Autism Resource blog:

Parent Support University Week 3

Apr 15, 2020
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Speaker 1 (00:00):

All right. Good evening. Happy Wednesday, seven o'clock Eastern. I am here in a sunny Richmond, Virginia. I'm Adam Dreyfus. I'm the chief science officer of AnswersNow, what is AnswersNow? AnswersNow is a mobile platform. Actually you can do it on the internet too, but it's designed to be used mostly through your phone. It's a mobile platform that connects you directly to your own board certified behavior analyst. You can find out more on We got all kinds of things going on. We've got communities which are like free rooms where if you go to getanswers, you sign up. You don't have to pay anything. You don't have to, you don't get assigned a clinician. You can check on our tips, you can check out our blogs. But one of the coolest things that we're happy about is communities.

Speaker 1 (00:49):

And very shortly we are going to be launching a new what we call one off video where you're going to just be able to go on to AnswersNow and instead of like signing up to get your own clinician which is a monthly service you can just sign up just to ask a question and talk for half an hour. Kinda like this. Like if you tuned in right now and said, Oh, I'm just going to ask Adam some things and I'm good. We noticed that a lot of our users were one time users and didn't want the service for a long time and just really wanted a very specific kind of question asked. So it will be a debuting one off videos or one time videos, however you want to talk about it.

Speaker 1 (01:28):

This is what we're doing on Wednesday nights is specific to the pandemic crisis but also very much in our mission. We've been doing these for a while. These “Ask me anything” and we've done them on a bunch of topics. But the core proposition of AnswersNow is that there's all of this information that you can use as a parent or a caregiver to help you with your child on the spectrum. And then there's all these parents and teachers who are not accessing this information and it's all out there. There's all kinds of websites. I'm gonna share one now because I'm using it as kind of the base of a, this, it's been kind of my favorite resource. So it is on a website put together by the National Professional Development Center which is a kind of a fancy way kind of a long thing.

Speaker 1 (02:17):

Whatever label name. And they put together these kind of series of modules and what they really, the question they asked, and this was about 10 years ago, is if you are a parent or a caregiver of a individual on the spectrum, it seems like every week there's some new intervention or some new strategy or try this, try gluten free, try hyperbaric chambers, try therapy dolphins, and parents on a good day, feel very overwhelmed. Autism is very unique in that there's always some kind of new piece of information. And a lot of parents spent a lot of time and effort chasing all these down. And so what the National Professional Development Center said was like, what do we know? What do we just know what works? We're not asking questions about it anymore. We just, we know what works.

Speaker 1 (03:03):

And so they made a list of the things that they know that work. They called evidence based practices, EBPs. They love their acronyms in special education and medicine. And so you'll see a little link over there to your right, I think, I guess it's your right, I'm not sure what it looks like on your end. And that will take you to the main website and you'll be able to check out evidence based practices and they've got these amazing modules where you can learn how to do this. And yet people don't. And so what we're doing we're trying to demystify these things, these evidence based practices or basically the toolkit that someone like myself uses. If you come and knock on our door and say, Hey, I would like my son or my daughter to come to your school.

Speaker 1 (03:46):

I've heard you really good at all these kinds of, you know, helping these kinds of kids out. And what really is, is I was trained on all of these evidence based practices. Now I wasn't trained in the way that they kind of laid them out. It was a, you know, I just went and got a master's and they kinda did it all at once. But this is the best sort of pile of the toolkit that I have come across. So the National Professional Development Center, I would love to give a shout out also to Vanderbilt Universities, Iris Modules. I R I S maybe a Alison, if you could throw those up in the chat window there. And this is interactive cause this is live. And I am on the right website last couple of weeks.

Speaker 1 (04:31):

I keep launching this in my own personal Facebook. And I got to look up there and make sure that I see the little AnswersNow logo and not a picture of my smiling daughter, which I love to see, but that tells me I'm on the wrong page. So feel free to ask questions. Either now or if you're watching this afterwards, you can still type in the questions. We're still going to get them. And I will respond to them. We will make sure that you get an answer. You can also go to communities, the free communities on AnswersNow, and we've got different kinds of rooms set up. So we've got a room set up for people who just found out that their son or daughter is on the spectrum, kids who struggle with change,

Speaker 1 (05:11):

that's one of the titles, siblings where we kind of talk about how to help folks navigate with brothers and sisters. How to kind of explain the COVID-19 situation. This is a huge, huge challenge for folks on the spectrum. They love routine. They love kind of the same thing every single day. That's their, that's their jam. And here we are with everything just disrupted and stuck at home and not being able to do our normal routines. So the evidence based practices we talked about, the first one we talked about was Antecedent-based intervention. And then we talked about Cognitive behavioral interventions. And now we're going to be talking about Differential reinforcement. Differential reinforcement is one of my favorite concepts. I had no idea what this was before I got trained up on it as I like to say, I bought a condominium in my head.

Speaker 1 (06:07):

The amount of money that I spent to learn all this stuff. Differential reinforcements, one of those things that they should just teach everybody cause it's super at its essence. It's really simple, but it's incredibly powerful. And it is arguably one of the biggest things that we get wrong that results in people doing things that we don't want them to do is we're reinforcing the wrong thing. So I will try to demystify the language a little bit. Talk people through it. I've got the folks helping me out on the other end. It's great for me to see that you're here and kind of interacting. So if you do the little hearts or the little smiley faces or the little whatever the bubble things are that go by. And it's an open forum, right? The whole point of AnswersNow is to connect you directly to a board certified expert.

Speaker 1 (06:58):

I know a fair amount of things about a fair amount of things and not very much about everything else. So feel free to, it's open for whatever you want to ask about. But we're going to be talking about differential reinforcement. And unlike almost every other, like if I say cognitive behavioral intervention, which we talked about last week, cognitive behavioral, what does that mean? It doesn't scream the answer to you or even worse than the week before, antecedent based intervention. I'm not even going to know what antecedent is, based intervention. But differential reinforcement sounds exactly like it is. You are reinforcing something different. So I don't know if that's why I like it so much is that it makes it easy for someone like me to explain it. So the basic idea is you got your kid or an adult and they're doing something that you don't want them to do.

Speaker 1 (07:56):

So the first thing someone like me thinks about is, all right, well there's a reason that they're doing that, right? And that reason is working really well for them. Otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. And most of the time someone calls someone like me is the behavior that they don't want to see is getting worse and is beginning to interfere with things. So it could be anything, it can be running away, it could be slapping yourself, slacking, somebody else, biting, whatever. But generally I get called in when the behavior is on its way up. So what I know almost before I even walk in the door is something is causing that behavior to go up. One of the, my least favorite terms is all my kid just does this stuff out of nowhere and we have there's no reason for it.

Speaker 1 (08:41):

Nope. There's always a very clear reason for why somebody is behaving the way that they do. So the first thing you kind of say is they're doing it cause it's working for them. Even if it looks like it's not like self injurious behaviors like that. Like they're biting themselves in the hand or they're punching themselves in the face as well that can't possibly be working for them. And do you know how you know that it is working for them? They're doing it. It's the same for you and them. Everybody. Nobody behaves in a way that's not working for them ever. And that's just one of those good sorta spaces to be in. When you're dealing with this, you're like, all right, this is working for them. I got to figure out how I'm, a good way that I think about it is like, it's like they're being watered, right?

Speaker 1 (09:24):

Reinforcement is like watering a plant, put water on it, and it grows and grows bigger and bigger, more water, more growth. So a lot of the behavioral interventions that we talk about are at turning the water off. And the reason I like water is a lot of people are like, Oh, I just want him to stop slapping himself. I'm like, totally understand that. Fair enough. I can help out with that. So we're gonna try to turn off the water for them slapping himself, but there's a reason they're slapping themselves. They're thirsty for something and they need the water. They're seeking the water. So if you just turn that water off, they're going to find some other way. If you don't consciously plan and think about what am I going to do to replace the water, another source of water then you're gonna run into usually more intense problems.

Speaker 1 (10:14):

And a lot of parents and teachers see this. They're like, Oh, I got them to stop running around. But now they stab people with pencils. It's not a great example, but it's one that I've dealt with quite a bit. You, almost anybody, if they have a behavior and you take it away, right? Like you don't let them do that. Think about cigarettes. If you just take somebody's cigarettes away, they don't just go, Oh, thank you so much. Right? Like their behavior will intensify the, either the cigarette seeking behavior or some other behavior that they will use to replace it, whether it's drugs or violence or something more intense. It's usually a, it doesn't go the other way. Usually it doesn't not go like, oh, we're just going to calm down. Everything's going to be great. So there's a reason that it's happening and what we want to do is use,

Speaker 1 (11:06):

and differential reinforcement is one of those interventions that is used thousands and thousands and thousands of times a day. We want to find something that's somewhat serves the same purpose as the behavior that we want to get rid of, and we want to reinforce that. So there's a couple of different kinds of differential reinforcement. I am not going to go into those in too much detail. They are highly technical. They take a fair amount of time to kind of unpack and understand and they will take away from what I want you to do is get this basic concept of you want to reinforce the things that you want, the behaviors that you want. Almost every parent teacher, myself included, I am a parent, I was a teacher for a long time, I worked with kids. We think that, oh, we do a good job of letting them know what it is that we want them to do.

Speaker 1 (12:02):

We do not, if somebody was videotaping you, almost certainly you don't do a very good job of that. You do do a great job of letting them know what you don't like. Stop, don't do that. Sit down, stop running around, put your hands down, stop slapping. Don't, you know, and so we tend to address a lot of the behaviors that we don't like and we don't spend hardly any time on when's the last time someone like said to you, well, you're doing a really nice job sitting still. Like that's a strange thing to say to somebody and it would be a strange thing for you to sort of receive. But if you're like in a waiting area or a library or a restaurant or almost your job, what most people want from you is that you're sitting kind of calmly and not making anybody nervous.

Speaker 1 (12:56):

If you are at work or at a, on a bus or in a library and you just get up and start walking around, you make people nervous. What they want you to do is just sit in that chair very, very predictably. But nobody's coming along and say, Hey bud, man, Adam, you are doing a great job saying that. Sure. Here's five bucks. So here's a cookie. Here's a bacon. You can get a lot out of me with bacon. So differential reinforcement, the shortest way of saying it is you try to catch them doing what you want them to do. So again, there's lots of different ways to and I'll go into them briefly cause it's, it would be a remiss of me not to do so. But for example, if your kid yells at you when they're not yelling at you, you reinforce that. You're reinforcing the different behavior.

Speaker 1 (13:51):

It's really that simple when your kid is sitting at the table and eating his food nicely, you reinforce that. Now, most of the time when our kids are doing what we want them to do, we're not paying, it's kind of a nice break. We're not paying much attention to them. They're not, we're not telling them what a great or frankly, good job. There's significant research out there than just telling somebody good job is not super reinforcing. You want to be specific about it so they know exactly what it is that they're doing well. I like that you're keeping your hands in your lap. It sounds goofy but it's very specific. And if they don't understand what you're saying, like a lot of our kids are non-vocal verbal. They don't say anything. And as far as we know, they don't understand what we're saying cause they don't respond to it.

Speaker 1 (14:40):

Like, if I was like, Hey, I'm gonna like say they love cookies and I say to them, I'm going to give you five cookies in the kitchen now, they don't get up and come to the kitchen. So if they are sitting there and they are doing exactly what you want them to do and, but they don't understand your voice, like you want to give them something concrete, something reinforcing. So I love, it's going to sound sort of physical touch. Like you come up and a little shoulder squeeze. Now you have to know that they like shoulder squeezes. If they don't like to be touched, touch is not a reinforcer. But everybody's gotta reinforce. As soon as you go through the National Professional Development Center, evidence based practices, one of the things that they ask you to do is make sure you know what it is that they like, like so that you can deliver that.

Speaker 1 (15:27):

You can give it to them when they're doing what you want. I will say that in my experience parents are great sources of information about, they know what songs the kid likes. They know what they definitely know what songs the kid doesn't like. They know what food the kids like. They definitely know what foods the kid does not like. There's a bunch of fairly elaborate and we'll get to it. Preference assessments is one of those things that we'll be talking about, which is kind of what it sounds like. We assess the things that they prefer so that we know what sort of in our toolkit is a, we come together. But yeah, differential reinforcement, you're going to reinforce the different behaviors. So a little quick time check. Oh yeah. Alright. I'll kind of late on my time.

Speaker 1 (16:13):

Check. I am Adam Dreyfus. I'm the chief science officer of AnswersNow. You are here on our Wednesday night. Ask me anything Parent Support University edition and we're talking about differential reinforcement. We've got Sasha and Alison helping out in the background. We've got my, not my hair was a lot, was shaped before I threw some water in it. Question for you. Would you guys have somebody, how would you get a haircut in a pandemic? I've got a friend of mine who on Facebook demonstrate how he cut his own hair, which is pretty brave stuff. But I'm in dangerous territory. I know that Sasha has got some thoughts on the matter. So I think I'm going to have to break down and get one, cause I don't think I can go three months. I'll start getting pulled over for vagrancy.

Speaker 1 (17:05):

What we would love you to do as you're checking this out is go to our website. We put a bunch of new features on it and it's looking fantastic. It is And just check it out. Like there's so much free stuff on there. And then there's Sasha product. Well, the only thing right now is water. I was going to put product on. Sasha, I appreciate that. Hey Lauren. My husband's hair looks worse. Maybe you know, maybe Lauren, what your husband and I can do is we can exchange haircuts. I'll come and I'll cut his hair and he can cut my hair and we'll do gloves. Well, whatever you do to make it to where the masks, definitely need masks because I am kind of like a sheep. It gets a little out of control.

Speaker 1 (17:51):

Nice to see you Lauren. So definitely check out Or you can just go to your Apple store or Google play and download the app straight onto your phone. It's a free download. There's all kinds of stuff you can do there for free. There's the tips, there's the communities, there's the blogs. So there's lots of stuff on there. But our core offering, why we're here is, there are lots of people out there millions of folks who have children on the spectrum and they are in remarkable numbers, they feel isolated, overwhelmed and stressed out. And the number one therapy out there to help you out as a put out there by the centers for disease control is Applied Behavior Analysis. The folks who practice that are called Board Certified Behavior Analysts, and there's only about 35,000 of them on earth.

Speaker 1 (18:49):

So there's just not enough to go around. And the whole point of AnswersNow is to reduce the barrier of entry for you to get a consultation, ask questions to a BCBA. And so that's why we're here. And things are going really well. We are really proud of what we've put out there. So check us out on Get Answers Now. A little bit more. I'm going to go a little bit into the types of differential reinforcement. I'm not going to take very long on this. Cause even when I went through school this was a difficult kind of lift. So there's, for the most part, there's a D R A and a D R O, and a D R I, which are fairly similar. That's differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior, differential reinforcement of an incompatible behavior and differential reinforcement of an other behavior.

Speaker 1 (19:44):

So I'm going to lean on my friends here at the National Professional Development Center. And I pulled this straight out so you can see this here. The, whoops, the affirm module is a, what they call the modules where you can learn about this stuff and how to do it. So for a differential reinforcement, other behavior that is the behavior is unacceptable. You want like, you know, they hit themselves, they bite themselves. And you really do need to have other behaviors in that they do that you can reinforce. So you want to reinforce when they're not hitting themselves. One of the most amazing examples of this that I've seen is a lot of kids screams, right? And they can do it for a lot of different reasons. They can do it because they want some attention, hard to not pay attention to somebody who is screaming at you.

Speaker 1 (20:39):

They can do it to escape what it is that you're asking them to do. Oh, Hey, Adam, I would like to you to get a haircut. Scream. All right. Forget it. I'm not going to, I'll leave you alone. They can do it because they like the sound of it, right? They just like the sound of a scream. So that would be what we call automatically reinforcing. There's nothing really going on around them that's triggering it. They just, in the same way that you do whatever it is that you like to do when nothing else is going on. So there's a lot of different reasons that someone could scream, but for the most part, not too many other people want to hang out with somebody who's screaming at the top of their lungs. So this is a fairly common behavior that comes to this school that I work at the Sarah Dooley center for autism in Richmond, Virginia. Which serves kids who are severely impacted with autism in the public schools in this area. So they come to our school almost exclusively because of behavior problems. Screaming is a big one. And so differential reinforcement. You have a kid who scream, scream, scream, scream, scream, and they scream.

Speaker 1 (21:47):

Reinforcement, Hey, thank you so much for not screaming. Here's something you might like that, just that simple, catching. That's a near, I would say, Sasha, I opened this up to you, such as a top flight BCBA also. Is a really good example of differential reinforcement of other or incompatible behavior, DRI that would qualify for a DRI cause you can't scream and not scream at the same time. That's what incompatible kind of stuff. It’s like, someone hits you. You reinforce them when they're not hitting you. That, those are two totally different behaviors. So that one works for kinda screaming. But it's gotta be something. So for you to say like, Oh hey, great job, not screaming. The only way that that would be reinforcing is if me, I was socially reinforcing that they liked me, that me telling them that they were doing a good job had some value.

Speaker 1 (22:46):

Cause that's one of the things that you get used to working with typical kids. Like typical kids are usually very sensitive to attention and to adult sort of praise. But a lot of folks on the spectrum, especially if they don't know you, especially if they don't need you, folks like me will show up and be like, Oh, I'm going to do my differential reinforcement. Oh, the kids is screaming, Oh look, watch, I'll do my trick. Excuse me. They start they're taking a breath, good job, not screaming. And it doesn't work at all. Why? Because they don't know me at all. I have no value in their world. I am not reinforcing. So for your praise, for you saying something that is to serve as a reinforcer, that person has to care and not only a lot of times do they not care because they have no history.

Speaker 1 (23:37):

They don't know who I am, but a lot of times the history is bad, right? Some guy like me and ABA guy shows up and for the most part they're left to their own devices and maybe they're on their iPad or they've got some string they like to play with or whatever. They're doing their thing. And somebody like me shows up and I don't get paid to just watch them play with string. I'm like, Oh, I've got to work on some goals and do my stuff. So I'm going to come over and. What's the first thing I do? I take away their string. And we don't weigh how negative that is for most people. When I'm presenting on this and I've got a bunch of folks in the room, what I'll do is I'll walk up and I'll, and I got to play this cause you don't want to get in too much trouble.

Speaker 1 (24:21):

And I'll just take a phone out of somebody's hand and the look on their face, there's like startled. I'm like, right. That's what it feels like to have somebody come take something away from you. And we do it all the time to these kids. And frequently it's the first thing we do. We don't come up and say hi, we don't come up in a you know, ask them how they're doing. We're like, Nope. Professionals here. Time for instruction time. First thing I got to do is I got to take away the stuff that you like, so you pay attention to me and withhold it. That is not a way to win friends and influence people, you know? Oh yeah, I'm on a first date. Let me take away her phone and then take away her food. She orders it so that she'll pay attention to me.

Speaker 1 (25:04):

Probably not going to be a very long day. So a little bit of a distraction there, but I think that's an important point. What you want to be ideally is you want to be a reinforcer. So a lot of this paperwork is like, well, how do you figure out what's reinforcing? Do they like Skittles? Do they like TV time? Do they like and that's fine. Those are called prosthetic reinforcers, other kind of reinforcers that are falling outside. But the best reinforcer is you, if you can be the reinforcer, if your presence results in that kid thinking like something good is going to happen and they want to be around you, then you sort of shining the light on them. Paying attention to them is extraordinarily powerful. And so you are the reinforcement for the differential reinforcement.

Speaker 1 (26:02):

That's the easiest way for it to work because then just your presence, your body, your temporal location, your distance to them is what it is. That's going to help reinforce the different behavior, their hands in their lap, their voice, not screaming, them not running away. It takes a while to do it and most of us are not sort of, it doesn't come natural to us. Those of us who were kind of trained on it, we sorta learn how to they call it. It's, it's kinda nice. We use a French word. We rapport, build rapport, rapport building. And most good BCBAs and staff. We'll spend a fair amount of time not five minutes, but it could be five days, five sessions, five weeks, five months doing really solid rapport building. One, there's clinical efficacy to it.

Speaker 1 (26:56):

The more reinforcing you are, the more effective you can be. But two, it's also just more humane. It shows a higher level of dignity for them. And as a person just in this world who's got wants and needs. If you take the time to get to know them and to show like, Hey, I'm not here just to control you or make you do stuff. We are I'm here in a positive light. Hopefully that makes sense. Kinda again, this is, there's a lot of stuff here and I've seen enough of these kinds of videos to know that as you get too far off the reservation and talking about too many things, it gets pretty confusing. We're trying to stick to differential reinforcement. All right? So we've got a differential reinforcement of other behavior that you want to use when things are pretty dangerous.

Speaker 1 (27:45):

And that's exactly what I was talking about. Like you're reinforcing other behavior. Like you're not reinforcing the hitting of the peers or DRL which is one of the more complicated ones. It is differential reinforcement of sort of lower frequencies. So maybe somebody asks you 5,000 questions in an hour, but you would like it if they asked 2,500 questions. So you're trying to reinforce lower levels of the behavior. It doesn't necessarily have to be a bad behavior and not trying to make it go away. But you just want it to occur like less one that comes up quite a bit. Cursing, right? Like, okay kid, I get it. Like this is a, and there's all different levels of it. There's some kids who are very purposeful. They know exactly what they're saying. And there's other kids who it's just, it's in their repertoire and it has worked remarkably well for them to get people to stop doing whatever it is they want them to stop doing.

Speaker 1 (28:45):

So someone comes along and puts some work in front of them and they start, you know, F bomb, F bomb F, bomb F it looks, I want you to take that word away and be like, It worked. I don't even know what that word is. But it worked. It is very difficult to take a high frequency words or high-frequency behaviors, behaviors that happen hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times all the way down to zero. So you want to reinforce, so you're reinforcing the behavior, but lower rates of it. And then DRI you want to substitute the behavior. So again, screaming at a seed, kids who get up out of their seat. So what do you want to do? You want to reinforce them being in a seat. How often does a teacher say to the class like, Oh my God, what a great, everybody gets a cookie for sitting in their seat.

Speaker 1 (29:32):

But that is what you want to do. You want to reinforce that, that the behavior and it's incompatible because you can't be in your seat and out of your seat at the same time. Hopefully that makes sense. I'll do a little quick check. We're about the half hour mark here on our beautiful sunny Wednesday night here in Richmond, Virginia. I am Adam Dreyfus. I'm the chief science officer of AnswersNow. We are an app that you can download from the Google Play store or the App store for free. And there's all kinds of functionality that you can get just just from downloading it. You can check out tips, you can check out blogs. We've got articles on there. We've got communities where you can interact with other parents. They're moderated communities so they have BCB A's in them.

Speaker 1 (30:25):

Sometimes on a fixed schedule. But we're certainly coming and going and making sure that things are going on there. We've got some of the parents that are on the platform here in the chat tonight. It's nice to say hi to Lauren and Ty. So the last type of differential reinforcement is DRA. And you want us to kind of substitute, again, like the other DRL where you're just trying to get a lower rate of a behavior that might be annoying but not generally dangerous or something that you really want to like, aggression or self-injury, that you want, taken care of right away. But the other ones kind of overlap a fair amount. The core end I want you to take is that you want to catch the kids doing what you want them to do.

Speaker 1 (31:19):

You want to go out of your way to make sure that you're reinforcing behaviors that you want. And the easiest way to think about it is, what does it, I don't like whatever the opposite of that is, right? They scream a lot, but when they're not screaming, make it rain. They run away a lot. Okay. When they don't run away, make it rain. They punch their sister. Perfect. When they'd not punching their sister, make it rain. And you want to really, you want to, when I say make it rain, you want their body to experience it, right? Like we are sensory somatic creatures. It's not enough to just say good job doing that. That does work for a lot of kids. Most of our kids on the spectrum, that is not enough. There's gotta be some kind of physicality to it.

Speaker 1 (32:12):

Some, maybe some kind of edible to it. Something that they really, like have an access to a video game or a preferred item. You want the impact to not be subtle. You want them to experience like, Whoa, when I'm doing this, not screaming, not running, not hitting somebody. Really good things are happening for me. Not just mildly good things, but really good things. There was a, Oh I know it was I'm gonna ask Alison cause I, hopefully she's listening. There was something that I was supposed to cover tonight. Usually she gives me kind of a game plan, cause I am not necessarily great. I left to my own devices and we were a little bit short for time, so I didn't have a, I didn't get my operating instructions. But there was something you hopefully are going to be here in a little bit more about AnswersNow on some podcasts.

Speaker 1 (33:07):

We're trying to get the word out there a little bit more. So we will let you know as some of these interviews air and some of them Allison's been doing a great job of getting us on some podcasts. That's not what I was supposed to remember, but could it be close to that. I do want to encourage you that outside of this Parent Support University, which is our, our way of just giving them sort of like a, a taste of some of the body of knowledge that's out there is we do highly encourage you, especially in this case, the national professional development center going there and availing yourself of this cause. The truth of the matter is everything that a board certified behavior analyst is going to do, a BCBA is going to do is nonmedical and noninvasive.

Speaker 1 (33:53):

So there's no pills involved, there's no shots involved. It's all as I like to say technique and intervention. So it is all something anybody can learn. Is it easy? No, there's a lot of stuff out there. But it is definitely learnable. How do I know I learned it. I didn't know it before. I know it now. And as we said at the top, this particular concept, this concept of differential reinforcement is one of the most powerful ones that, I wish I would have known when I was younger. I wish I would have known earlier in my career and really understood it. Cause it gives you the power rather than sort of being reactive like, Oh, I'm waiting for this behavior to happen. And I've got a behavior intervention plan and when the behavior happens I'm going to go and I'm going to do these things.

Speaker 1 (34:42):

No, what this says is, Hey, most of the time most of these kids are not doing what we don't want them to do. Cause most of the stuff that we don't want them to do is very high output, high energy output, running, yelling, screaming, hitting, biting. Like these things. Very few people can do those for very long. They tend to be low frequency, not happen all the time, but high intensity, low frequency, high intensity is sort of the bread and butter of what I deal with. So there's plenty of opportunities from when they wake up to when they go to sleep. For you to let them know that behavior, not running, not biting. Is what you want to see. There's a another concept that is in the paperwork here that is again, a huge sort of like box to unpack.

Speaker 1 (35:35):

And it's called schedules of reinforcement. This is really one of the strengths of behaviorism and what a wide BCBA is, are so effective at what they do. Is this idea of how often and when you are reinforced is hugely influential on your behavior. So when you are doing differential reinforcement, you want to do it a lot. What this means is like, Oh, your kid screams a lot. And I'm saying, Oh, catch them not screaming. It's not once a day. I don't mean like once a day I'd be like, Oh, hi Sarah. Thank you for not screaming. What I mean is it first dozens if not hundreds of times a day. Why? You're like, Oh my God, hundreds of times. Right? But that can even be like a little high five, a little Pat on the shoulder, just boom, boom. Cause what has happened is the reason how they got to this point is that that behavior, the screaming, biting, bunching has been reinforced thousands of times.

Speaker 1 (36:34):

It's not like one time they got reinforced and now you have this really persistent difficult behavior that is not how it works. So it's a, in some cases, millions of times been reinforced over the course of, you know, 10, 20, 30 years. And so it's going to take a fair amount of time and a fair amount of a sort of consistency to begin to bend that. Anybody who's tried to change a, a maladaptive behavior, smoking, eating too much, drinking too much, it is, there is not a one shot deal. So it isn't the same with these maladaptive, these other screaming, biting, punching, kicking. Like by the time someone like me shows up, there's years that have brought them to this point. The good news and bad news is almost all of these behaviors want, except ones that kind of have medical, we talked about this a little bit last week.

Speaker 1 (37:25):

I'll touch on it in a second. They were formed by the environment, by what's going on in the, the, the, the individual has been reacting to changes in their environment. And so by bad news, I mean, we, the people around them have done hundreds and hundreds of things that have usually resulted in these kinds of behaviors. We didn't mean to, it wasn't the plan. A lot of the time it's us trying to avoid them having an upset and us unconsciously reinforcing the behaviors that we don't want. We're reinforcing the screaming, we're reinforcing the hitting, we're reinforcing the biting. So it's a matter of being very aware of that, not doing that, and then differentially reinforce it. All right, we're coming. We usually like these things to be about 40, 45 minutes long. So we're coming somewhat towards the end. Not a ton of questions tonight, which is fine. We tend to feel a lot more on the backside. And people kind of go into the communities are calling us up and checking things out. But just to remind you I am Adam Dreyfus. I'm the chief science officer of AnswersNow. You can find us on the web at Or you can go on your phone. Whoops. Yep. Your phone. There's my daughter. Hey poppy. And go to the play store.

Speaker 1 (38:57):

I will do it right now. Go to the play store. Type in AnswersNow. All one word. And there you go. It'll look like that. That's probably a little shiny. Let me tilt it down. A little purple butterfly. We have two apps out now. We've got the clinician one. So that, your BCBA can access it and then there's the regular one. You download that, you can sign up right away. I can guarantee you if you go now and download the app and sign up, you will be chatting with your own board certified clinician in less than a day, probably the same day. But here we are. It's a little bit late in the day. It's about seven o'clock out here, seven 30. So they might not get back to you right away. It's not an instantaneous service. But you will be assigned a and gets a, choose your own.

Speaker 1 (39:55):

Adam, a Sasha, an Alison, a Sarah and that will be your clinician. It's not just whoever's up next in line. Our clients have, some of them had the same clinician for two, three, four years. We've been doing this for about four years. And so one of the things we learned very early on is that parents don't want just any clinician. They want to have a personal relationship with their own clinician. And that is the foundation of kind of what we do. So you get assigned your own person and they get to know you. They get to know your kid over time. As you go to different grades and different transitions and they're there for you. Your little clinician in a pocket. So Lauren let's get me and your husband a haircut here shortly.

Speaker 1 (40:40):

This is much tamer than it actually is. Thanks to the miracle of splashing water in your hair. Want to thank Allison and Sasha for helping out tonight. And again encourage you to check out the national professional development center and you'll see the information on the right there to see, check out their modules on evidence based practices and join us every Wednesday. Here at the, how would I call this, the Get AnswersNow channel, to discuss these highly technical somewhat confusing things. Tonight we talked about differential reinforcement. I'm going to save you two years of education and break it down to reward them when they're not doing the things that you don't want them to do. That was way more complicated than I needed it to be. Catch them doing what you want.

Speaker 1 (41:34):

There's a much better way of saying it. So when they're not doing the biting, kicking, punching, all these things that you don't want them to do, reinforce them. You know, when they're sitting there nicely, when they're walking along nicely, when they're, when they're playing nicely, when they're and I nearly promise you that most of the time, most of the time they're doing what it is that you want them to do. So I want to thank you for joining us tonight and we encourage you to come back and check us out at or to download the app at the Google Play store or the Apple store. I want to thank everybody for coming and we will see you next week. Or feel free to reach out and touch us. I'm, easy to get a hold of. All right, thanks very much. Have a happy Wednesday and hope everybody's healthy, wealthy and well. Okay.

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