One lesson that I have learned through my experience in the field of applied behavior analysis is the value of teamwork. Through effective and efficient teamwork, the possibilities of success are endless. I have met countless children, parents, grandparents and professionals who have made significant contributions to a child’s success. Through written communication, a quick phone call, or a face-to-face conversation, efforts are coordinated and collaboration leads to progress and learning.
As we search for ways to successfully integrate our students into the community and social atmosphere, one of the most popular areas for inclusion is the athletic arena. Soccer, which has become increasingly popular, is one sport that many families consider when introducing their child to team sports.
Creating an appropriate data form to collect data is an important part of any behavior intervention. Some questions to consider include: 1) is the data form easy enough to complete so that it does not interfere with teaching or helping the child, 2) is the data form clear enough so that different observers would record the same data...
Generalization is a word frequently mentioned in applied behavior analysis, yet many people under-estimate the importance of it. Generalization programming takes all the skills a child has learned and systematically transfers them to more natural environments. We can teach valuable skills using the principles of applied behavior analysis, but we must make certain a child is using those skills in his or her daily life.
Four-year-old Charlie had recently begun to spontaneously make requests through PECS. One day, after making a request for chips, his instructor gave him a chip and then left the chips picture on a nearby table. Charlie, clearly desiring more chips, retrieved the picture from the table, walked across the room to his PECS binder, placed the picture back on the binder, then promptly removed it and brought it back over to the instructor. I guess the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," applies in this situation.
Continually focusing on the positive, Tom’s mother relates how her son, now in high school, is playing 5 sports, writing for the school paper and getting straight A's. “I told him that we were really proud of the transition he had made to high school. He looked at me and said, Yeah, my autism is really working for me. Maybe we oversold it?”
- New Jersey
The names of all children in this newsletter have been changed in respect for family confidentiality.
Whistle Praise! Try to praise with a whistle in your mouth, which forces you to simulate talking with a whistle (or blow-out noisemaker, sound vibrator, guitar amplifier or microphone).
Tell Me What to Do! Model an instruction to do something silly, and then comply with the child's instruction when they say it. For example, give the instruction, "say, 'walk like a duck.'" When the child says so, start crouching on the floor and waddle around while quacking like a duck. Try other silly actions, like falling down or imitating "Barney."
Emotional Clown! Act out silly, exaggerated emotions like sad — with a real sappy "boo hoo hoo" and drip water on your face for tears (all very fake) or happy - with a silly happy song and dance.
Lost in the Hood! Wear a hooded sweatshirt with a drawstring and make your head disappear as you tighten the string. Ask the child to help to get you out.
I’m Pouring! Hold a spring water bottle above the child’s head - tilt ever so slightly in an anticipatory way - drop droplet. Fair play, however, is allowing them to get you. But they are usually less reserved about the amount they drop!