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Moondog - tag teach help please :-)

(22 Posts)
saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 16-Jul-09 09:12:51

Hi Moondog, sorry am being a bit lazy. DS1 has suddenly become extremely challenging (around me in the main) and I need to get a grip on his behaviour or I'm going to emerge from the summer holidays black and blue.

I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of tag teach resources again. For ages we've had no reinforcers that he's really cared about enough to modify behaviour but over the last few weeks he has grown to really really care about trains on YouTube and google maps so we have something to work with and I feel I can use this to develop a behavioural strategy.

Thank you!!!

moondog Thu 16-Jul-09 13:01:02

Ooh, that sounds promising. smile


We're also seeing a lot of potential in the use of


I sent you the slides from the TAGteach workshop I attended at ABAI conference.
Do you want me to resend?

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 16-Jul-09 15:06:18

Hi Moondog

Thank you!

Yes please I would love you to resend I can't see them on this computer.

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 16-Jul-09 15:11:24

The mother's testimonial sounds very similar to ds1. School holidays start next week so a good time I think to start this. I have a clicker somewhere already.

My main fear is that he isn't going to be that bothered about the quick reinforcement.

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 16-Jul-09 18:18:12

Ok I have ordered a clicker and will test reinforcers over the next day or so. Ds1's behaviour has gone off the wall very quickly ( matter of weeks) and we need to tone it down again. He is pinching, hitting, hitting his head really hard, punching and pinching himself shouting and shrieking. He is quite happy with all if this and finds any reaction amusing - a lot is used as attention seeking. This behaviour is literally almost constant. We need to stop it before it becomes his normality.

So with tag teach am I right in thinking I need to tag and reward calm behaviour - do I do this all the time or just in defined sessions? And how do I fade reward and tagging? Once we've established calmness do I then every now and then reward calm behaviour?

I'm quite excited about this as I think it will work. It's right up ds1's street and I think he'll click ( groan) fairly quickly. I was feeling very concerned as I tried to get a kicking hitting pinching shrieking laughing mass ready for school (any sanctions we have tried have been reinforcing for
him) but I am really hopeful that this will work.

moondog Thu 16-Jul-09 20:57:48

Have sent on presentation.
See my comments re additional reinforcement.
Generally not used all the time no, and when used, idea is to thin schedule.

You need of course to define target behaviour and work on that only-one thing at a time.

Presentation covers all these points I think.

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 16-Jul-09 21:02:06

Thanks moondog. The target behaviour is literally 'being calm'. It is so rare at the moment (when near me I am hit and kicked costantly accompanied by excited laughter) that I'm hoping it will be easily definable. So I thought providing he's not hitting, shouting, hitting himself, shrieking etc then he could get tagged and rewarded. (Eg on the computer earlier 2 seconds of calm then repeatedly headbanging the screen laughing so the 2 seconds calm would get tagged).

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 16-Jul-09 21:03:07

ah big message downloading - this must be it thank you. Am feeling a bit bleurgh tonight so may just disappear up to bed to read, but thank you very much.

moondog Thu 16-Jul-09 21:05:04

Dear me, sounds trying.

As you will know, us behaviourists have to be a tad more precise than 'being calm'. wink
Hope it becomes clearer to you.
Get onto me if you need anything.

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 16-Jul-09 21:17:12

Yes, but the utterly dreadful behaviour is literally constant around me. I mean literally (and it's done purposely for attention/to get me riled) so it's actually fairly easy to define. At the moment what happens is he starts whacking his head, everyone leaps (yes yes I have told everyone not to) and hey presto lots of attention he's reinforced. Or he comes to me grabs me really hard, I have to pull him off because it bloody hurts, but he is so sensory seeking the prizing him off me is reinforcing.

The presentation is very clear, will have a think of some clearly defined targets and have a go as soon as my clicker arrives. He's not going to understand the goal etc himself so I'm guessing I'm going to have to adapt that.

moondog Thu 16-Jul-09 23:48:03

Well most people will not understand initially what the goal is but by pointing it out ('clicking') then hope is that the lightbulb moment comes when they realise

'Ah!!! That's what they want/like!'

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 17-Jul-09 12:46:58

A thank you. I thought the first goal I might start with was actually just sitting. It can be done easily at the computer if he's sitting he can't whack his head on the computer, lunge and pinch people or kick. Recently he's also started to be a PITA at mealtime, running off when he's meant to be eating dinner, and i I tend to make him sit on a chair if he starts really going for me. Is 'sitting nicely' definable enough do you think?

The letter from Martha Gabler (mum to a severely autistic son) on the site is very useful. I can see we'll be able to use her shopping trolley example as well - and the walking etc. Although I have managed to stop him running off out in the open, he is dreadful if we need to walk to the shops as he darts off all the time, dragging the adult with him- it actually makes even walking to the post box a challenge, but her son was the same, so she gives her protocol for teaching that.

moondog Fri 17-Jul-09 21:50:45

No, 'sitting nicely' isn't good enough I'm afraid (funny, I had someone else come up with this target a while back.

Define it.
Is it 'feet on the floor, bottom on chair'?
'bottom on chair, hands to yourself'

TAGteach refer to this as the 'Tagpoint' and encourage you to keep it to 5 words or less (as it keeps it clear and simple).

I've been TAGing various behaviours both at home and at work with great succes. I TAG my kids for 'chewing with mouth closed' (works so well after years of nagging!) and my ds for putting random numbers in a sequence.
I TAG when he touches correct next number in a pile and tAG again when he places it in the row.

He loves it-asks for the 'click' if i don't do it.

saintlydamemrsturnip Sat 18-Jul-09 08:25:16

Ok thanks. The clicker should arrive today so will see how it goes.

lou031205 Sat 18-Jul-09 14:55:35

Wow - sorry to hijack but this sounds fantastic. I have been struggling to find ways of dealing with dd1 because all our interventions are reinforcing. Will lurk with interest!

saintlydamemrsturnip Sat 18-Jul-09 14:57:25

Well I clicked and he leapt up, wrestled the clicker from me and ran off with it clicking repeatedly. lol.

He's off to respite soon, will work on it.

moondog Sat 18-Jul-09 15:50:56

Join in Lou! smile

Ha ha Turnip! grin
Did he run off with it because he found it reinforcing do you think?
If so, you may be onto a winner.

(First rule with clickers-keep them out of the hands of the people you are reinforcing, otherwise they lose value and meaning.)

lou031205 Sat 18-Jul-09 16:43:42

Thanks! So the problem I have is that everything is a game with DD. It seems any physical intervention (other than something like smacking, which isn't an effective or sustainable solution) such as placing on 'naughty' step, moving her away, etc., just gets her more and more hyped up. She becomes hysterical, laughing uncontrollably, and continuing. The cycle escalates and results in one of us getting hurt.

Could Tagteach be a solution? I think she would respond really well to the clicks as treat.

She tends to learn behaviours quite rigidly, despite the paed saying that she doesn't lie on the ASD spectrum.

saintlydamemrsturnip Sat 18-Jul-09 17:56:23

I'm not sure whether it was reinforcing or just a new sound that needed investigating. He gave it up pretty easily once he'd clicked it a few times. Unfortunately he's more likely to find the action of the click reinforcing than the sound- which could be problematic!

moondog Sat 18-Jul-09 19:39:43

Obviously the clic has to be reinforcing or else it won't work. But... what was really interesting was that the research they covered in the symposium I'd attended seemed to suggest that the click works for many people (even those with ASD) as a primary reinforcer-it doesn't always need to be paired with a conditioned reinforcer,althoguh of course it could quite easily.

moondog Sat 18-Jul-09 19:40:25

Lou, if you tell me your email (sorry, i can't CAT) I'll send you the Powerpoint presentation.

lou031205 Sat 18-Jul-09 20:19:31

ooh thanks, moondog lou031205 at googlemail dot com.

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