How The Environment Relates To Unwanted Behaviours


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How The Environment Relates To Unwanted Behaviours

  1. 1. Developing a responsive social and learning environment to support communication and reduce unwanted behaviours Scot Greathead Speech and Language Therapist
  2. 2. Aims How the environment can support learning and encourage communication Look at different levels of environmental cues A Language Processing Model: What happens when it breaks down? Reducing Communicative Behaviours Reducing environmental demands Prioritising which behaviour to work on first Functional Communication Training
  3. 3. Introducing an analogy for language development . The way we have made sense of our environment depends on how how our ‘reality’ is explained to us Soil = environment
  4. 4. The environment and language development <ul><li>Understanding of your environment is fundamental to the way you interact and access it: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>determines they way you behave </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>helps you make sense of your world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how you adapt your social skills from setting to setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increases security and reduces anxiety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The way you interpret your environment determines how you interact with it and manipulate it for your own benefit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>environmental cues exist within all level s of society </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. A compatible environment? <ul><li>Very often we put students in an environment which, by its very nature, they can’t access </li></ul><ul><li>We can make environmental adaptations to ensure understanding across a range of settings </li></ul>
  6. 6. ‘ Environmental Autism’ <ul><li>How would your behaviour, independence and communication skills if you were transported now into a classroom in China. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If someone were to talk to you in Chinese for an hour and then ask you questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you needed to show someone you were worried, scared or excited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How tired you would be working out new social rules, language and reading/writing </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What are we aiming to achieve? <ul><li>To build an environment where: </li></ul><ul><li>Adults relinquishing control – giving children more control over their environment </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing children’s independence and problem solving skills </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing security, understanding of role and expectations within a routine </li></ul><ul><li>Providing a stable, secure, predictable and meaningful environment </li></ul><ul><li>A decrease in ‘ negative communicative behaviours ’ </li></ul><ul><li>An environment that children need, and want , to interact with </li></ul>
  8. 8. Connecting with your environment Relationship with your physical environment Relationship with your symbolic environment Relationship with your social environment How you respond to environmental prompts Ability to attach meaning to symbols Awareness of how time is represented Understanding of your role within a given setting
  9. 9. - TEACCH: Organising the environment into clearly defined areas -play, ‘office’, work, putting down mats to indicate where students should sit etc. - Physical prompting and backward chaining - Labelling the environment - Written/symbol commands - Base boards - Floor markings - Menu boards - Accessible communication systems (AAC) <ul><li>- Routines </li></ul><ul><li>- Social Stories </li></ul><ul><li>Comic Strip Conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Power Stories </li></ul><ul><li>- Scripts </li></ul><ul><li>- All about me books </li></ul><ul><li>- Generic ‘All about me books’ </li></ul><ul><li>- Preparation Books, ‘Guide books’ </li></ul><ul><li>- ‘Visual/Interactive’ nursery rhymes </li></ul>- Daily schedules - Weekly timetables - Task schedules - Calendars - Clocks - Check lists - Diary Adapting the environment Physical Symbolic Social
  10. 10. Verbal/nonverbal bar chart Verbal skills Non-verbal skills <ul><li>Good learning potential </li></ul><ul><li>Visual learners </li></ul><ul><li>Specific areas of strength e.g. computers, art, CDT </li></ul>
  11. 11. Model of language processing Understanding and thinking Expressive language Speech Social skills Attention and listening Ongoing filtering of internal and external ‘distracters’ and regulation of internal state Feedback loop Organisation: how we apply the information from the above model to our environment Writing
  12. 12. Activity: Snarbles “ Experience the effect of communication breakdown”
  13. 13. Demands and Capacities Model <ul><li>What happens when the demands of your environment exceed your capacities to manage it effectively? </li></ul>Unfamiliar routines Don’t understand social cues Language is ‘too fast’ for you to understand Don’t understand the purpose of the task Lots of effort to plan and organise yourself and your environment Environment too confusing Will be effected by your internal state: fatigue, stress, levels of motivation Can’t communicate your wants / needs
  14. 14. How Do these Difficulties Manifest? Not trying to communicate Use of non-verbal communication strategies to communicate Learned helplessness: “Everything gets done for me” No control over their decisions Self Harm? Frustration Lack of experience in communicating Confrontation, tantrums, ‘behavioural difficulties’ Loss of independence – reliance on others
  15. 15. Describing Behaviour Subjective descriptions: all based on how the make us feel Silly, naughty, attention seeking malicious, doing it to annoy me, hyper, bad, good, sensible, excitable, lazy Objective analysis: Based on where the problem is Describe how a certain behaviour may be as a result of social deficit, language processing or sensory processing difficulties Why? Objective analysis will provide us with an opportunity to generate a hypothesis which describes why a certain behaviour is occuring. This will give us an opportunity to put support mechanims in place / teach a more appropriate behaviour
  16. 16. What are students communicating through behaviour? Fear lack of control or control Stress Anxiety boredom poor flexibility, difficulties with problem solving/planning difficulty shifting attention focus etc Confusion Excitement Enjoyment Concentration
  17. 17. Philosophy: defining ‘behaviour’ 1. Children have a fundamental need to function within their environment: All behaviours serve a function or purpose . Children may develop coping mechanisms to help them function 2. Behaviours are a result of: Children trying to meet a specific need A response to an environmental demand or stimuli A learned response or coping strategy 3. Behaviours initailly develop to meet a primary need and are maintained by the success encountered within their environment 4. Behaviours are almost always maintained by more than one factor 5. Behaviours that are repeated several times are learned. Behaviours that are used regularly are established. 6. Children can use the same behaviour for many different reasons . Behaviours may look alike but causes may be different Scot Greathead
  18. 18. Philosophy: intervention 7. Attitude is critical Believe that the child is capable of changing and overcoming their problems. Children have proven they can overcome anything Believe in your own abilities to change the child’s behaviour. If you believe you can the you can! Be positive, supportive and non judgmental . 8. Intervention must address the whole child: physically, mentally emotionally and sensory If a child views an activity as pleasurable, everything associated with it will be pleasurable You can’t eliminate a behaviour without teaching a replacement behaviour. Focus on what you want the child to be doing, not what he or she is doing wrong. “ Is it sensory or is it behaviour?” Murray-Slutsky and Paris 2007
  19. 19. Reducing ‘Communicative Behaviours’
  20. 20. Maximising Communicative Potential <ul><li>Student is able to ‘ plug into’ their environment . Is it safe and secure or does the student have to work very hard at making sense of it all (socially and physical) </li></ul><ul><li>Student is managing their internal state effectively : sensory modulation, heightened levels of anxiety / stress / fatigue / over excited / focused on something else. REMEMBER what is a priority for a student may not be a priority for us. Don’t assume that it’s trivial – if it’s affecting a student’s internal state then it’s relevant and needs to be addressed. </li></ul><ul><li>Have their language needs been accounted for . </li></ul><ul><li>There is a positive communicative ethos within the classroom: Students have to feel as though every communicative attempt is valued. Students should have ‘special time’ using non directive/child centered communication techniques to build self esteem, sense of self worth and facilitate spontaneous communicative attempts </li></ul><ul><li>Engaged in functional activities with choices built in. </li></ul>
  21. 21. A hierarchy for reducing ‘communicative behaviours’
  22. 25. Setting Up The Classroom: 8 Areas <ul><li>Designate Learning Areas </li></ul><ul><li>Label the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate between similar areas </li></ul><ul><li>Refine learning areas </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate communication systems </li></ul><ul><li>Support direction giving with schedules / timetables </li></ul><ul><li>Label the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the sensory environment </li></ul>
  23. 26. 1. Setting up designated learning areas
  24. 27. 2. Labelling Learning Areas with Base Boards
  25. 28. 3. Differentiating between similar areas
  26. 29. 4. Refining Learning Areas to support contextual Understanding
  27. 30. 5. Accessible Communication Systems
  28. 31. 6. Supporting Time concepts / Transition Schedules
  29. 32. 7. Labelling the classroom
  30. 33. 8. The sensory Environment
  31. 34. Reducing ‘Communicative Behaviours’
  32. 35. “ We’ve done that but we still have ‘behaviour’” <ul><li>Before action is taken look at: </li></ul><ul><li>Is the activity meaningful </li></ul><ul><li>Is the activity reinforcing / appropriate reinforcement in place </li></ul><ul><li>Does the student have an appropriate communication system in place </li></ul>
  33. 36. Prioritising behaviours <ul><li>Harmful to self or others </li></ul><ul><li>Destructive </li></ul><ul><li>Disruptive or distracting </li></ul><ul><li>Interferes with the ability to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Socially inappropriate </li></ul>
  34. 37. Reducing ‘Communicative Behaviours’
  35. 38. Functional Communication Training <ul><li>Teaching a specific communicative act (speech, sign, PECS etc) to resolve a behaviour associated with a communicative gesture. </li></ul><ul><li>Look at behaviour – brainstorm with other staff members what the student may be communicating </li></ul><ul><li>Put the appropriate support mechanism in place </li></ul><ul><li>When student exhibits behaviour introduce the strategy using appropriate prompting strategies and fading </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforce: socially or with tangible rewards </li></ul>Case Studies: CLP 1: Student keeps running out of the room to go to their old classroom CLP 2: Student doesn’t know what to do during art activities and needs lots of redirection and verbal prompts CLP 3: Student keeps saying handwriting is boring and becomes disruptive when literacy session begins