Questions?

http://doggonesafe.com/Resources/Pictures/questionmark.pngIf you are using TAGteach with a child and have a question, please feel free to ask for more information. If your question is of a general nature and you feel comfortable sharing it with others, please post it on the Chaos to Calm Facebook page. If your question is of a more private nature, please email Martha Gabler at martha.gabler@gmail.com.

Please join the TAGteach Yahoo group to share your experiences or ask questions of experienced TAGteachers. Martha is active in this group and will be happy to answer your questions on this forum where others will also benefit.

4 thoughts on “Questions?

  1. Hi. Help!! I am a kindergarten teacher of 29 years. I have a severe autistic child in my class this year. I have 17 students. She is extremely loud with her self stimming. I cannot speak over her. She is in my room all day. The aide just follows her around and sits next to her. Her aide offers no stimulation or sensory activities for her. It is driving me crazy. Our SPED teacher wants her out of her room. It is an extremely poor set up. The autistic child is not receiving any benefits from being in my classroom. I feel as if I am not doing her any justice. 🙁 PLEASE HELP!! THANK YOU.
    Kay Senn
    ksenn@winterwarriors.org

    1. Hello Kay,

      Thank you for your email. I’m so sorry for the stress this situation is causing you and the other staff in your school. It is unfortunate, but sadly very common, that children with autism still do not receive appropriate behavioral supports in the schools; this imposes huge burdens on teachers such as yourself, who are trying to do everything they can.

      First recommendation. If possible, please find out whether your school system has access to a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). A BCBA is a professional who is trained in analyzing behavior and determining the function of the behavior; this person would develop and help you implement a behavior plan to address this child’s needs.

      Second recommendation. You and other staff in the school could consider using TAGteach to tag and reinforce this girl for productive behaviors such as Quiet Mouth and Appropriate Vocalization/Communication. Naturally, I have no idea of the protocols and policies that apply in your school system; you would have to check that out. Screaming is a common problem among children on the spectrum, and TAGteach is an effective way to increase productive alternative behaviors. Please see this article which describes this in more detail: http://autismchaostocalm.com/how-i-reduced-screaming-and-verbal-stimming-in-my-child-with-autism/

      Many young children with autism are placed in settings where the level of demand is simply too great for their abilities and the level of positive reinforcement is too low (or non-existent). This is a specific situation known as “ratio strain,” and such children display maladaptive behaviors because they just cannot cope. The solution is to do a careful and detailed assessment of their current skill sets and endurance levels, and fashion a program that meets their needs. Please see this article: http://autismchaostocalm.com/what-is-your-childs-balance-of-failure-and-success/

      Kay, you and your colleagues are welcome to use all the free resources available on the Chaos to Calm site to learn more about how to support children with autism via precise, targeted positive reinforcement. You may wish to join the TAGteach for Learning and Behavior Facebook group; there are other teachers, therapists, and behavior professionals who participate there and would be happy to share ideas with you: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TAGteachAutism/

      Please let me know if you have more questions, and please let me know how it’s going.

  2. Hi! I have a 8 year old daughter who is diagnosed with ASD.She has very loud verbal stims and is disruptive in the classroom and even on family outings it has been very hard for us to control the stimming.She is sometimes aware that she is loud but unable to control the impulse.My question is should I just pick some time during the day when her stimming is up and use the tag approach and the rest of the time when she stims let it be or do it several times during the day.I ask this as my daughter stims constantly.Will it then be effective as it do it sometimes and then I don’t other times.Thanks.

    1. Hi BB,

      Thanks for sharing your concern about your daughter. Many parents struggle with the noise level that our beloved kiddos with autism can create.

      Your question about how often to work with her is a good one, and it comes up frequently. Before we get into the details of the answer, let’s step back for a moment and remember that all behavior is affected by its consequences (what comes AFTER the behavior). Your daughter vocalizes so much because the consequences of this are pleasing to her.

      To change her behavior, change the consequences she experiences.

      We generally recommend working with a child several times a day for 5-8 minutes. Set aside everything else and follow the instructions in the article on verbal stimming. Tag and reinforce (give a treat to her liking) every time she performs either Quiet Mouth or Appropriate Vocalization/Communication behavior. Stay focused on tagging those fleeting moments of Quiet Mouth or Appropriate Vocalization, and resist the temptation to talk about her verbal stimming; also try to turn your head away when she makes noise so she doesn’t get attention from you. At those times when you are busy with other tasks, don’t react to the stimming; just hold off until you have an opportunity to tag and reinforce her for the behaviors you want.

      After a few days, you will see a change in her behavior. How long will that take? It depends on how much time you spend. She will learn that she is getting treats and happy smiles from Mom for Quiet Mouth and Appropriate Vocalization, so she will do those behaviors more often.

      Once her Quiet Mouth and Appropriate Vocalization behavior has increased, look around and see what other behaviors you would like her to do more often. Then repeat the process. You can teach her many useful skills with TAGteach.

      Please contact me with any more questions, and let us know how it goes.

      Sincerely,
      Martha Gabler

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