TAGteach: What to do when dark clouds roll in

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autism, tagteach, applied behavior analysis, ABA

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed

In recent posts I have talked about building behaviors from tiny seeds of potentially positive physical movements, and nurturing these new behaviors with lots of positive reinforcement.

But, sometimes dark clouds roll in and the sunshine goes away. When we get overwhelmed or tired, it’s all too easy to fall into negative habits.

 When things get bleak, positive reinforcement can go out the window

A few weeks ago I had a string of bad days – mostly being tired, stressed, and cranky. I had no patience with my son, and little things that normally would be easy to handle suddenly seemed impossible. I slipped into negative comments and negative behaviors towards him. I knew I should instead pick up the rate of positive reinforcement, but didn’t have the energy to do so.

Douglas saves the day!

Luckily, my son knew what to do. One day he pestered me and pestered me for a fruit roll-up (our perennial favorite treat). When I finally gave it to him, he slipped it into my pocket with a sharp look that said, “Here. You need this more than I do. Get busy and use this.” I laughed so hard that I felt better, and started tagging and treating again. Soon, balance was restored, energy revitalized, and positive practices were back in place. The dark clouds retreated.

autism, tagteach, applied behavior analysis, ABA

What is TAGteach?

TAGteach stands for Teaching with Acoustical Guidance. TAGteach is a teaching and communication method based on the scientific principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

TAGteach enables extremely precise positive reinforcement of behavior by using an acoustical signal to “mark” the behavior – at the precise moment the child performs the behavior! The acoustical signal is a short, sharp sound made by a handheld device (the “tagger”). When the child performs the correct action, the parent/instructor immediately presses the button on the tagger and hands over a treat (candy, treat, token, praise, social recognition, or money) as a reinforcer.

With TAGteach, it is easy to reinforce behaviors precisely and quickly. The immediate, accurate feedback and positive reinforcement result in the child performing the correct action more often, and for longer periods of time. With immediate feedback and learning tasks broken down into small steps, children can learn many new skills with TAGteach — at their own pace.

autism, TAGteach, ABA, positive reinforcementCheck out the TAGteach International website.

Join the free TAGteach listserve.

TAGteach taggers are available here.

See Martha’s book about TAGteach for Autism or ask a question (with no obligation).

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Martha Gabler

Autism parent. Director, Kids' Learning Workshop LLC. Author of Chaos to Calm: Discovering Solutions to the Everyday Problems of Living with Autism.

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