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Turning Point Behavioral Tips

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  • March 09, 2011 03:49:54 PM
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Tips on modifying bad behavior in children for parents and teachers. Written by the behavior professionals of Turning Point Behavioral Services of Western New York

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Aggression? Not So Much Anymore!

  Here are some little ideas if you have a child that displays aggressive behavior (see last post) 1. If transitioning from watching TV to taking a bath is difficult try setting a times, provide a warning, have a favorite toy your child can gain only when taking a bath. 2. If going to the...

 

Here are some little ideas if you have a child that displays aggressive behavior (see last post)

1. If transitioning from watching TV to taking a bath is difficult try setting a times, provide a warning, have a favorite toy your child can gain only when taking a bath.

2. If going to the grocery store creates problem behaviors try shortening up the trip to a few trips each week limiting the duration of time in the store.  Offer your child a preferred item during this trip.  One mother offered her child a wet wipe. He loved to wipe off the shopping cart as they went through the store.  This provided a fun activity and a distraction.

3. Provide warnings when activities are about to end or the child needs to transition from fun to something less fun – TV to taking a bath.

4. Provide a choice between two activities or items when you must denied the child – No you can not have the candy but I have a piece of gum for you or you can hold my keys.

Help your child transition, or invest in one of these!


Biting? Hitting? Pinching? Aggression!

Physical aggression, such as hitting, biting, pinching, and hair pulling, can be common at an age when functional communication is limited.  These aggressive behaviors can also be exhibited by individuals carrying a diagnosis indicative of impaired functional communication skills such as autism.  But let’s start with the basics: Such behaviors may serve a number of...

Physical aggression, such as hitting, biting, pinching, and hair pulling, can be common at an age when functional communication is limited. 

These aggressive behaviors can also be exhibited by individuals carrying a diagnosis indicative of impaired functional communication skills such as autism

But let’s start with the basics:

Such behaviors may serve a number of different functions for the child such as:

  • defending possessions 
  • avoiding an undesired activity 
  • expressing frustration (especially when they cannot express themselves with words)
  • getting attention. 

It is important not to allow the aggressive behaviors to work

  • Your child bites you because they don’t want to take a bath. Will you let him/her watch TV instead? 

NO! 

Do not allow them to bite and run! Biting will not prevent bath time! Give him/her the bath!! 

TIP:

Try to figure out situations that may trigger aggressive behaviors.  Prevent or make changes in the environment, routine or activity that seems to produce aggressive behaviors.

He needs a bath, no more cartoons!

He needs a bath, no more cartoons!

ie. If you’re in the grocery store, and your child tantrums because you say no to a bag of M&Ms. Do NOT give them the M&Ms. Avoid the candy aisle, avoid the cash registers with candy, and if that doesn’t work, don’t take them to the grocery store!


Attention: The Good & The Bad

Catching kids being bad is easy!  Catching kids being good is much tougher. Though catching a child being good is where the money is! Let’s try  changing our focus knowing that our children are motivated by attention. Attention functioning as reinforcement can increase desired or “good” behavior if more attention is given for the “good”...

Catching kids being bad is easy!  Catching kids being good is much tougher.

Though catching a child being good is where the money is!

Let’s try  changing our focus knowing that our children are motivated by attention.

Attention functioning as reinforcement can increase desired or “good” behavior if more attention is given for the “good” behaviors and less attention is given for the “bad” behaviors.

Tip:

  1. Pledge to compliment or acknowledge one desired behavior per half hour

DO NOT comment on the less desired/ “bad” behaviors.


Toilet Troubles: The Fear of the Seat

Trying to toilet train your child or student? Often, we have a reinforcement system developed for when the child “goes” on the potty. The big problem is you cannot get your child to sit on the toilet so you are unable to reinforce the use of the toilet! We need to: –        Break the steps...

Trying to toilet train your child or student?

Often, we have a reinforcement system developed for when the child “goes” on the potty.

The big problem is you cannot get your child to sit on the toilet so you are unable to reinforce the use of the toilet!

The one place your child does not like to "go"

We need to:

–        Break the steps down

–         Reinforce those steps.

In this case, we should reinforce sitting on the toilet.

You have to sit before you can go, right?

Tip:

1. Use a highly motivating item and save this for sitting on the toilet.  The child should only have access to this item while sitting.

(I have had good success using a portable DVD player.  Many of our children enjoy certain TV shows or movies.  Purchase a DVD to be viewed only during sitting on the toilet.)

2.  If the child stands up, remove the reinforcing item. (Turn off the DVD player)

3.  Gradually increase the time your child will tolerate sitting on the toilet.

MORE TOILETING TIPS TO COME! (OR “GO”)


Is Santa Claus A Threat?

“The Easter Bunny is watching,” “I’ll have to tell Santa Claus,” or “When your father comes home…” Do you ever find yourself using these strategy to change your child’s behavior? Threats RARELY work in modifying a child’s behavior. THREATS: consequences that rarely manifest. Threats are ineffective in controlling a child’s behavior. Consequences need to be immediate to...

“The Easter Bunny is watching,” “I’ll have to tell Santa Claus,” or “When your father comes home…”

Santa Claus

He's always watching...

Do you ever find yourself using these strategy to change your child’s behavior?

Threats RARELY work in modifying a child’s behavior.

THREATS: consequences that rarely manifest. Threats are ineffective in controlling a child’s behavior.

Consequences need to be immediate to be effective
Tip:

Stop

Redirect

Reinforce


  1. Stop the threats and deal with the behavior immediately.  You could do this by firmly re-directing the child to an appropriate behavior – “You may sit over here and look at this book.” or “Go play with your toys in the other room.”
  2. When attention is the child’s motivation, you may have to walk away or remove the child from your presence.
  3. Once the child is engaged in appropriate behavior, take the opportunity to praise and provide attention for good behavior.


Excited? Nervous? Need To Bite Yourself?

Helping the Self Biting Child Often young children and children with special needs engage in such behaviors. I have a student who engages in biting himself on the wrist. There are a variety of reasons why he engages in this alarming self-injurious behavior. When attempting to change a behavior it is important to understand what...

Helping the Self Biting Child

Often young children and children with special needs engage in such behaviors.

I have a student who engages in biting himself on the wrist.

False Teeth

Need to bite?

There are a variety of reasons why he engages in this alarming self-injurious behavior.

When attempting to change a behavior it is important to understand what the function or purpose the behavior serves for the child.

To do this: a functional behavior assessment would  help determine the function of the behavior or the purpose the behavior is serving for the child.

This student engaged in this biting behavior for a number of reasons:

– Excitement

– Frustration with instructional demands

– A request denial

– Reinforced by the sensation

For this child, the behavior appears to be rooted in seeking sensory input at the site of the biting.

Now the challenge is to replace the self-biting with a more appropriate alternative behavior.

Here are a few ideas that were effective with this student:

  1. A beaded bracelet was worn and squeezed instead of biting.
  2. Wear sweat bands with rough velcro sewn on the inside.

These items served the same function as the biting.

This solution was more socially appropriate and less harmful than biting.

For another child, the function may be more orally rooted and the replacement behavior would be very different.


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