- A Brief Explanation of Discrete Trial Training
- Supporting Students with Asperger's Syndrome Who Present Behavioral Challenges
- Applied Behavior Analysis: A Focus on Outcomes
- A Challenge to Reframe our Thinking About Behavior
- Concerning Consequences: What Do I Do When...?
- Consequences, Behavior, and My Birds
- Don't Forget About Self Management
- Ever Had a Crisis Kind of Day?
- Movement Difference: A Closer Look at the Possibilities
- Movement Differences Among Some People with Autism: an Impetus to Re-Examine Behavioral Issues
- Observing Behavior Using A-B-C Data
- Positive Behavior Supports Creating Meaningful Life Options for People with ASD
- Ten Steps Towards Supporting Appropriate Behavior
- The Challenge of Combining Competing Input in the Classroom
- "Your Attitude Just Might Be My Biggest Barrier"
- Applied Behavior Analysis: The Role of Task Analysis and Chaining
- Tips for Choosing a Provider for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
- What to Consider When Looking for a Qualified ABA Provider
- Assessment Day: Questions About the Communication Development of Your Young Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- “If They Could Only Tell Me What They Are Thinking.” The Need for Augmentative Communication for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Aiding Comprehension of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders During One-on-One Interactions
- Can Social Pragmatic Skills Be Tested?
- Comprehension of the Message: Important Considerations for Following Directions
- First Steps and the Journey to a Diagnosis of ASD for a Child under Three
- Functional Categories of Delayed Echolalia
- Functional Categories of Immediate Echolalia
- Initial Guidelines for Developing a Communication Intervention Plan for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Significant Limitations in Communication Ability
- Long and Short Term Strategies for Reducing Specific Repetitive Questions
- Successfully Using PECS with Children with ASD
- Meeting the Challenge of Social Pragmatics with Students on the Autism Spectrum
- Opportunity to Communicate: A Crucial Aspect of Fostering Communication Development
- Reading with Your School-Age Child: Building Vocabulary One Word at a Time
- Social Communication and Language Characteristics Associated with High Functioning, Verbal Children and Adults with ASD
- The 21st Century Speech Language Pathologist and Integrated Services in Classrooms
- The High Functioning Person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: A "Tourist" in His Native Country
- The Role of the School Speech Language Pathologist and the Student with Autism
- Using a Visual Support to Enhance WH Question
- Visual Resources for Enhancing Communication for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Disabilities
- Visual Schedules and Choice Boards: Avoid Misinterpretation of their Primary Functions
- Visual Supports: Sources for Symbols for Receptive and Expressive Communication
- What is the Picture Exchange Communication System or PECS?
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- PICO - A Decision Making Tool For Selecting Apps
- Helping Your Child to Develop Communication Skills
- Evidence-Based Practices for Effective Communication and Social Intervention
- Important Predictors
- The Use of Technology in Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Collaborative Teaming
- Educational Programming
- Academic Supports for College Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Advice from Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Teachers Regarding Literacy Instruction
- Advice for Peer Tutors
- Applying the Ziggurat and CAPS Model in Your School District
- Aspects of Support for Learning
- A Young Adult's Guide to Deep Breathing as a Relaxation Technique: A Personalized Fact Sheet
- Can Schedule Usage Training Include Elements of Literacy Instruction?
- Clean Up Your Act! Creating an Organized Classroom Environment for Students on the Spectrum.
- Change is Good! Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum when Introducing Novelty
- Classroom Choreography: The Art of Scheduling Staff and Students
- Complexities of Instructional Support
- Creating a Circle of Support
- Critical Features of Early Intervention: Merging Best Practices
- Developing Long Term Relationships Between School and Parents
- Early Intervention for Young Children on the Autism spectrum: Parent’s Perspective
- Educating Students with Autism: Are There Differences in Placement?
- Establishing Long Term Goals: What Are We Hoping to Achieve
- For General Education Teachers: Helpful Questions to Ask About Students with ASD
- Get Engaged: Designing Instructional Activities to Help Students Stay On-Task
- "Ham It Up and Get It Cookin!!" Thoughts From Dr. Greenspan
- Home-School Communication
- "I Can Do It Myself!" Using Work Systems to Build Independence in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- “I Wake Up for MY Dream!” Personal Futures Planning Circles of Support, MAPS and PATH
- Life After High School...So Now What
- Literacy Resources
- Lovaas Revisited: Should We Have Ever Left?
- Making the Most of Morning Meeting
- Motivating Students Who Have Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Moving from Preschool to Kindergarten: Planning for a Successful Transition and New Relationships
- Peer Support Programs
- Promoting the Educational Success of Students with Autism: The Role of the Parent-Staff Relationship
- Planning for Successful Transitions Across Grade Levels
- Practical Steps to Writing Individualized Education Program (IEP) Goals: And Writing Them Well
- Practical Recommendations for Utilizing a Range of Instructional Approaches in General Education Settings
- Recognizing Different Types of Readers with ASD
- Reframing Our Thinking and Getting to Know the Child
- Restricted Repertoires in Autism and What We Can Do About It
- School Cultures that Support Students Across the Autism Spectrum
- Service Learning: Something to Think About
- Supporting Staff Using Coaching Model
- Supporting Students with Asperger's Syndrome
- Teaching Students Who Are Low-Functioning: Who Are They and What Should We Teach?
- Theory of Mind in Autism: Development, Implications, and Intervention
- There is No Place Called Inclusion
- The Road to Post-Secondary Education: Questions to Consider
- Tips for Teaching High-Functioning People with Autism
- Tips to Consider When Including a Student with ASD in Art, Music, or Physical Education
- Transition: Preparing for a Lifetime
- Transition to Middle School
- Transition Time: Helping Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Move Successfully from One Activity to Another
- Understanding the Design and Power of a Personal Schedule
- Using Visual Schedules: A Guide for Parents
- Who Are We Working for Anyway? Avoiding Personal Agendas at Meetings to Better Support Individuals Across the Autism Spectrum
- Structured Teaching Strategies: A Series
- Growing Up Together
- How to Open A Combination Lock/Locker
- Supporting Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders Through Postsecondary Transition
- Curriculum Materials and Programs for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
- Implementation and Effectiveness of Using Video Self-Modeling with Students with ASD
- Video Self-Modeling How To and Examples
- Advocates: Qualities to Look for and Choosing the Correct One for YOU
- Considering an Overnight Camp Program for your Child on the Autism Spectrum?
- Finding or Starting a Support Group
- Making the Most of the Holidays for Your Family and Your Son/Daughter on the Autism Spectrum
- Selected Bibliography for Families of People within the Autism Spectrum
- Selected National Resources for Information on Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Selected Resources for Understanding and Supporting Siblings
- Setting the Stage for Parent-Professional Collaboration
- Siblings Perspectives: Some Guidelines for Parents
- What About the Dads?
- When Your Child is Diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- What to Do If You Suspect Your Son/Daughter Might Have an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- For Parents: Preparing for the School Year
- Self Help/Medical
- Teaching a Young Man to Shave
- An Introduction to Possible Biomedical Causes and Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders
- The "M" Word
- Mealtime and Children on the Autism Spectrum: Beyond Picky, Fussy, and Fads
- Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite:
- Taking Your Son/Daughter with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to the Dentist
- Teaching a Young Woman to Shave
- Anxiety and Panic Struggles
- Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Having THE Talk with Your Child with ASD
- General Information
- Assessment Processes for Autism Spectrum Disorders: Purpose and Procedures
- Autism Awareness Month: Facts and Tips for Working with Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
- Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Diagnostic Criteria for Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder
- Disability Information for Someone who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Customized Example
- Getting Started: Introducing Your Child to His or Her Diagnosis of Autism or Asperger Syndrome
- Increasing Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders Continues in Indiana
- Standardized Tests and Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Article 7, Title 511
- What’s in a Name: Our Only Label Should Be Our Name: Avoiding the Stereotypes
- For Physicians: Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders and Working with Schools
- Behavioral Issues and the Use of Social Stories
- How to “Lose the Training Wheels:” A New Way to Teach Bicycle Riding
- Living in Fear: Anxiety in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Local Community Resources to Enhance Activities
- Making (and Keeping) Friends: A Model for Social Skills Instruction
- Making Camps Accessible for All
- Play in the Lives of Young Children with Autism
- Play Time: An Examination Of Play Intervention Strategies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Social Activity Groups: Another Approach for Helping to Bridge the Friendship Gap
- Teaching Social Skills through Theatre
- The Collective Outcomes of School-Based Social Skill Interventions for Children on the Autism Spectrum
- The Value of Movement Activities for Young Children
- We All Need Exercise
- Finding a Friend in School
- Bullying and Students on the Autism Spectrum
- Incorporating Typical Peers Into the Social Learning of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Articles by Temple Grandin
- An Inside View of Autism
- Choosing the Right Job for People with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome
- Evaluating the Effects of Medication
- Genius May Be an Abnormality: Educating Students with Asperger's Syndrome, or High Functioning Autism
- Making the Transition from the World of School into the World of Work
- Social Problems: Understanding Emotions and Developing Talents
- Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism
Don't Forget About Self Management
Contributed by Steve Buckmann
A primary goal of education is to assist individuals to become more independent in managing their own behavior. For most people, this is a gradual process which extends well into adulthood! For many individuals with autism spectrum disorders, moving towards increased independence is difficult without systematic, long term instruction. Though support persons strive to assist individuals with autism spectrum disorders in reaching greater heights of independence and autonomy, many of our efforts actually result in teaching individuals to be heavily reliant on outside influences and controls.
Typically, instruction for individuals with autism spectrum disorders has focused on teaching ALL of the skills and behaviors needed in EACH instructional setting, since individuals with autism may experience difficulty generalizing behaviors and skills across settings. Unfortunately, this becomes an overwhelming prospect as well as an inefficient strategy. Instead, it would seem more logical and efficient to teach behaviors that have the potential to transfer across settings and to benefit the individual in multiple settings. Self-management is such a behavior.
What is self-management?
Self-management is a procedure in which people are taught to discriminate their own target behavior and record the occurrence or absence of that target behavior (Koegel, Koegel, & Parks, 1995). Self- management is a useful technique to assist individuals with disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, to achieve greater levels of independence in vocational, social, academic and recreational activities. By learning self-management techniques individuals can become more self- directed and less dependent on continuous supervision. Instead of teaching situation specific behaviors, self-management teaches a general skill that can be used in an unlimited number of environments. Self-management techniques have also been useful in reducing or eliminating such behaviors as stereotypic responding. The procedure has broad applications for individuals with and without disabilities and can be adapted in some manner to benefit a variety of learners.
How do you teach self- management?
Koegel, Koegel and Parks (1995) have outlined five general steps to teach self-management. These are: (1) operationally define the target behavior; (2) identify functional reinforcers; (3) design or choose a self-management method or device; (4) teach the individual to use the self-management device; and (5) teach self-management independence. Each of these steps are explained below.
- Operationally define the target behavior.
First, it is essential that the target behavior(s) be described so that the individual who is learning to self-monitor as well as all who support him/her can identify and agree upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of a behavior. For example, a description such as behaving in the lunchroom is vague and open to interpretation. Instead, staying in the lunch line, not touching other students, remaining seated until finished eating provides a description of the behavior that is observable, measurable, and can result in agreement across observers.
When first instructing an individual in self-management, the target behavior should be simple enough to be performed fairly quickly and easily so the student can gain access to a reward. As the individual experiences success, more behaviors can be added to the procedure.
- Identify functional reinforcers.
Reinforcers, by definition, increase the behaviors they follow. What is reinforcing varies across people. The best way to select a meaningful reinforcer is to let the individual select it. However, sometimes it is difficult to identify reinforcers. In these instances, several strategies may be helpful. First, observe the individual to see what they like to do. Second, look at the possible function of behavior. This may provide a direct link to a functional reinforcer. For example, for an individual who exhibits challenging behavior to escape a boring or difficult task, access to free time may be the logical (and preferred) reinforcer.
It is important (at least initially) that reinforcement for performing the target behavior and for self- monitoring the occurrence of the behavior be given each time. In addition, students can be encouraged to access their own reinforcer.
- Design or choose a self- management method or device.
The purpose of the self- management method or device is to provide the individual with a clear means to record the occurrence of behavior. This could entail making check marks on paper, placing stickers in a notebook, using a tape recorder with pre-recorded signals at pre- set intervals, or using a wrist counter. Considerations for choosing a method/device include: the present ability level of the individual, ease of use and portability (so that self- monitoring can be expanded to many settings), age- appropriateness, and the behavior(s) to be targeted. For example, a large cumbersome device probably would not work well during gym class.
- Teach the individual to use the self-management device.
In this step the individual is taught (generally through modeling by a facilitator) to accurately recognize and record the occurrence or nonoccurrence of target behaviors and receive reinforcement for accurate recording. Then the individual is instructed to perform the target behavior and self-record the occurrence of the behavior. To ensure that problem behaviors are not strongly reinforced, the facilitator should provide more reinforcement for recording the occurrence of desired behaviors, and less reinforcement for monitoring the occurrence of undesirable ones. Again, the time to teach self-monitoring will vary considerably across individuals. However, it is important that the facilitator ensure that individuals learn to self-monitor in the individual's real world.
Interestingly, individuals do not always have to record with complete accuracy to achieve the desired effect, though it will be important for facilitators to ensure two things:
- That the individual understands the procedure; and
- That the individual is not simply cheating to gain a reward. Careful monitoring by the facilitator will reduce the effect of either of these factors.
This is the stage at which the facilitator fades himself out of the picture and allows the individual to self-monitor and self-reinforce. The following outcomes should be addressed at this stage:
- Prompts to self-manage behavior should be reduced.
- The amount of time the individual spends self- managing should be increased.
- The number of self-recording responses expected before reinforcement should be increased.
- The schedule of reinforcement should be reduced by increasing the duration between times when self- recording is expected.
- The individual should be taught to access their own reinforcement for successful self-recording.
Example: Adam is a nine year old with a diagnosis of autism and severe mental retardation. He is extremely active and moves about his fourth grade classroom continuously. It was estimated that Adam would stay seated (at best) for about three minutes at a time. His parents and teachers were concerned that if this pattern continued it would compromise his chances to learn and be included in typical educational activities. They wanted to consider educational interventions before investigating medications to address this hyperactivity. It was decided to teach Adam a self-management procedure. Each step is described below.
Step 1. Operationally define the target behavior.
Initially, only one behavior was targeted: staying in seat. Since the duration of a typical group lesson in Adam's class was about 20 minutes, remaining seated for this period of time became a long- term goal for Adam. The target behavior was communicated to Adam with a photograph of him seated at his work table with three other students.
Step 2. Identify functional reinforcers.
Observations of Adam quickly showed that his preferred reinforcer was simply to move about the classroom freely. Since Adam did not disturb the classroom environment in any way when he walked around, it was agreed that Adam could earn free time to walk about the room.
Step 3. Design or choose a self- management system.
Adam was familiar with typical kitchen timers. His parents had used them successfully at home to indicate transition times. It was agreed that a kitchen timer would indicate intervals at which to self-monitor. In addition, Adam greatly enjoyed cartoons. Stickers of cartoon characters would be used to record the appropriate target behavior of staying in seat.
Step 4. Teach the individual to use the self- management device.
Initially the teacher used one of Adam's peers to model in and out of seat behavior and prompted Adam to record his peer's behavior (placing a cartoon sticker under the in-seat picture if his peer was seated). When Adam responded correctly to 8 out of 10 trials, his teacher began to use the timer.
Initially, to teach the procedure, the timer was set at two minute intervals (about a minute less than he typically stayed seated) during his regular instruction. No physical or verbal prompts were used to keep Adam seated during instruction. At the end of each interval, Adam was asked, Were you seated? If he was seated and correctly identified that he was seated, he was given a sticker. If he was seated and answered incorrectly, he was told, Yes, you WERE seated, you earned a sticker. He placed the sticker on a monitoring card and was told, You earned free time. He was then allowed to walk around the room for a minute.
When Adam was out of his seat at the end of the interval, he was brought back to his desk, but not seated. He was asked, Were you seated? If he correctly identified that he was not seated, he was praised and asked to sit down and begin working. Adam was then instructed to remain seated until the bell and his assistant resumed instruction.
Step 5. Teach self-management independence.
Over time Adam was able to stay in his seat for continuously longer periods. The length of the timed intervals has gradually increased until after 6 weeks he was remaining in his seat consistently for 10 minutes at a time and at times for up to 15 minutes! The amount of instruction Adam is receiving has greatly increased.
On-going efforts will be made to increase self-management independence (as outlined in Step 5). Though Adam still requires his teacher or assistant to prompt him through the procedure when the timer rings, Adam is beginning to more accurately identify his behavior.
Self-management is a procedure with broad applications. Though there is a general series of steps to follow, individualization is critical to increase the likelihood of success. It is also important that self- management procedures not be used as a substitute for a well developed and individualized curriculum. Activities and curriculum for all individuals should be developed so that they are interesting and result in meaningful outcomes. Self-management is not a tool to simply teach individuals to be compliant.
References and recommended reading:
Koegel, R.L., & Koegel, L.K. (1990). Extended reductions in stereotypic behavior of students with autism through a self- management treatment package. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23(1), 119-127.
Koegel, R.L., Koegel, L.K., & Parks, D.R. (1995). "Teach the individual" model of generalization: Autonomy through self-management. In R.L. Koegel & L.K. Koegel (Eds.), Teaching children with autism: Strategies for initiating positive interactions and improving learning opportunities (pp. 67-77). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.
Buckmann, Steve (2000?) Don’t forget about self management. Bloomington, IN: Indiana Resource Center for Autism.