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.
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!:)
Thanksgiving can be a time of stress or a time to be close and happy with your family. To make sure the dinner is the later prepare your child for the dinner! The following are some suggestions to make things go more smoothly and prevent behavior problems.
1. Before thanksgiving involve the child with stories, activities and discussions about thanksgiving and what it means generally.
2. Review the schedule with your child about what will occur thanksgiving day and what reinforcers you will have scheduled for him/her for good behavior that day.
3. Make sure to ask the child what reinforcers they would prefer or give them a choice (menu) of different reinforcers.
4. Review what reinforcers are chosen for thanksgiving day. Reinforcers are usually most effective following a specific activity. For example, you might include one reinforcer for meal preparation, one for the dinner, a reinforcer for appropriate behavior and social skills during dinner, one for cleaning up or activities after dinner and one for getting ready for bed.
5. Discuss what behavior is expected during the day, at dinner and after dinner.
6. Engage your child in preparing the meal and setting the table or cleaning up. If they do not have many of these skills then even just wiping the table, stirring the ingredients for the pie or putting away his dish are excellent activities.
7. During the meal try not to give your child the reinforcer for social skills and good behavior until he is good for specified period of time or specific behavior. For example, the parent can give him access to the ipod only after he has shared a story or conversation, ate all his meal and sat nicely until the dinner is finished then give him the ipod and desert!! Try to state why the child earned access to the game or other reinforcers so that it is very clear to him what he has to do.
8. A trial run of a dinner prior to thanksgiving day might be good practice so that all the behaviors and reinforcers are familiar to the child!
In summary, prevention (through scheduling of activities, scheduling reinforcers, practicing good dinner behavior and making sure the child understands what the dinner activities) will be will be more likely lead to wonderful memories of a fun thanksgiving holiday with your family.
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
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.
Children with special needs such ADHD or autism spectrum disorder often are not in touch with long term contingencies. Focusing the childs attention on long term contingencies can lead to big improvements in behavior and academic performance. Some tips in focusing on the future are discussed below. When meeting with teachers it is helpful to focus on the potential of your child such as intelligence or social skills. Secondly, the parents can focus on the future by discussing the future with the child. For example, the parent might discuss what car, job, spouse, kids, money or job title they might want when they grow up. This should be done on a regular basis hopefull daily or weekly. Thirdly, the parent might go onto the computer and look at people in jobs or careers the child might like, look at cars they might purchase or computer equipment. Focussing on long term goals will focus their attention on the future.
Parents often struggle with thinking of what to do with their child with special needs (ex. autism spectrum) after he receives his diploma from high school. The following is a review of some of the options they might consider. The caregiver should way the short term and long term benefits of each option for their individual child and themselves.
One option is to place them in a day program with activities. A second option is a workshop setting. Some workshops are "stand alone workshops" and some you can pay or get funding to attend even though they are part of 24 hour living facility. A third option is to try to attain employment in the community either on their own or with the assistance of supportive employment. Supportive employment can be arranged and often the child is sent for evaluation in order to determine the best type of job for him. Another alternative is to have some job arrangement which can be performed in the home such as data entry, phone calls or other jobs in the home.
A sixth alternative is to continue the childs education at Community college or technical school where he can attain credentials or certificates for a job. A seventh alternative is to enroll him in a job for special needs persons such as programs with plants or animals. Some job programs are geared toward hiring only special needs persons. There are a large number of other alternatives. Parents will benefit by dreaming with the child about an ideal job that utilizes skills the child has as well as having reinforcing activities or items the child will enjoy. This "brainstorm" session might include other professionals or friends and will result most likely in a more peaceful and fulfilling life for your child.
Caregivers often do not realize the importance of a schedule for their child with problems such as autism, behavior problems or even attention deficit and non-compliance problems. The following includes some of the advantages and how to implement scheduling effectively
The advantage of a schedule are the following. The parent is able to let the child know what is to be done next in a positive manner. Also, children know that the previous activity will end at a specified time so they do not get upset. Thirdly the child can look forward to certain prefered or reinforcing activities during the day. Finally, the child is more productive with his time learning since there is not as much time that does not include an activity for learning.
To effectively implement the scheduling of a childs day it must be first individualized to the particular client. Secondly, it should include some preferred activities or reinforcers or time for choosing a reinforcer during the schedule. Thirdly, it is helpful to make the child aware of the schedule or review the schedule in the beginning of the day and throughout the reminders of the next activities scheduled. This serves as a stimulus for good behavior. If paired with the reinforcer to be expected this will improve the childs' behavior even more during the activities.
Posting the schedule is usually in practice not that helpful, The child frequently ignores the posted written schedule and in many cases has vision, reading skill problems or simply does not bother to look. Although some therapist and researcg reports it is helpful to post it is suspected by this author and others that posting is more of a help to the parent or caregiver in most cases. However, It is very helpful for the caregiver to have a copy for themselves either posted or in a binder or other location.
The schedule of course should be updated regularly and include the childs choices and preferences in the schedule. Consistancy, throughout the day is also very important. If changes have to be made in the schedule it is helpful to discuss the changes prior to the day or hour in which the change will occur with the child. The prior discussion of a change, may avoid any strong reactions such as tantrums that could result from changing the routine. Parents and caregivers will find that the schedule is a very useful tool in improving the childs' Behavior.