I recently completed a distance supervision contract for a BCBA candidate. As part of her training, she completed a self-rating scale on the BACB 4th edition task list as a pre-supervisory period and post-supervisory period test.
This is one way I try to make supervision as data-based as all other behavior analytic services I offer! Here are her awesome results!
These graphs served as positive reinforcement for both the supervisor and supervisee to keep up the good work! I know she is going to do great things as a BCBA in the not so distant future!
All too often I hear moms (including myself) questioning why their child would do whatever behavior is a problem right now.
But why won't she eat anything besides bread?
Why doesn't he listen to me?
Why won't she just follow directions because I told her to?
Why? Why? Why?!
Unless you are a professional BCBA or psychologist or something, just give up this line of questioning. It will make you crazy. We as parents can't always know the why. There is no reason why. It just is.
Okay, thanks. How is this helpful, again?
Change your focus. You can't know the why. Give up asking why. Instead focus on the providing positive supports for the replacement behavior.
Teach your child the behavior that is appropriate for the situation, reward them for engaging in the appropriate behavior, and give choices to foster independence.
Shift your focus, mom. Look at the WHAT you want your child to do, HOW you can make it easy and rewarding for them to do so, and then smile. Stop worrying about the WHY.
Why should you follow this advice? Because I said so. Or because it is backed by decades of behavior analysis research. Boo-yah.
Want to learn more ABA strategies for moms? Check out my e-book!
In Behavior Analysis, we base every single decision on data. In no situation will you find a *good* BCBA flying by the seat of their pants. No strategies, ideas, interventions come out of thin air. We are all about that data!
Okay- so what does this have to do with Moms?
Moms are too busy to be taking data all the time! I know, don’t worry. I DO however believe that a little data can go a long way. It doesn’t even have to be formal. I won’t make you graph anything. Leave the graphing to me- I’m the BCBA who actually enjoys it!
All the strategies I’ve been sharing with you are research-based and proven to work. Does that mean you have to use them all day every day? 24/7? No. Use them when you need them? How do you know when exactly to use them? Hmmm… good question.
Identify the problem areas: hardest times of day, routines, activities, etc. You may be able to do this off the top of your head or you may need a little help from some simple data collection.
Recently, I talked about how getting out of bath and getting dressed is a hard time of day so I use the strategy of pairing my dogs who are highly reinforcing with getting dried off which can lead to tears. I knew off the top of my head that transitioning out of bath was difficult and I needed to find something to help my Little out (and save my sanity just a bit along the way!).
Are any of your everyday activities more likely to cause problem behaviors than others?
Try listing out your schedule and either just think about it (not data based, so not behavior analytic. But time-saving at least) or take data for a day or two. Just put a tally mark or check mark next to that part of the schedule when an incident of problem behavior occurs. Whichever time of day has the most check marks- pick a strategy to try to prevent those problems tomorrow!
Want to use the clock to identify times of day that are hard? Here is a scatterplot. Just mark in the box for the correct time of day when a problem behavior occurs. Try to see if there is a pattern!
When you find a pattern, they key is to intervene BEFORE the problem behavior can happen. Try to PREVENT the struggle at that hard time of day by doing something FIRST.
Need more ideas? My book Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom’s Sanity is available now and contains lots of research-based strategies for Moms to prevent problem behavior!
Research is cool!
Austin, J., & Carr, J. (Eds.). (2000). Handbook of applied behavior analysis. New Harbinger Publications.
Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis.
Kelly, M. B. (1977). A review of the observational data-collection and reliability procedures reported in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 10(1), 97.
Maurice, C. E., Green, G. E., & Luce, S. C. (1996). Behavioral intervention for young children with autism: A manual for parents and professionals. Pro-ed.
Replacement behavior- the behavior you teach your child to replace a problem behavior. Must serve the same function be faster and more efficient in getting the child what he needs or wants.
Instead of just telling your child to 'Stop That', how about trying a different approach this week? Tell them what you want them to do INSTEAD of whatever behavior is driving you crazy.
When you find yourself constantly saying, "No. Stop. Don't do that! Put the cat down! Don't eat that! STOP!", doesn't it make you feel like a crazy person? Well, your Little doesn't always immediately know what you want them to actually do instead.
Technically, a replacement behavior will serve the same function as the problem behavior. In other words, it will help your child get access to whatever it is they are seeking. Examples: attention, getting out of a situation, access to something, or something that just feels like fun to them!
So before telling your kid to stop doing what they are doing. Think of what you'd like them to do instead. Even better- offer them choices of two replacement behaviors or activities to choose from!
Try it this week. See what happens! What've you got to lose? (Oh yeah- it's summer already in most of the country. Your sanity. That's what you've got to lose!)
In my book, there is a whole chapter on this subject. Check it out if you want to learn more!
RESEARCH is cool!
Cooper, J., Heron, T., & Heward, W. (2007). Basic Concepts. In Applied Behavior Analysis(2nd ed.). Columbus: Pearson.
Golddiamond, I., (1974). Toward a constructional approach to social problems: Ethical and constitutional issues raised by applied behavior analysis. Behaviorism, 2, 1-85.
Snell, M. E., & Brown, F. (2006). Designing and implementing instructional programs. Instruction of students with severe disabilities, 5, 111-169.
Lately, I've found myself using the technique of pairing in my everyday mom-life. Remember pairing?
In case you somehow forgot this technical definition- I mean really, do you think you're busy being an end of school year mom or something? Here we go again. Pairing is when you pair something not so fun with something you know to be reinforcing to your child.
Well, lately I've been putting my two sweet (ahem, mostly sweet) puppy dogs to work. The pups are the highly preferred item I'm pairing with hard times of day. My girl loves the bathtub, so she naturally hates getting out of the tub. My solution- make sure there is a giant puppy there to entertain her while I dry her off. Unfun= getting dried off and dressed in pajamas. Fun= giant puppy. It's decreased her protesting quite a bit and at the end of the day mama could use a little less protesting, dear.
Need more ideas for using behavior analysis in your mommy role? Check out my book. Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom's Sanity.
Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom's Sanity is on SALE this week!
It's on amazon countdown meaning it starts Monday at $0.99 and increases a little each day until Friday when it reaches the original price of $4.99.
So act early for the discount and share this info with your friends!!
Are you ready for summer days with your kids? Are your friends? Are your clients? Read some strategies now to prevent any problem behavior and get to enjoy all that time together!
I'd love for you to read it and leave me some feedback here or on an amazon reveiw! Let me know what you think!
Leanne Page, MEd, BCBA