Classroom skills such as following group instructions, interacting with peers, and behaving appropriately, are essential towards a child’s education and social skills. However, for some children diagnosed with Autism or other intellectual disabilities acquiring some of these skills may be difficult. Some parents and teachers may express difficulty in getting their child to behave appropriately when participating in classroom activities.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) helps teachers and parents manage children with persistent and challenging behaviors and also helps children with building social skills and following instructions.
Circle time is one of the most common classroom activities that most parents with young children diagnosed with Autism express concern. Circle time is a time for group instruction that involves activities such as group singing, dancing, and reading. Circle time is essential for children as it lays the foundation towards group participation and structure in higher academic settings such as lectures. As children get older, circle time can also be essential in setting them up for success in other settings such as board meetings and seminars. Circle time should be fun and engaging, but some children may struggle to stay motivated and in turn engage in problem behaviors.
ABA therapy can help by first understanding the reasoning behind problem behavior during circle time. Second, working towards decreasing the problem behavior. Third, increasing an alternative and more appropriate behavior. For example, a child is engaging in slapping the floor due to wanting attention from the teacher. With ABA therapy, it can be used towards removing attention when the child is engaging in floor slapping, and providing attention towards more appropriate behavior such as sitting quietly or following group instructions.
What We Do
At BCOTB, 15 to 30 minutes are provided during a client’s session for group responding for early and intermediate/advanced learners. Our group responding involves grouping peers of similar standing on the verbal behavior milestone placement (i.e. VB-MAPP) with group instructions that focuses on social skills, reading, math, arts, and other classroom related activities.
During group responding, there is one instructor that provides group instructions. Each child has a one to one therapist that will provide the least but most effective prompt if a child does not engage in the group instruction within 2 to 3 seconds. If a child is following through with the group instructions, his or her one to one therapist and the instructor will provide positive reinforcement in the form of praise, physical attention, or edibles, depending on the child’s behavior plan. If a child is engaging in problem behaviors during group responding, depending on the child’s behavior plan, ABA reactive strategies are used.