The toolbox

The Nuts and Bolts of a Good Plan is Teaching the New Skill...
  • Replace problem behavior with a new skill
  • Intentionally teach throughout the day
    • Children learn through multiple opportunities
    • Teaching is easier when the child is not engaging in challenging behavior
  • Choose teaching strategies that match:
    • Child's level
    • Caregiver's style
    • The activity or situation
  • Children with problem behavior have a skill delay in language, social, behavioral, and/or emotional development-So we need to teach them the skills they need

Weigh Your Options
Be Thoughtful About Preventions

Prevention Strategies can soften triggers or make the problem behavior irrelevant

  • Anticipate and cue
  • Prompt/cue children
  • State clear and simple expectations
  • Provide predictability
  • Signal or warn
  • Use "first-then" statements
  • Use proximity
  • Offer choices
  • Encourage/praise
  • Embed preference
  • Adjust length of activity
  • Modify materials
  • Use timers
  • Model
  • Allow for flexibility

Say What You Want to See, Not What You Saw

  • Give children clear expectations
  • When redirecting let children know what you want to see
    • Say, "Walk" instead of "Don't run"
    • Say, "'Feet on floor" instead of "Stop climbing"
    • Say, "Quiet voice" instead of "No yelling" (and model what a quiet voice would sound like)

Don't Get Backed Up, Take the Plunge!

  • Follow non-preferred tasks with preferred tasks
  • Use "'First-Then statements" (combine statement with visual if child needs visual support)
    • "First clean up, then go outside"
    • "First lay down, then hold bear"
    • "First say help, then I'll help you"

Roll With It, Sometimes Activities Can Perk Children's Interest or They Simply Flop...

  • Read the child's cues
    • Extend activities that the child is actively engaged in
    • Move on to a new activity when an activity just doesn't work
  • Ask the child what he/she wants to do
    • Choice is a powerful teaching tool
  • Follow the child's lead

Don't Throw in the Monkey Wrench, Stay Positive...

  • Challenging behavior is challenging...
  • Remind yourself you can support this child
  • Teaching is your strength, this is a skill learning issue

Paint the Picture, a Visual Can Speak a Thousand Words...

  • Photograph schedules give children a clear sense of time and expectations within a routine
  • Mini schedules allow for predictability with individual activities within the daily     schedule
  • Activity task sequences represent steps within an activity
  • Visual cues can be used to communicate clear expectations

Keep a Level Head, Teach the "Turtle Technique"

  • Model remaining calm
  • Teach children how to control feelings and calm down
    • Recognize your feeling(s)
    • Think "stop"
    • Go inside your "shell" and take 3 deep breaths
    • Come out when calm and think of a "solution"
  • Prepare children for possible disappointment/change
  • Recognize and comment when children stay calm
  • Involve families: teach the "Turtle Technique"

Don't Just Blow the Whistle, Coach Children to Think of a Solution...

  • Remind children that for most problems there is a "solution" or a way to make it better...
  • Cue them to: Stop! What's the problem-Think of a possible solution- What might     happen-Give it a try...
  • Assist children in problem solving, what could be done:
    • Get a teacher
    • Ask nicely
    • Ignore
    • Play
    • Say, "Please stop."
    • Say, "Please."
    • Share
    • Trade
    • Wait and take turns

Look at the Right Angle, Use the Child's Point of View...

  • Get down on the child's level
  • Place visual supports within the child's reach and view
  • Room arrangement should work for the child and help prevent problem behavior
  • Try to look through the lens of the child

Support Children So They Can Measure up, Feel Good, and Make Friends...

  • Teach skills that lead to friendships
    • Sharing, giving compliments, turn-taking, helping others, organizing play (Let's statements: "let's build", "let's play tag")
  • Provide toys/activities that promote cooperation
  • Give attention and time to children who engage in friendship
  • Model and role play friendship skills

Shine the Light on Angles, Talk with the Family

  • Family members are the child's primary teacher
  • Collaborate
  • Be aware of and sensitive about family traditions and culture
  • If needed, allow the child to bring a comfort item from home (fade over time)

Don't Let the Work Load Bring You Down, Ask for Help...

  • Collaboration Works
  • Surround yourself with individuals who are supportive and positive
  • Share tasks with team members (family members and educational staff)

Give Children Tools

  • Teach children "Feeling Vocabulary"
  • Help children understand and label their own feelings and feelings of others
  • Teach throughout the day
    • In play, with stories, incidentally, through special activities
  • Teach feeling words by pairing the word with a picture or photograph
  • Teach/model what to do with a feeling "Boy, am I mad. I need to take 3 deep breaths and calm down."

Avoid:  Say/Model:  Remember to add: 
Don't run!  Walk  Way to go! 
  Use walking fee  I like how you're walking 
  Stay with me  Thanks for walking! 
  Hold my hand   
Stop climbing!  Keep your feet on the floor  Wow! 
    You have both feet on the floor! 
Don't touch!  Keep your hands down  You are such a good listener 
  Look with your eyes  you are looking with hands down 
No yelling!  Use a calm voice  [In a low voice] Now I can 
  Use an inside voice  listen, you are using a calm voice 
Stop whining!  Use a calm voice  Now I can hear you; that is 
  Talk like a big boy/girl  so much better 
  Tell me with your words what's wrong   
Don't stand on that!  Sit on the chair  I like the way you are sitting!
    Wow, you're sitting up tall! 
Don't hit!  Hands down  You are using your words! 
  Hands are for playing  Good for you! 
  Use your words**  You’re playing nicely! 
No coloring on the wall!  Color on the paper  Look at what you've colored! 
    Pretty picture! 
Don't throw your toys!  Play with the toys  You're playing nicely 
    I really like to watch you play! 
Stop playing with your food!  Food goes on the spoon and then in your mouth Great! You're using your spoon 
  Say "all done" when finished  What nice manners, you said "all done;" you can go play now 
Don't play in the water  Wash your hands  Thanks for washing your hands! I can tell they are really clean! 
No biting!  We only bite food  You're upset, I understand. Use your words if you're upset** 
Don't spit!  Spit goes in toilet/grass  Good using your words! 
  Use your words**  Thanks for using your words! 

**(Give child appropriate words to use to express emotion) 


Funding for this program provided by the Department of Health and Human Services