Pick of the Week: Who, What, When, Where, Why Wh- Question ColorCards

Who works here? Why might they be laughing? When do you eat at the table? Use this set of 36 Wh- Question ColorCards and unlock opportunities to discover, understand, and practice Wh-questions. This week only, take 15%* off your set of the Wh- Question ColorCards; just use promo code WHCARDS at check-out!

The ColorCards feature vivid photos of scenarios that allow for multiple opportunities to develop this key skill. These cards can be used in group or one-to-one settings, and come with a booklet with sample Wh- questions to ask for each of the images depicted.

Don’t forget – you can save 15%* on your set of Wh- Question ColorCards this week only by using our promo code WHCARDS at check-out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on August 4th, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at checkout!

“Touch Red” – A Poem by Georgie Herz, ABA Teacher

Here’s a touching – pun intended! – poem given to us by Georgie Herz, an ABA teacher from Special School District in St. Louis, MO, that we thought we’d share with all of you so you can start off your weekend with a smile.

Touch Red
Georgie Herz

Touch red
One card, one choice
Touch red

This is touching red
A prize, cheerios, candy, a car
This is touching red
I’ll guide your hand it’s not far
Touch red

Three times, I’m keeping score
Now with two
Touch red, I pray not blue
This is touching red

Add yellow, three cards, three times
Touch red you score
Pick a prize
Yes there’s more
Touch red

A week or two or three or four
We check again, yea you score
Touch red, there’s more

Cards are gone
See the bears
We start with one
Then it’s two
A prize for each one
You do

Touch red.

 

Tip of the Week: Use a Time-Out Ribbon

Time-out can be an effective procedure for addressing behaviors that do not function for escape. However, often it can be difficult to implement, and in some schools is not even allowed. There are valid concerns related to time-out. For example, you may not have the opportunity to supervise a child in a separate location for time-out, or you might want to keep them in the same place so they don’t miss a lesson during class.

The time-out ribbon may be an excellent solution for just those types of instances. When Foxx and Shapiro (1978) first wrote about the time-out ribbon, they referred to it as “nonexclusionary time-out,” meaning the individual does not have to be excluded from an environment or activity to be “in time-out.” In their initial study, all students wore a ribbon on their wrist. When the individual has the time-out ribbon on, they have access to socially-mediated reinforcement. If the time-out ribbon is removed, they do not have access to that reinforcement. (Foxx & Shapiro also note that it does not have to be a ribbon, but could be anything that is easy to wear and easy to remove.) However, by again demonstrating appropriate behavior, the ribbon can be placed again on the individual’s wrist.

In a time where we often focus on new, high tech solutions, such as the use of iPads or SmartBoards to introduce behavior change procedures, it’s important to draw attention to low-tech solutions that are easy to implement. Another aspect of the time-out ribbon that is attractive for our particular population is that it provides a clear visual indication that reinforcement is available.

A possible drawback is that, in a classroom setting, if the ribbon is removed, the student could continue to engage in disruptive behavior. Foxx and Shapiro emphasize the need to pair the ribbon with social reinforcement when first introducing it to the individual. This increases the likelihood that the individual will correct their behavior to earn the ribbon back.

Foxx & Shapiro demonstrated the effectiveness of the time-out ribbon with five boys with developmental disabilities. Since then, two more studies have demonstrated the efficacy of the procedure. We know that time-out can be highly effective from a wealth of research over recent decades, but if it’s not available, you should definitely consider the possible use of the time-out ribbon.

Further Reading

Alberto, P.A., Heflin, L.J., & Andrews, D. (2002). Use of the timeout ribbon procedure during community-based instruction. Behavior Modification, 26(2), 297-311.

Foxx, R.M. & Shapiro, S.T. (1978). The timeout ribbon: A nonexclusionary timeout procedure. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 11(1), 125-136.

Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., Michael, J. & Poling, A. (2001). The abative effect: A new term to describe the action of antecedents that reduce operant responding. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 18, 101-104.

WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals. Sam is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College.

Pick of the Week: NEW! Function Wheels – A Behavioral Identification and Intervention System

We’re absolutely thrilled to introduce Function Wheels, an easy-to-use system that enables users to identify the function of behavior and immediately intervene. Created and piloted by Keith Amerson, MSEd, Different Roads to Learning is a proud partner in bringing you the first all-inclusive, systematic approach for identifying the functions of problem behaviors and implementing research-based interventions to manage them.

Get your kit today at the introductory price of $149.95 through July 31st! No promo code necessary.

Click to enlarge.

Be sure to check out this nifty video below for a more in-depth look at the Function Wheels Kit!

Pick of the Week: Sequencing Verb Tenses Card Deck

Help students identify and use the past, present, and future tenses of 48 action verbs with the Sequencing Verb Tenses card deck. And this week only, you can save 15%* on this set by using promo code SEQVERB at check-out!

This set contains 24 regular and 24 irregular three-step, illustrated sequences. Choose an action verb to teach, and then have students put the cards in order while filling in the blanks with the correct verb tenses. For example: She will paint the fence. She paints the fence. She painted the fence.

Each of the 144 cards measures 3¼” x 4¼” and comes with game ideas. Don’t forget – you can save 15%* this week on the Sequencing Verb Tenses card deck by using promo code SEQVERB at check-out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on July 21st, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at checkout!

Autism Parenting Magazine – News, resources, and expert advice for autism parents

Check out the newest issue of Autism Parenting Magazine! With up-to-date news and professional resources for parents of children with autism, this magazine offers expert advice from medical professionals and therapists among others, autism treatment centers and therapies, news and research in the field, and even real life stories from parents and families that inspire and provide support.

 

For more information about the Autism Parenting Magazine, visit their website here.

Application Open for Autism Speaks Local Grants

Photo by Autism Speaks

The Autism Speaks Local Grants application is now open. Through the Chapter, Regional and Neighborhood Grant programs, local organizations may apply for funding of up to $5,000. The Chapter, Regional and Neighborhood Grants programs focus on three objectives:

  1. “to promote local services that enhance the lives of those affected by autism
  2. “to expand the capacity to effectively serve this growing community
  3. “to increase the field of service providers across the country” (Autism Speaks)

The program notes that careful consideration will be given to those who specially provide services to underserved communities, as well as those who provide opportunities for individuals of varying functioning levels.

For more information about the application process, interested organizations may visit their FAQ page. Click here to apply!

 

Pick of the Week: Visual Task Completion Schedules

Keep students on track with these handy visual task completion schedules! This week, you can save 15%* on the Task Completion Schedule and the Flip When Finished Schedule. Just enter promo code SCHED15 at check-out to redeem your savings!

The Task Completion Schedule features clear “X” symbols to show a task has been completed. Simply take one of the Velcro “X” symbols and place it over the image of a task to show that it is completed. This black loop schedule also comes with a removable pocket to hold the 6 finished symbols, which have hook fasteners on their ends to attach to the schedule over the pictures. The Task Completion Schedule measures 28″ x 4″.

The Flip When Finished Schedule contains detachable clear pockets to keep students on track with their tasks. Simply flip the picture over when a task is complete or to reveal a new task. This schedule can be hung horizontally or vertically against a wall or board. Includes eight 3.5″ x 3.5″ pockets with one clear side with its reverse colored vinyl. A hook strip on top of both sides keeps it stuck to the loop schedule. The Flip When Finished Schedule measures 34″ x 4″.

Don’t forget to save 15%* this week on the Task Completion Schedule and the Flip When Finished Schedule when you enter in promo code SCHED15 at check-out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on July 14th, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at checkout!

Pick of the Week: Wooden Animal Nesting Blocks

Explore the animal kingdom and develop spatial motor skills with these delightful and durable Wooden Animal Nesting Blocks! From a tiny sea horse to a great big elephant, discover charming animals from four animal habitats.

This week only, you can save 15%* on the Wooden Animal Nesting Blocks with promo code WANB15 at check-out!

With all 8 blocks stacked, they tower almost 3 feet tall. These Wooden Animal Nesting Blocks are great for practicing patterns and sequencing skills in very young learners. Don’t forget to use mention or apply promo code WANB15 at check-out to redeem your savings this week!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on July 7th, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at checkout!

Tip of the Week: Improving Behavior for the Whole Class

Often, we focus on how to improve the behavior of an individual, but there are many times in which teachers must figure out a way to improve the behavior of the entire class. In ABA, we might implement a group contingency, a strategy in which reinforcement for the whole group is based upon the behavior of one or more people within the group meeting a performance criterion (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007).

Group contingencies can be especially beneficial for teachers because it may not always be possible to implement a contingency for an individual or there may be several students who need improvement with the same behavior. It’s also a useful strategy for individuals who respond well to peer influence. Furthermore, there are several studies that demonstrate the group contingencies can increase positive social interactions within a group.

Let’s look at examples of each type of contingency. In the first type, a dependent group contingency, reinforcement for all members of the group depends on the behavior of a single person within the group or a small group of people within the group. For example, you might say, “If Joseph remains in his seat for all of math, we will have five extra minutes of recess today.” This can be highly motivating for Joseph, because his peers will respond well to him if he earns them access to five more minutes of recess (leading some to call it the “hero procedure” because the individual is viewed so positively upon earning the reward.) It’s clear that if you have a student who is not motivated by social reinforcement from peers, this type of contingency would backfire. However, there is plenty of research that shows it’s benefits. (Allen, Gottselig, & Boylan, 1982; Gresham, 1983; Kerr & Nelson, 2002)

In the second type, an independent group contingency, criterion for accessing reinforcement is presented to everyone, but only the individuals who meet criterion earn the reinforcer. For example, you might say “If you remain in your seat for all of math class, you will earn five extra minutes of recess today.” In this contingency, every student who reaches criterion accesses the extra recess time, but those students who left their seat do not earn the extra five minutes. Another example might be, “Each person who turns in all homework earns two bonus points on their spelling test.” In this set up, the entire class is working towards a common goal, but the individuals who achieve the goal earn reinforcement no matter how their peers perform.

In the third type, an interdependent group contingency, reinforcement for all members of the group depends on the behavior of each member of the group meeting a performance criterion. Mayer, Sulzer-Azaroff, & Wallace put it very well when they wrote “Independent group contingencies involve treating the members of a group as if they were a single behaving entity. The behavior of the group is reinforced contingent on the collective achievement of its members” (2014). In many classrooms there some type of independent group contingency in place, such as earning behavior points per class period or keeping your name on the green light (with yellow and red lights indicating problematic behaviors.) It’s quite simple to add an interdependent group contingency to these systems already in place. For example, you might say, “If all students names are still on the green light at the end of math, everyone earns an extra five minutes of recess.” There is evidence that interdependent group contingencies promote cooperation within groups (Poplin & Skinner, 2003; Salend & Sonnenschein, 1989).

Group contingencies are an excellent tool for classroom teachers, as well as anyone else working to manage a group of individuals.

FURTHER READING

Allen, Gottselig, & Boylan. (1982). A practical mechanism for using free time as a reinforcer in the classroom. Education and Treatment of Children, 5(4), 347-353.

Cooper, Heron, & Heward. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis – 2nd edition. Englewood Cliffs; NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Gresham, F.M. (1983). Use of a home-based dependent group contingency system in controlling destructive behavior: A case study. School Psychology Review, 12(2), 195-199.

Kerr, M.M. & Nelson, C.M. (2002). Strategies for addressing behavior problems in the classroom (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Mayer, Sulzer-Azaroff, & Wallace. (2014). Behavior Analysis for Lasting Change (3rd ed.). Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY: Sloan Publishing.

Popkin, J. & Skinner, C. (2003). Enhancing academic performance in a classroom serving students with serious emotional disturbance: Interdependent group contingencies with randomly selected components. School Psychology Review, 32(2), 282-296.

Salend, S.J., & Sonnenschein, P. (1989). Validating the effectiveness of a cooperative learning strategy through direct observation. Journal of School Psychology, 27, 47-58.

WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals. Sam is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College.

Photo courtesy of Books and Blogs by Cindy Andrews