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Meaningful Solutions for Problem Behaviors

July 22, 2021

by Staci Kolko, M.S. ED, BCBA

Solving Autism is a proud advocate of providing services to families through trauma informed care. By providing enriching therapeutic environments, building strong rapport, following an individual’s lead, and watching for cues that an individual is happy, relaxed, and engaged, we can ensure that we are trauma-informed.

We believe in targeting skills that are socially relevant to the individual and family. When working with individuals with Autism it is essential that treatment is meaningful to the individual but also safe, dignified, and tele-visible.

Severe and ongoing problem behavior of children with autism and developmental disabilities can lead to reduced learning opportunities. By identifying the causes of problem behavior, practitioners can more effectively treat re-occurring problem behavior. Often times behavior challenges are complex and require identifying all the variables that contribute to the behavior.

Using Dr. Greg Hanley’s’ approach known as the Interview Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis (IISCA), we are able both identify the variables that influence behavior and help individuals acquire skills that are required to tolerate disappointment, accept delays, and cooperate with demands. This treatment process upholds client dignity by teaching through joy and not teaching through potentially stressful situations. The IISCA combines student-led, teacher-led, and parent-led learning opportunities. Dr. Hanley’s’ contributions to the field of ABA continue to help practitioners provide safe and effective treatment modalities. Through the IISCA, Solving Autism Team Members, acknowledge that cooperation can and should be a positive shared experience through the clinician and learner.

We also believe in teaching preventative-based approaches to learners who do not engage in challenging behavior. Many learners who have Autism are at risk for developing maladaptive behaviors. From what we know from the research, individuals with weak communication skills are more likely to develop problem behavior.  Similarly, to the IISCA, using the Balance Approach by Dr. Ruppel, we can help develop skills to build cooperation and toleration. The program helps parents and educators develop strong rapport with the children and then systematically exposes the individuals to challenging situations. By helping children accept, tolerate, and cooperate with adult-led activities, challenging situations do not have to be avoided or minimized. Children are given the tools to accept the situation.

Solving Autism will continue to do its’ part to incorporate pro-active interventions that continue to provide more meaningful outcomes for our families and community members.


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