April 29, 2020
AnswersNow Chief Science Officer, Adam Dreyfus, speaks about the topic of Exercise as a part of the Parent Support University series and answers questions.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Hey AnswersNow family. Adam Dreyfus here, the chief science officer of AnswersNow, doing our weekly parent support university. It's a Wednesday evening and away we go. I am the chief science officer of AnswersNow, what is AnswersNow is a downloadable app. That's how most people use it. And you can download it off of the App store or your Android, Google play store and boom, it's in your hand. And the main thing that it does is it connects you directly to your own therapist. So instead of waiting for an appointment spending a bunch of time sitting in our office, you can get an answer to your questions right away from who one of us BCBA, board certified behavior analysts. We also have an amazing website getanswersnow.com, where we built out a lot of functionality.
Speaker 1 (00:49):
We've got communities where you can talk to other parents, you can do a one off video where you can just ask a BCBA one question or you can sign up and get your own BCBA and build out your own plan and have someone in there in your pocket for the next couple of years. So getanswersnow.com or just go to the Google play store or the Android store or the, I'm sorry, the Apple store and download the app. AnswersNow, all one word, don't put a space in between answers and now and you'll see the little purple butterfly. So what we've been doing here over the last several weeks as everybody has been in quarantine is we've been trying to unlock the secrets of ABA. That's a heavy task to be sure. But the reason the AnswerNow was born is myself and my cofounder, who's also a clinician. I run a big school.
Speaker 1 (01:35):
He did a lot of in-home. Our experience was that even parents were getting really good support, like they get some really good help in the home or their kids going to a really top flight school, they're still feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and worst thing, really isolated and talk about everything being amplified now. You're even being told to be isolated. It's totally overwhelming. There's no school, no in home support. And I can't imagine the stress that it's caused. And we're going to get to a couple of questions that we pulled out of our communities participants to kind of share here in a second. And some of those are right around there. But to remind you what we have been doing here over the last few weeks and we're going to be doing for the next several weeks is we're unpacking those evidence based practices that the BCBA is used to help your kids.
Speaker 1 (02:25):
A lot of people are like, Aw man, I don't understand how you guys do what you do. It's kind of magic. You just, the kids listen to you, they follow the directions. It's not magic. It is just technique. It is just intervention. And as we said from the beginning, what's really frustrating for us as professionals is people have put almost all of this information online for free. And so my favorite, what I call pile of information of how all this stuff works is online put out there by the National Professional Development Center, the NPDC and they have these things called affirm modules. Here's a little picture of the EBP, evidence based practice, we'll be talking about tonight: exercise. And that's the affirm module there. So you can. easy to find, type affirm and autism, and it should come up right away.
Speaker 1 (03:17):
And they've got all these modules on all these evidence based practices that you can take. They're free and you can learn all of these techniques that us so-called experts know. And so we talked about antecedent based intervention, which is kind of how to get far behaviors and things. We talked about cognitive behavioral interventions which is how to help people change the sort of the tape that's playing in their head. We talked about differential reinforcement and tonight we're going to be talking a little bit about exercise. And one of my coworkers who's not a clinician they helped put these things together said actually they said, I'm assuming you don't mean physical exercise. And actually no, that's exactly what I mean. Exercise is an evidence based practice. And what that means it has been demonstrated through research to benefit kids. And people think, Oh, well, sure, you know, it makes me a little stronger, a little faster.
Speaker 1 (04:11):
That air that is just scratching the surface of the benefits of exercise and all kinds of exercise. So what am I talking about? So research has clearly demonstrated and I'm going to make sure that I get it right here. That you can increase desired behaviors through exercise, like academic engagement. So yeah. What do you think PE is for? PE is not accidental. It's to help kids stay focused. Right? And if you have multiple PEs, physical educations a day, academic improvement goes up. That's been demonstrated. You take away PE and they're like, Oh, we need more study time, we need more attention. Let's take away some of these PEs. Academic engagement and success goes down. There is a clear tie. You can't just sit at a desk and study and read. So exercise equals academic engagement, time on task, right? Thanking those second graders, third graders coming in off of recess they kind of recharge their batteries.
Speaker 1 (05:07):
That's probably the wrong term. It's definitely not the sciencey term. But now they can sit down for 30 minutes, 40 minutes and do something. Correct responding. The more exercise you get, the more correct answers you get. Why? Get a little bit more focused. Got the wiggles out of here as we like to say. And so you get more correct answers. And task completion they get, they just get more stuff done. So here we are like talking about evidence based practices, all these sciency things. And I'm coming at you with exercise. Yes, I'm coming at you with exercise. In the vernacular, in a way that the sciency people talk. We're talking about antecedent exercise. This is exercise that is done before things go wrong. So what I definitely don't want you to do is wait until the kid is having a behavior and then saying, Oh, let's go exercise.
Speaker 1 (05:57):
What you're teaching them then is, Oh, I get in this behavior. Then I get to exercise. You're just going to see a spike in the behaviors that you don't want to see. You want to do this proactively build it into the schedule. Every hour, every 15 minutes, whatever you decide the schedule is going to be, we're going to do something. Could be we just stand up and kind of dance around a little bit. Could you go to a playground, do something very structured. But you want to do whatever the exercise is before any of the behaviors are happening. This is not something you do after a kid has a huge upset. You're like, Hey, let's go play some baseball. Some of the things that inappropriate behaviors that you can see go down because of exercise are: aggression, self-injury, self-stimulatory stereotypic behavior and time off task.
Speaker 1 (06:44):
So those are some pretty serious things that we largely like to avoid. We definitely don't want the kids being too aggressive. We don't want them hurting themselves. We want them to be able to complete what they started or at least get a good chunk of it done. So I know everybody's sorta just by default thinks yeah. You know, exercise is good for you. It's healthy, it helps your heart your cardiovascular. But there are a lot of evidence-based outcomes from exercise. And what we're talking about here is not just random whenever it happens, kind of exercise. No antecedent exercise is in a structure. So this specific time of the day, specific time in the schedule what you can do if you're tracking the inappropriate behaviors is like, they're like, Oh, this kid has an inappropriate behavior every hour.
Speaker 1 (07:38):
Then you're going to want your exercise like every 15 minutes or every 45 minutes or every half an hour. Do you want to be in front of it? So that it has the effect that you want less aggression, less self stimulatory behavior, less time off task. And the behaviors you want to see. More academic engagement, more time on tasks, more correct responding. And what do we mean by exercise? I am not going to bore you with that. That is, there's a million ways that you can exercise tennis, rolling a ball, playing catch, going for a run, going for a walk, bike ride. Everything that you think about is exercise. Yes, that's what we're talking about here. A lot of schools are getting better and better at this and building this into the schedule. The last couple of decades have seen us strip away a lot of the movement activities, PE outside time.
Speaker 1 (08:27):
Used to be three solid sort of recesses a day, morning recess, you know, you get lunchtime and you can run around if you want. Some kids did, most kids did. And then afternoon recess and a lot of schools are just down to one, either just lunchtime and one recess. And they're learning pretty quickly that that's not working out well. What we're seeing is more of the behaviors we don't want to see and less of the behaviors we do want to see. So it is evidence based. Like when you can sit down at your next IEP meeting and say, Hey, I want to make sure that my kid is getting four or five, six really clear discrete exercise opportunities a day. Because the evidence shows that like, if your kid's aggressive so well, how often is he getting to move around?
Speaker 1 (09:11):
Well, we, you know, we do lunch and then we were outside for 15 minutes, so we'll then I want built into his IEP that four times a day he gets 15 minutes of exercise. And the evidence suggests that it could be a contributing factor to the aggression, the self-injury the lack of exercise the lack of focus. So you can definitely come into your next teacher meeting or parent meeting or at the clinic or whatever and say, I want my kid to move around a little bit more. Those of this, have been doing this for a while. One of the things, it's funny when we all kind of get together and we're like, ah, one of the things we really enjoy is where did you hear the first word? Right? I'm working with this kid.
Speaker 1 (09:54):
We finally heard the first word. And so many times folks will say, ah, we heard the first word on the playground. And it's usually at a kind of a very intense activity like a swing. And so the first word kid will say whether they're two or 15 can be swaying or push or more. But what the motivation is, is they want that swing. So more exercise. Just a reminder that you are listening to the AnswersNow channel here and I'm Adam Dreyfus. I'm the chief science officer of AnswersNow we are a mobile platform primarily designed to put a clinician in your pocket so you can go to getanswersnow.com. You can sign up, you can check out a bunch of the free stuff. We've got a free rooms for parents.
Speaker 1 (10:48):
We've got some goals that you can check out. We've got articles. We've got, check out our Facebook or Instagram, or you can just go on your phone and download the app through the App store or through your Google Play store. Type in AnswersNow and download the app and get started right away. I want to get to some of the questions that we answer in our communities, but also the kind of questions that you can get your own clinician for. So the first one is, I've implemented eight flashcards of common words. Thanks for my son to do three times a day for 15 minutes. My son is just two years old and he's nonverbal. My husband is from Turkey and always talks to him and Turkish, and I'm from California and I only speak English. What's going on here?
Speaker 1 (11:31):
Well, it's a bilingual family. Any ideas on how to get them talking? So there's a lot there. So the first thing is, and you get this in a multilingual multilanguage families where they say, Oh, my kid's not talking so well. Should we keep talking to him in two different languages? The research kind of goes, is not super clear on this. I would, I usually recommend that if your kid's not talking, really struggling, asking them to do it in two languages just makes it a little bit steeper, a little bit harder to do. You should select one language and have that be the language that you're kind of working on. But it's also completely natural to have the dad speaking to him in a Turkish and completely natural to have you speaking in English. So I wouldn't worry about that as much.
Speaker 1 (12:18):
And again, you probably, you could get different opinions there, but I wouldn't worry about that so much. I don't want to disrupt the family dynamic, but how do I get to talking to two years old? I would not be using flashcards as much. That's not a bad idea. A lot of people do use flashcards, but if he's two years old, he's nonverbal. You want to use things that are a little bit more concrete. So instead of a flashcard, you just, you have a ball and if your kid likes to play with the ball, you know, you go to hand it to him and as he reaches for it, you just pause for a second. Motivation is going to kind of come up and say ball and you try to get him to say that word in that kind of moment. So I would do it that way.
Speaker 1 (12:53):
What you're doing is you're trying to build that momentum up. Don't not give him the ball. You know, even if he doesn't say ball, you can kind of give him the ball. You just want to kind of catch those moments. So if he's like kind of crawling towards something or walking towards something, like I've got a red pen here and it's really clear if he's going in the red pen, I'll pick it up, hold it out, they reach for it and I say pen. And if they do anything like dang, you give them the item right away. If they don't say anything, hold it for a second, then kind of give it to them. What you want to do is you want to, you want to keep that, that intensity kind of motivation up. There's a lot of videos and stuff out there about this.
Speaker 1 (13:35):
Look for mand training, M A N D, mand training and it's a pretty simple procedure. But yeah, just go to YouTube, type in mand training and there'll be a lot of explainers for this. So that's question one. Question two. This one's a little tough. My three year old daughter was diagnosed with autism by early intervention last year. Her father has separated and he's not much help. She has these crazy tantrums for over an hour. Inconsolable right now. I have her locked in a room. I'm so defeated. It's getting to the point where she's making me depressed and I'm starting to even resent her. I'm crying as I type this because it's every day. I have a huge test and I can't study, so she won't give me a break. A lot of people will hear that and be like, Oh my gosh, what's wrong with that mom?
Speaker 1 (14:18):
Nothing's wrong with that mom. These, a lot of these children are incredibly challenging and if you don't have the supports, think of that. Remember, we sit at the top isolated, overwhelmed and stressed. This is a perfect example of it. So first, don't be too hard on yourself. You're keeping your daughter safe, you're keeping her from harm. That's sometimes, that's the best you can do. And it is great advice. I got it myself when my kid was first born. If you're super stressed out and you are, step out of the room, you know, your kid will be fine. Give yourself a moment. So my biggest piece of advice would be like, you need some help, mom. You need to reach out to some local resources. There is help out there. I would encourage you to check us out, right?
Speaker 1 (15:00):
Like you've landed on our website. Sign up to get your own clinician or stay in the communities. I know that we've responded to you and I know that we've reached out. As far as your daughter's behavior you need a specialist. You need to find someone who can help you out with it. She's not doing it for no reason. The first thing that you're going to want to rule out is anything medically wrong with her. You don't know it's her teeth coming in or she's got an ear infection. The first thing you want to do definitely is rule out medical causes. And then you're going to want to talk to a behavior specialist about something that you can do. So that's it for tonight. I want to thank everybody for tuning into the AnswersNow channel. I'm Adam Dreyfus, the chief science officer. Please check us out at getanswersnow.com or download us through your own App store, your Apple store or Google Play store and have a great evening. And as always, thanks for tuning in. And this over my shoulders, me trying to do some homeschooling with my kids. I just realized that I was in front of it. So to all of you under quarantine, feeling. Have a good one.