Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reducing Behavior Challenges In School

Humans tend to learn by observing others, and this is particularly true of humans in their very early years. Interestingly enough, when someone is born with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) they may not pick up on things in the same ways as others and may even fail to learn some expected behaviors. This is one of the reasons that Autism often manifests itself as behavior challenges in school.

Even though there are many red flags and warnings that someone has ASD, it may be misdiagnosed until the time they enter into formal schooling, and then it becomes clear that they may be experiencing some of the cognitive or academic disorders as well as the social and behavioral problems that come with Autism. This leads to the need for a child's teachers to find ways to address their behavior challenges in school, but it also helps to know that there are many at home tactics that can be put to good use too.

It all begins with finding one of the better Autism training systems, and these will tend to rely on something known as ABA. This translates to Applied Behavior Analysis which is a science dedicated to observing, noting and addressing human social behaviors. Obviously, these include the behavior challenges in school, but also everywhere else too.

ABA works on the premise that a child with any of the ASD issues is going to generally have an inability to imitate the standard behaviors, and this leads to them being viewed as presenting behavior challenges in school and at home. When parents and teachers are trained in the ways to use ABA principles and strategies, however, they are going to be able to address specific issues in order to promote and encourage positive behaviors and to curb the unwanted ones.

It is interesting to note that most school systems tend to consider the needs of ASD students as something belonging entirely to the special education department, but newer federal mandates make it essential that all children are included in the mainstream environment. This means that most schools systems will, eventually, need to implement Autism training of some kind, but it helps when parents consider it too.

Fortunately, the better training systems make an at home or parents version of their programming available, in addition to the teachers training. This can really boost a child's chances for academic and social success because it means they get the kind of support they need on a full time basis.

Garrett Butch is the father of a 6 year old with autism and the founder of Maximum Potential Group.

Maximum Potential has developed courses that train parents, therapists and school systems how to work with children with autism.

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