Teaching Your Child To Be More Independent

child-couple-cyclist-1128318.jpg

Read Time: 5 minutes

Teaching activities of daily living are one of my favorite areas to teach as a behavior analyst. With each daily living skill I teach, I am able to provide each learner with a skill that they will be able to perform for the rest of their lives. We are able to teach a range of daily living skills from riding a bike, to getting dressed, to learning how to dial a caregivers phone number to making food for themselves.

As behavior analyst, we individualize our teaching procedures for each of our learners. We will talk about the three primary ways we teach a long list of steps like teaching activities of daily living. 

Selecting a teaching technique varies greatly by the learner. It is important to consider the following: 

  1. How many steps does the learner already know?

  2. Will the child need to access to reinforcement quickly (i.e. a break, praise, etc)?

  3. How strong are the child’s motor skills (as this will influence how much prompting will be required)?

The first technique is forward chaining. In forward chaining, we teach each learner to complete the very first step of the task and help them through the rest of the steps in the task. Once the first step has been acquired, the second step is taught. When the second step is acquired, the third step is taught and so on. For example, when teaching a child to comb their hair, the first step would be to teach him/her to pick up the hair brush and prompt through the rest of the steps. Once the child has acquired picking up the hair brush on their own, we would then require the learner to pick up the brush (step 1) and place the brush on their head (step 2) and so on until we are able to require them to complete the entire task. 

The second technique is backward chaining. In backward chaining we only require the learner to complete the final step of the task. Similar to forward chaining the learner is taught one step at a time and then required to complete the acquired step and the previous step in the routine. When teaching shoe tying, the learner would be helped through the entire task and then required to complete the last step (i.e. pulling the loops to complete the tie). Once this final step is mastered, the learner would be required to make the loops and also pull the loops to complete the tie. The same sequence would continue until the learner knows all of the steps.

The final technique used is called total task chaining. In this technique the learner is taught the entire task receiving assistance as needed. This technique is great to use if the learner already knows some of the steps and may only need a little assistance. When teaching to make a PB and J sandwich, the learner may know how to gather the ingredients to make the sandwich but may need assistance with spreading the peanut butter and jelly and putting the ingredients away. In this example, the person assisting would refrain from prompting the learner in the areas they know and assist in the steps the learner has not yet acquired. 

Our learner in this video, learned to complete his shoe tying task using forward chaining in which we taught the first steps of the chain and continued to add on to the task as he acquired the steps. In a very short period of time, our lovely guy was asking for the rest of the steps to complete the task on his own! We are so proud of him! You may also be able to hear his brother providing him with positive reinforcement by cheering him on!

Graphed through Central Reach

Graphed through Central Reach

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

pexels-photo-1148998.jpeg

 

What is Applied Behavior Analysis? Applied behavior analysis is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior (Baer, Wolf & Risley, 1968; Sulzer-Azaroff & Mayer, 1991).             

 


ABA methods are used to support persons with autism in at least six ways:

  1. to increase behaviors (eg reinforcement procedures increase on-task behavior, or social interactions);

  2. to teach new skills (eg, systematic instruction and reinforcement procedures teach functional life skills, communication skills, or social skills);

  3. to maintain behaviors (eg, teaching self control and self-monitoring procedures to maintain and generalize job-related social skills);

  4. to generalize or to transfer behavior from one situation or response to another (eg, from completing assignments in the resource room to performing as well in the mainstream classroom);

  5. to restrict or narrow conditions under which interfering behaviors occur (eg, modifying the learning environment); and

  6. to reduce interfering behaviors (eg, self injury or stereotypy).

Source: Center for Autism and Related Disorders


Is Applied Behavior Analysis ONLY for children with Autism? Absolutely not! ABA is a science that when implemented correctly is beneficial for all children and adults with or without a diagnosis. Recent research continues to be developed in the areas of health and fitness, organization behavior management, substance abuse and addiction and education.  

Who provides Applied Behavior Analysis services? Services can be provided by a Board Certified Behavior Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D) or a Board Certified Behavior Behavior Analyst (BCBA) : a doctoral or master’s level clinician who has passed the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Exam. Services can also be provided by a Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) who is a bachelor’s level clinician often accruing their hours to become a BCBA overseen by a BCBA. A registered behavior technician (RBT) can also provide services while being overseen by a BCBA. Individuals at the RBT level have also passed a certification exam by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. For more information regarding credentialing requirements, see https://www.bacb.com/.

Our Company Values

We Are a Value-Driven Organization…

baby-beautiful-blur-322070.jpg

At AMA Behavioral Consulting, LLC, we pride ourselves in providing the most effective services driven by our core values.

Our organization believes that each family has the right to receive most effective services and deserves to be a part of the behavior analytic process each step of the way. Our values summarize the purpose of our existence.

Integrity

We will always adhere to our moral and ethical principles in every aspect of our service and business.

collaboration-cooperation-friendship-872955.jpg

Commitment to Our Families

affection-beach-child-173666.jpg

We are committed to serving our families. We are a team and we will work on what what will help bring our clients to their full potential.

Excellence and Innovation

We will always strive for ways in which we can refine and improve the way we work. We know that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

 

We listen, we care, we communicate, we serve

Everything we do, we do with the families best interest in mind. Communication is key to success when working with our families and we believe that it is an essential component in the services we provide. We truly care about the families we serve.