June 10, 2020
AnswersNow Chief Science Officer, Adam Dreyfus, speaks about the topic of Parent Implemented Interventions as a part of the Parent Support University series.
Speaker 1 (00:02):
Hello AnswersNow, friends and families. This is our 11th episode of our parent support university that we're putting on during the COVID-19 pandemic, where we are unpacking all of the weird technical stuff that the BCBAs are talking about a whole time and trying to demystify it for you. I am Adam Dreyfus. I'm the chief science officer of AnswersNow we are a mobile platform see our little mobile app here. There's AnswersNow you just need to go to the Apple store or the Android store type in AnswersNow all one word and the little purple a butterfly icon will come up and you can download it for free. You can be connected directly to your own clinician like me, that you can text and chat with whenever you want. Kind of like having an expert in your pocket. That's the whole point of AnswersNow.
Speaker 1 (00:48):
We've also got blog posts. We've got communities that you can join. If you want, you can just sign up for like one quick call for a clinician, or you can have a subscription where you get like your own clinician all the time which is how most of our clients use this, but there's a lot of, a lot of ways that you can interact with us. And we've got all kinds of interesting things coming down the road. I can't wait to show you. Our tech team is hard at work, making a platform. That's gonna be much more user-friendly on the, on the backside. So what we're doing over these product 20 weeks is taking these evidence based practices that we know work, see in the, in the autism field. Every, it seems like every five months or six months parents are bombarded with, Hey, here's the new thing, try this out.
Speaker 1 (01:36):
And a lot of that comes from the fact that we're not sure what causes autism. We're not sure. What's what's causing the spike in rates. So it is a very right field for lots and lots of new stuff, but the truth is we've been educating autism is a good way of thinking about it for 30, 40 years. And so those, that sort of a box of things that we've been doing are called evidence based practices, which makes sense. They're, they've been proven to work. So what we're doing here is walking through all of them one by one so that you can understand exactly what they are. And it makes you a better advocate for your kid whether it's in a classroom or in a clinic or wherever. So the, fortunately for us, the national professional development center, I got these new boards here, the National Professional Development Center NPDC put together a website that has all of these evidence based practices.
Speaker 1 (02:33):
They've got modules where you can learn about them, and those modules are called the afirm modules. The afirm modules here, afirm.fpg.unc.edu, terrible, terrible URL to try to find stuff, but afirm one F on the National Professional Development center stuff. And so I definitely check those out. And so what we're doing today is parent implemented interventions which is it's an interesting evidence-based evidence based practice. What it means is a parent learns how to implement some of these interventions. So there's about 25 of them. But just for today's kind of episode, which is going to run about 10 or 15 minutes I'm just going to focus on three that we've already covered. So you can get really good information out of this that you can use today to help you and your family deal with the pandemic, but just your child diagnosed with autism.
Speaker 1 (03:40):
So we're going to talk a little bit about differential reinforcement, antecedent based intervention and extinction. I picked three of the big ones that are really easy to kind of explain and understand so are you ready? Cause away we go. So our evidence based practice today is parent implemented interventions, which is just a sneaky way of saying parents, you can learn how to do this. You can be every bit as good as all of the so called experts, the BCBAs and all these people that come into your house and all these clinics, because this is nonmedical there's, there's a, we're not giving your kids shots. We're not giving your kid medicine. It's a, what we call all environmental which just means somebody in your kid's environment, talking to them a certain way, presenting things a certain way, responding to them a certain way.
Speaker 1 (04:29):
So anybody can do it. That's the whole point of this and AnswersNow is founded on this principle. People like, Oh, ABA is so complicated and there's only a few people who can practice it. And they're not helping enough people wrong, wrong, and right, you definitely are not helping enough people. So AnswersNow is here to reduce the barrier of entry to this stuff. Cause I learned it. I didn't know it, and if I can learn it, anybody can learn it. So let's jump in with one of my favorite ones. Extinction. Extinction is an evidence based practice and what it means is every behavior out there, every behavior is happening for a reason. And if you understand that reason then you should technically maybe be able to make the behavior happen or stop the behavior and the stopping the behavior from happening.
Speaker 1 (05:15):
That process is extinction. What that means is essentially you turn off the, the thing that is driving the behavior. So perfect example, tantrumy, what's watering, what's the water. That's keeping the tantrum going mom and dad's attention. So what do we do? We turn off the attention and you'll see a little bit of a spike, a little bit more tantruming, and then it'll go away. Why it's not getting watered. There's no water coming in. So that's what extinction is. Extinction is exactly what it sounds like. It means it's going forever. Like the dinosaurs behavior doesn't year that you really worked. Like you smokers out there know that you might've quit smoking for 20 years and then you're at a party and you have a cigarette and yes, so it wasn't placed entirely on, but that's the process. So what I want you to take away from that is if your kid is doing something that you really, really don't like, there's a reason for it.
Speaker 1 (06:15):
And a lot of the time it's us, right? We're giving them attention or we're letting them get out of doing something. So the whole point of extinction is turning that off. So the easiest thing to do is say, you're standing in the kitchen, your kid wants a cookie and you don't want to give a cookie right now. And they have a tantrum. Don't talk to them. Don't try to reason with them just walk away. And if there's a safety issue involved which I totally understand what I recommend is step back a couple of steps. So you sort of break your proximity a little bit. So if you're a foot away, you go to like six to eight feet away turn sideways. So you're not facing them. They're not getting you and don't look at them. So you can stay in there and you can be present.
Speaker 1 (06:54):
And it doesn't take too much of this. And if, and if things are safe, right, like if you're, if it's not a safety issue peace out, right, that turns everything off. And the kids will learn that that is not how I get a cookie. So also I definitely want to recommend that you, at least, at least before you kind of start consult with experts, right? So you, and that's what AnswersNow is all about. And you can for free go into our communities and talk to one of our experts. But if you have a really serious behavior, you're definitely gonna want someone to kind of look over your shoulder go back and forth. And that's, that's a core kind of value proposition that AnswersNow has, is that you'll be able to text me and say, Hey, Adam, I wanna get my kid to start tantruming.
Speaker 1 (07:38):
We're going to try this extinction thing. Here's my plan. I'll let you know how it goes. And then I go, okay, well, make sure you're doing this and let's make sure you do that. And then you, right afterwards, you're like, okay, this is what happened. What did I do? Right? What did I do wrong? And that's really the strength of AnswersNow where you can learn more about and getanswersnow.com that's our website or download the app off of the App store. Or the Android store, your phone, just open up your, whatever your store is on your phone and type AnswersNow all one word, not a space and it should be the first or second thing in there. All right, moving on. Remember today, we're talking about parent implemented interventions, which is an evidence based practice in and of itself.
Speaker 1 (08:20):
But what it means is you're implementing one of these interventions off of the list. So again, this is one of the early ones we've talked about, antecedent based intervention ABI as it's sometimes referred to. And that just means antecedent means before. So the idea here is alright, I know that my kid has an upset when we go to the car. I know I have, my kid has an upset. When we go to the store, how do I get in front of it? Right. I know it's kind of like, it seems like it's going to happen. So one of the easiest ways to do this as some kind of schedule, letting the kid know what's going on. And the one that I've used a lot is just creating a little visual for them. So, Hey, first, we're going to get in the car.
Speaker 1 (09:06):
Then, we're going to go to school, then we're going to go to McDonald's and you see how like, almost painfully simplistic, this picture is, that's all you need. You don't need an app. You don't need your iPad. You don't need some elaborate kind of thing. I usually do this on a, just a plain piece of paper. As you can see, it probably took me 15 seconds to put this together. And then what I like to do is give them the piece of paper, right? They can hold onto it, just the same way that you you know, hold onto your phone and it tells you what's coming up next, right. Your calendar. So it lets the kid have something to hold onto and then you can kind of keep referring to it as you're driving along. Hey, what are we doing next?
Speaker 1 (09:46):
That's right. We're in the, you know, we're, we're in the car. What comes next? That's right school. And after school, cause like most people, just one reminder is not enough. I don't know about you, somebody telling me one time like, Hey Adam, let's go to the movies next Saturday and there's no more phone calls, no more texts anymore. There's a low probability that I'm going to be at that movie with just one prompt or a conversation. So the nice thing about that also is like, they can either cross things out as they go along. They can fold it. There's a lot of different ways that you can do it and customize it, but really all you need is a piece of paper and pencil. And that is a pretty low tech solution. So we are talking about parent implemented interventions.
Speaker 1 (10:32):
We've talked about antecedent based intervention and we talked about extinction and now probably my favorite one, probably my favorite one, differential reinforcement. What does that mean? What is differential reinforcement? Well, it is almost exactly what it sounds like, which is one of the reasons I like it. Unlike a lot of the other evidence based practices, which have kind of goofy names. You're not sure what they mean. Differential different reinforcement reward is not a perfect way of saying it, but kind of a way of saying it. So what it means is you don't want to reward what you don't want to see. You don't want to give somebody a cookie for punching you in the face. You don't want to give somebody money for not doing what you want them to do. So what at its core is catch them doing what you want.
Speaker 1 (11:22):
Now I would suggest to you that most of the time, they're probably doing what you want. Even if it's nothing like they're just sitting there, right. But they're not biting. They're not kicking. They're not punching it. They're not breaking something. Hey, thank you so much for sitting there so nicely. And if your child doesn't like, would not understand a language like that, that kind of language. Because a lot of our kids, they don't they don't hear language the same way they haven't learned it. So, but you want the same thing. So what are you trying to say with like telling them like, like you're giving them reinforcement, like that's so give him a cookie, give him a squeeze, give him like a little, Hey, this is what you know, this is what I want you to doing a little high five for anything they're walking along nicely with you.
Speaker 1 (12:01):
Hey, thank you so much for walking along nicely with me. They're not running out in the street. They're not eloping from you. There's endless opportunities to catch them doing what you want them to do. And that's differential reinforcement. There's a lot of, we went over it when we covered it a few weeks ago, you feel free to check out the video. But that's it at its core is catch them doing what you want them to do. And it's kind of fun. The nice thing about that is you've got all the control over that, right? That's been one of my favorite interventions to tell parents is, you know, you don't need something elaborate. It doesn't take a lot of practice. It just means when in the absence of the stuff that you don't want, make it rain. Most of the time, we're not paying any attention to kids when they're doing exactly what we want them to do, sitting nicely playing appropriately sharing appropriately.
Speaker 1 (12:52):
We're like, Whoa, we got a break from the, you know, having to police them all the time. That's the time, that's the key right there sitting at the table nicely, they're using their fork. They're brushing their teeth. They're, you know, they put the toilet seat down there, whatever, like there's, it's, it's a, it's an infinite amount of possibilities out there that they're doing what you want them to do. All right. So I want to thank you for joining us today. We were talking about parent implemented interventions. I'm Adam Dreyfus, the chief science officer of AnswersNow. AnswersNow is a mobile platform essentially an app where you can sign up and get your own clinician that you can learn all these things from. Today we talked about differential reinforcement, antecedent based interventions, extinction, which are all part of the evidence based practices we're talking about, but these are how to implement them as a parent. Again, oops, I've gotta be careful with these. This is where you can go to get more information. The afirm modules, A F I R M. I wish everybody out there. Well hopefully you and your families are safe. I'm Adam Dreyfus and I thank you very much for joining us and look forward to seeing you next week. Week 12 of our parents support university checkout getanswersnow.com and we will talk to you later.