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How do I control problem behavior?

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to work with many school districts in the NY/NJ area. Our training was on how to deal with problem behavior of students in the classroom (and/or in what are sometimes called “specials” like gym, art, music, etc.)  Questions always seemed to come back to a basic theme, “How do I control problem behavior?

There is a trick embedded in that question. “Control” of behavior is a momentary thing. Control is fleeting and an illusion, often lasting mere moments when what parents and instructors really want is lasting change. 

Shaping of appropriate, functional behavior is not only possible it is a probable outcome if the science of behavior modification called Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is used. Many teachers and parents note, “I can’t get my child to sit still long enough for them to learn anything…” or variations of “when I present my student (child) with work to...

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Supreme Court rules schools must provide special education students a chance to make meaningful progress

The Supreme Court of the United States heard a case from Denver, Colorado Federal Court about an autistic child and his family defending accountable progress. The Court found in an 8 - 0 decision that the family has a right to expect more than just de mini is (or minimum) progress. 

What that UNANYMOUS decision means for parents and districts is either great or horrid depending on your perspective. To frame the issue in what is likely an overly simplistic reduction of logic the case came down to whether a parent of a child with a disability had a right to expect more than what the Court called "minimum" education.

I may be one of perhaps a half dozen folk in the USA to weigh in on this from a multiple perspectives. First and most importantly I did battle with our local school district here in NJ on behalf of my son for many years; on this exact same issue. At the time, I was also a permanently licensed school principal in NY State and by the middle of...

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