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Motivating and Engaging Children Presented by Jennifer Johnson, MA, BCBA and Julie Smith, MA
Engaging • Preparing for the initial introduction • Know your client • Read clinical file • IEP • Psychological Evaluations • Parent/school information forms • Be familiar with past and present issues/triggers • Get input from prior Service Providers • Get input from client’s family if possible • Learn about and take an interest in your clients hobbies and special interests • Watch cartoons, video games, ESPN
Engaging • What is Bakugan • Bionicles • Yo Gabba Gabba • Handy Manny • Team Jacob or Team Edward • KND • Wii, PSP, XBox
Initial introduction First impressions are important to developing a positive rapport • Role model- client as a reflection of staff • Have more positive interactions than negative/corrective interactions • Encourage positive self-esteem and a positive outlook • Be genuine and compassionate • Play, be interactive, interested, ask your client to teach you’re their favorite game etc.
Initial introduction • Dependable people will: • Be on time • Have a plan; be consistent • Drive safely and follow the law • Know who to go to for support • Apologize when they make a mistake • Have good boundaries
Shared Positive Time = Positive Relationships • Plan activity with high chance of positive outcome. • Structure • Age appropriate • Fun • Send them home smiling • First chance to pair yourself with something reinforcing
Developing a Strong Motivating Relationship • Continue to maintain high ratio of Positive to negative/corrective interactions • Self monitor ratio of positive to negative interactions • Second person observe and give feedback • Continue to role model the kind of behavior you want to see from your student • Continue to pair yourself with positive outcomes, revisit positive/successful time spent together • Students want to put staff in categories- good and bad, we need to be both
Developing a Strong Motivating Relationship • Use active listening • Talk to clients, not at them • Use humor when appropriate • Sarcasm? • Be an advocate • Be the client’s voice • Continue to be genuine • Encourage positive self-regard and positive outlook
Motivating • What is motivating to kids?
Motivating • Your relationship • Attention • Praise • Time with you • If this is enough to create positive behavioral change we may not need to do anything else
Motivating Beyond the Relationship Relationship may not be enough to create positive behavior change In this case we may need to identify other reinforcers What is a reinforcer? Any event that follows a behavior and inceases the probability of that behavior occurring again under those circumstances.
Identifying Reinforcers “Questions to Consider” • History • Has it worked in the past? • Deprivation state • How much is it desired • Perceived value • Is it worth it • Consistency and Frequency • How have reinforcers been delivered in the past? • Age appropriate and client specific
Reinforcement Sampling • Ask the student; have student rate a list of reinforcers • Provide menu – Let the student select • Ask questions, give examples • Observe student playing and engaging with items • Have the student choose between two items or categories of items, forced choice, Preference Assessment
Forced Choice • First identify possible reinforcers to be assessed • Present 2 items to client and have him choose one • Client may engage with item for short period of time or eat edible etc. • If client does choose either item then move onto next pair of choices • Continue presenting 2 different choices and using data collection sheet
Principles and Effectiveness of Reinforcement • Contingency • In order for reinforcer to be effective you must deliver it only when the desired behavior occurs • Can offer same reinforcer for more than one behavior, but that reinforcement should NOT be available for undesirable behaviors or freely available • Behavior should be observed to receive reinforcement
Principles and Effectiveness of Reinforcement • Immediacy • In order for a reinforcer to be effective it should be delivered immediately followeing a desired behavior • The faster the reinforcer is delivered the stronger the effect. *Exception: delayed reinforcer can be effective and useful if the person can understand the relationship between their behavior and the delayed reinforcer and if the reinforcer is signalled immediately after the desired behavior (i.e. with a token to cash in later etc.)
Principles and Effectiveness of Reinforcement • Size • In order for reinforcer to be effective you must deliver a worthwhile amount • The goal is to deliver just enough to be effectively reinforcing • Influences on size • Difficulty of the behavior • Amount of behavior required • Competing opportunities for reinforcement
Principles and Effectiveness of Reinforcement • Deprivation • In order for reinforcer to be effective the person should be somewhat deprived of it • How long has it been since the person has received the reinforcer, how much of it have they received
Integration into the Plan Once appropriate reinforcers are determined integration into the behavior plan is the next step • Criteria outlined regarding when and how to deliver reinforcer etc. • Schedule of reinforcement, size/amount of reinforcement • Fading/Thinning reinforcement to be more natural • Collecting Data to monitor and know when to make changes etc.
Integration into the Plan You will also need to determine: • Can reinforcers be presented in the environment we want to see the behavior? • What type of teaching will be necessary for client to emit the desired behavior? • Can we reinforce immediately after the presentation of the desired behavior? • If we have to delay how long? • Budget- who’s going to pay for it?
Continue to Assess and Develop Reinforcers • Try new things • Teach how to appropriately engage with new items, or become more successful in different activities • Some current programs to increase leisure skills may turn into preferred activities • Pair new items with known reinforcers
Keeping It Fresh • Avoid satiation- they should only get that reinforcer for that behavior • Consider a rotation or treasure box • Keep your eyes and ears open to find out what should be next