It's almost August so I guess it's time for Back to School resources. As a former teacher, I get a tight feeling in the pit of my stomach as my whole self cries out "Noooo! It's still summer!!!". Oh well. Back to School time it is.
Here are a few good resources I've seen recently.
This is a template from the National Autism Association that parents can use to share information with teachers easily.
Here is a list of free apps for teachers: Smart Apps for Kids
As I find more good, free Back to School resources, I promise to share them here. No matter how they make my tummy feel.
Don't forget to check out Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom's Sanity!
When working with children with autism spectrum disorders, a big focus of training and intervention is on language training and expanding communication for these precious kiddos.
With typical kids, it’s the exact same. Maybe your child is already a chatterbox so you can’t stop reading this now, right? Ummm…no. How about you focus on appropriate functional language to help get your Little to the next level of communication skills.
With my sweet little one around 1 year old she would say “Mama” consistently, but not “Dada”. Why is that? Because her dad is a pushover. Maybe I can find a nicer way to say that. The truth is her dad is nicer than me. Everyone knows that.
When she wanted something from me- she’d hand me a book or toy or look at me and start to fuss about something, I’d tell her, “Say, ‘Mama, help.’” And she’d repeat back “Mama”. I wouldn’t help her until I got something resembling “Mama” out of her sweet mouth. I’d try to model the same for her dad. He’d tell her to say “Dada” and then he’d just do whatever she was asking with her sweet smile. He didn’t require the verbal response and it took longer to get her saying “Dada”.
So the moral of the story is don’t be a pushover.
I found a video clip demonstrating a teacher or ABA therapist using this technique to help a child have the functional communication skill of requesting help. She could have just gotten the toys down for the kid without requiring the full response, but by making him talk to her and ask correctly, that little guy now has the ability to use this skill for other situations, too.
Require language. Model it for your child to repeat after you when necessary. Don’t give in without an appropriate verbal response from your kid. Be consistent. See an increase in functional communication. See a decrease in problem behavior. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Want more awesome ideas to prevent problem behaviors and make your life more like the one you show the world on social media? Check out Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom's Sanity!
Research is cool!
Sautter, R. A., & LeBlanc, L. A. (2006). Empirical applications of Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior with humans. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior,22(1), 35.
Skinner, B. F. (2014). Verbal behavior. BF Skinner Foundation.
Sundberg, M. L., & Michael, J. (2001). The benefits of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior for children with autism. Behavior Modification, 25(5), 698-724.
Do you have multiple Littles or whatever sizes/ages that tend to band together to form a mutiny in your household? I mean, do you have several adorable children who you dress in coordinating (not matching) outfits and who share perfectly, act like angels, and make your life a breeze?
A group contingency means that ALL members of the group must perform the desired behavior for the reward to be granted. If we are getting technical there are other forms of group contingencies but I’ll save a more in-depth look for another day.
Can you say positive peer pressure?
A group contingency can mean that siblings monitor each others’ behavior and support each other to make sure everyone is on the right track and everyone is going to earn the reward/reinforcer.
How to do this?
(1) Decide what the target behaviors are for the contingency. You could call it a contract with your kids. Select no more than 3 behaviors and make them specific so Littles can understand and know exactly what to do! Remember- “making good choices” or “being a good citizen” leaves the door wide open for misconstruing the meaning and your poor Little is left dangling in the breeze, unsure of what exactly their sibling is pressuring them to do!
(2) Choose a reinforcer. How about let the kids decide as a group? Give a few choices within your budget- both financial and time budgets- and let them pick! They will already have to work together just to pick one reward!
(3) Set your time period. A month is too long. A day may be too short. What is best for your family? Make it achievable at first- so start smaller than you think necessary. Over time, you can make it longer and longer until a month is achievable for your kiddos.
(4) Start monitoring their behavior and remind them to keep each other on track to earn that big exciting treat of ice cream for dinner one night! Or whatever kooky thing you can convince them is fun and exciting yet easy and cheap to implement.
Caution: if you have a super bossy kid, maybe this isn’t for your family. Or maybe you need to have a chat with Miss or Mr. Bossypants about how to nicely encourage their siblings instead of bossing them around all the time.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Learn more about group contingencies and other behavior strategies in Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom's Sanity!
Research is COOL!
Cooper, J., Heron, T., & Heward, W. (2007). Basic Concepts. In Applied Behavior Analysis(2nd ed., pp 567-573). Columbus: Pearson.
Hayes, L. A. (1976). The use of group contingencies for behavioral control: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 83(4), 628.
Ling, S., Hawkins, R. O., & Weber, D. (2011). Effects of a classwide interdependent group contingency designed to improve the behavior of an at-risk student. Journal of Behavioral Education, 20(2), 103-116.
Pigott, H. E., FANTuzzo, J. W., & Clement, P. W. (1986). The effects of reciprocal peer tutoring and group contingencies on the academic performance of elementary school children. Journal of applied behavior analysis, 19(1), 93-98.
My Little and I took a mini-vacay last week to my parents' house along with my sister and her Littles. We had a blast and my good intentions of actually working from their house went out the window. Oops! I hope you all had a great week and I promise more legit content coming soon. Maybe after I finish a week's worth of laundry. And housework because we left Dad all alone for nearly a week...And meal planning. And grocery shopping. And....
Is it time to go back to the lake yet?
It’s easy to try new parenting strategies when things are going smoothly. It’s easy to remember them when everyone and everything are cool, calm, and collected. But that’s not when we need these techniques the most. We need them when we NEED them!
Don’t just read over these research-based methods and let them fly out of your mind. Use them when the going gets rough.
This weekend I used the heck out of some strategies to prevent meltdowns in my home thanks to the joy of teething. We had bloody gums, fever, snotty nose, interrupted sleep for everyone, and a cranky toddler in the house. Woo-hoo!
Here are a few ways I used ABA to make the weekend a little more tolerable (still not awesome. Teething is serious business).
When little miss thing doesn’t get good sleep, she gets cranky.
When mama doesn’t get good sleep, same applies.
Ginormous molars forcing their way into my girl’s mouth leads to not good sleep. Therefore, we need all the help we can get to not be a household of cranky females!
Using ABA helped. I’m still tired, but there was minimal crying and fussing in my life this weekend. ABA works. Thank goodness. And good night.
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!
No really. Stop being so busy and ENJOY the weekend! You deserve it.
Tips for Moms: http://amzn.com/B00X0N3YSY
Applied Behavior Analysis is the scientific study of behavior. It uses techniques to teach desired behaviors that are backed up by decades of research.
So you've heard of ABA as an intervention for kids with autism, right? But is that it? That's all it's good for?! NO! Applied Behavior Analysis has been proven to work in SO many situations with a ton of populations.
Here's a little peek into ways ABA has been proven to be effective.
The purpose of this blog is to share these research-based strategies to increase desired behaviors with a population near and dear to my heart: MOMS of Littles. But ABA is so, so much more!
More info for moms
Check out this website if you are interested in ABA and modern society. I'm not affiliated with them, just really enjoy reading it!
RESEARCH supports all of these claims I made above. I'm not just making this stuff up. It's LEGIT!
Carr, E. G., & Durand, V. M. (1985). Reducing behavior problems through functional communication training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18(2), 111-126.
Foxx, R. M. (2008). Applied behavior analysis treatment of autism: The state of the art. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 17(4), 821-834.
Frederiksen, L. W., & Johnson, R. P. (1981). Organizational behavior management. Progress in behavior modification, 12, 67-118.
Lehman, P. K., & Geller, E. S. (2005). Behavior analysis and environmental protection: Accomplishments and potential for more. Behavior and social issues, 13(1), 13-32.
Ord, T. J., Martins, E. P., Thakur, S., Mane, K. K., & Börner, K. (2005). Trends in animal behaviour research (1968–2002): ethoinformatics and the mining of library databases. Animal Behaviour, 69(6), 1399-1413.
Pryor, K. (2009). Reaching the animal mind: clicker training and what it teaches us about all animals. Simon and Schuster.
Skinner, B. F. (2014). Verbal behavior. BF Skinner Foundation.
Wilson, S. J., Lipsey, M. W., & Derzon, J. H. (2003). The effects of school-based intervention programs on aggressive behavior: a meta-analysis. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 71(1), 136.
Winett, R. A., Moore, J. F., & Anderson, E. S. (1991). Extending the concept of social validity: Behavior analysis for disease prevention and health promotion.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 24(2), 215-230.
I could have given a bazillion references but thought I'd keep this short and sweet. The research is out there, though! I promise. :)
Leanne Page, MEd, BCBA