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As a parent of a child with often extreme emotional & behavioral issues, I’m continually searching out the best methods and technologies to support her journey into greater emotional management. Whether it’s to help build conversation skills, manage angry outbursts, or navigate fears, I’m always looking for tidbits of information that I can implement into our routine, or apps that I can make available for her use.

In this ever-constant pursuit of making things better for her (and me), I recently attended a conference on  Positive Behavior Supports. Though tough to summarize much of the complex and thorough information that was provided, I was able to walk away with a few key notes that are definitely worth sharing, regardless of disability, needs, age, or anything else!

  • Challenging behavior happens when the person is not happy. He/she uses behavior to change the current environment. Therefore, it’s vital to ask  (before the problem behaviors start) “what makes you happy?” And it’s vital to figure out how the person shows that she is happy (i.e. smiling, rocking, sounds, or gestures).
  • It’s imperative to offer choices – choices are necessary to help overcome challenging behaviors. And then reinforce the positive redirection of an activity (when a problem behavior is interrupted).
  • Change terms from “bad” to “mad”- when problem behaviors are indicating anger, ask “Do you need something?” or “Do you need to talk?” or “Why are you really mad?”

Stay tuned for updates on apps that have proven helpful!

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