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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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