encourage these skills.
1. One idea is to reward your children for working or playing with no tantrum or behavior problems. For example, if they are playing a game give social praise or a snack only on days they work together or play nicely!
2. Practice giving the something and telling them they can have that item (such as a cookie) only if they share it with their siblings.
3. Encourage children to take turns playing with a toy when they both want to play with it. You might even suggest they discuss it and come to some agreement about the use of the toy.
4. Purchase stories that include the theme of sharing or teamwork and discuss the story after reading it together.
5. Point out to your children when other people display team or sharing skills. For example, if someone picks up something that someone drops compliment the action by saying " wow what a gentleman he helped that woman!"
6. In the evening roleplay and discuss how people work together or play together at school or in the community.
7. Play alot of games with your children and focus on good sportsmanship, complimenting each other on playing skills, taking turns, talking nicely to each other and manners. Praise these skills when the occur during the game!
Developing these social skills of teamwork and sharing will probalby lead to many happy experiences when your child is with another person or a group and a happier life!
Children with no problems and children with disabilties or diagnosis such as autism or ADHD often have problems while getting a haircut. A haircut can be a fun activity if preventative techniques and the environment is structured to encourage appropriate behavior. The following are some tips to consider in order to have a good experience with your child and his hairdresser!
1. The first steps begin before you go to get the haircut. Prepare you child by describing what will occur at the hair dresser.
2. Also, include what reinforcers they will earn while at the hairdresser and afterwards. For example, if the hairdresser has cookies or chocalate available you can let them know they can have access to any treats as long as they are behaving nicely, not crying and co-operating with the hairdresser by sitting still.
3. Always plan a reinforcer for after the haircut. This should be individualized for your child. if they enjoy an outing you might take them to lunch or the mall. The parent should evaluate his child and decide on a very strong reinforcer to give the child after the hair is done.
4. As usual always use social praised during the haircut. For example, you might say "you are such a gentleman you are sitting so nicely for the hairdresser".
5. You can point out the good reasons for sitting still. For example, you can tell your child that if he sits still his hair will look better and the kids at school will like his hair.
6. During the haircut you might give the child a toy or computer or cellphone to use while getting the haircut this will distract him and relax him during the process.
7. During the shampoo also praise your child, encourage the woman who shampoos his hair to massage the scalp and make it a very happy pleasant expereince with plesant conversation.
8. Always test the water before the shampoo on your hand, or the shampoo person can do this, to assure that the water is not to hot or not to cold.
9. Make sure the chair is adjusted to the right hight and position so the child is comfortable or provide a booster seat if necessary.
10. Try to include the child in the plan for how to cut the hair so that they feel in control of the situation and they feel their rights are respected.
11. Finally, make sure your child is feeling well the day he goes to the hairdresser. Try to go when he is not overly hungry, tired or sick.
Parents or caregivers should realize that using some of these small tips may be the diference between a pleasant haircut and a big tantrum or problem at the hairdresser.
Many children have difficulty solving problems and resort to displaying inappropriate behavior to solve their problems. There are numerous ways to improve your child's' problem solving skills. Any child with disabilities, autism, ADHD, defiant behaviors or just normal children can improve their problem solving skills.
Throughout the day parents can incorporate problem solving practice during the daily routine. For example, in the morning for breakfast prompt the child to try to figure out what he will eat, what he will wear and where you will go. During daily activities or outings try to encourage your child to use problem solving skills effectively. A variety of methods of problem solving might be used. He might list the options of the choices he has. For example, even a simple thing like making breakfast might be broken down into steps, list the choices of foods and choices of how to make the foods. If there is an argument in the morning with sibling over who can sit in a certain chair you might discuss the options. For example, maybe you can take turns each day sitting in that chair, maybe you can buy another chair like that one, they might ask for your help in working out a problem, or could bargain by offering another activity to his sibling in in in in in in using the chair.
Parents should use reinforcement for getting along. The research shows that co-operative play can be increased through the use of reinforcers. Parents can offer additional reinforcing activities if behavior is co-operative and appropriate in the morning. Social praise or special treats for getting along can be effective depending on what is reinforcing for your child. Remember to be specific when using praise. For example, "you are such gentleman the way you work together on making breakfast!" Another example might be "you are such a good brother and so kind helping each other to set the table!" Parents should try to reinforce only if play is co-operative and not if only one child is good following each activity.
Finally, practice at specific times during the day problem solving is helpful. Often parents have time while driving, waiting at a doctor office or at bedtime to practice problem solving with their child. For example, at bedtime the parent can review a situation, list some optional solutions, reinforce appropriate solutions and try to come up with other examples of this type of situation. Remember it is better to use hypothetical situations about other people, in a movie or from your experience rather than a situation your child has currently. If you use his current specific problem you may inadvertently reinforce him for having problems frequently with others. The more you practice solving problems that are imaginary then when he has real problems he will be ready to solve them quickly!
Reinforcement implementation - Timing of an activity can turn it into a reinforcer rather than just a daily activity!
Parents and Caregivers often have a series of activities in the evening scheduled for their child. They might wonder why with all these wonderful activities they still have terrible behavior problems and non-compliance. The simple act of changing the order of the schedule and what day the activities occur on can completely solve all the behavior problems. One example is the use of television in your daily schedule for your child. If television time is given freely when they get home from school they may not have appropriate child's that evening. In contrast, if you move the television time to after they complete accurately the homework you may see a dramatic improvement in the speed and accuracy of the homework. Parents and caregivers should examine the schedule after school carefully with the behavior analyst if possible to determine the best times to place each activity with your individual child since each child has different reinforcers.
Telephone usage is an important social skill for your child with disabilities to learn. It is also good practice to use the phone for social skills training. The following are some tips to improve the effectiveness of your training for the use of the phone.
1. First break down the steps of the use of the phone to smaller steps. For example, picking up the phone, dialing the phone number, saying hello.
2. Develop a list of people to call and let them know that your child may be calling to say "hi" sometimes and in in some cases you can let them know you are practicing the use of the phone.
3. You can also use a phone in the home to practice phone calls .
4. Review a list of topics your child can talk about with the person. For example "how are you feeling today?" or "what did you do yesterday?"
5. After learning to make small talk on the phone practice how to say goodbye. For example, " I had fun talking with you I will call you next week... good-bye!"
6. Also, one of the steps in teaching your child can be to answer the phone. For example, "Hello, this is __ can I help you?"
7. A great functional skill to teach your child is to take a message. You can set-up a book with message format blanks. There are message books with blanks for who called and their telephone number. This can be helpful to the whole family! Family members should encourage this with specific and immediate social praise for messages.
8. Practicing the above skills will assure that the skills are performed correctly. Try to practice at least once a week or daily if possible.
9. Finally, the most crucial step is to identify the reinforcers for your child that will result in learning this skill.
For example some children might like the following items, a special treat, social praise, watching television, going for ice-cream, cellphone service for one month, time on the computer, hugs and any other item that will result in the performance of appropriate phone calls. The reinforcer can be delivered daily, after the phone training or weekly. The frequency should be determined based on your child and which schedule of delivery will result in the performance of the social skill.
In general, phone usage is a key skill in todays' society. The social skills used on the phone can also be used when interacting and making small talk with others in meetings, social events and almost any activity during the day!:)