May 2020 archive

Guide to Functions

We have finally gone over all of the functions! This flow chart will help break down each of the functions and how to respond to them. Check out any of our other blogs to see each of the methods in more detail!

Who Writes the Blog?

Meet Meghan and Zoe!

They have been running the Husky ABA clinic Facebook and blog. They both have positions as Graduate Assistants at St. Cloud State and have been working hard on keeping everything for the clinic organized and helping develop materials for our undergraduate clinicians.

Meghan and Zoe both come from South Dakota State University, where they both Majored in Psychology. Meghan also has minors in Sociology and Philosophy and Zoe has minors in Human Development and Family Studies and Mental Health Services.

Meghan became interested in ABA through working as a paraprofessional at a special education cooperative during her summer and winter breaks from college. She would work closely with the Behavior Analysts at these programs to help them implement their treatment programs and found it interesting to see how certain behavior plans affected each student.

Zoe originally became interested in ABA through a behavior modification course she took at SDSU. After taking this course Zoe started to do behavioral research for the professor of the class and got a job at the South Dakota Development Center in Redfield, SD where she learned a lot about how important behavior plans can be. Through this work Zoe found ABA to be very interesting and practical and decided that she wanted to learn more about it.

Meghan and Zoe have been friends since freshmen year of undergrad and a fun fact about them is that they took a 15-hour road trip to Red River Gorge in Kentucky to go rock climbing together. They spent a week there hiking, climbing, and camping, even though it was snowing for a few days!

Sensory Behaviors

We have gone over escape, attention, and tangible maintained behaviors, now we will introduce you to the last function that is a little more complex. This last one is sensory maintained behaviors. These are the behaviors that are automatically maintained, so the child doesn’t need a response from you to be reinforced.

Some behaviors that may occur to gain sensory stimulation are hair twirling, hand waving, and scratching. These behaviors are not done for any reason other than that it feels good to the client, so it can be difficult to address them and to find ways to decrease the behaviors. These behaviors are also not always harmful and might not need to be stopped all of the time, but if they are getting in the way of the students daily life or education they may need to be addressed.

One way to decrease these behaviors is to provide your child with access to sensory toys and other items that are stimulating. Giving your child breaks or ways to access these items can help lower the chances that they will engage in their unwanted sensory behaviors. Some examples of objects that can replace sensory behaviors are play doh and beads. The goal of doing this is to replace the inappropriate behaviors with more appropriate ones.

In our clinic we keep an array of sensory toys on hand for our clients can use.