Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oh Behave!

Notes from a recent workshop on behavior:

Our children are who they are and they are influenced by those around them.

  • personality, family, environmental, biologically driven

Disruptive behaviors arise from a mismatch between expectation and level of cognition understanding

At any point in time anyone can become overwhelmed by too many commands in a sequence, too long an interval to focus, lack of reinforcement to continue good behavior. They are so overwhelmed that they don't understand their level of anxiety.

Behavior is influenced by developmental level of the child, not necessarily predicted by chronologic age

Health factors can influence behavior including but not limited to:

  • anemia, ENT related illness, ear infections, sleep apnea, vision, reflux, celiac, thyroid, cardiac status, constipation, seizures, sensory processing, attention deficit 

6% of people with Down syndrome have an autism dual diagnosis.

No matter what cognitive level most children want to communicate. When childern understand but have difficulty pronouncing it makes kids get frustrated and use less language.

Active listening means taking the heat of the moment and turn it into words. For example say "I know you are upset because something happened" and talk about how they feel more than asking them what happened.

Catch the child in the act of being good. Reinforce 6-10 positive behaviors to every 1 negative. 

  • Time outs shouldn't be in the child's room and especially not in their bed. 
  • Give a warning prior to placement in timeout unless it is an aggressive behavior. 
  • Give a brief statement of the offense 
  • Find a neutral area for timeout
  • Use timeouts for 2-3 behaviors at a time max 
  • 1 minute per age or developmental age
  • No eye contact. 

Calming techniques may be needed to diffuse a situation. Quiet hands is a method where the child sits down with hands folded and hugs or hold techniques can also work either have the child face you or facing away then use appropriate hugs and holds to release energy.

ABC's of behavioral modification. What's the behavior and what's the consequence?
  • Antecedent - what occurred before the behavior
  • Behavior - precise description of problem behaviors
  • Consequences - what occurred after the behavior

The behavior that gets the most attention is the behavior that stays.

Practice when you are not in the moment to prepare a child for different situations.

Use stickers or check marks for praise. What ever the reward the child will want to attain it.

Set the expectation on the day before you begin.

  1. If/then statements - explain what the activity is and what result is 
  2. distractions - move their attention to another topic
  3. warm up tasks - things they can do easily that lead in to the new task

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