How to Reduce Problem Behaviors | Autism Intervention for Problem Behaviors

How to Reduce Problem Behaviors | Autism Intervention for Problem Behaviors

Both autism professionals and parents report
that their number one challenge by far hands down is the reduction of problem behaviors. So in today’s video blog, I am pulling out
a short excerpt from podcast number six which is all about reducing problem behaviors. Hi, I’m doctor Mary Barbera, autism mom board
certified behavior analyst and bestselling author of the verbal behavior approach. Each week I provide you with some guidance
on turning autism around. So if you haven’t subscribed to my youtube
channel, you can do that. Now, as many of you know, I have started a
podcast and some of the video blogs that I’m going to show you, including this one, are
going to be short excerpts, but they’re going to be videos of something that I said on the
podcast to listen to the entire podcast. You can go to Mary borage last
six and I hope you enjoy it. First I want to tell you about a little boy
named, well, I’ll call him Tony. That wasn’t his real name. He was about six years old. He was in first grade in a verbal behavior
project classroom. He was, we used to do the BB map assessment
and he was a pretty much a level one BB map learner. And he could talk a little bit, didn’t have
major problem behaviors that I could remember from the classroom. And the Tony’s mom asked if she could come
in and meet with me. She was very stressed and she reported that
Tony was a major problem, had major problem behaviors in stores. He would clear shelves when she was at the
grocery stores were to the point where she couldn’t take him out. So I was asking some questions trying to get
a bigger picture of what Tony was like. And one of the questions was, you know, describe
his eating. Some kids drink out of a bottle or use a pacifier. Even older kids like six. So I, I always kind of ask like, what are
they drinking from, what are they eating? Um, and a lot of kids, including the boy that
used to use the straw, very picky eaters and have problem behaviors around food. So the first step is absolutely in assessment
and the lot of behavior analysts, they kind of jumped right away to assessing the problem
behavior and try to develop the function and all that. Um, but what I like to do is step back and
take a look at generally what is the child like? Do they have a diagnosis? What kind of school programming are they receiving? What kind of therapy are they receiving? Do they have any siblings? Do they sleep through the night in their own
bed? Do they, how do they eat? Are they addicted to a bottle or a pacifier
or something like that? Did they have any allergies after this general
assessments done? Then I look more closely at language through
preferably I use the VB map assessment and that’s what I recommend for non conversational
kids. The assessment part is actually never done. You’re, you’re always constantly assessing
what is going on. Why is he having problem behaviors? Is it related to a skill deficit? Is it related to a medical issue? Is it related to intermittent reinforcement
across all different people in all different settings? You know, we just really need to constantly
assess at some point too, we need to start making a plan and intervening. So assessment is number one and then the number
two step is to make a plan. So what you want to do is you want to plan
and prioritize. Your first order of business is to try to
get pro major problem behaviors that being self injurious behavior, aggression and property
destruction. You’re going to want to get those down to
near zero levels. And in the end it really does come back to
those skills. We need to break things down to pair up the
learning environment to um, incrementally desensitized to, to problems like a bath tub. So the child might have a problem. He may not like the bathtub, he may not like
the water temperature. The water temperature varies. So could we keep the water temperature, um,
warmer than colder? Could we take the temperature of the water
to make sure it’s at a consistent temperature that he likes? Can we pair the bathtub up with Foamy soap
or alphabet letters that he can stick to the sides of the walls? Could we have him just practice getting in
the bathtub fully clothed without water and, and give strong reinforcement. Maybe it’s just the hair wash part. That’s the problem. So with any activity where there’s problem
behavior, we need to kind of be the Monday morning quarterback, step back and look at
how we can repair that, the um, the task, make it more appealing, teach the skills,
teach your prerequisites and give very strong reinforcement. Step three is your intervention. And like I said all along throughout this
podcast, I’m not going to be really able to give you any specific guidance, but just in
general, I think if you see problem behaviors that demands are too high and or reinforcement
is too low. As I said, one of the activities that I have
in my book is, uh, if I give you, gave you $1,000 for your child or client, have a good
day with little to no problem behavior, what would you do? And when I do this in front of live audiences,
people generally get, get the answers pretty quickly. And it’s basically like, let the child do
what they want. So if they want to eat five pieces of candy,
that’s fine. If they want to run around without shoes on,
that’s fine. If they want to, um, spinning circles or script
or play with a straw, that’s fine. And so give them a lot of reinforcement and
don’t make them do anything. Limit your demands. So, um, that’s how you’re going to get that
thousand dollars a day. You’re going to, you know, okay, I’m not going
to teach how to teach you anything. I’m not going to require that you keep your
shoes on. I’m not going to require you keep your clothes
on. But as parents and teachers and behavioral
analysts, we know that letting a child do whatever they want and not requiring anything
is not very realistic. Children have to stay dressed when they go
out in public. They have to keep their shoes on at school
and at recess, they can’t eat, you know, loads of candy or sit there spinning in circles
all day. Teachers and the education system have IEP
goals in the United States. I mean we want our children to be as functional
as possible. But what this thousand dollar activity really
teaches us, I think is that while we can’t eliminate all demands, we’re going to have
to have some demands. We want to lower the demands and increased
the reinforcement. We want to be the spoiling grandmother when
the child is engaging in good behavior. We want to be very, um, reinforcing. We, we want to limit our demands. So if the child is not able to, you know,
sit in a 20 minute circle time without problem behaviors, part of the plan and the intervention
might be too, we’ll have them join circle time for the last five minutes when we do
the goodbye song, which is really the only part of circle time that the child likes the
rest of the circle time they’ll actually be working on one to one skills, um, which they
really need to catch their language. This, this breaking down things and being
super reinforcing and um, teaching incrementally systematically is one of the reasons I’m such
a big believer in errorless teaching and gradually fading in demands. We know that schools have a lot on their plates
and so I’m just giving you permission to say, you know what, let’s look at this. Maybe we can break this down. If the child is pounding on the desk during
math instruction, let’s really look at oh double digit addition. Well they’re not really fluent with single
digit addition, so let’s go back. Let’s make the reinforcement higher, let’s
make the math instruction lower and let’s see how we can help this child not have problem
behaviors. The final step after we get through with assessment
planning and intervention is that we want to keep data, and this might sound scary to
a lot of parents out there and even some professionals might be a little leery about data collection. I developed a system where parents and professionals
could keep easy data on a calendar and I’ve outlined that in a free video [email protected] Forward slash video 45. Um, I also have a nine page free guide, uh,
that’s called turn autism around and it is available for [email protected] Forward slash join in this free guide is that
one page assessment I told you about. There’s a one page planning form and there’s
more information about how you can keep data on calendar, whether you’re a parent or professional. I hope you enjoyed that little short excerpt
from podcast number six and I hope that you will check out the show [email protected]
forward slash six where you can also listen to the entire podcast and I hope you’ll join
me on my mission to turn autism around for 2 million by 2020 by subscribing and receiving
a free nine page three step guide, including that free assessment, the planning sheet,
and more details about how you can do your own calendar. For more information about that, go to Mary forward slash join and I’ll see you next week.

9 thoughts on “How to Reduce Problem Behaviors | Autism Intervention for Problem Behaviors

  1. You mentioned "Do they sleep through the night in their own bed?" Could you pls briefly state why one should be looking out for that? Thank u

  2. Dr merry plz tell me that ur son is now complete fit n cured?? N how much tym required for treatment of mild autism…

  3. Hi Dr Merry, my daughter 6yrs has autism n conversational stage. At the moment she struggles a lot with one behaviour issue i-e leaving her friends n coming home either it’s hometime or even play dates. She struggles n cries. I had to reinforce a lot wat already planned but she still can’t take it. Kindly give any tips for that. Thanx🙌

  4. What if the child is totally capable but has figured out that those behaviors get him out of non preferred activities?

  5. So my grandson has autism, his mother uses the iPad, tv, iphone as a distraction when he eats, actually when he's at home he always has the pad in front of him , he's 5 now and I'm not comfortable with this, he does go to school and does well there but at home his mother just does what is easy, please give me your opinion

  6. I am from bangladesh. My son is almost 4 years old.he has autism.he is having occupational therapy and speech therapy for 1 year.some sensory issues have reduced but he has many problem behaviors.he doesn't chew any food.he is not potty trained. He doesn't follow any command. And most of all he has no speech. He can speak mom or baba but doesn't indicate us.he is having one to one special schooling.we tried for normal schooling but he can't pach up.he is now on medication. Having multivitamins like medicines.can you please help me.give me some advice what can I do for my kid.

  7. I am an Integration Aide in a primary school (elementary) in Australia. Your videos are practical and helpful. Thankyou!

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