Understanding and managing
challenging behaviors
Mickey VanDerwerker August 2011
[email protected]
Where we start
 All behavior communicates
 Behavior is taught and learned
 We bring our own issues into the behavior
dance
 Group strategies before individual
strategies
 Developmental levels, diagnosis and
temperament matter
All behavior communicates.
 All behavior communicates. We don’t
have to “like” how the message is being
sent.
 Our behavior communicates too.
Behavior is taught and learned.
We bring our own issues to the
behavior dance.
What behaviors push your “hot” buttons?   
Family issues first.
 Are their other family behaviors that need
to be addressed?
 Relationships matter the most!
Developmental levels, diagnosis and
temperament matter
After a hasty special education
placement for behavior
problems, school officials
were embarrassed to learn
that Marty really did have
ants in his pants.
Temperament website and book
What will work for your family?
 Is this idea reasonable for my child?
 Temperament
 Developmental needs
 Diagnosis
 Is this idea reasonable for me?
 Temperament
 Your experience
 Ways to overcome your issues
Identify the behavior(s).
Determine why they are happening (the message).
Environmental supports
Teaching replacement behaviors that work
Reacting in ways that make things better
Making sure that your plan is working
Say what the behavior looks like, not
what you think it means.





Irritable
aggressive
upset
non-compliant
rubbing his face
hits the adult’s arm
pulling his hair
doesn’t look when
his name is called
Aggression
Tantrum
Noncompliance
Hitting
Threatening
Scratching Pinching
Kicking
Biting
Throwing things
Screaming
Crying
Whining
Cussing
Refuses to respond to a
request
Passive when a request
Social
Withdrawal
Self injury/
Repetitive
Behaviors
Others?
Primarily plays alone
Doesn’t respond to
peers attempts to play
Scratching self
Biting self
Hitting self
Rocking back & forth
Spinning objects
is made
Determining the message behind
the behaviors
 Pay attention to me
 Look at me, I’m silly
 Play with me
 I want _____
 I don’t want to do this anymore
 I don’t understand
 Stop
More messages
 I want out
 Help me; I’m frustrated
 You used to give it to me; I want it now
 I’m not getting the input I need
 I’m bored
 I’m tense, anxious, nervous, excited,
overwhelmed
 I’m hurt, sick, tired
Who what when where why
What: define the behavior
Why: identify the message
When, where and who: recognize
patterns
Who: which of you needs to
make changes?
Setting up the environment to
support behaviors you want to
encourage and prevent behaviors
you want to avoid.









High rates of positive interactions
Appropriate expectations
Keeping busy
Supervision and support
Balanced daily schedule
Setting limits clearly
Facilitate transitions
Space and room arrangements
Structure and routines
 This is a sample of environmental supports.
Supervision and support
 Man-to-man or
zone defense?
 What do the other
adults in the
house need to
know and do?
Teaching replacement
behaviors
These have to be as “easy” as the original behavior.
They have to work as effectively.
Learning new behaviors takes time.
Skill deficit
Performance deficit
Teaching new behaviors
 Use your words, gestures, eyes, fingers,





pictures
Develop higher level skills
Coping and self-management
Teaching the routines and the rules of the
room
Rewarding approximations
Scripted stories and dramatic play
First-Then Visual
First
Lentini, R., Vaughn, B. J., & Fox, L. (2005). Teaching Tools for Young Children
with Challenging Behavior. Tampa, Florida: University of South Florida,
Early Intervention Positive Behavior Support.
Then
Using multiple strategies to support
appropriate behavior
Reacting in ways that help
 The goal is not “to punish.” The goal is to move
on.
 Consequences can be used fairly and
reasonably:
 The child must have the ability to avoid the
consequences
 The child must know that the consequence exists
 The powerful behavior changers are
environmental supports and teaching new
behaviors
Effects of punishment
 Punishment suppresses behavior but doesn’t eliminate it
 Punishment suppresses only in the presence of the







punisher
Punishment teaches children to associate punishment with
the punisher and not with their behavior
Punishment produces emotional side effects which lowers
children’s self-esteem
Punishment does not guide the child to appropriate
behavior
Punishment produces aggression in children
Punishment can increase a child’s desire to persist in a
behavior (a power struggle)
Punishment does not help kids learn self-discipline
Punishment models “power-assertive” ways to solve
problems
Planning your response












Predict and prevent
Ignore but respond
Distraction/redirection
Offer a substitute
Change your automatic responses
Change the scene
Presenting feedback
Contingent instruction
Time-away
Active listening
Strategic capitulation
Crisis management plans
Predict and prevent
 See it coming? What can you do to
prevent it or to minimize it?
Behavior is not learned
overnight.
It won’t change overnight.
Extra information
Setting up the environment to
support behaviors you want to
encourage and prevent behaviors
you want to avoid.
 High rates of positive interactions
 Appropriate expectations
 Keeping busy
 Supervision and support
 Balanced daily schedule
 Setting limits clearly
 This is a sample of environmental
supports.
High rates of positive
interactions
Pennies in your pocket
Doesn’t have to be “I
like the way…”
Talking in front of kids
Appropriate expectations
Developmental levels, temperament, diagnosis
Helping kids by counter-regulating and counter-balancing emotional reactions
You can keep them busy or…
 Not too easy/not too hard
Supervision and support
 Man-to-man or
zone defense?
 What do the other
adults in the
house need to
know and do?
Balanced daily schedule
Setting limits clearly
Consistency
Practice
Consistency
Teaching replacement
behaviors
These have to be as “easy” as the original behavior.
They have to work as effectively.
Learning new behaviors takes time.
Skill deficit
Performance deficit
Teaching new behaviors
 Use your words, gestures, eyes, fingers,





pictures
Develop higher level skills
Coping and self-management
Teaching the routines and the rules of the
room
Rewarding approximations
Scripted stories and dramatic play
Using multiple strategies to support
appropriate behavior
Circle “First-Then” Mini Schedule
Lentini, R., Vaughn, B. J., & Fox, L. (2005). Teaching Tools for Young Children
with Challenging Behavior. Tampa, Florida: University of South Florida,
Early Intervention Positive Behavior Support.
Visual Choice Board
Lentini, R., Vaughn, B. J., & Fox, L. (2005). Teaching Tools for Young Children
with Challenging Behavior. Tampa, Florida: University of South Florida,
Early Intervention Positive Behavior Support.
The Chocolate Covered Cookie Tantrum
Reacting in ways that help
 The goal is not “to punish.” The goal is to move
on.
 Consequences can be used fairly and
reasonably:
 The child must have the ability to avoid the
consequences
 The child must know that the consequence exists
 The powerful behavior changers are
environmental supports and teaching new
behaviors
Effects of punishment
 Punishment suppresses behavior but doesn’t eliminate it
 Punishment suppresses only in the presence of the







punisher
Punishment teaches children to associate punishment with
the punisher and not with their behavior
Punishment produces emotional side effects which lowers
children’s self-esteem
Punishment does not guide the child to appropriate
behavior
Punishment produces aggression in children
Punishment can increase a child’s desire to persist in a
behavior (a power struggle)
Punishment does not help kids learn self-discipline
Punishment models “power-assertive” ways to solve
problems
Planning your response












Predict and prevent
Ignore but respond
Distraction/redirection
Offer a substitute
Change your automatic responses
Change the scene
Presenting feedback
Contingent instruction
Time-away
Active listening
Strategic capitulation
Crisis management plans
Predict and prevent
 See it coming? What can you do to
prevent it or to minimize it?
Predict and prevent
 Put stuff away that causes problems
 Be close to kids who will struggle
 Intermittent one-to-one (for a child or for a
specific toy)
 Get the child’s attention and say what you want
(touch gently, not don’t hit)
 Offer two yeses for each no (two ways to do
what he wants to do: you can hammer on the
floor or on the bench but not on the window)
Ignore but respond
 Ignore the form of the behavior but not the
message
 State what you want to see using an “I
message”
 Some kids need up close and personal
when they are upset
 Some kids need close but not touching
Distraction/Redirection
 Redirection has been accomplished when
the student is back on task.
The redirection curve
Kids who are persistent…..
Offer a substitute
 A form of distraction/redirection
 Offer choices of what the child can have
 Show the child “when” he can have what
he wants
Change your automatic response
 Identify your automatic response,
particularly for hot button issues
 Plan a different response
Change the scene
 A good strategy in predict and prevent
 Moving to another area to calm the
child/children down
 Look at your schedule and see if changes
are required for environmental supports
Present feedback
 Remind the child what will happen if he
engages in the behavior and what will
happen if he doesn’t (this is not a time for
long discussions)
 Offer choices to redirect him into more
productive behavior
 Visual supports can be useful
Contingent instruction
 Helping the child to complete the task
appropriately so that he can “see” the
whole picture
 Once you’ve provided this instruction,
praise and encourage for next time
Time away
Time Away
 A time for the child get himself regulated and calm
 You may need to stay with him quietly to help with regulation
 Not very useful for sulky, grumpy, fearful, forgetting a rule
 Can be a brief interruption of the task (pulling the child
away from the table and restating the rule)
 Can be a specific place
 10 word rule: why you are being sent and what you
must do to get out
 NOT A PUNISHMENT
Active listening
 Feelings are not good or bad.
 Showing feelings in a healthy way is the




goal.
Accept the child’s feelings by active
listening.
Give your full attention
Describe the situation
Describe the child’s feelings
Download

Understanding and managing challenging behaviors