It’s Sunday evening. There’s been a sudden increase in the amount of defiance and quarreling, particularly from my eldest son, age almost-five. I’ve done some ignoring and some mild complaining, made a few threats, but nothing improves. I’m feeling discouraged (and frankly speaking, like a complete hypocrite), so I pick up my notebook. “I’m going… Continue reading Notes from the home laboratory: When in doubt, take data!
Getting stuck… your starting point If you are the parent of a child with autism or any other developmental diagnosis, you will probably have identified some “restricted interests” your child is drawn to. Sometimes, these areas of interest can lead to elite academic opportunities, impressive works of art, or gateways to new social connections. Other… Continue reading Obsessions and fixations: getting stuck and unstuck
This week, I was talking to a family who loved each other dearly but wanted to reduce the amount of nagging in the household (this story is shared with their permission.) The mother had carefully created a list all the household tasks, and offered a reward if the kids fulfilled one of the tasks in… Continue reading Shaping
Wash your hands. Use the toilet. Put away your dirty dishes. Don’t drop your socks on the floor. Stop hitting your brother. Don’t experiment with Mommy’s lipstick. Quit banging on the window. That necklace is not a toy. Don’t throw those down the stairs. Wipe up your spill, please. That screaming is hurting my ears.… Continue reading House Rules: 4 simple instructions that cover everything
If you have someone in your life who needs help following a routine or learning a complex new skill, it’s worth thinking about a visual schedule (also known as an activity schedule). There is some good evidence for its use with individuals with a variety of disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit… Continue reading Visual schedules: why and how to use?
Sudden Bursts of Bedtime Creativity If you’re a parent of young children, you have probably heard some version of the bedtime begging. Classic examples include “I have to go pee!” or “Can I have a glass of water?” Many children get more creative, and suddenly develop an allergy to the colour of their blanket, or… Continue reading Bedtime begging: how to fix
Something amazing happened in my house this morning, and I can’t stop talking about it. It’s very personal, but it’s also connected to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) in an important way. I am a mother of two little sons, and since I’ve started working more irregular hours, their separation anxiety has been going through the… Continue reading Separation Anxiety: A Behavioural Strategy
What does a behaviour consultant do? Good question. Not one that most people could answer. It’s an emerging field, and it’s only recently that Board Certified Behaviour Therapists (BCBAs) have become relatively easy to find in Canada and the United States. Behaviour therapists work in prisons, hospitals, schools, and even as consultants to corporations.… Continue reading Is it time to call a behaviour consultant?
Good verbal skills, interested in a variety of types of independent play, gets along pretty well with other children until suddenly, he doesn’t. Sound familiar? Toys flying against the wall, projects ripped up, other children running for cover. Many parents and teachers have not heard of the phrase “executive functional skills” but they notice that… Continue reading “Sticky Situations” Problem-Solving Game
Behaviour Skill Training. When I first read a description of this training technique in my textbook, I shrugged. Yeah, sure, of course, you describe a skill, then model it, then rehearse in a practice setting, then try it out live with feedback. What kind of idiot doesn’t do that? In my youthful arrogance, it didn’t… Continue reading Behaviour Skills Training (BST)