Increasing Student Participation By Managing Problem Behaviors

Increasing Student Participation by Managing Problem Behaviors

What’s a critical element to increasing student participation? Managing problem behavior!

Problem behaviors can be highly disruptive to the classroom, community, and home environments. These behaviors also hinder the student’s ability to properly learn new skills. Some examples of problem behaviors are: getting out of their seat, going off task, talking or interrupting, not taking turns, not sharing with others, non-compliance, aggression, self-injury, tantrums, and self-stimulatory behaviors.

ABA Methods to decrease problem behaviors include:


Extinction

Extinction is a procedure used to extinguish an undesirable behavior. As an undesirable behavior is most likely being maintained by reinforcement, to extinguish a problem behavior, you must stop the student’s ability to access the reinforcer that follows the behavior.

Punishment

Punishment is a procedure that is used to reduce challenging behaviors. In ABA, punishment does not refer to punitive measures, rather it refers to the process of adding to or removing something in order to decrease a problem behavior from occurring in the future. Punishment is normally used to reduce harmful or aggressive behaviors.

Positive Punishment involves “adding” something in order to decrease the likelihood of an undesired behavior occurring in the future

Negative Punishment involves “removing” something in order to decrease the likelihood of an undesired behavior occurring in the future

Quick Tip

The most critical key to extinction is CONSISTENCY.

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Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

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