Learning is defined by dictionary.com as:
1. Knowledge acquired by systematic study in any field of scholarly application.
2. The act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill.
3. Psychology. the modification of behavior through practice, training, or experience.
Let's look at #3, the modification of behavior through practice, training, or experience. When you really think about this definition it can be exciting or kind of scary. What behaviors are we practicing, training and experiencing? What behaviors are we reinforcing in others through our daily practices? Thanks to Danny and other people with ASD we have the ability to better understand the neurological and sensory processing that helps formulate plans for daily practice and guides us to become more cognizant of our impact in the lives of others.
I'm certain many of you are familiar with the components which govern behavior. The A-B-C's of learning!
The first area is A=Antecedent. The antecedent is "that which occurs before a behavior". Put on your detective lenses and search for the antecedent!
Here are some things to look for:
Does the behavior occur after an instruction or command is given?
What event is happening?
Who is the individual with ASD with before the behavior occurs?
What setting are you in?
What is going on around the individual with ASD before a behavior occurs.
As an educational consultant for many years, the most commonly asked question is "Why is my child doing this, there seems to be no reason"? I guarantee you, there is always a reason, it just hasn't been uncovered as of yet. You are your child's best advocate, I believe that you will be able to find the antecedent and make changes that have a major impact in the life of your child. Grab your pen and paper and keep track of what you observe, it's hard to remember upon reflection. Also, don't look at all unwanted behaviors at the same time. Just pick one or it will confuse everyone involved. Best of luck, I have faith in you!
....more to come
* I would also like to note that if nothing has physically or emotionally changed but behaviors have changed, always check for medical needs. Behavioral changes before or during an illness are very common!