I Want Bad Behavior?

First blog of the year, and I start with this? No it’s not a typo, and I haven’t fallen off my rocker just yet. We’ll get to the subject quickly, but here are some behaviors that little kids are able to perform:

Why behavior may not be the worst thing.

First blog of the year, and I start with this? No it’s not a typo, and I haven’t fallen off my rocker just yet. We’ll get to the subject quickly, but here are some behaviors that little kids are able to perform:

Quick commentary on Youtube: You can’t BELIEVE the crap that came up when I went to find videos of little kids with behavior problems cerebral or talkspace. I know that a couple are funny, but come on people! Put the camera down and DEAL with the behavior. Ridiculous!

Anyway, where was I? Yes, bad behavior – today’s topic. OF COURSE I DO NOT WANT BAD BEHAVIOR. I am a behavior analyst, and it kinda looks bad when children emit behavior for the first time under our watch. The truth is that when kids get older and gain more skills, they WILL continue to display appropriate and innapriopriate behavior. Sometimes it’s mild, such as saying no or some whining. Sometimes it is severe, such as head banging and excessive screaming. Here are two general rules about behavior:

#1 All humans emit various types of behavior during their lifetime. It’s no different with kids who may be delayed.

It’s not anyone’s fault when a child tries a behavior for the first time online counseling service. Are you telling me you have never hit, kicked, cussed, fought, stolen, etc. EVER? So, if we know that a child is eventually going to do these, why do we act so shocked and surprised when it happens? Our job as caregivers and providers is that we make sure that innappropriate behavior is an isolated event and not a trend! Almost all behavior is produced to get the consequences. It’s all of our jobs to make sure we have good consequences for maladaptive behavior. Kids emitting different forms of behavior can actually be a good sign of better cognition, social development, and social awareness. I know parents who are overjoyed when their kids tell their first lie…and then they promtply punish them for it.

#2 We should not make excuses for behavior.

One of my pet peeves is when I talk with those who try to excuse a delayed child’s behavior away. I have had teachers tell me “I let him just wander the halls and stare at the fish tank, because he did not want to work.” I would venture to say half of the kids would love to wander and watch fish all day if people let them. Almost all people will take the path of least resistance if they are allowed. I know that if a child has behavior difficulties or communication issues, it can be more difficult to deal with, but we should never make excuses and continue to allow it to just keep happening. If we don’t intervene and make a game plan on behavior, then how can expect it to go away?

The HBO movie about Temple Grandin has just come out. I haven’t seen it yet, but Temple has some great quotes when it comes to Autism and behavior:

  1. There are some cases where children do things, and it is simply bad behavior. This problem needs to be dealt with behaviorally.
  2. You only get an accurate understanding of the child’s behavior from people who see this child or see the adult for many hours.
  3. Research is starting to show that a child should be engaged at least 20 hours a week. I do not think it matters which program you choose as long as it keeps the child actively engaged with the therapist, teacher, or parent for at least 20 hours a week.
  4. If you start using a medication in a person with autism, you should see an obvious improvement in behavior in a short period of time. If you do not see an obvious improvement, they probably should not be taking the stuff. It is that simple.

Quotation of Temple Grandin