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Archive for January, 2012

In 1978, Dr. Richard Foxx, along with his co-author Shapiro, stated,

“Despite the impressive record of the timeout procedure in recent years, some school districts and institutions have chosen never to adopt, abolish, or greatly restrict its use for a variety of reasons.”

The authors went on to list the reasons behind the concern over timeout rooms.

  1. People had concerns over the use of punishment and aversives.
  2. People were using the procedure incorrectly by placing individuals in isolation for extended periods of time (timeout is effective, even when 1-minute in length. Read more here).
  3. Using a timeout room requires specially designed space.
  4. Untrained people may not be using timeout correctly.
  5. Timeout is not always effective, particularly when used with children who are trying to escape or avoid work or certain people.

Thirty-four years ago, experts in behavior analysis (professionals who are specifically trained to modify behavior) expressed specific concerns about the use of exclusionary timeout rooms just like those used recently in a Connecticut town. Moreover, we have 34 years of research since then that we can use to guide our practices.

Prevent Challenging Behavior from Occurring

Recent research has shown us that often, we can prevent challenging behavior before it happens, reducing the overall need for consequence procedures. A number of strategies may be used to prevent behaviors. These strategies include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Improving the quality of instruction
  • Modifying materials to improve the interest level
  • Providing students with choice
  • Allowing students to complete shorter amounts of work
  • Providing work breaks
  • Prespecifying reinforcement (telling students what will come when they finish)

Teach Replacement Behaviors

Recent research has also shown us that we can teach students replacement behaviors that they may use in place of the challenging behaviors. Often times, this is communication. One specific intervention that may be used is called Functional Communication Training (FCT) and you may read more about that here.

We can also teach students how to follow rules, how to transition, and how to complete certain tasks. Formal instruction is a major component of any behavior plan.

Increase Reinforcement for Appropriate Behaviors

Finally, we have learned through research that if we increase reinforcement for appropriate behaviors, that appropriate behaviors will occur more often. When students increase the amount of time they engage in appropriate behaviors, they often experience a concomitant decrease in challenging behaviors.

Summary

Thirty-four years ago, we knew that timeout rooms were not the best strategy for addressing challenging behavior. Thirty-four years later, they continue to be a bad strategy. Since 1978, we have learned to prevent behavior, teach replacement behaviors, and reinforce appropriate behaviors as a comprehensive way to address challenging behaviors.

If you would like to read the original article for yourself, you may find it here. For additional information about preventing behavior, teaching replacement behaviors, and reinforcing appropriate behaviors, look here.

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Hi and welcome to Ask Missy Mondays where I respond to email questions from readers who have questions about behavior. Today’s question comes from two reporters who interviewed me for follow-up articles they were writing about the Scream Rooms (also known as Timeout Rooms) here in Connecticut.

One reporter asked, “Is there any research to support the use of timeout rooms?”

Sadly, I was not able to cite any research supporting the use of timeout rooms so I told the reporter that I would look in to it and get back to him.

Exclusionary Versus Non-Exclusionary Timeout

We have already discussed the research on the timeout procedure, as well as one alternative that may be used instead of timeout (there are many others). Most of the recent research on timeout involves non-exclusionary uses of the method. Specifically, rather than excluding a child and isolating her in a room alone, other ways of implementing a time out include:

  • Having the child sit and watch recess rather than participate in it
  • Preventing a child from earning tokens when the rest of the class is earning tokens
  • Briefly turning your back to the child to remove adult attention

Published Studies

I conducted a cursory review of the literature in search of research to support the use of timeout rooms and I will briefly review what I found.

Timeout for Inappropriate Mealtime Behavior

In 1970, Barton, Guess, Garcia, and Baer published a study about the use of timeout rooms for various inappropriate mealtime behavior of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Inappropriate mealtime behaviors included eating with fingers, stealing food, and “pigging” (e.g., eating off the floor). The authors noted that some participants were called to an isolated room whereas others experienced non-exclusionary timeout in that their tray was removed for 15 seconds. The authors noted that the 15-second non-exclusionary timeout was just as effective as the more lengthy timeout room.

Length of Timeout

By 1972, substantial research on timeout had been conducted such that researchers had already learned that the use of timeout for challenging behaviors combined with the use of reinforcement for appropriate behaviors was superior to either of the interventions alone. Also by 1972, researchers knew that timeout was effective but they were interested in learning the effects of varying lengths of timeout. Thus, White, Neilsen, and Johnson (1972) sought to compare the effects of 1-minute timeouts, 15-minute timeouts, and 30-minute timeouts for “deviant children”. The authors found that 1-minute timeouts were effective when they were presented first. Thus, longer periods of timeout were not required.

Timeout for Selective Mutism

In 1973, Wulbert, Nyman,  Snow, and Owen published a study on an intervention package for a young girl with selective mutism. The authors provided the young girl with candy when she spoke. They slowly faded new people in to the treatment room and continued to reinforce the girl when she spoke in front of strangers. After a few weeks of treatment, the authors added a 1-minute timeout in a timeout room. The young girl learned to talk with new peers, a new teacher, and the researchers. However, this was not achieved unless novel people were carefully faded in to the treatment.

Timeout for Aggression

In 1973, Clark, Rowbury, Baer, and Baer published a study showing the effectiveness of a 3-minute timeout room immediately following aggressive behavior. The timeout procedure worked, but note that it was very brief in duration.

Timeout Not Always Effective

White and colleagues (1972) pointed out that timeout was not always effective. They noted that the timeout procedure must match the reason or purpose (also known as function) of the behavior. Specifically, if a child engaged in challenging behavior to obtain attention, then timeout from attention or people would be effective. If a child engaged in challenging behavior to gain access to a preferred item or activity, then timeout from that item or activity would also be effective. However, if a child engaged in challenging behavior to avoid a person or to avoid work, then the use of timeout from a person or work would be ineffective for that child.

In 1977, Solnick, Rincover, and Peterson described the results of a timeout procedure for a little girl with autism who was learning her colors. If the child engaged in challenging behavior, the teacher picked up the candy (reinforcer for learning) and briefly left the room. (Note, the timeout room was not used here.) The authors noted that this procedure actually resulted in an increase in challenging behaviors rather than a decrease. Essentially, the little girl did not want to work and when the teacher left the room (i.e., removed attention), work stopped briefly. They replicated the study with a little boy diagnosed with intellectual disability. Again, when the child did not want to work, the timeout procedure was ineffective. However, when the researchers improved the quality of the instructional time (e.g., made it more fun), then the timeout procedure became effective. In summary, if instruction is of high quality, children will want to participate. If children enjoy the instructional time, the timeout procedure will be effective.

Move from Exclusionary to Non-Exclusionary

By the late 1970’s researchers learned that exlusionary timeout was not the only way of effectively addressing behavior. Researchers also began recognizing that timeout rooms required additional space, highly trained staff, and that timeout was not always effective. Thus, researchers sought to demonstrate that non-exclusionary timeout procedures could be used effectively.

In 1978 Foxx and Shaprio published a study describing the effects of a non-exlusionary timeout wherein the child wore a timeout ribbon and was not allowed to receive reinforcers that other children in the classroom were receiving.

In 1980, Wahler and Fox published a study describing the results of teaching parents to use timeout at home with their children. Children spent 5 minutes alone in their rooms when they misbehaved. Please note that in 1980 children did not have televisions, gameboys, and computers in their rooms. Thus, 5 minutes in the room with no adult or sibling attention proved effective.

Summary

In summary, a number of research studies exist demonstrating the effectiveness of timeout rooms. It should be noted that these studies were published in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and are now considered out-of-date. While those studies helped better our understanding of behavioral techniques, research since then has shown us that:

  1. Timeout is only effective when used for attention-seeking behavior
  2. Timeout is most effective when used in combination with reinforcement for appropriate behavior
  3. Non-exclusionary timeout is equally effective at reducing behaviors
  4. Timeout should be part of a carefully monitored plan

Finally, timeout does not teach children new, appropriate or replacement behaviors. Thus, the child is not learning what to do, instead they are only learning what not to do. As teachers, we must teach children and that includes teaching them what to do instead of acting out.

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One of our goals for improving the quality of lives through effective intervention is to share with our readers research on effective treatments. We do this by summarizing peer-reviewed research articles. Yesterday, in response to our post on Scream Rooms (also known as Time Out Rooms), a twitter follower asked, “what else can teachers do?” Thus, it seems appropriate that we should review a study that demonstrates one effective alternative to time out.

Mark Durand and Ted Carr authored the article in 1992. The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis published the article and you may read it yourself here.

Study Purposes

The purpose of the study was to determine which of two interventions would be effective at reducing attention-maintained challenging behavior (when children act out in order to get reactions from their teachers).

The authors also set out to determine which effects of the two interventions would generalize to untrained teachers. For example, a teacher could implement a behavior plan in her class but when the substitute teacher is present, he may not implement the intervention. If the child’s good behavior happens with the trained teacher and with the new/untrained teacher, it is said to generalize. If the child’s good behavior does not happen with the new/untrained teacher, the effects failed to generalize. Obviously, teachers would want interventions that work with them as well as with their substitutes.

Participants

Twelve children participated in the study. Children ranged in ages between 3.5 years and 5 years of age.  The children were diagnosed with a variety of conditions including attention deficit disorder, language delay, autism, or developmental delay. The children engaged in a variety of inappropriate behaviors including aggression, opposition, tantrums, and property destruction. Six children were assigned to one treatment group and six children were assigned to the other treatment group.

Assessment

The authors completed a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) for all 12 students. As part of the FBA, the authors completed a functional analysis to demonstrate that all 12 children engaged in various challenging behaviors in order to gain attention from their teachers (The authors referred to this as Study 1). This type of behavior is known as attention-maintained behavior.

Baseline

Before treatment, the researchers observed children during regular school work activities. The work was considered easy work but the teachers did not provide a high rate of attention for appropriate behaviors.

Intervention

The researchers compared the results of two interventions. (The authors called this Study 2). One intervention was time out. We discussed time out and its variations here yesterday. The second intervention the authors studied was called Functional Communication Training (FCT). You may read more about it here (You will find other evidence-based strategies on that website if you are interested). FCT has a substantial research base to support its use. With FCT, teachers simply teach children to communicate instead of acting out to get what they want. Often we teach children to talk but sometimes we teach children to use pictures to communicate if they cannot speak very well.

In this study, teachers implemented time out by simply removing all instructional materials and turning their backs to the children for 10 seconds each time the child engaged in challenging behavior.

During FCT, teachers taught the children to ask for teacher attention by saying things like, “Am I doing good work?”

Once the researchers demonstrated that the intervention was working, a new/substitute teacher was brought in to see if the intervention effects would generalize. (The authors called this Study 3).

Results

Time out effectively reduced the rates of challenging behavior for all 6 children in the treatment group. Similarly, FCT effectively reduced the rates of challenging behavior for all 6 children in the treatment group.

However, when the new teacher worked with the children, the results were remarkably different. Specifically, children who received the time out intervention, failed to generalize their good behavior to the new teacher. Essentially, their challenging behavior returned to pre-treatment levels with the new teacher.

On the other hand, children in the FCT group, generalized their good behavior to the new teacher. Not only did they maintain good behavior, they used their new communication with the new teacher.

Thus, while brief time out from teacher attention may be effective at reducing attention-maintained behavior, the improved behavior will not generalize to new, untrained teachers. However, FCT teaches children to use communication instead of challenging behavior. This results in improved behavior and the improvement carries over to new, untrained teachers.

So, if you find yourself wondering what to do instead of time out, try teaching the child to communicate instead of acting out.

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An elementary school has come under fire in Connecticut for using “Scream Rooms” as a method of discipline. If you haven’t heard, you may learn more about it here, here, and here.

What is a Scream Room

According to reports, parents described the rooms as 6-by-4-foot spaces with concrete walls used to isolate students with special needs who are disruptive in the classroom. As best as we can tell, Scream Rooms is simply another name for a Time Out Room or more specifically, a Seclusionary Time Out Room.

So what is a time out room? Let us first define time out.

  • A time out is a period of time when opportunities to access reinforcement are prevented.
  • Most people think of a time out as sitting in a chair and not being able to play.
  • Time out may also be missing recess for 5 minutes.
  • Time out may also include losing TV time after dinner.

Time out may be administered within a classroom so that the student does not lose instructional time. For example, the child may be asked to sit at the back of the class where she can still hear instruction but where she may not interact with others. This type of time out is called inclusionary time out.

Seclusionary time out is when the student is removed from the instructional setting and placed in isolation so that minimal or no interaction with others is allowed.

Thus, a time out room or a seclusionary time out room is a room where someone might go so that no other forms of reinforcement may be accessed (e.g., no social interaction, no music, no toys).

What is the Purpose of a Scream Room or Time Out Room?

Historically, time out has been used as a consequence to challenging or disruptive behavior as a type of punishment. The underlying philosophy is that if the child is engaging in behavior to gain attention, placing the child in isolation for brief periods of time immediately after the challenging or disruptive behavior will teach the child that acting out will not result in attention.

While this method has been supported with substantial research, the technique is often used incorrectly. Before a time out may be planned as part of an intervention for a student, a behavior analyst must first assess the behavior and determine why the child is mis-behaving. This is called a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and we have talked about it here, here, and here.

Once the assessment is completed, an intervention is developed based on the assessment results. If the child engaged in challenging behavior to gain attention, a time out from attention following challenging behavior may be part of the behavior plan. If the child engaged in the challenging behavior to gain access to preferred items such as computer time or television time, then a time out from computers or television following challenging behavior may be part of the plan. If a child is engaging in challenging behavior as a way to get out of non-preferred activities such as school work or home work, time out from school work would be inappropriate and ineffective.

When time out is used as part of a treatment plan, its use must be carefully monitored with data collection and ongoing analysis to verify if the intervention is working as planned. All staff who use time out as part of a treatment plan must be trained to use the procedure. Additionally, the time out procedure must be supervised to ensure that staff are implementing it correctly.

Sadly, it does not appear that time out is being used in this way in this particular school. Based on the reports we have read, it seems as if staff sent children to these rooms to “calm down”. Based on the reports we have read, staff were not following carefully developed behavior plans. Instead, teachers appeared to be sending children to these rooms when teachers became frustrated with student behavior.

Rules for Restraint and Time Out

Currently, no federal legislation exists preventing schools from using seclusionary time out or time out rooms. However, federal legislation has been proposed. We used Wright’s Law(a helpful website for parents and teachers alike) to find additional information about seclusionary time out rules in each state. Many states have specific rules so parents, teachers, and behavior analysts should become familiar with the rules in their states. These states include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

Connecticut has specific rules regarding the use of seclusionary time out. You may read the rules here.

The rule states that “no provider shall involuntarily place a person at risk in seclusion (there are two exceptions). This means that a child may not be placed there against his/her will (with those exceptions).

The state went on to define seclusion as the confinement of a person in a room, whether alone or with staff supervision, in a manner that prevents the person from leaving.

Seclusion may be used in an emergency. But remember, an emergency does not happen daily as described in these news reports. The rules also state that if seclusion is used, “it must be part of the IEP of that person AND that other less restrictive, positive behavior interventions appropriate to the behavior exhibited by the person at risk have been implemented but were ineffective.”

The rules also state that if seclusion as a behavior intervention is repeated more than two times in any school quarter, the IEP team must meet to review the use of seclusion, consider additional evaluations or assessments, and may even revise the child’s IEP.

Most importantly, when a student is placed in seclusion, school staff must attempt to notify the parents on the same day or within 24 hours. They may use phone, email, or a note home. Parents must receive a copy of the incident report within 2 days. The state even provides a sample of the incident report form that could be used.

And finally, the rule states that any staff who uses seclusion must be trained in that technique.

Please note that this rule applies only to students who have an IEP. Students who do not have identified disabilities do not have the same rights.

What Should Parents Do to Prevent the Use of Scream Rooms/Time Out Rooms?

If your child does not have a disability, then you should meet with your principal to discuss the use of such procedures. Again, your child does not have the same rights as children with IEPs.

If your child has an IEP, then you should:

  1. Learn your state’s rules about seclusionary time out
  2. Review your child’s IEP to be certain that it does not include seclusionary time out
  3. If you have concerns about your child’s behavior, you should request the IEP team to complete a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)

We hope that none of your children have experienced these rooms. We also hope that we have helped you prevent the use of these rooms on your child.

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Hi and welcome to “What Works Wednesdays” where we share a success story from one of our clinical cases. All names have been changed to preserve the privacy of the child and family. Our intent is to show readers how successful ABA can be.

Today’s success story is about Grace and Sophia, two school-aged girls (7 years an 10 years) who were giving their parents and after-school tutor headaches. The girls engaged in a screaming, tantrums, fighting, back-talk, and non-compliance. Their behaviors were so bad that the tutor had threatened to quit if something didn’t change fast.

A quick observation of the scene on two or three different days allowed us to see some antecedents and consequences that may have been contributing to the homework headaches. First, the girls came off the bus without any plan. Sometimes they played outside, sometimes they watched television, sometimes they had snack, and other times they started homework right away. Second, when the girls misbehaved, each of them received a great deal of attention from the tutor as she lectured them about how and why they needed to behave. When he behaviors escalated to a high enough point, one or both parents swept in to save the poor tutor. The parents intervened by threatening loss of consequences, yelling about how badly the children behaved, or simply instructing the children to “cut it out and get to work”.

Once we assessed the situation, we developed a plan. All good behavior plans consist of antecedent modifications (antecedents are the events that happen before the behavior), the identification of target or replacement behaviors, and modifications of consequences (the events that happen after the behavior).

Antecedent Modifications

Right away, we asked the parents to develop a consistent homework routine. Because of their ages and different needs, one child ate her snack first and then played for 30 minutes before starting homework. The older child ate her snack while organizing her homework. Both girls had the responsibility of putting backpacks, shoes, and lunch boxes away prior to commencing any other activity.

We asked the parents, if they were home and not on a conference call, to come in immediately after the bus and give lots of positive attention. We instructed the parents to remain out of the room during all outbursts, tantrums, an inappropriate behavior. We also asked the parents to come in and give the children praise for any good behavior they observed (sitting, working, staying on task, etc).

Target and Replacement Behaviors

Instead of focusing on how rotten or awful the children were, we asked the tutor to focus on how wonderful the girls were. We identified several behaviors that she wanted to see more of:

  • sitting during homework
  • attending during instruction
  • working when asked
  • working without yelling
  • asking for assistance without crying or yelling
  • putting personal items away without being asked

Changes to Consequences

We implemented a token system for the girls. Each girl had a sticker chart. When the sticker chart was full, the girls could trade it in for $.50 they could deposit in to their bank account. Stickers could be given out freely by either parent or the tutor. We asked that whoever awarded the sticker to take extra care and identify exactly which target behavior resulted in the sticker award.

  • “excellent Sophia. You started work without yelling.”
  • “wonderful Grace, you put your lunch box away.”

We implemented a brief time-out procedure for Grace, who loved television. We made 10-minute TV Time coupons. Each day at the beginning of homework, the parents identified how many minutes of TV time were available (30 minutes or 60 minutes). Each time that Grace involved in yelling, screaming, tantrumming, back-talking, or non-compliance, the tutor removed one of the coupons.

Within 2 days, the frequency of inappropriate behaviors decreased to zero! The behaviors have maintained for 6 weeks with no signs of reversing. Congratulations to Grace and Sophia for your homework progress. Congratulations to your parents and tutor for helping you do it.

Readers, please share. What strategies do you use during homework sessions? What works for your children? Behavior analysts, what strategies have you used? How well did they work?

 

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I have to start this post with a confession: today’s post has nothing to do with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

Today’s post is a rambling of my (Missy) own issues with being a parent (or bonus-parent if you want to be more precise). Last night, our youngest (also known as Baby Cakes) wrote a letter to the tooth fairy. Here it is:

And now I feel like a big fat liar.

How sweet is that letter? Baby Cakes is an angel and she is ridiculously sweet. It kills me that we have led her to believe that this person/thing exists. When she finds out there is no tooth fairy (or Santa, or Easter Bunny) she will never believe anything we tell her.

Have any of you had this same dilemma? How did you handle it (besides drinking loads of wine)? Please share because my heart is breaking.

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Hi and welcome to Ask Missy Mondays where I respond to email questions from readers who have questions about behavior. Today’s question comes from Suzanne, who asks:

“Hi, Missy. I feel so embarrassed to ask this question because, as a parent, I feel that I should know how to get my children to do homework. However, in our house, we struggle with homework every day. Please help us!

One of our kids has a meltdown every time he sees how many pages of work he has to do. Our other child actually starts his homework right away but he cannot stay focused. He is up and down constantly. No wonder it takes hours for him to finish! Last but not least, our youngest doesn’t have homework yet because she is still in kindergarten. She runs around the house making so much noise that the other two have a hard time focusing. Clearly, I am not up for Mother of the Year Award. Any help you can provide will be appreciated.”

First, Suzanne, you have to stop beating yourself up over this. Please understand that what you have described is identical to scenes from many other houses. Parents just do not want to share the horror stories for fear of being judged a bad parent. I am certain that those parents are thanking you for asking about this on their behalf.

I have a few tips to help get you started. Please let me know how it goes and I can make adjustments to the plan as they progress.

Routine

One of the most important things you can do to help your children is to establish a homework routine. Depending on after school activities (e.g., sports, music, play dates), the routine may change from day-to-day. None the less, the routine should be the same once it starts.

  • In our house, we like to get a healthy snack in before the work starts. This gives children the energy to stay focused and it prevents them from getting too hungry before dinner.
  • Next, we organize the homework so we know exactly what needs to be done.
  • We use a “to do” list or an agenda to identify each of the activities that should be completed. Our children take great pride in crossing items off that list.
  • I allow the children to choose which items they work on from the list. This allows them to have some control over the situation.

Reinforce

What advice could possibly come from a behavior analyst that doesn’t include the use of reinforcement? Of course you must spend a great deal of time reinforcing the behaviors that you want to see more. Depending on the age of your children, they may be able to practice some self-management strategies so that they reinforce themselves rather than you having to do all the work.

The reinforcers that you use during this time need to be individualized to your children. One child may be ready for a token system, while another child may need verbal praise. Ask your children to help identify reinforcers that they are willing to work for. Keep in mind that outrageous reinforcers such as cars, iPads, or computers should not be used. However, working for access to such items is completely appropriate (e.g., earn access to the car on the weekend, earn access to TV time).

  • Consider using stickers on a sticker chart. At the end of the week, cash the completed sticker chart in for a bigger reward (e.g., pizza night, movie)
  • Consider using coins and a bank as reinforcers. This helps the child learn about money and it also teaches the child to save. At the end of the week, your child can cash in his savings
  • Give your children attention and praise for engaging in the correct behaviors (e.g., “I love the way you are getting so much done!”)
  • Have a reinforcer available at the end of each homework session. This could be TV time, electronics time, or Wii Time. Make it brief (30 minutes or less) but it should be available immediately after each homework session.

Work Breaks

The behavior analysts who read this blog will immediately recognize that this, too, is another form of reinforcement. In behavior analysis we call work breaks “negative reinforcement”. There is not enough space in this blog post to explain the difference between positive and negative reinforcement. I promise to distinguish between the two at another time. But for now, please know that work breaks are important for children to remain focused during homework time.

  • Set a timer so your child knows when the break is coming
  • Work breaks are brief. 5-10 minutes–tops
  • Work breaks are free choice activities as long as no other house rules are broken (e.g., climbing on furniture or running in the house)
  • All children are on a work break together so they do not disrupt each other on break

Educational Support

I believe that all homework should be supplemented with manipulatives and other types of support.

  • Our children use the iPad to look up words in the dictionary. They use the iPad to practice their sight words. They use the iPad to practice their math facts.
  • When our oldest was learning to add fractions, we made it real by finding recipes and doubling the batch. We brought out the measuring cups and spoons and it made the math more real for her.
  • There is no better way to learn about geography, weather, or science than by scouring the internet for videos, photos, and other multi-media.

Planned Activity

Last but not least, I have to address the needs of your child who does not yet have homework. Homework time is an excellent time to start teaching the homework routine to her. I feel strongly that all children should read every day. Thus, she needs to spend part of homework time reading. If she cannot read yet, then you should read to her. You could also rent or download books on tape so that she can listen to a book. Additionally, there are many interactive books available for the iPad. If you don’t have one in your house, I recommend saving up for one as there are so many educational applications available to help each of your children with their homework.

After your daughter does her “homework” then find an activity for her to keep her engaged.

  • This can be special time with you or it can be an activity that she needs to do independently.
  • We love using the Wii for exercise and engagement. She could entertain herself for hours on a number of games.
  • You could also give her house chores so that she feels important. She can help unload the dishwasher, she can help with the laundry, or she can dust furniture

Suzanne, thanks for writing. I hope these tips help. Please let me know how it goes!

Readers, do you have anything to add?

If you have a behavior question or problem, email Missy at askmissy at appliedbehavioralstrategies dot com.

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