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!
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!
Parents and companions should try to set up the home environment to promote positive behavior. One of the key theories behind behavior therapy is that the environment does effect your behavior. Structuring the home physical environment is one key step towards building a positive environment for your child. The following are some ideas to consider in designing your home environment.
1. Make sure you have a separate room for different activities. The bedroom should be set up mostly for a sleep with sound machines, calm colors, soft pillow and books to read to go to sleep for example.
2. Their might also be a room or corner of the house away from the toys and sleep area designed solely for homework. This cuts down on distractions. This area should be quiet preferably away from the main activity areas with television or cooking going on. There should be a comfortable chair and desk which promotes posture while working. Also, the area for homework should be well lit to make it easier to see numbers or read when doing homework. The computer might be there but most of the computer games like x-box or wii should probably be in another location.
3. The eating area should also be separate for the area that the children play, watch television or play on the computer. That way the child will focus on the skills of eating and socializing while eating.
4. The play area should not be part of another area. The play area should only containing toys and games the child enjoys. This will make it easier to reinforce the child. For example, after the child finishes studying you can ask him if he is ready to "play". The idea is that it will be easier to use the reinforcers of the toys since the child will only have access to them after they finish the homework or after dinner for example. A separate area for the toys will also reduce the arguments or discussion about whether it is time to play with the toys.
5. An area of the bedroom for dressing is also helpful so that the child can easily reach and find all his clothes to get dressed in the morning. Some closet are organized with specific clothing items in the same place or even labeled.Some parents put a shelf of each day of the school week with clothes for that day already in that shelf. Many parents label the drawers and closet so that the clothes do not become disorganized when others clean the room and so that the child can find a specific type of clothing item more easily. This will lead to improvements in compliance in the morning when getting dressed for school.
The above are some examples of how to organized your home to reduce behavior problems and promote the learning of new skills and behaviors in your home!
Encouraging your child (to stay on the task and safe) not to leave the home or area when you have activities scheduled.
Parents and caregivers often express that the children do not stay on task or frequently leave the area or even the home during a schedled activity. This ca be a safety issue if you cannot find the child and it can interfere with learning since he does not participate in learning activities. The following are a list fo ideas to encourage him to stay on task and be safe while learning.
1. Evaluate what the reinforcers are for your child and use them to reward him for leisure and educational activities.
2. When he leaves do not over react which might be giving him attention. Instead quietly guide him back to an activity and remind him of the reinforcers for the activity and importance of the activity.
3. Try not to have to much physical contact when guiding back to th activity since physical contact may be rewarding in itself to some children.
4. Always make sure your child has his address and phone number in his pocket or in a wallet or somewhere on him. The home address and phone may be valuable if he forgets this information or does not know the information. Teaching him to tell people where he lives and his phone number should be considered as something important to learn. Some parents even provide the child with a cellphone for emergencies.
5. Consequences of course might be useful in discouraging him from leaving. For example, he may not earn a daily reinforcer or weekly reinforcer if he does leave.
6. Apologizing is helpful and trying to make up for the stress the parent may have if he leaves.
7. Roleplay or discussion can be helpful in stressing the importance of staying together on outings and activities. Discussing the advantages such as saving time so you can do more activities and relax with reinforcing leisure activities afterwards may be useful. In addition pointing out what might happen if it takes a long time to find him he might get upset or hungry for example.
The above ideas may stimulate you to develope a plan to discourage this behavior in the future for your child.
Safety and learning will be improved throught the use of some of the ideas above! Your child will have less problems and more fun if he learns to stay with his group or in his schedule activities!!
How do I encourage my child to be nice to me, nice to others and have general social skills when working in a group!
Children with disabilities, autism and a variety of behavior problems often do not display social skills such as sharing, greeting others, offering to help others, praising others and making small talk. The following are some tips on how to encourage these skills during your child's daily schedule.
1.The first step is to identify the skill you want teach. Social skills can be taught, which is often not acknowledged by caregivers.
2. Once the social skills are identified then prioritize which ones you will focus on first. Always work informally on all types of skills so that the training is even faster. Intensive focus on the highest priority skill does ensure that you will make faster progress with the more important skills for the child.
3. There is research that Sharing and getting along can be reinforced and developed in a child. Some children are friendly and share on their own. The children that do not do this on their own can be taught to do so. Also, if caring and sharing are not encourage a child that is predisposed to be friendly might become less friendly.
4. During the daily schedule be sure to include time for socializing. If your child's schedule includes only solitary activities such as his ipad or books and chores he may not have any opportunity to socialize and become friendly with others. For example, you can have time to talk at dinner, time for interactive games, talk in the car or at night before they go to sleep.
5. Include reinforcers for socializing such as a preferred item or activity if your children play a board game nicely.
6. If inappropriate behaviors do occur during the interactive activity be sure to stop the activity. Also, do not give any preferred activity or item to anyone involved in the interactive activity.
7. Modeling and prompting appropriate conversations during interactive games can also be helpful for children. Often the children may not have the skill or forget to perform the skills. Social skills, sharing and friendliness are important skills since getting along with others affects every area of the child's future including job, how they treat their family members, friendships and general happiness of your child.
Scheduling your childs' day (for an autistic, ADHD or child with behavior problems) some tips in for your schedule!
A schedule is very helpful in promting appropriate behavior. It is helpful to the parent to encourage consistency and to the child to know what is expected during the day in or to receive positive reinforcement. The following are some technical tips in designing your schedule for the child.
1. Always be specific about which behavior you except and define it breifly in the schedule
2. Includ time frames usually an hour time frame is good so that it is not too detailed or confusing. Two hour blocks is not quite specific enough. Also, remember that the schedule is followed by humans and therefore it may have to be adjusted or approximately followed which is sufficient to achieve appropriate behavior for your child. Do not worry if you have to move something one time. In fact if one reinforcer is moved it is just as effective since intermittent schedules are actually more powerful in acheiving appropriate behavior.
3. It is beneficial to include specific reinforcer for a specific target that will be received so that there is no confusion for the child. The caregivere or parent will find it is even more powerful a schedule if the rewards and behaviors are reminded to the child so that he does not forget and misbehave.
4. The reinforcers included must be the type that your specific child enjoys otherwise they are meaningless.
5. Pairing the reinforcer with social praise and expressive facial expression will increase the power of your reinforcement. Especially if the social praise specifically includes praise about the childs' character.
6. Remember that your child will live up to the level that you expect it is most likely. Try to expect the exact positive behaivors that you always dreamed your child would have and he will most likely become the person you wis
People often start to get agitated and then it escalates into a tantrum. Parents and caregivers often have to deescalate the situation or calm it down after it occurs. The following is a list of possible steps to take beginning with deescalation and then to calming a situation. Each person is different so an observation and analysis of the tantrum behavior will help and is essential to identify which methods to use.
1. If the caregiver or parent observes any facial expressions, movements or behavior that show agitation it is best to intervene at this point. The intervention can include relaxation techniques, redirection or a cue word to calm the person down.
2. Once the behavior starts to begin or even when the precursor facial expressions begin the parent/caregiver can redirect the person to another activity or distract them by discussing another topic.
3. Another method of deescalation is to provide some relaxation methods for the person. Perhaps the person is tired and the caregiver can ask if they want to lay down or take a drink of water to relax.
4. Finally, if the behavior has started to occur then usually removing the person from the environment, moving the audience away or ignoring the person and engaging in another activity will deescalate the behavior.
5. Finally any major reinforcers such as affection or activities preferred should not occur if the behavior has escalated at all into verbal or physical aggression.
6. Also, in some cases training or physical management might be necessary if tissue dammage is imminent. 7. 7. However, on of the best way to avoid aggression or tantrusm from occuring is to fill the time during the day with activities and reinforcers for those activities.Finally one should seek advice of a trained Behavior Analyst for aggression or tantrums.
Exercise is important for children with disabilities, autism and other behavior problems. How do I get my child to exercise?
Exercise is important for children (and adults) with behavior problems, disabilities or autism spectrum diagnosis. Daily exercise can help to relax the child, redirect inappropriate behavior, replace inappropriate behavior with appropriate behavior, exercise can be a reinforcer, exercise can eliminate excess energy that might have been used for inappropriate behaviors. The following is a list of some methods of encouraging and arranging for the behaviors that are called exercise.
1. Parents or guardians can arrange a schedule for the day (including the week-end) to make sure that exercise is included each day.
2. The daily schedule should have the exercise(if it is preferred) after the non-preferred activity (ex. such as homework). If exercise is a non-preferred activity then it should be scheduled before the preferred activity ( such as a computer game).
3. Exercise can be an organized activity such as soccer or basketball outside or it can be built into the routine.
For example, when parents go shopping they can park far away from the store so that the child has to walk.
4. Exercises should be designed to address any specific weakness the child needs to overcome. For example, if the child has poor fine motor co-ordination with the fingers games with the hands such as shooting basketball, playing with play dough, hand games with clapping, playing the piano or other games that require exercise and movement of the fingers would be great!
5. Another example is if the child has poor muscle tone in the stomach exercise such as aerobics with sit-ups.
6. If the arms are week movements with the arms such as pull-ups at the park, helping to carry groceries or carrying boxes of toys from the bedroom to the living room.
7. Finally a reward or reinforcer at the end of the day if the schedule is followed is important. The most effective is to have a choice from a token store of a variety of reinforcers or activities that they enjoy as a reinforcer!
8. Finally social praise is very important throughout the day especially if that is a major motivator for your child!:)