Find and teach the missing piece:

Find and teach the missing piece:
April 23, 2016 No Comments ABA therapy,Autism,Self Advocacy,Social Skills,Verbal Behavior admin


When a behavior analyst (BCBA) works with a ‪learner‬ and their ‪caregivers we ‪‎listen‬ to the ‪‎problem‬, we ‪observe‬ the ‪behavior‬ (including what comes before, during and after) to determine the ‪function‬ of that behavior then we offer ideas that may help resolve that behavior in the future.

This week I met with a family that expressed concern that the learner would ask for something, the item would be delivered but for what every reason it did not meet the expectations of the learner. Some times, an important element was missing. Other times they actually asked for the wrong thing.   Upon being presented with the item or activity they did not actually want, the learner engaged in the target undesirable behavior.  It became clear that this learner is missing the skill of persistence and verbal clairification in the presence of disappointment. This is also a very important self advocacy skill.

Now it was time for a learning game.

I gave him the rules for the new game we were about to play:
1) You ask me to do something.
2) I may do what you asked….. or I may not.
3) When I do what you asked, please tell me ‘thank you’ or ‘good job’. That lets me know you appreciate my listening. If I don’t do what you ask, you need to calmly ask me again. Remember when I do what you ask you can thank me to let me know you appreciate me listening to you.

I modeled the skill, then we role-played. The learner did a GREAT job with this new skill in a structured setting and they LOVED it, laughing and smiling and proud of him self when given positive feedback! We then practiced in the natural environment with their parent. The parent reminded them of this new game and proceeded to set up opportunities to practice this new skill. I can’t wait to see how this new ABA therapy game works during this next week!


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