I feel your pain. Mommies, unite!
Over at bSci21.org, check out my latest Behavior BFF column: 5 Behavior Tips When Flying with Kids.
"With the holidays coming up, we have two flights planned with our son who is a toddler. He doesn’t ever sit still- how can I survive airports, security lines, and flights?!
Oh, sister, I feel your pain. We just recently flew with a toddler. When I wasn’t too frazzled to remember all these ideas, it went really, really well! You just have to find a way to remember all the things ABA has taught us moms!
Here are some tips that are straight outta behavior analytic research."
Did you read my post last week about social stories? Check it out here.
This is my social story for my Little one to help with dropping her off at childcare more successfully.
You'll also notice a heavy presence of the Premack principle. This is common language in our home.
I used our own photos because my Little loves looking at photos of herself.
I printed these and put them in a little soft photo album she already had so we can read it regularly. I'll let you know how the drop offs go in the future after using 0ur social story consistently for a while!
My Little has a hard time with being dropped off somewhere. She is normally an easy going, happy kid IF she’s in her element or I’m there with her. When I drop her off for childcare, she’s a mess. I hate to hear her cry and get a not so awesome report when I get back. I want her to be happy and have fun with other kids! I need to do something proactively to try to make the time away from mom and away from home a more reinforcing experience for my girl.
My Little loves books. She loves to have us read them to her, she loves to just sit and flip through them and look at the pictures, and she’s recently started telling the stories herself (all babble and hand movements- it’s hilarious). SO I decided to use this preferred activity and make her a book about being dropped off for childcare.
What is a social story you ask?
A social story can be a written or visual guide describing various social interactions, situations, behaviors, skills or concepts. Social stories are a tool that has been used for children with autism for decades. So why not try it with a typical kid who loves stories?
There is a simple formula for writing a social story. The idea is to tell a story without giving commands the whole time.
Here are three types of sentences used in writing social stories:
A social story should have 3 to 5 descriptive and perspective sentences for each directive sentence. Avoid using too many directive sentences.
Why did I choose this strategy for my tiny human? Because she loves stories and books. I needed a way we could ‘practice’ the situation when circumstances don’t allow for a lot of practice (I’m not going to put her in childcare outside of our normal scheduled times).
If your Little doesn’t love stories and books, it may still work, but you won’t get as much opportunity to review it. Don’t make it an un-fun thing. Reading this “book” or story shouldn’t be punishing or a chore for your kiddo.
I will share my own social story with you and keep you posted on how it goes with my Little!
This is just the tip of the iceberg on social stories. I encourage you to learn more about this strategy. Here are a few good resources to get you started!
Need more ideas? My book Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom’s Sanity contains lots of research-based strategies for Moms to prevent problem behavior!
Research is cool! (Again, just a small sample)
Adams, L., Gouvousis, A., VanLue, M., & Waldron, C. (2004). Social Story Intervention Improving Communication Skills in a Child With an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Focus on Autism and other developmental Disabilities,19(2), 87-94.
Broek, E., Cain, S.L., Dutkiewicz, M., Fleck, L., Grey, B., Grey, C., et al. (1994). The Original Social Story Book. Arlington, TX: Future Education. www.thegraycenter.org
Gray, C. (2010). What are Social Stories?. In The Gray Centre. Retrieved October 15th 2010, from http://www.thegraycenter.org/social-stories/what-are-social-stories.
Gray, C. (2007). Writing social stories with Carol Gray. Future Horizons.
Gray, C. A. (1998). Social stories and comic strip conversations with students with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism (pp. 167-198). Springer US.
Kokina, A., & Kern, L. (2010). Social Story™ interventions for students with autism spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(7), 812-826.
Kuoch, H., & Mirenda, P. (2003). Social story interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and other developmental disabilities, 18(4), 219-227.
Norris, C., & Dattilo, J. (1999). Evaluating effects of a social story intervention on a young girl with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 14(3), 180-186.
Here is a review of Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom's Sanity from Martha Gabler, author of Chaos to Calm! Thanks, Martha!
See more from Martha at her website: http://autismchaostocalm.com/
All moms need this book. I wish I had had it when my Littles were little. It is brief, easy to understand, gets to the point, and –most importantly – it works!
Leanne Page, with humorous examples and chatty explanations, shows us ordinary moms how to use scientific principles to, not only improve behaviors, but to teach our children important skills. And I mean the really important life skills like self-care, cooperation with parents, and polite behavior to others.
She shows parents how to do that difficult task of paying attention to good behaviors and not reacting to undesired behaviors. She explains how to look at undesired (annoying) behaviors and to think about, “What behavior would be a better alternative for my Little?” An example of this is teaching the Little to tap mom’s shoulder to ask for something instead of screaming.
She explains how to use positive reinforcement to increase good behaviors, and how to eliminate “random” rewards which may accidentally reinforce undesired behaviors. I loved the section on how to pair a desired activity with an undesired activity so that the undesired activity becomes more palatable to the child.
Other great sections explain how to decide on a replacement behavior to take the place of an annoying behavior, how to use tokens the right way to teach the desired replacement behavior, and how to use tokens to teach “group” behaviors -- so that all the children in the family learn how to behave politely with each other. These are crucial social and human interaction skills that parents desperately want to teach but often don’t know how.
Most importantly, this book replaces superstitious parenting with scientific parenting. It shows parents that they don’t have to resort to yelling, scolding and punishment to teach their children the right way to behave. Those are age-old tactics and we use them because we don’t know better and they are still socially accepted (and even advocated). The science of behavior analysis gives us outstanding effective tools to teach our children important life skills: without punishment, without trauma, and without anger.
Two final notes:
Leanne’s advice is practical. The problems she discusses are common problems. The solutions build on a skill all parents already have – the ability to observe their children.
Leanne’s advice is affordable. The solutions involve almost no financial cost. Leanne specifically describes how to make simple home-made charts and token systems, and how to use low-cost treats (treats that we would be giving anyway) as reinforcers for our children’s good behaviors.
This is a five-star book.
Here is the second installment of me visually arguing with you to prove once and for all that positive reinforcement and bribery are NOT the same!
Stay tuned for more helpful visuals on bribery vs positive reinforcement. Spoiler alert: Positive reinforcement wins.
Need more ABA empowerment? Check out Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom's Sanity.
Leanne Page, MEd, BCBA