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Autism and Behavior

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  1. Autism and Behavior Presented by: Marie Bennett Autism Support Teacher

  2. Behavior is communication

  3. Behavior management • Functional Analysis is on-going…not a one time event by an expert. • Ask yourself… “what is my child trying to communicate when he exhibits this behavior?” • People with autism say they need: • external supports to be “stronger than the autism” • families to have high expectations and support • understanding that there are times when this is not possible

  4. The Autism Experience… People with autism process information and sensory input in different ways. This results in seeing and thinking about the world differently than you and I. They also have difficulty with the perspective of others

  5. Power Struggles! Try not to personalize the behavior Try not to make it a catastrophe Record the events surrounding the behavior (antecedent, behavior, consequence) What did you learn from this?

  6. Understanding the behaviors • Antecedent • What happened before the behavior • Behavior • What is the behavior in describable terms • Paint a picture. • Be specific • Consequence • What happened after the behavior

  7. The ‘Whys’ of Behavior • Why: SEAT (Sensory, Escape, Attention, Tangible) • what is the purpose of behavior? • To get: • Sensory input, attention, tangible • To avoid/escape: • Sensory input, attention, task (easy, difficult, long)

  8. The ‘Whys’ of Behavior cont. May also be to regulate attention, arousal, or affect Seek routine completion / closure Stuck in automatic response or movement pattern / thought pattern / speech pattern Difficulty initiating movement or stopping movement upon demand Obsessive – Compulsive behaviors

  9. Behavioral Concerns A person’s ability to communicate effectively goes down when they become upset by something Respecting the message of the behavior is important Teaching a better replacement behavior is Key!

  10. When to intervene? • Problem behaviors come and go, but when deciding which behaviors need immediate intervention, consider this: Imagine your son/daughter 10 or 20 years from today exhibiting the same behavior. Is intervention necessary TODAY?

  11. Behavioral interventions • What is Behavior Intervention? • A method of using positive reinforcement and consequences to decrease inappropriate behaviors and increase appropriate behaviors. • Redirect • Use interests • Possibilities vary by behavior

  12. What is a “Reinforcer”? Reinforcers are those consequences that maintain or increase the rate of behavior that preceded it Reinforcers are anything which highly motivates the child Reinforcement vs. bribery

  13. Behavioral interventions cont. Adjust to the child Offer choices Safe Spot Sensory Follow Through!

  14. Preventing behavioral problems • Consistency • Schedule • Discipline • Rules • Directions • Know yourself!

  15. Preventing behavioral problems • Visual supports • Can be pictures, drawings, real items • Used for: • Behavior • Schedules • Comprehension • Responding • Speech • Writing • Reading

  16. Preventing behavioral problems • Clear, planned transitions • Signals • Physical • Routine • Coaching / Warning (prepping) • Visuals

  17. Preventing behavioral problems • Effective behavior management • Clear, consistent rules • Think through the “why” of the rules • High expectations • Instructionally • Behaviorally Autism is not an excuse

  18. “But he’s going to get upset…” Ask yourself… • Will this be the first time he is upset? • Did you all live through it the last time he was upset? • If he’s going to be upset anyway, why be afraid to follow through in order to teach something appropriate?

  19. Six Simple Strategies. . .

  20. 1. Avoidusing a question format • For example, instead of saying: • “Would you please stop teasing?”, you will find that • “I need you to use your nice words” is more effective.

  21. 2. Reduce Distance • It is better to make a request from up close (standing just a yard or two away) • than from longer distance (from one room to another) • so you can gain his attention.

  22. 3. Reduce Loudness of Request • Use a soft, firm voice rather than a loud voice • tip: yelling doesn’t work in the long run

  23. 4. Give a START request vs. STOP • For example, “Please start your math assignment.” rather than “Stop fooling around” • Positive statements that say what to do, not what “not to do”

  24. 5. Make Non-Emotional requests • Emotional responses decrease compliance and make the situation worse and students frequently • They do not understand the emotional message: • Such as yelling, name calling, guilt-inducing statements • Keep requests simple and positive

  25. 6. Consistently Reinforce Compliance • It can be easy to request a behavior from your child and ignore the positive result. • If you want more compliance, genuinely reinforce it.

  26. Strategies and Structure • First – Then • Lets them know what will happen • Less preferred, then more preferred • I’m Working for… • Understanding how much they have to do to get what they want • Schedules • Understand the expectations for the day/time

  27. Strategies and Structure • Task analysis • Break task into small pieces • Easier to master • Token economies • Motivating • Clear, explicit expectations and rules • Know what to expect and what to do

  28. Review Any questions?