Here is the link to the Operants: http://www.bfskinner.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/OPERANTS_Q1_2014.pdf.
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.
Parents or even caregivers with other children in the home sometimes forget about the other children in the home. It is important to keep in mind that the other children should be considered along with all factors in the home of a child with special needs. The following are some ideas that will optimized the effectiveness of your treatment package through the inclusion of the other children in the home.
1. Any reward program should be available to all the children in the home. If you child with special needs is receiving a token or reward system then include all children in this program. By including everyone the children all feel they are treated equally and will not feel resentment or anger towards the child with special needs when they receive reinforcers such as a cookie or an outing. If the other children are resentful or angry that might result in more aggression and aggitation or non-compliance from the child with special needs.
2. When consequences such as loosing an outing occurs then you have a choice of either having both children loose the outing or making sure the child with good behavior gets some alternative reward. The most important factor is that the child with special needs realizes he earns the outing only after good behavior. In the case where the other child is good it is usually better to have both children loose the priveledges since that way the child without special needs may help his brother to avoid having tantrums in the future. However, it can also be helpful to have the special needs child see the other child get the reinforcer for good behavior. Either method is useful. Parents should try to see which method results in more improvements in the children's behavior. The only crucial factor is that the consequence of not earning it for the special needs child is implemented consistantly.
3. If the child with special needs requires alot of doctor appointments it may be helpful to take the other child with you and see the doctor for a general check-up or any minor issues they have. This will help to include him and avoid the situation in which the "normal" child is not getting as much attention and time from the parents. This can also be accomplished by offering another fun activity for the "normal" child while his sibling is at the doctor office.
4. If the child with special needs has special equipment such as ipad or toys it is good to provide the "normal" child with some other equivalent toy or equipment while working with the special needs child. What often happens is parents focus on teaching the special needs child something on the computer and the "normal' child begins to tantrum and resent the special needs child. This can be avoided by having similar alternative equipment or taking turns with the equipment you do purchase for the special needs child.
5. If the "normal" sibling is able to understand the parent can ask him to help teach his brother something. This is useful since they can facilitate even more learning and even run some of the reward programs you have set-up for the special needs child. A general description would be useful of what you are trying to teach his brother. Try to avoid any negative statements about how smart he is and focus on just learning new things. Always praise the "normal" child for helping by saying things like " you are so helpful you taught your brother to sing the alphabet!"
Generally, including the other siblings needs and assistance can promote faster progress for you child. The siblings are part of the family system and the enviorment that the special needs child lives in and can contribute to teaching and progress of your child with special needs. If they are not considered or addressed it can actually slow the learning progress. All family members should be a part of the treatment plan!
Feedback is a useful tool to use when working with children or adults with autism or developmental delays.
Feedback is a useful therapeutic technique to use when working with people with autism or developmental delays as well as normal children or adults. Feedback has effectively improved behavior according to research articles in a wide variety of targeted behavior problems. This technique can be applied with the following types of problems and in many other creative ways.
A child or adult with weigh control issues might use a diary for food intake, weight, water intake too. This can be useful to review with them to assure they are eating the right things, drinking enough water and reducing their weight. The feedback provides useful information to the person and changes in habits can be made with the therapist based on the information recorded. A journal or calendar is useful for this.
Recording sleep times each night can provide useful information for treating sleep problems. The therapist can provide a data sheet, diary or calendar to record the sleep patterns. The information gathered in written form can be discussed and changes can be made based on this important feedback regarding sleep patterns. For example, if week-ends are particularly low in number of hours slept then the therapist might suggest going to sleep earlier, listening to a sound machine or music to relax before bedtime.
Recording general mood with a happiness scale or in a journal can provide useful information for behavior change. For example, if the person is upset frequently then adding some more reinforcing activities may change the behavior.
Generally, any data collection can be used as feedback to the individual or parent in designing and changing procedures in the program and informal procedures.
How to use electronics as a reinforcer without causing increase in tantrums or other behavior problems with autistic, aggressive and other childhood behavior problems or developental delays?
Computers and electronic devices have become very powerful reinforcers for many children in the past few years. Parents and Caregivers can use the following methods to more effectively and without behavior problems such as tantrums.
1. First thing the caregiver should do is select the reinforcers specificlally through asking the child or an inventory which identifies the most powerful electronic reinforcers.
2. Next the caregiver or parent should explain specifically to the child what he has to do to attain the reinforcer. For example, the parent might say if you do your chores, have no tantrums or screaming, get ready for school on time then you can use the iphone that day.
3. Next once a behavior occurs he/ she will not gain access to the reinforcer the next day or longer as specified by the parent or guardian. This should be a definite rule regarding how many days or hours of good behavior are required to attain the electronic and how many days he/she must have good behavior in order to attain the reinforcer for a specified amount of time.
4. If the child resists giving up the computer or phone there are environmental ways of preventing the use of them without a struggle. One way is to put the phone away once they go to sleep if there was a tantrum that day. Secondly, the keyboard or mouse can be put away in a locked reinforcer cabinet if there is a tantrum and the reinforcer is the computer. Another technique is to remove the battery from a device, turn off the fuse box.
5. Parents might consider adding a password that can be turned on and off on a electronic device or computer.
6. Parents should consider turn off a television with the remote or if there is a parental lock or timer this can be useful in making sure the reinforcer is delivered consistently.
7. Parents should try to give the child at least one or two warning statements so that the child is prepared and realizes that he has not behaved appropriately.
8. Finally it is important to make sure that the parent states the rule as a house rule and not as something mean imposed on the child. Also, the parent should state something empathetic such as " I wish you could have earned the phone or computer today that is too bad I am so sorry about that. Maybe you will earn it tommarow."
9. In order to prevent a tantrum parents should include the time from the loss of the item to the time it will be earned as a criteria for earning the reinforcer again. For example, if you are good and do all your chores and no tantrums or screaming you will probably be able to earn computer time tommarow.
In general, the parent should be viewed as a sort of Santa Clause or bearer of gifts for the child not an negative person that enforces the contingency. This attitude of the parent will lead to a more postive relationship with the parent, less arguments and behavior problems in the future!:)
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.
Rienforcers are difficult to choose that are effective. Some ideas to make them more effective are listed below.
1. The definition of a reinforcer is something that increases the probablity of the behavior. Therefore this should be considered and determine in order to select an effective reinforcer. The larger the increase in the probabliyt that occurs the more powerful the reinforcer may be.
2. The reinforcer selected can be determined by several methods. One is formal assessment tools, observation of the childs behavior or simply interviewing the child or caregiver to find out what he likes most in the world!
3. Giving the child choices of several powerful reinforcers is a great idea since the reinforcers may not be as effective on different days. For example, if the child likes chocolate he may not like chocolate every day and may be full! Therefore, if he has choices then another reinforcer might be used on some days.
4. Finally, another tip is to select reinforcers that are easily attainable since if they are not the parent or caregiver may not be able to deliver them consistantly. More tips will provided in the future good luck with this start on making your reinforcers as effective as possible each :)
In choosing which exercises to work on first more frequently in a child with poor motor skills and aspirer or autism one should think about the functional skill deficits of the child. If a child is having difficulty using a fork or spoon then sports or leisure activities that emphasize the hands may be beneficial since you will be strengthening these muscles and movements. Exercises that stress the lower body are also beneficial but if the priority is to develop self-care skills that require more dexterity then he as the fine motor movements should be emphasized. Some leisure activities such as using an iPad may also improve fine motor skills.
Finally, one should also consider forks or spoons for example that are easier for the child with motor problems to use. Considering the selection of equipment and leisure or sports activities can be important in promotion of more rapid learning of self-care and daily living skills in children with both motor and Autism or Attention problems.
Behavior Therapist often use music as part of their treatment plan. In past years music therapy was funded by organizations more often. Soon they started fading out funding for this type of therapy. Many clinicians and parents were disappointed by this fading of the service. Often facilities or caregivers would incorporate music therapy in the recreational therapy which was covered. Currently, music is used predominantly in Behavior therapy and recreational therapy. Parents and caregivers should let the recreation or behavior therapist know if their child enjoys music as a reinforcer.
Behavior therapist do a functional assessment which includes a reinforcer survey. If music is determined to be a reinforcer it is very helpful as a part of the behavior plan informally or formally. Often the behavior therapist will use music as a replacement behavior or just as a learned or acquisition skill with the program. If the child enjoys the sensory reinforcement of the sounds or use of their arms to manipulate items a musical instrument or device can be very effective. The child can also receive an extrinsic reinforcer for playing the instrument. Finally, the behavior therapist may teach the child to play instrument using other reinforcers such as tokens, edible reinforcers or social praise.
Some examples of using music to replace behavior include drums for sensory reinforcement including the sound and the vibration. Another example is using radio stations that are preferred on a headset to provide sensory reinforcement if the child likes that type of music. Music might be also scheduled during the day as relaxation for children that are aggitated or aggressive. In addition learning a new instrument may result in social praise and attention when the child plays the instrument.
Music can be utilize by the behavior therapist in a variety of methods. One method is to have the child play the instrument. A second method is to have the child play music on a radio, stereo or on earphones. Headphones are especially practical and easy to use with contingencies of the program. The headphones are practical because you can use them in any location such as when going to a doctor appointment, in the car, at work, and on the bus. Some instruments can be played outside or in a private room if they disturb others or headsets can be used with some instruments. The therapist or caregiver can put the headphones on easily when the child is displaying good behavior based on the targeted goals for behavior. Music can help the therapist to create a positive environment for the child even during non-preferred activites.The result is an increase in compliance and decrease in inappropriate behavior. As people often say music can make the world go round.
Parents and therapist often are not sure which behaviors to prioritize in training new skills or choosing replacement behaviors.The following identifies some important factors to consider in the selection. One factor to consider is to try to select a skill that will lead to the long term goals of the client. This often requires alot of imagination, observation and research to come up with some alternative goals with the client and his caregivers that will lead satisfying to a more satisfying lifestyle for the client. Once these goals are established all other training should be in agreement with these long term objectives. A second factor to consider is the inappropriate behaviors and the caregiver or trainer should attempt to design acquisition skills that will most likely reduce those behaviors. This may be done by teaching skills that are difficult to do at the same time as the inappropriate behavior or skills that result in the same types of reinforcement. Parents and trainers should always keep in mind that teaching skills that are not connected to the overall treatment plan goals to achieve will not lead the client as rapidly to acheiving the satisfying lifestyle the client and family want to achieve.