Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Choosing your battles in Autism therapies and education

So very many challenges that all need attention. What do you target first? When the choices are as simple as "running out in to traffic" vs "napkin on the lap" it is pretty easy to know that the traffic issue needs addressing immediately while the napkin, although frustrating, can wait. What do you do though when there are multiple safety related behaviors and ALL need addressing at the same time? Sometimes, each behavior must be addressed individually, however, there is often a common underlying theme....

If you figure out the common theme, you can address that and see improvements (maybe not absolute fixes immediately, but improvement is still good!) across all of the behaviors in question.

For example: Cutie used to A) run into traffic, B) get out of his seatbelt, C) touch the stove, D) leave the house without an adult (until I put chains on the doors).

What do all of those issues have in common? A physical boundary....
In the house, we used red tape and stop signs to note where he could and could not go. Out side, I got up every morning and drew a boundary line with sidewalk chalk- beyond that line, he had to hold hands. For the traffic- luckily we lived on a military base where everyone knew each other, people drove slowly and most of the neighbors drew a line on their sidewalk near the street to help him see that the road was off limits. We all practiced with him together.

Once he understood more about the physical boundaries, it was easier to work with him on the individual behaviors- all of which are now resolved.

If your child has multiple behaviors that need targeting, please visit
Choosing your battles in Autism therapies and education to see how to identify the common thread and prioritize the behaviors.

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