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"Promoting Positive Behaviors" by Stacy Layer- Adapted Aquatics Conference 2012
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"Promoting Positive Behaviors" by Stacy Layer- Adapted Aquatics Conference 2012


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  • 1. Promoting Positive BehaviorsStacy A. Layer, MA, BCBABehavior Analyst, ManagerStacy.Layer@ mandJulie SevillaAquatics CoordinatorJulie.Sevilla@ m
  • 2. Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Outpatient Center ◦ 2900 S. Com erce Pkwy, Weston, FL m 33331
  • 3. Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Outpatient Center ◦ 20,000 gallon, heated, covered pool
  • 4. Needs Assessment Find out what goal(s) the fam or caregiver hopes ily to accom plish through swim lessons. Determine the child’s diagnosis, physical and cognitive lim itations, com unication abilities, and m levels/types of problem behaviors. Learn about any m edical considerations and allergies the child m have. ay Determine the child’s preferred gam toys, es, activities, and form of praise and reward system . Determine the child’s preferred m ethod of teaching to facilitate learning (prom pts, instructions, visual supports).
  • 5. Strategies Be prepared! ◦ Minim transition tim between activities ize e ◦ Keep children engaged at ALL tim es Establish rules and review at start of EVERY activity and frequently throughout activities Transitions: Provide verbal warnings prior to changes in activities Dem onstrate the new skill Keep the fun in fundam entals Always end on a good note ◦ Stop activities while interest is high Provide pro-active choices Follow a consistent schedule Carefully select demands and follow through always
  • 6. Strategy: Create Rules Be brief and clear Avoid rules that start with “no” or “don’t” ◦ The child what to do and give rules that are incompatible with undesirable behavior ◦ Example: “Keep your hands and feet to yourself” versus “No hitting, kicking or pushing” Praise or reinforce rule following m often ore than you call attention to rule breaking Post rules using both written words and pictures or symbols
  • 7. Promoting Instruction Following Use a participant’s nam prior to a specific instruction e or com ent m When giving directional instructions, label landmarks ◦ Tell the participant to “swim to the ladder” instead of “swim over there” Use the least num of words possible in your ber instructions ◦ Say, “swim to the wall” instead of, “now we are going to swim over to the wall nice and fast” Give one set of directions at a time Check for understanding by asking participants questions such as, ◦ “Where will you stop?” ◦ “How many laps will you do?”
  • 8. Strategies Only the m aterials relevant to the target skill should be within the child’s reach Minim ize potentially aversive aspects of the lesson and transitions ◦ Warnings ◦ Non-directive prompting ◦ Choices ◦ Errorless Teaching
  • 9. Prompting Strategies Errorless: If there is no or little likelihood that the child can perform the skill Three-step prom pting: If there is som ore a high likelihood that the child can perform the skill
  • 10. Easier said than done… If all else fails, here are som behavioral e tips!
  • 11. Hum Behavior an Behavior is ◦ a function of both genetic and physiological factors as well as each child’s history of personal experiences (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). ◦ Anything a person says or does that can be observed by m than one person ore ◦ Does not include internal events, such as thoughts or feelings ◦ DOES include behavioral bi-products of internal events Respond to behaviors, not perceived emotions
  • 12. Behavioral Function Topography is what the behavior looks like Function is why the behavior occurs Topography ≠ Function Focusing on function will help you respond effectively
  • 13. Behavioral Function Behavior Not Behavior Being sad, scared, orCrying upsetSmiling Being happyKicking Mad or angry Sensory or self-Hand Flapping stimmingCompliance Ignoring, defiantHeart Palpitations Anxiousw/Sweating
  • 14. Functions of Behavior Socially Mediated ◦ Access to Attention ◦ Escape from Dem ands/Aversive Situation ◦ Access to Tangible Item s Non-socially Mediated ◦ Automatic/Sensory Input
  • 15. Exam Behavior ple Tantrum ◦ Crying ◦ Yelling ◦ Flopping to floor ◦ Hitting ◦ Kicking ◦ Throwing objects
  • 16. Attention Maintained Tantrum Attention includes: ◦ Eye contact ◦ Any vocal response  Reprimands, praise, comforting, shhing ◦ Physical contact  Hugs, pat on the back ◦ Non-verbal reactions  Gasping, laughing, thum up bs ◦ Facial Expressions  Smiling, frowning
  • 17. Attention Maintained Tantrum Indicators: ◦ Child looks at you or caregiver prior to engaging in the behavior ◦ Behavior begins when caregivers are engaged in conversation and not focused on the child ◦ Behavior stops tem porarily when attention is provided
  • 18. Attention Maintained Tantrum Proactive Strategies: ◦ Provide children with som form of attention e every couple of minutes ◦ Ignore any behaviors you do not want to see repeated
  • 19. Attention Maintained Tantrum Reactive Strategies: ◦ Ignore the behavior, not the child ◦ Continue activity without disruption ◦ Do not m eye contact ake ◦ Wait to provide attention until a desirable behavior occurs
  • 20. Escape Maintained Tantrum Escape includes: ◦ Delaying compliance or aversive event  Repeating instructions multiple times  Providing “1 more minute”  Waiting until child is calm – this m never ay happen! ◦ Avoiding compliance or aversive event completely
  • 21. Escape Maintained Tantrum Indicators ◦ Behavior begins im ediately following a dem m and or onset of aversive event ◦ Behavior decreases tem porarily when a break (escape or avoidance) is provided
  • 22. Escape Maintained Tantrum Proactive Strategies: ◦ Provide clear instructions  Use m al num of words during interactions inim ber ◦ Disguise instructions with games  “My turn…Your turn…”  “Stick out your tongue like a frog catching a fly for dinner” ◦ Avoid asking too many questions  Questions resem dem ble ands
  • 23. Escape Maintained Tantrum Reactive Strategies: ◦ 3-step prompting  Give directive instructions  Tell, Show, Help or Vocal, Model, Physical ◦ Do not stop or delay demand or aversive event
  • 24. Tangibles Maintained Tantrum Tangible Item include: s ◦ Toys ◦ Food/Candy ◦ Clothes ◦ Security blankets/pillows/dolls ◦ All objects
  • 25. Tangibles Maintained Tantrum Indicators: ◦ Child requests an item and is denied prior to engaging in the behavior ◦ Behavior begins when caregivers remove objects from child’s possession ◦ Behavior stops temporarily when item are s returned
  • 26. Tangibles Maintained Tantrum Proactive Strategies: ◦ Provide choices prior to undesirable behaviors (NOT after) ◦ Arrange environm so that dangerous/enticing ent item are out of reach s  Have child friendly item readily available s
  • 27. Tangibles Maintained Tantrum Reactive Strategies: ◦ Block access to item until an appropriate s request is made ◦ Once item is rem oved, continue activity without disruption
  • 28. Autom atic/Sensory MaintainedTantrum Automatic/Sensory input includes: ◦ Auditory stimulation from screaming ◦ Tactile input from hitting ◦ Visual stimulation from watching thrown objects
  • 29. Autom atic/Sensory MaintainedTantrum Indicators: ◦ Behaviors occur regardless of socially mediated consequences
  • 30. Autom atic/Sensory MaintainedTantrum How to Respond: ◦ Provide the sensory input proactively to prevent problem behavior ◦ Provide alternative, appropriate means of gaining sensory input ◦ Block inappropriate sensory input to prevent future occurrences
  • 31. Healthy Consequences Avoid saying, “No,” or “Don’t do that” ◦ Tell the child what he should be doing instead Use positive, descriptive com ents to the m exclusion of negative phrases, criticism or s, em threats pty Rem ain calm
  • 32. Functional Reinforcers Discover why the problem behavior occurs Use the specific behavioral function as a reinforcer instead of arbitrary rewards ◦ Exam A child cries and throws tantrum ple: s every tim he is at a table-top activity because e he would rather be up walking around and looking out the window. How could you reinforce sitting quietly?
  • 33. NOT Healthy Consequences