Sometimes your child is able to handle specific situations for a short period of time. As time passes, you will notice that the behavior may deteriorate.

Limit time spent or amount of activities

Instead of entirely avoiding these situations, a smart idea is to limit the time spent in that particular setting.

Others find it helpful to limit the number of errands they run with their child. The child sometimes can handle a single trip to the grocery store while multiple errands prove to be unsuccessful.

Use Task Analysis

Using a task analysis is certainly an effective way to break down tasks. We recommend using a visual schedule to make this as clear as possible.

For example: if your child already knows the beginning steps of tying his shoes. Use forward chaining to teach him all steps necessary to tie his shoes.

Below is a sample task analysis, written by Sarah Goldsztein, MS BCBA, one of our very own BCBAs, that can help your child with this is:

  1.  take two laces in your hands
  2.  cross the two laces
  3.  make a knot by pulling one end under
  4. pull the knot tight
  5.  make a bunny ear and hold with one hand
  6. make another bunny ear and hold with the other hand.
  7.  pull the knot tight

A visual schedule can be helpful in teaching this.

Use Shaping Procedures

Shaping is another technique that we use to break down steps. We break down each skill into bite-sized steps. As your child masters each skill, we gradually add to the increase the difficulty level.

For example, we use can use shaping to teach the word mommy to a non-verbal child.

We start with teaching the child to say the approximation “M”.

We then teach to say “mo.”

The next step is say “mom.”

After that, we teach the child to say “mommy.”

Keep in mind: “Slow but steady wins the race!”

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