Archive for the 'Behavior management' Category

Autism encounters with law enforcement

Have you ever fretted about what would happen if someone who has not learned to comply with commands encounters someone who expects immediate compliance? Suppose further that the person who relies on immediate compliance might escalate his or her demands for compliance when the other person, say a child who has behavior problems, does not immediately comply.

In a family or a classroom we might call this a “power struggle.” In the language of Patterson and his colleagues (Patterson, 1982; Patterson & Reid, 1970; Patterson, Reid, & Dishon, 1992), it’s the reciprocal escalation that forms the coercion cycle. When it occurs between an officer of the law and a child with Autism, I’d call it a recipe for disaster, even a nightmare scenario. It’s one about which I’ve written previously, more than once.

Here’s an example of that nightmare come true, as reported by Susan Ferriss of the Center for Public Integrity:

Diagnosed as autistic, the sixth-grader was being scolded for misbehavior one day and kicked a trash can at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A police officer assigned to the school witnessed the tantrum, and filed a disorderly conduct charge against the sixth grader in juvenile court.

Just weeks later, in November, Kayleb, who is African-American, disobeyed a new rule — this one just for him — that he wait while other kids left class. The principal sent the same school officer to get him.

“He grabbed me and tried to take me to the office,” said Kayleb, a small, bespectacled boy who enjoys science. “I started pushing him away. He slammed me down, and then he handcuffed me.”

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US ED resource on restraint and seclusion

The US Department of Education (ED) published Restraint and Seclusion: Resource Document today. After the extensive discussions the last few years about abuses of management procedures (see , especially those used with children and youths with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, ED contracted with an agency to create this document that provides guidelines for the appropriate use of restraints and seclusion.

The foundation of any discussion about the use of restraint and seclusion is that every effort should be made to structure environments and provide supports so that restraint and seclusion are unnecessary. As many reports have documented, the use of restraint and seclusion can, in some cases, have very serious consequences, including, most tragically, death. There is no evidence that using restraint or seclusion is effective in reducing the occurrence of the problem behaviors that frequently precipitate the use of such techniques.

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Toilet training Webinar

My colleague, Annie McLaughlin, who is the Outreach Supervisor for the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA), will be hosting a Webinar on toilet training 15 May 2012. Annie—who completed teacher education work at the University of Virginia’s Curry School and Ph.D. studies at the University of Washington and has doctoral-level certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board—told me that the focus won’t be on rapid toilet training a la Azrin and Foxx, but more on a data-based, schedule training that increases the likelihood that the individual will learn that the toilet is the stimulus for voiding.

Dr. Annie McLaughlin will lead an online, interactive parenting workshop on toilet training individuals of all ages with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other related disabilities. Learn how to recognize if your child is ready for toilet training, design a toilet training plan for your child, and learn practical tips for overcoming common problems. Cost $65. Limit space. After registering, participants will receive instructions on how to view the online lecture and live chat.

Registration for the Webinar is available on the Web as is a contact for additional information. Here’s a link to an antique post about toilet training

Webinar on FBA and positive behavior support plans


Tim Lewis

If you and your colleagues need to obtain a good foundation on the use of functional behavioral assessment and positive behavior support plans, there is an opportunity coming to satisfy that need.Tim Lewis will present another Webinar under the auspices of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and this one is entitled “Designing Individual Student Positive Behavior Support Plans Through Functional Behavioral Assessment.” It is scheduled for Tuesday 25 October 2011 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM (Eastern Time, US).

Professor Lewis is among the leaders in the area of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS). He co-edits the journal Behavioral Disorders and co-directs major projects on PBIS. Follow this link to learn more about the event and how to register for it; it is the third in a series of Webinars on the topic of PBIS that Professor Lewis is providing via CEC. (I don’t have a financial interest in them; I’m just shilling for them for free here.)

Addressing bullying via PBIS


Tim Lewis

Do you want to learn how to do something about bullying in schools? Here’s a way to get started.

Under the auspices of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Tim Lewis will present an online seminar (“Webinar”) entitled “Addressing Bullying Behavior Through Schoolwide Positive Behavior Supports” on Thursday 20 October 2011 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM (Eastern Time, US). Professor Lewis, who teaches and conducts research at the University of Missouri, has a wealth of experience and expertise in the area of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS), so this an excellent opportunity to get a good grounding in how to use the features of PBIS to help a school manage bullying problems. Follow this link to learn more about the event and how to register for it; it is one in a series of Webinars on the topic of PBIS that Professor Lewis is providing via CEC. (I don’t have a financial interest in them.)

Denny Reid in C’ville!

Dennis Reid, a renowned researcher and clinician who for more than 35 years has worked with individuals who have Autism, will speak on 22 September 2011 on “Evidence-Based Strategies for Promoting Enjoyment among People with Autism” in Charlottesville (VA, US). The talk by Mr. Reid, which is free and open to the public (but registration is required), is part of the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) Autism Speaker Series and is sponsored by VIA and the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. It is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 at St. Anne’s-Belfield Greenway Rise Campus, Randolph Hall Auditorium. To register, go to VIA’s Web site viaschool.org or call (434) 923-8252.

For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Reid’s research, he has an extensive record of work in behavior analysis, having published repeatedly in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. He’s based at the Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center in Mogantown (NC, US) which, oddly, doesn’t seem to have a Web site.

CCBD conference 2011

The Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD) is hosting a meeting at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Norfolk (VA, US) and the registration deadline is tomorrow, 3 February 2011. CCBD has reduced the fees and there are spcial discounted rates for teams of three or more attendees.
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Sugar’s still not to blame

The sugar-makes-kids-hyper hypothesis is still false. Dan Willingham stuck another fork in it. Roasty-toasty. All done. Fizzle.

Now, I’m not advocating a high-fructose, feed-’em-soda-and-sweets diet, to be sure. It’s just that folks need to disabuse themselves of the popular myth that children’s levels of behavioral activity are governed by consumption of sucrose (whether from sugar cane or sugar beet).

Professor Willingham, who pops bubbles with the best of them, lanced this one in his guest post, “The Answer Sheet: How sugar really affects kids.” The evidence is basically the same as what I covered in the mid 1990s under the title “Sugar High?.”