Parent Support University: Q&A

March 4, 2020

Facebook Live event with AnswersNow co-founder and Chief Science Officer, Adam Dreyfus, to discuss the topic "How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst and Handle Behaviors" followed by time for questions answered live.


Speaker 1 (00:01):

And we are alive. Welcome to the latest AnswersNow Ask Me Anything. Ask Adam anything. Tonight we're going to be talking about how to think like a behavior analyst. So what we want from you, our listeners, our followers are people who are just tuning in for the first time, to interact as much as possible. And you can ask questions or are you talking about behavior? Why do kids do what they do? How do behavior analysts analyze these kinds of behaviors? How do they come up with plans? How can you as a parent learn some of this stuff? Cause that is the whole point of AnswersNow is to connect you directly to your own clinician who can help you learn how to react a little bit. Now what I want to make super clear, I'm not here to make you into a clinician.

Speaker 1 (00:45):

I'm not here to make you into an ABA therapist, but learn some of the tips and tricks because this has happened to me quite a bit. I used to do a lot of in-home stuff, come and work in the home. And the parents were like, why does my son or daughter like suddenly listening to you after all like four weeks? And he never listened to me. Like you've got them doing all this stuff. It's a hundred percent technique. It's 100% perspective, right? Because applied behavior analysis, ABA is not medical. There's no medicine. I'm giving your kids. There's no shots that I'm giving them. There's no, it's just me sitting in front of them or around them and moving around in a particular very structured way. So we're going to talk about that because that is how I got into the field.I worked with the kids, I thought I was pretty good.

Speaker 1 (01:31):

And then I started getting children on the spectrum to work with in the eight mile lunch. All my good teaching or maybe in your guys' case, good parenting. You might be a great parent, yet three kids, they do everything. You have your kid on the spectr. Nothing works. 100% was there.and it took me, I don't know, five, six years of lots of schooling to learn all this stuff. What we're here to share with let's get started. One of the things that we want to make sure that you know about is,how to get access to this. So AnswersNow. Now the new app is available in the Apple store and on your Google play store and you just go in type AnswersNow one word and you download the app and within minutes you can be chatting with your own clinician.

Speaker 1 (02:17):

So here we go. First, one of the first things I learned is that a behavior analyst spends a lot of time talking about what is behavior. And it's one of those things like almost everybody thinks they know about teaching, right? Cause we've all been in classrooms, we've all had teachers, most of us don't think, Oh, I drove a car, I can fix a car. But I guarantee you if you ask somebody like, you know, what's a good way to teach something? Everybody's got an opinion. Same thing with behavior. We're all behavior analysts, right? We're like, why does that car is slowing down so much? Why is my bank taking so long? Give me the money. Why did she wear her hair that way? Why is that guy dressed as a girl trying to analyze this stuff? So one of the real, I don't want to say breakthroughs, but the different ways that the behavior has started looking at things is we kind of stripped out.

Speaker 1 (03:10):

We're not going to worry too much about what people tell us about why they're behaving a certain way. It doesn't really matter what you think. We're going to look at, what's the person doing, period. We're going to treat it like a science. How fast are they walking? How many times they blink? See my hands kind of going back and forth. Why is he doing that? How many times does his hand go back and forth? So a behavior analyst, definition of behavior is the movement of an organism through time and space. Super boring when you think of it like that. But that's the original framework. I'm just focusing on what the person is doing, not what they're saying, what they're just, what they're doing. There's a subcategory of this that's really important called verbal behavior, which is a kind of a subcategory of behavior analysis.

Speaker 1 (03:59):

And it's analysis of behavior looks at it a little differently. It says, how was, does one person influence another person? So instead of this really static like, Oh, I'm just going to study somebody who's kind of walking by and count how many steps they take. Verbal behavior is what I'm doing right now, right? Like I'm trying to influence your behavior. I'm trying to keep you watching you to the degree that I keep doing this. You keep's a, it brings a social component into behavior. So now we have a couple of definitions of behavior and here's a key sort of, frameworks for how our behavior analyst sort of looks at things. One is nothing happens by accident. All behavior is lawful. And that's sort of a strange sounding word, lawful. What it means is just, it obeys the laws of nature.

Speaker 1 (04:52):

And one of the first insights that usually gets once you've kinda sort of digested this a little bit and have yourfolks,explain it a little bit more is that everybody, everybody, all the time is acting in a way that's working for them. So a lot of folks get frustrated with difficult behaviors, whether it's your kid or your spouse or your boss where you're like, behaviors come out of nowhere. I have no idea why my kid does this. I have no idea what my boss did. Analysts never think like that. There's always a reason. It's always knowable. There's always a, a function is a word we use a lot a reason behind it. So the first orientation is I walk in a room, no matter what this kid is doing, that kid is doing it for a specific reason and that reason is working for him or her.

Speaker 1 (05:45):

Now a lot of people say, well that's crazy. Like he's banging his head on the floor. Right? You know how I know it's working for him cause he's banging his head on the floor. Nobody ever does anything that doesn't work for them. That's a really hard thing for most people to kind of wrap their head around first. Like what are that? Here's a good example. What are drugs, right? Like, why don't you take drugs? Why would you smoke cigarettes? That's not good for you. You know how you can tell it's working for them. They're doing it, they're lighting the cigarettes, they're taking the drugs, they're engaging in what? Fill in the blank. Whatever the behavior is, that person is doing it because it's working for them. So that's a really powerful sort of place to come from as you're sitting there, you know, attempting to figure out what's going on.

Speaker 1 (06:26):

One, it's happening for a reason in two. That reason is working for the kid, the person that you're talking to. Okay. So that's a, I think we've, so we've got an idea of like what behavior is, right? I'm just studying the behavior. We've got an idea of someone, what the ground rules are.there's, it's lawful, it's happening for a reason and that reason is knowable. So we are going to check my time here a little bit. Cool. I am exactly on target here. Again, you are encouraged to ask questions to interact to hit the little heart button or the smiley button or whatever it is that you want can ask any kind of question about like, well why does my kid do this and why do you ask me why do you do something? Why do I wear yellow shirts on Tuesdays?

Speaker 1 (07:14):

And we will try to analyze it.I am Adam Dreyfus. I am the Chief Science Officer of AnswersNow. Now. AnswersNow is a very innovative new,, app that you can find on the Google store or the Apple store and you download it. And what's the whole point? The whole point is that we are here to support parents of children diagnosed with autism by connecting them directly to their own board certified clinician. This is not a go to the website. Look up a bunch of articles. This is not a, Hey, take this course. This is going to be a real person on the other side of your phone,who's going to be able to answer your questions or your, whatever it is that you want to ask, whether it's about behaviors, academics, IEP meetings. I want him to get along with his brother.

Speaker 1 (07:58):

I want him to eat tuna fish, you name it. We can help because there's one thing that we know is that we use fancy pants experts and Denny, terrible job of helping you parents out.andAnswersNow. Now. Stuff's that right now. So feel free to go check us the app and a sign up or just check out our website in front of. Learn a little bit more about us. So we've got this idea about behavior. Behavior is's knowledgeable. The other thing is usually when people, something happens,we just like, well, what led up to the behavior, right? That's our, it's a fairly normal,analysis. Like a, I've got a big fight with my significant other. What led up to the final, right?it's a very common way of looking at behavior. One thing that we've learned through applying scientific principles to these things, it's just less what led up to the behavior that certainly can have, but it's what happens right after the behavior.

Speaker 1 (09:01):

The consequence for the behavior consequences, pull behavior along behavior is not so much pushed by what's leading up to it. It is continued by what happens immediately after. So a good example is,I'm gonna use, cause this one happens a fair amount, somebody slapping himself in the why would somebody slap themselves in the face? Well, that's a behavior we deal with quite a lot in children with disabilities and definitely children diagnosed with the, what's the, the, the, the cost of that? Well, certainly something kind of led up to that point, but what's, what has built that behavior up if something happens right afterwards? So now I'm going to look at four functions of behavior. It seems crazy that you can explain almost any behavior on earth with four possible scenarios.but I submit to you that it's true.

Speaker 1 (10:05):

So we're gonna look at the first one. Attention. People think, Oh yeah, you know, cause people like attention. I tell you what, I had no idea before I got into this field how unbelievably powerful attention is as a driver. So let's take the face slap for example.kid slapped himself in the face. What happened? So when it turns to them, Hey, Whoa, they'll slap yourself. Are you okay? What's going on? So what's happened is they would like some attention. Nobody's giving them some attention. They probably inadvertently the first time maybe glanced their hand across and then somebody paid attention to them. So the consequence of that behavior, the consequence of them slacking themselves in the face cause they got something that worked for them, some attention, that power of attention cannot be underestimated. And one of the beautiful things about it is you control all of the attention.

Speaker 1 (11:01):

That's the really nice thing about attention maintained behavior is that you are the source of the attention that they're usually seeking. So it comes down to like, how do you manage, how do you give attention? So we'll talk about that in a little bit. Like how do we manage attention, maintain behavior using our face slapping example. So that's one attention to escape.and that's exactly what it sounds like I want out of here, right? Like in its purest form. It literally means somebody gets up and walks out or runs out escape. I'm trying to escape what it is that's happening right now. You see this in school all the time. Hey, time for a test, slap myself in the face. Oh my God. Go to the office. Same behavior. Slapping myself in the face, but instead of, I don't want attention, but I want to and the kid or the adult or whoever has learned, if I slapped myself in the face at least once, maybe repeatedly, they're going to stop asking me to do what they're asking me to do, I might get to go somewhere else.

Speaker 1 (12:05):

I might get a time out. They want to take these materials away from me. So those two attention and escape account for almost all of the behaviors that you're going to deal with, almost all of them. That is a, I would say, mildly controversial statement.cause people say, well, what about sensory? We're going to get to that.what about,like a demand for something? We'll get to that, but I promise you I haven't dealt with tens of thousands of behaviors at this point. Contention and escape,are the two kinds of big ones.especially for what we're talking about here.just say, hold on, I need to check back in. Yeah. So we have tension. I told you to pay attention, escape and then be tangible, we also call this access. It means they want something that drives a lot of your behavior, right?

Speaker 1 (12:53):

Why do you go to work? You go to work so that you can make some money. What do you do with that money? You go buy stuff that you want. So, you gain access to things that you want. XBox, games, hair products, you name it. Your whole work environment is set up so that you get tokens, money and you go exchange those for things that you's that? Similar to a lot of the stuff that we see. Oh yeah. That's what it looks like when you're working. You know, a lot of these ABA folks are working with the kids. We call it a token economy. What do we use that cause that's how the world works. That's why you show up to work.every two weeks they give you a little pile of tokens and you go exchange that for stuff.

Speaker 1 (13:33):

, so a lot of the behaviors that we don't want to see are because we're denying somebody access to something on an iPad. Oh Hey, I want my iPad. Nope. Boom. I'm going to slap myself in the face until you give me the iPad. Pow, pow. Pow. Here you go. Okay, thanks. Stop man. I'm playing with my game. Same behavior. Slap myself in the face. It can be attention. Maintain, it can be escape, maintain and it can be because they want usually see this in the kitchens with the kids who can't speak either at all or very well, they'll begin misbehaving or behaving in a way that the parents like, Oh here we go. Grab a tantr. I think they're hungry. You take them in the kitchen because they can't tell you what they want. You just start opening cabinets up because you think they want, you're trying to give it to him.

Speaker 1 (14:22):

The last one is kind of the trickiest one.and it's something that does come up a fair amount and I'm going to say something little bit more than mildly controversial. It accounts for a lot of the people out there who think like this is what's causing the behavior of my child on a spectr. And that's sensory. And what we mean by sensory is something that the person does that just makes them feel good. It's also called it's not that they want attention, it's not that they want to escape, it's not that they want access to something they slap themselves in the face. Cause either they like the way that that sounds or they like, they liked the way that it feels. It's just the same as you kind of scratching your draw, rubbing your arm, doing whatever.

Speaker 1 (15:12):

Like it's automatically reinforcing. It doesn't need anything out in the world for you to want to do is one of the more difficult behaviors to,to tackle if it's really,like a lot of times you'll see kids who scratch themselves and they do that repeatedly and they can cause tissue damage. So you definitely are like, all right, I don't want my kid to cause tissue damage, but the reason they're scratching themselves is they just like the way it feels. So here, just a second, we're going to walk through attention, escape access and a sensory stuff. What do you do and how do you know which is which? These are great questions. I do want to, we made a promise when we were going to air tonight,, we sent out some emails and asked people if they had any questions for tonight.

Speaker 1 (16:03):

We're going to ask,we're going to answer,the question that came in I'm going to do that now.really quick.a reminder, I am Adam Dreyfus, the Chief Science Officer of AnswersNow. Now we're talking about behaviors and how to think like a behavior analyst. And the question was how do I get help if I homeschool my child? It was a complicated question. So the easy answer is,for what we're largely talking about here is access to applied behavior analysis. Access to therapists who practice applied behavior don't need to go to school for that. Most of the people who get ABA therapy in their home is,they're either paid out of their pocket, which is very expensive, 30 to $60,000 a year. But there are people doing that.the vast majority of people getting applied behavior analysis,in their home,are paid either through their insurance or through Medicaid.

Speaker 1 (17:01):

So that would be my easy answer if I would look at does your insurance cover it?you can just call them up and ask them. They'll be in there somewhere. If not, do you qualify for Medicaid,, coverage cause that's another way to get paid,or you pay out of pocket. There are lots of ABA companies out there.and now, which has never been the case before. You can literally download AnswersNow now and get access to a board certified behavior analyst, which is exactly what would happen if you called any of these companies up and they will work directly with you on whatever it is that you need help with. Like, if you're homeschooling your kid, maybe your child is on the spectrum and is engaging in some behaviors that are aggressive or would like them when we could,, consult on that.

Speaker 1 (17:55):

I kind of follow the pattern of parent training.if you have academic questions,how do I help my kid read?how do I help my kid,learn how to go to the,definitely that is a, the, that's why we're here is we're trying to reduce the barrier of entry to this kind of information for everybody. People who homeschool, people who have kids in name it. So, great question. Thank you.Patricia.feel free to log in and ask any other kind of questions that you want. So we've walked through kinda how do we teach people how to be behavior analysts, right? So they have to learn that all behavior is lawful. Everything has a reason. A behavior is pulled along by its consequences.we have learned that there are four functions of BV reasons why people do stuff.

Speaker 1 (18:47):

You want some attention, they want,to escape a situation.they want to access something or they just liked the way it feels. It's automatically reinforcement. So what do I do then? What would I do if those were true? So this is going to be a brief introduction to this. So first what a good behavior analyst would do is like, well how do I figure out what the behavior is? So say the behaviors face laughing. We're gonna stick with face socket and I want to see, is it attention seeking, right? Is that, that's what's driving the behavior? So I'll like to bring the kids in the room of adults or whoever,and not pay them any attention. I will very consciously, Oh, look at him. I will talk to them. I want to mention them. I want to say it, their name, nothing.

Speaker 1 (19:38):

And if at a certain point they start slapping themselves on the face and then I yell, I turn towards him. I've got a pretty good idea that face slapping is being pulled by the wall. Hopefully that makes sense. All right, now we switched to escape. How do I find out if it's an escape?it's pretty would,for especially with the scape, you would kind of put them in a situation where you would ask them to do something that's really hard or,like,puts a lot of demands on them.and see what happens. And most of the time you can figure out escape pretty quickly. Most people aren't, are you too much about it? But usually something happens and the kid gets up and runs away. But you can manufacture this, right? So if you can consistently get the kid to try to escape, then you're like, alright, this is escape maintained behavior.

Speaker 1 (20:31):

So this face slapping that he's doing is maintained by escape. He's trying to escape what it is that I'm asking him to do.tangible is about the easiest thing there is you take some stuff, some, you know, take some toys and like,phones are really good one, cause most kids are pretty attracted to phones. Put the phone out there, they've got some choices and then you take the item that you think they want and you eliminate it and then you just leave them alone and you'll talk to them a little bit and you don't, you can just, you want to make sure that it's not attention so you're going to give them a little attention. But if they start slapping themselves in the face, at a certain point, you'd be like, ah, all right. It's, they're using the face laughing to try to get a phone or to try to get an item.

Speaker 1 (21:11):

So it's driven by,access to something. Sensory is right, the easiest thing in the world because what you want to do is shut everything else off. If you could put them in a room where they know that you're not there so they're not getting any attention,or,andthey got plenty of stuff to do.will they just start slapping themselves on the face if nothing else is going along?again, a very difficult one to remediate,because,it just is them. It's the, it's the, it's a being kind of driven by themselves. So we've got attention, access or escape access and sensory. I wildly oversimplified how a behavior analyst would go about assessing this,these kinds of,, trying to figure out if it's an escape or attention or a fairly elaborate,procedure.but those are the basic ideas for how behavior is kinda a thing.

Speaker 1 (22:11):

, and now we're gonna kind of switch gears a little bit more and go to AREC if it's an escape, if it's attention, if it's, what do I do, how do I deal with that?so that is going to be our kind of our next chapter. I try to group these up into little Glocks,andin between to remind you that you are watching and answering. Now ask me anything where we'retalking to folks about,how to think like a behavior analyst, which does not seem like a wildly popular topic at this point., and I'm Adam Dreyfus. The Chief Science Officer,AnswersNow now is a downloadable app that you can download off of the Apple store or your Google play Android device andanswer a little quick questionnaire signup.and you will be chatting with your own board certified behavior analyst,kinda like an assistant in your pocket.

Speaker 1 (23:05):

So,here we are. We've got attention, escape, access to something sensory. So if it's intention, how do I get somebody to stop doing that if he's slapping himself in the face?cause he wants my attention, she wants my attention. How do I get them to stop? The essence of simplicity? You control all of the attention. So this is very difficult to do right out of the box. And a lot of parents, it kind of runs counter tolike your, your instincts are apparent, but when they slap themselves in the face, you don't respond to it. But you do respond to all of the instances whether or not. So a lot of people like, Oh, I think I understand. So they slept by themselves. You don't pay any attention for a while. You can get yourself in trouble that way. So what it would look like is Adam slaps himself in the face.

Speaker 1 (23:56):

You don't react for just a couple of seconds, right? That it's that kind of immediacy. It's actually the consequences. What's happening right after their behavior. And my hands sit in my lap and you just say to your kid, Oh great job having your hand in your lap and you pour attention on them when they're doing what you want them to do. Catch them doing what you want them to do. So what that behavior is telling you is that for that kid, they're not getting enough attention just throughout the day. Think of it like water, right? They're getting thirsty and the thirst year they get, the more intense their behavior is going to be. But fortunately, especially with attention, you have the water, you can give them attention whenever you want. Hey, a little Pat on the head, Hey, a little wink, a little just whatever, right? All of that is watering there.

Speaker 1 (24:44):

You're giving them water. So as they're getting like they might, it'll be like this, there's a certain line that they will get to where they will start slapping themselves in the face. But the more you keep that line up here, they don't get there. So it's called differential reinforcement, which is exactly what it sounds like. I'm giving them something for when they're doing something different.what happens is that these behaviors over time can get more and more intense and more and more frequent. And it can be a little harder to find, you know, especially if they're slapping themselves over and over and over again.but you want to find that even in that split second where their hand is down. So you want to catch them doing what you want. It's the best advice I can give parents is, and don't just be like, good job, good job all the time.

Speaker 1 (25:31):

, but,you know, praise your kids for doing what it is that you want. We deal with this all the time and,I run a very large school and people will like not say anything to the kids unless they're misbehaving. That's how you end up with a lot of attention, maintaining a behavior. So catch them for attention, catch them doing what you want, ignore the stuff you don't want. Caveat to that. Safety overrides everything. You're not going to ignore somebody running at you with scissors because you think you might be attention maintained. Behavior. Safety trps everything.all right, so escape Escape's a little bit more complicated, but,think of it in a classroom kind of setting. What are the, the, the most powerful tools that teachers got is, you get to decide what you put in front of them so you can change what it is that you're putting in front of them.

Speaker 1 (26:22):

If your kid is trying to escape something, there's a reason they're trying to escape's usually a person, it's frequently a person. Like they have decided because of,, the way that that interaction is going. They don't want to be around that can be a parent, it can be mom, it can be like they just, they want out. So the best way to control for kind of escape, make sure that they've got something in front of them that you're asking them to do, that it's appropriate. Don't stop asking him to do things.the first question a really good behavior analyst will ask is, does the child have the skills required to do the thing that we're asking them to do? Cause a lot of times for escape maintained behavior, you're like, Oh, well I'm just asking him to do this thing.

Speaker 1 (27:05):

I don't understand why it's a big deal. It's because he can't do it. It'd be like if I sat down and every time you saw me, I started asking you crazy physics questions.and you have no idea what's going on with physics. Sooner or later you would just start getting up and walking away from me. It's the same idea. Like you, you have to meet them where they're at. So a lot of escape maintained behavior is because they lack certain skills that would let them do whatever it is that you're asking them to do. Again, great place to have a behavior analyst help you out as you develop your parents skills and get a little bit bit, Oh, I see. Oh, okay. I kinda can teach them this because as good as we are, you're the expert on your kid. It might not feel like it all the time.

Speaker 1 (27:44):

, but we're really here to kind of help unlock your inner CEO and give you the tools necessary to successfully manage these, these kids and sometimes attention catching, doing what you want, escape, make sure they get the skills necessary, but you can change what it is that you're asking them to do. A lot of folks will be like, Oh, I'm going to offer them something more amazing to sit there and do this thing. So I'm asking her to do this thing we were escaping for and I'm going to up the motivation, be like, Hey, if you sit here and work for 15 minutes, I will give you an X-Box. You are backing yourself into a very tight corner. I'm involved in massive negotiations with your kids.or you know,adults,what you wanna do is either teach them new skills or make sure that what you're asking them to do is appropriate.

Speaker 1 (28:39):

So,we've got attention. You got escape and now we're going to look at,tangible items. This one's, I'm going to go through a couple things here. One is very difficult to do and one is fairly easy to do. So kids who have big upsets when stuff is lost,there's a bunch of pretty straightforward strategies you can find. Like you can teach them how to wait a couple minutes. You can teach them,how to request things. That's one of the biggest things. Like, you know, you, you can ask to have it back. I'm not going to give it to you if you're having a tantr, but at its core, what we deal with a lot is a kid should be able to hand over something that an adult is asking for 100% of the time. There's not a kid on earth, I think it doesn't, 100% of the time.

Speaker 1 (29:23):

I've got two kids, I promise you, they're not like, sure dad, here's my favorite thing and I'm just handing it over to you. But that's what we want. That's usually where the frustration comes from is like maybe you're having them play on your phone, you know, Hey, I need my phone. And they have a huge upset cause they're playing, they're kind of gaming on your phone, right? You get to keep the phone and now you don't get your own phone, you don't get your own iPad, you like whatever it is, or they're working, they're playing with that one thing and you need to go to the store with them. You know, like, Hey, we need to go to the store. And they're not listening to what you want them to do is just hand you the thing and be able to do what it is that you ask.

Speaker 1 (29:56):

So there's a little protocol that we call the give the protocol.and it's a little bit tricky, but I trust you.and I've done this dozens and dozens of times. So give me protocol. The goal is I want the kid to get me something whenever I ask like, Oh, but every time I ask, he has this huge upset. So you have all this, you know, hundreds sometimes of,incidents of the kid having a big upset. So give me protocols, pretty simple. You start out, you walk up, you say, give me, and then you instantly take it out of their hands and then you instantly give it back. So literally, it goes like Outback. So you can almost see there like the, they, they begin to react, right? Cause you've just taken the thing, but now they have it back.

Speaker 1 (30:38):

And so you do that kind of randomly every now and then give me a boom ticket and hand it will see sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. It depends on a bunch of different things. They'll become less reactive cause they're like when he says, give me like I get it back right away. Like I'm not, I don't have to fight for this. So as you see them kind of like their reaction comes down a little bit, you do a little bit of a pause, give me, take it and wait like a second and then hand it back. And what you do is you stretch that timeout little by little. So you take it, give me one, two here. You go right back. And then what you will find is you will walk up at some point you'll say, give me, and they will hand it to you.

Speaker 1 (31:20):

That's the give me protocol. There is, I have, again, wildly oversimplified it, but that's what we're doing here. We're trying to reduce the barrier of entry to this stuff. Get the knowledge out there in your hands. A little knowledge can be a little bit of a dangerous thing. I highly encourage you to work with experts on this., and how can you do that? How could you do that? Oh, you know what? You could go to and learn more about us and see what our clinicians call our back. Or you can just download the app right out of the Apple store or the Google play just type in AnswersNow now with no space and it should be the first app. It'll have this. If you're looking up in the corner, the little purple butterfly is a symbol.and then you sign up and a chat with your own clinician.

Speaker 1 (32:10):

, so that is, let's see, where are we out here? I'm doing my little time check. We've got some questions. If you want to answer questions that are, what, how come I'm not seeing him? I don't know why I thought you were, but I was not. This is for those of you guys who don't know, like that God voice that you just heard is the wildly talented Allison who's here helping us up. I'm usually, I see the comments go but I haven't seen go shoot, let's do some questions. First question is from Valerie

Speaker 2 (32:40):

and she asks if there are any eating strategies for the picky eating.

Speaker 1 (32:45):

Valerie, fantastic question.and I'm not sure why I'm not seeing you for you, for you to say. So are there any strategies for Fort? Yeah, absolutely. We actually have on our website,, and it's free. You can just go,onto the website.I forget exactly what it's called, but it is a, it's like a set of steps on how to, how to help your kid eat more things. So it's specifically to this, how do I expand the nber of things that my kid will eat.and I will walk you through it really quickly cause we're usually what, what the problem is, what usually Valerie is talking about. And I could be off base here, but is that, Hey, if I tried to put a new food in front of him or her or I ask them to eat something, they wouldn't be upset.

Speaker 1 (33:25):

So I just don't, right. Like they eat white bread and bananas and that's it and nothing else. Well, all right, so let's say we want them to eat green beans just randomly. You just pick green beans. So what you would first do is when you sit them down, here's your bread, here's your bananas, and I'm going to put a little green, a plate of green beans kind of in front of your plate. So what you're trying to signal is like, Hey, there's some food here, but you don't have to eat it. I'm going to ask you, don't say anything. Just literally just put it there. If they have some kind of upset, just move the plate back away from them. What that signals to them is, Hey, I'm not asking you to do this right now. This plate, you're not. It's just sitting here, right?

Speaker 1 (34:07):

So what hopefully happens is they calm down, right? And they don't worry about the beans and they eat their fruit in a way you go and just keep putting the green beans down until they can tolerate having a plate of green beans next to their regular food without any kind of upset. So now you've kind of what you've done very similar to the give me kind of protocol.thenI do what's called look, touch, taste, buy. So they've looked at it right? You've already got them. So they're looking at it, they're not having an upset and you just prompt them to touch it. Touch the green beans. If they have a big upset move the green bean plays back, but then come back to it, move it, just touch it. And if they touch the green beans, just touch it with your finger.

Speaker 1 (34:53):

Something good happens. Like you either give them like a, like a, like a, like a Hey, nice go on, right. A hug, maybe a Skittle, maybe some kind of like little treat for just touching it until they'll touch it. Anytime you ask them to, you just like to touch it and they'll touch it and then you go taste and what I do with that is I just touch it either to their lip or their tongue. They don't have to bite, they just have to, and again, the first time you might try it, even though you've done this, they might get kind of upset, just pushed the plate back no more demands. What you want to do is slowly reduce all of these kinds of reactions and you want to reinforce, give them something kind of good when they're doing what you want and once you've got 'em like and sometimes it'll take a couple of days, sometimes it'll take a couple weeks, especially if they're really resistant, they'll touch it and then you go to bite little bite.

Speaker 1 (35:42):

What I have found over and over and over is usually you don't have to go through all of these steps, but if you leave a food once, they've kind of gotten used to the fact like you're not making the media, you're not demanding. There's just food sitting on a plate. What I’ll do, what I'll start doing is they'll sit down to eat and before I put down their food, I want them to eat. I'll just put the beans there and leave them there for a little bit, five minutes, 10 minutes, whatever. I'll give him something else to do. We're talking about stuff. Nobody's asked him and kids will just, they're hungry. They'll eat the food in front of them. And I don't know, I want to say nine times out of 10, that is that exact technique is how I've gotten kids to expand out their food choices.cause the truth is when they're little kids, like they're kind of working on you, right? Like you put yellow cheese down and they have an upset, you know, like Whoa, no more yellow cheese. They don't know. They didn't taste good. They have no idea. You want to give them opportunities to kind of expand their pallet out a little bit.I hope that answered it. Valerie.feel free to follow up.we have more questions.

Speaker 2 (36:45):

Yes. The other question was from Nikki and she asked, won't your kids do that to others? To give me protocol.

Speaker 1 (36:57):

Well, the kids do that to others, like I'm not sure.

Speaker 2 (37:01):

Well they ask,ask others to get them protocols,

Speaker 1 (37:06):

ask him to give him like the iPad or something.yes, maybe. Yeah, for sure.I think I'm getting that if you could

Speaker 2 (37:17):

correct. Yeah. Nikki, if you're still hearing you want to clarify for us a little bit more, definitely want to answer your question the best we can. ,

Speaker 1 (37:26):

By that, like will they still refuse to give something to somebody else?, likely. Like at first it'll be like if it's Allison doing it and they learn how to give Allison something, it'll only work with Allison, but once you kinda got it settled, you can start adding kind of more people in, Oh God, grandma teacher.and they can do the same thing.I'm not sure exactly what you mean by having other kids do it.maybe you mean like can you teach them how to give the item to another kid? Yup. You can, fall into kind of the exact same thing. It's, it's asking a lot of a kid to be able to do that correctly. But if that's what you're asking, then certainly, you know, especially if you've got a, a,like a sibling,who's older and is kind of on board with helping out which most of them are.I see there's little that I think like how many people are watching right now learning new things all the time. You are listening to Adam Dreyfus, Chief Science Officer of AnswersNow. Now we are talking about how to think like a behavior analyst answering questions about behaviors., so feel free to ask more questions. You can type in the comment box oremail in., you can even ask Allison. Allison's the, what's your title?

Speaker 2 (38:46):

I'm the brand manager.

Speaker 1 (38:48):

Brand manager. I want to make sure I got that right. I was going to say engagement manager I think, but brand manager, I'm sorry, kind of a marketing guru who helps us out and helps me out when I do these things cause it's a little complicated for me.

Speaker 2 (39:00):

Oh, gotcha. Nikki clarified her question. Oh look at you, Nikki. And then I have one more after that too. Nikki says, my child would just take an item from another child without appropriately asking, but just by saying, give me,

Speaker 1 (39:16):

Oh, so they would, so they would learn like, Hey, if I just go up and say, give me something, I can take whatever I want. Oh, that's a great question, D like I could, there's certainly kids that I've worked with that,take some of the things that they've learned andgeneralize them out,to be able to do whatever they want like that. Like, Oh, this is great. You just didn't say, give me, you get whatever you want. Oh, so yes, like that, that, that could happen. But that would be like, like is, is usually the case. Once someone learns a new skill, you, it gives you new problems to have to deal with. So,you would just have to teach them like, it's not okay to just take things,from,other people would, you are not alone on that.

Speaker 1 (40:02):

You have teachers helping you out. There's all kinds of other people that as a general rule of thb in our society, you can't just take something from somebody. I will say though, and I hope this kind of makes sense,, that it is a reasonable request for a child to have to hand to an adult. Something they were asking them for. Could be scissors, could be an iPad, could be's not just teaching the kids to follow directions from anybody, but that's one of those skills that you need in your house at school, as you get older at work, right? Like it's a, Oh, but yes, I could see,I could see the odd kid here and there,using that as weaponizing to give me protocol. It's a great question, Nikki. Thanks. Any other questions?

Speaker 2 (40:49):

No. Diana had jped in to kind of back Nikki up with clarifying, but you have Diana and you have Lisa that have both said hello.

Speaker 1 (40:59):

Oh, hi Lisa. Hi.,super nice of you guys to take some time out of your,busy schedules to,tuning in tonight.we also,want to, this is I think our third or fourth one.and they've been pretty popular and,we like doing them.but you can tell us what kind of topics you would like covered. Like we could do one just on eating.we could do one on what if my kid learns ABA skills from me and uses them in daycare against other kids.kinda like that one a lot., but whatever it is that you would like a, one of the really,powerful truths about applied behavior analysis is it applies to any kind of behavior. We're sitting here mostly because of autism spectr disorder.but ADA is not an autism specific,thing.

Speaker 1 (41:49):

There are people working in this field, they work with,helping people lose weight, quit smoking.there's all kinds of ABA therapists working in corporations too, like better the work environment and making people work faster. Those are the, those are the dark Ava people. You know, if we have a specific color and specific music, everybody's 8% more's a little spooky.I'm just here to try to teach kids some we are pretty close to wrapping up. We're clocking in a little bit over 40 doing this.and super appreciate,all the moms, dads and folks that are tuning in., Valerie's and leases and Diana's, who am I missing? Nicki. Nicki. That's right. Best can also just email me directly,Adam to get AnswersNow. Now if you've got a specific question for me, I would love to be able to answer it.

Speaker 1 (42:44):

, but we are here to try to spread the word about this new app that we've got where you can connect directly to your OB CBA. So instead of having a tune in on a specific time on a Facebook message to get some AnswersNow, the AnswersNow are no further away than your pocket. So,with that, we're going to say a good evening unless we're, we're, we're, we're good to go. I got the thbs can check us out online and And there's a million ways to connect with us. And I just want to thank you very much for taking some time out of a,what is, I'm certain, a busy,

Speaker 2 (43:19):

well, can we attack her one? Nikki wants to know what, am I going to get a haircut? No, that's my question. Nikki wants to know her child's anxiety grows when a violation occurs. Example, he left his lunchbox at school when he got home. He realizes he left the item at school. We don't go to get it, but his anxiety is difficult to deal with. Any suggestions on that?

Speaker 1 (43:49):

Hmm.I hopefully you guys heard that. So Nikki had a sort of an anxiety question. I would love, you know what, that's a kind of a no brainer. I can do a whole series of these on anxiety. So the example was a child goes to school, leaves the lunchbox at school, comes home, realizes the lunchbox is at school.of course I want the lunchbox back. Parents I think very reasonable are like, listen, we're not gonna go back to school here. We'll get your lunchbox tomorrow.but the child experiences quite a bit of anxiety around that. One of the problems with anxiety is it's sometimes hard to evaluate to figure out what's driving the anxiety. Especially with kids who don't have great communication skills. And frankly, even kids who do have really good communication skills, have a hard time using language to identify exactly what's going on.

Speaker 1 (44:38):

We get ourselves in all kinds of trouble asking a five or six year old, what do they think about stuff?because they just, it's not, they don't have the tools necessary to answer us in a way that we expect them to answer. Almost like a little adult. Like, Oh, I thought about it and the reason I'm anxious is that it's my favorite two kinds of AnswersNow. One is just general anxiety coping strategies.I've got a three year old girl who's pretty anxious and we watched a lot of Daniel tiger. Why? Cause Daniel tiger has got all kinds of coping strategies for kids. Little songs. Like what do you do when you feel Lind scared count to four, count to four. And kids really internalize this, right? Like everything, there's not, it's not accidental that nursery rhymes are short lyrical rhymes because that's how kids learn.

Speaker 1 (45:25):

I'm like, Oh they're kind of so their morals and things. So I'm teaching your child just general strategies for when you're feeling anxiety, how to kind of calm yourself down, whether that's reaching out to a parent or you know, what we call self management strategies. Something that you can do yourself or in this particular case, finding out exactly what it was that is,making them anxious. Usually with kids you can do some kind of distraction that kind of shifts them off of the,sort of focus around that one item. So in this particular case, you might like to make a little story, like literally drawing four empty boxes on a piece of paper. I would be careful when I move on his table or the camera. So you draw four empty boxes on a piece of paper and literally like little stick figures.

Speaker 1 (46:13):

You just say, Hey, Mike left his lunch at school. He drew a little school in it.but the lunchbox is okay and tomorrow Mike is going to be able to say hi to his lunchbox. So here he is getting on the bus and going to school. And then, Hey, there's lunchbox, hi lunchbox. How are you doing? Lit literally just holding onto that piece of paper. Like you hand it to him and you're like, yeah, you see what's going on. Can be very common. Cause now they have a sequence of events that is laid out for them that satisfies their anxiety. They've got a term because they, what they tend not to be able to do is something that you could do. And I can do it, I'm pretty good at it. I can get some kind of anxiety but use the language in our head to calm ourselves down so they need something external. So like a little story, a little song, a little. 

Speaker 1 (47:02):

yeah, likelike, colors, like little social stories.I hope that AnswersNow it cause that's a challenge. You want like, it's, I like it. I've got a little girl who gets very anxious about stuff and we do a lot of these kinds of strategies. All right, one more question. Oh, I love it. You guys are challenging me to stop it. Allison's going to be like, we got to go home though. This

Speaker 2 (47:30):

is from Heather. And she says her daughter likes to throw objects in all four instances. You mentioned wanting an item, escape and frustration. Do you have any suggestions to help curb this behavior? Thank you.

Speaker 1 (47:47):

So this is, this is why it's so good to have kind of your own VA cause you can unpack these things. So in a little bit more detail. So your daughter likes to throw objects. So based on the kind of our framework where we've gone through tonight, the first one would be like, we want to figure out why she didn't do it?I would say the first one I would look at is attention.and then that if that was the case, that would be pretty straight forward. When she throws the object, you just ignore it.and when she's not throwing the object, you make a big deal out of it. It sounds overly simple. It is that kind of simple. ,

Speaker 1 (48:25):

in the same way that we're behavior analysts, kids are too, right? They're trying to maneuver us. That's how you end up with kids. You only eat white bread. They've successfully maneuvered their parents to only give them a white bread. I'm doubtful it's an escape. I have almost no information cause I'm not sure what she'd be escaping from other than playing with the doll, which is probably not very likely. It could be. She just likes the sound of like kids will just repetitively do things. That's how they're learning kind of how the world son last night we had a balloon,cause we had my daughter's birthday over the weekend, so there's a balloon in the house and he was just throwing it. He had like a handful of pencils. They were just throwing pencils at the balloon.I asked him if he was trying to pop it and he said, no, that's all right.

Speaker 1 (49:11):

, I'm not sure what you're doing. And it was just interesting to him. He was just, Hey look, I can throw and hit the balloon. So I don't know. And we would call that automatically reinforcing like maybe your daughter isthrowing the doll cause she likes the way it sounds and she likes the way that it looks kinda flying through the that case you want to give her a new thing to do with the doll. You want to teach her something that is not just throwing it, although this doesn't, usually this kind of behavior would not like to rise to the level of, Oh this is a big concern if nobody's getting hurt and she's not hurting herself, but teaching her to play with the doll in a different way. Maybe introducing another doll and having them argue and you, well one question I would have, and I don't know if we've got time for it. Do you go pick up the doll or does she pick up the goal when it gets thrown? If you've got time to answer that, I will hang out for another minute.unless there's any more questions.

Speaker 2 (50:03):

Heather added to this while we're waiting for her to respond. She said that her daughter has target behaviors that the OT is helping us with, like puzzles and games. She throws the pieces and runs away.

Speaker 1 (50:19):

So a little bit more information. Thank you very much Heather. So she has targeted behaviors like puzzles and games and she throws the pieces away. So that's pretty straightforward escape behavior. Like I'm going out on a limb, it could be wrong.she might not like playing with puzzles.andthe games,would be the easiest one.working with the OT, usually kids really like working with OTs. OTs have a lot of fun stuff, right? They have squishy things. They have,different things that they're working for. So if I get a little bit in the weeds here, but stick with me, Heather, if she just likes the sound of the dog on it, like it's sensory behavior. It's like she just likes it. That behavior is extending to puzzles and games. She just likes throwing things.I, I feel like I'm there probably two different things.

Speaker 1 (51:13):

, cause in,with the OT there and kind of working with her,that's, that's a pretty heavy demand situation. I, she's got an adult trying to get her to do things, probably escape behavior for throwing this stuff. My recommendation would be either try something else. She might not be understanding of what the OT is trying to's just frustrating for her and like that's kind of falls under that. Does she have the prerequisite skills to do what it is that we're asking?but I think it's great that the OT is trying to teach her a variety of new things because that will help kind of lessen those behaviors where you're like, Oh, I wonder why that's going. Because she'll just develop new skills. She'll learn how to ride a bike, she'll learn how to do things.I hope I answer your question. Heather said that she picks the toy up the doll. Yes. She, Heather does or does. So,Oh, I wonder how old your daughter is. I'm guessing three would be my guess.

Speaker 1 (52:13):

She didn't answer. She isn't answering up. There is like a ten second ten second book. So,I will fill this in a little bit and say you're still listening to Adam Dreyfus from AnswersNow answering questions about behavior and how to think like a behavior analyst.this was way more active than I thought cause I didn't see any messages for a long time.and now we're getting all kinds of great questions and enjoy,, trying to gain through this with you. Now I want you to imagine that you've got access to someone like me who's pretty good at that stuff, but instead of just this little tiny window of a couple of minutes where you're asking a couple of questions,you can ask as many questions as you want all day, every day,and take the time to really,get to the actual AnswersNow. Cause frankly, like I am kind of guessing her daughter is three, boom.

Speaker 1 (53:02):

I always say that was a pretty good behavior analyst thing there.very common sort of three. So,I'm guessing that you've tried just not picking it up. I would just not pick it up. She wants to play with the village and go pick it up., or she can learn to ask you in an appropriate way like,it doesn't have to be vocal, so like she might not be able to talk.but,maybe she raises her hand. Maybe she points it out and smiles at you some way other than just training mom to go pick stuff up.if she's got an OT, she might have mobility issues,so she might not be able to go get it. In which case,you're working with an extremely clever three-year-old who's gained through some of their,what's going on in their world.

Speaker 4 (53:46):


Speaker 1 (53:47):

next question would be like, is it, can she go pick it up? I can understand why you would go pick it up if maybe she's in a highchair or something like that.but,, I would cut back on the going and getting it.for her, she will survive.she probably needs to learn a little bit. Like if you throw something, sometimes it's just not available right away. I might build a piece where if I pick it up instead of just handing it back to her, I put it someplace where she can see so that it's there, but she has to do another thing to get the doll back. Like I said, like some raise, she might be pointed to a doll, I don't know what her communication level is.but a, some other piece that comes in where it makes it less her just making mom do something and an actual teaching moment for her to learn a new skill.

Speaker 1 (54:41):

All right, we are going to stop at this point. This has been great. I'm glad to see there's way more activity on this than I thought.I have been and am continuing to be. Adam Dreyfus, the Chief Science Officer for AnswersNow. AnswersNow is a super fun, innovative new app that you can download in the Apple store or off of Google play and it will connect you directly to your own clinician board certified behavior analyst device. This is one of those commercials where words popped up. Do that board certified behavior thing I have learned since we started this company is that behavior analysts really, really love this platform. They like being able to reach more people.they like being able to help people like they're out there waiting for you. Check out our website,, and we will see you in a couple of weeks. And again, feel free to shoot us topics that you would want to see for this or would you like a different background? I say this is a little plan and obviously I need a haircut. So we'll see you on the back side of a haircut. Trimmed up a little bit. All right. Thank you guys very much. Have a wonderful Wednesday evening.

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