Sometimes some of our methods, interventions, and strategies seem just down right wacky and weird. We surely can’t blame others from not understanding the method to our madness if we don’t freaken share the methods with them. I know we are often stuck in situations with very limited opportunities and time to train our staff but we just simply need to make time for it. Throw the kiddos on some iPads, have an extra break time, ask your principal for some extra staff coverage – do whatever you need to. But you need to spend at least a little bit of time explaining your strategies and methods. If you give them the “why” you are much more likely to get that all mighty buy-in!
When training staff, you need to be systematic about it. You have done so much hard work taking data, identifying the function of the behavior, implementing the intervention – there is no need to throw that all away now. Not training your staff is like dropping the ball at the 1 yard line. Come on, people! I now it is BEYOND difficult to find time to train staff. I have ZERO time allocated to train my staff but it gets done. There is NO way I’m throwing away all that hard work. With a little organization, training staff can done efficiently and quickly!
Today we will talk about sharing information. This seems basic but this is actually one I forget about the most. It’s quite simple – just explain what you are doing! Explain the intervention, explain the function of a behavior, explain why you need to take data. Explain, explain, explain. Make them almost sick of hearing your voice. When they are ready to throw their hands in the air screaming, “I get it, I won’t give a time out to an escape behavior!!!!” then you know your job is done.
When you think staff, be sure to include everyone that comes in your room. Our rooms are sometimes busier than a Dunkin Donuts on Monday morning. Consider everyone who comes into your room – therapists, clinicians, aides, art teachers, etc. The worst thing is for you to have an amazing planned ignoring intervention going strong and then the unknowing gym teacher truancies into your room immediately reinforces that ridiculous behavior you had finally gotten rid of. It’s not the gym teacher’s fault. If you see someone biting their own hand, you might tell them to stop.
I also suggest an intervention board. Quick, simple, and keeps everyone up to date. I write down the initials of the student (it’s more discrete then!) and updates or additions to any behavior plans. It’s right in the middle of the room so everyone can check it before working with a student so they know exactly what’s up.
This post is part of Summer Series: Reducing Problem Behavior. Click here to see more in this series!