Presentation on theme: "What Causes Negative Behaviors and What to do About Them"— Presentation transcript:
1What Causes Negative Behaviors and What to do About Them byMark L. Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBAandCindy A. Sundberg(www.marksundberg.com)
2Common Negative Behaviors for Children with Autism Looking away, non-responding, non-complianceSelf-stim (rocking, mouthing objects, etc.)Falling to the floorRunning from adultsClimbing on tables, counters, bookcases, etc.Screaming, yelling, loud noises, etc.
3Common Negative Behaviors for Children with Autism CryingTantrums (combination of behaviors)Property destructionHitting, pushing, biting, etc.Self-injurious behaviors
4Behavioral Psychology can be a powerful tool to understand and change negative behaviors The three-term contingency (An ABC analysis)Antecedent Behavior ConsequenceChild doesn’t want Runs from adults Delays going insideto come inside and gets chased
5What Causes Negative Behaviors? There are many possible causes of negative behaviorsThe first task is to identify what is causing the specific behaviorUse the three-term contingency to identify the cause of a behaviorDefine the behavior (start small--1 or 2 behaviors)Identify the antecedents (the events before the behavior)Identify the consequences (what happened after the behavior)Antecedent Behavior Consequence
6What Causes Negative Behaviors? Many negative behaviors are caused by inadvertent reinforcementNegative behaviors may get attention, reaction, reprimands, etc.Negative behaviors may get access to reinforcersNegative behavior may allow one to avoid undesirable activities
7What Causes Negative Behaviors? Negative behavior may allow one to escape undesirable activitiesNegative behavior may be fun (Self-stim, destruction, climbing)Positive behaviors don’t have the same effect as aboveNo alternative skills to achieve the same reinforcer (Expressive language)
8What is Reinforcement?Reinforcement is anything that increases a behaviorReinforcement can be getting good things (e.g., attention, toys, food)Reprimands and negative attention can sometimes be reinforcers for kidsReinforcement can be getting rid of bad things (e.g., demands, bedtime, putting on shoes)
9What is Reinforcement? Reinforcement increases good and bad behavior Most reinforcement occurs naturally and unplannedUnderstanding how reinforcement works is essential to reducing negative behaviors
10Both good and bad behaviors are strengthened by reinforcement
11How to Change Negative Behaviors First identify the cause and frequency of the behaviorReinforcers are your behavior change tools: Identify and control themThree parts to the interventionPrevention (antecedent intervention)Teach and reinforce (positive) replacement behaviorsChange the consequence after the problem behavior (reduce negative behavior)
12Minor Negative Behaviors Behavior: Loud voice, knocking things off the table, taking other’s toys for attention, fidgeting, whining, mild pouting, sulking, etc.1st step: Identify the cause using an ABC analysis: For example, seeking attentionIntervention:2nd step: Prevention: Identify high probability settings and time of problem behaviors, and re-schedule competing activities (e.g., phone calls, bill paying), plan activities that will engage the child
13Minor Negative Behaviors 3rd step: Teach positive behavior: Reinforcement: Deliver reinforcement for appropriate behavior, on a consistent basis (e.g., times per hour)4th step: Reduce negative behavior: Extinction: Ignore minor negative behaviors. Choose your battles wisely.
14Attention Seeking: Minor Negative Behaviors Other possible causes of minor negative behaviorsWeak expressive languageProvide mand trainingManding is asking for reinforcers with words, signs, or PECSIt is often very easy to teach a child to mand (see Sundberg & Partington, 1998)
15Attention Seeking: Minor Negative Behaviors Other possible causes of minor negative behaviorsThe curriculum is too hard, out of developmental sequence, or of little value to the child.Use an assessment tool to identify a developmentally appropriate language and social skills curriculum
16How to use Reinforcement to Reduce Negative Behaviors Make sure you really have a reinforcerDeliver the reinforcer immediately after good behaviorSet up lots of opportunities for good/correct behavior (Don’t just wait for them)Use a variety of reinforcersDeliver some reinforcers free (pairing)
17How to use Reinforcement to Reduce Negative Behaviors Smile, be sincere, laugh, goof around, have fun with your childSome kids will require lots of reinforcers per hour (30-50)Engagement usually is reinforcing!Lack of reinforcement for positive behavior may increase negative behavior
18Examples of Reinforcers that Many Children Like Social/physical reinforcers: attention, smiles, hugs, praise, funny faces, high fives, tickling, rough housing, chasing clapping hands, praise, a good laugh together, thumbs up, pats on the back, etc.Activity reinforcers: playing a game, going to the park, reading a book together, pushes on a swing, riding a bike, wagon rides, swimming, adventures, put up a tent in the yard, watching a DVD, helping cook, etc.Material reinforcers: food, drink, toys, bubbles, balloons, crayons, musical toys, playdough, cars, sand play, etc.
19Ignoring Bad Behavior: Extinction Be prepared for an extinction burstEye contact is often attention (reinforcement)Don’t show facial reactionsDon’t argue, scold or talk (attention)Don’t show anger (attention)Act absorbed in some other activity, walk awayGive your child attention shortly after the bad behavior stops
20More Serious Negative Behaviors Behavior: Tantrum, hitting, throwing, scratching, falling to the floor, etc.1st step: identify the cause of the behavior for that childSome possible causes: Adult demand (e.g., go to bed, eat at the table, academic work), remove/denial of reinforcers (turn off TV, come inside, can’t have desired activity)OFTEN, THE CHILD HAS LEARNED THAT NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR WILL REMOVE OR DELAY A TEACHER’S OR PARENT’S DEMANDS
22More Serious Negative Behaviors 2nd step: PreventionIdentify high probability problem areasInitially avoid demands that compete with powerful motivatorsVerbally prepare the child if possibleUse “if-then” contingency for more verbal childrenTake activities and reinforcers to Drs office, store, airplane or car trips, friends houses, etc.
23More Serious Negative Behaviors Ask for the same behavior under less “high probability” times, and reinforceBreak demand into small steps and reinforce each stepMake your expectations clear, and be consistentReinforce approximationsEstablish time limits for reinforcersUse extra time as reinforcers for no tantrums
24More Serious Negative Behaviors Step 3: Teach the positive behaviorsObtain the most powerful reinforcers for that childCarefully control and deliver those reinforcers after positive behaviorsHowever, periodically deliver free reinforcers (pairing)Create a hierarchy of demands beginning with the simplest tasks (“clap hands” might be an easy demand)Provide lots of opportunities for the child to comply and be successful
25More Serious Negative Behaviors Gradually increase the demand, always reinforceWork in short sets of demands throughout the dayWork in all environmentsTransfer control to other adults (generalization)Gradually begin to include high problem area demands (e.g., giving up reinforcers)Occasionally give back the reinforcer when given upAlways end the interaction on a positive note
26More Serious Behaviors and Noncompliance 4th step: Weaken the negative behaviorExtinction: Do not remove the demandFollow through with the demandBe prepared for an extinction burstMake your expectations clearCaution: Removing the demand will make the problem worse
27More Serious Negative Behaviors Make sure negative behavior DOES NOT get reinforced in any wayDo not promise reinforcers for stoppingDo not show reinforcers when engaging in negative behaviorsDo not try and “talk a child down” (reinforcement)Be calm, firm and non-emotional. Do not get caught up in an argument or power struggle
28Be Organized and Plan Ahead to be More Effective Anticipate your child’s needs before his bad behavior forces you to meet his needsAvoid situations that you think might make the child irritable (e.g., staying out past their bedtime, shopping for a long time)Start your program in an environment that you can control (not at church, in a store, etc.)Teach others who work with the child how to use these behavioral techniques
29Summary Most negative behavior is learned behavior Use the four steps to reduce a negative behavior1st step: Use the three-term contingency to identify what causes the behavior2nd step: Prevent behavior problems (Change the task or demand levels, increase prompts, increase reinforcers for approximations)3rd step: Actively teach positive behaviors and continue to build on themIdentify a wide variety of reinforcers and frequently deliver them for good behavior
30Summary4th step: Change the existing consequences for negative behaviorNegative behavior often gets reinforced more often than positive behaviorDon’t reinforce the problem behaviorIgnore minor misbehaviorChange is often gradualLearn as much as you can about Behavior Analysis, it is a powerful tool for improving the lives of children with autism and their families
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