Communication-Based Intervention for Problem Behavior / Edition 1

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Based on extensive field-testing and the dual principles that problem behavior often serves a purpose for the individual displaying it and that intervention should take place in the community, this user-friendly manual details methods for conducting functional assessments, communication-based intervention strategies, procedures for facilitating generalization and maintenance, and crisis management tactics.

Useful for handling intense behavior problems, this book will be invaluable for educators, supported employment and group home staff, behavior specialists, psychologists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, medical staff, speech-language pathologists, family members, and others working with people who have developmental disabilities. Also included are case studies and checklists of things to do to ensure success.

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Editorial Reviews

Judith E. Favell

"A standard-setting book."
Travis Thompson
"A top-notch 'how to do it' manual for practitioners."
Child & Family Behavior Therapy
"Organizses and presents, with many well-thought out developed examples at each step, a complete behavioral training and intervention plan....Invaluable."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557661593
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 757,212
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane I. Carlson, M.A., has been a special education teacher in both public and private school programs for people with disabilities. She is presently a Research Associate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and directs several projects addressing intervention for severe problem behaviors and issues of community integration. Ms. Carlson has presented research and given workshops on these topics throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Edward G. Carr, Ph.D., was Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a research scientist at the Developmental Disabilities Institute on Long island, New York. He worked in the field of developmental disabilities for over 25 years and contributed over 100 publications to the professional literature, primarily in the areas of problem behavior and communication. Dr. Carr lectured extensively and gave workshops throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He served on the editorial boards of 12 journals in the field of developmental disabilities and behavior analysis. Dr. Carr was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and was listed in American Men and Women of Science. In 1981, he received a Certificate of Commendation from the Autism Society of America for his work on problem behavior, and in 1982 he received an award from the International Society for Research on Aggression for his book In Response to Aggression (co-authored with A.P. Goldstein, W.S. Davidson, and P. Wehr).

Duane C. Kemp, Ph.D., is Clinical Director of Adult Residential Services at the Developmental Disabilities Institute and is responsible for program planning in psychology, communication, vocational services, and staff training. He has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for over 16 years and has provided inservice training and workshops throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Len Levin, M.A., is an applied behavior specialist at the Developmental Disabilities Institute. He has been working with children with developmental disabilities for more than 10 years. Mr. Levin has provided technical assistance to service agencies throughout the New York metropolitan area. He was the on-site director for the clinical outcome project that provided the empirical evidence supporting many of the ideas and procedures described in this book.

Gene McConnachie, Ph.D., served as the director for several clinical research projects for the Research and Training Center on Positive Behavioral Support, and as a research associate at the Developmental Disabilities Institute. His interests include the development of intervention for aggression in children and youth, applications of behavior analysis to pediatric populations, and the processes that affect the maintenance of intervention effectiveness.

Dr. Smith is a New York State Licensed Psychologist. He has worked with children and adults with a variety of disabilities for over 20 years. His clinical and research interests include assessing and treating challenging behavior and functional communication training,

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Communication-Based Intervention for Problem Behavior: A User's Guide for Producing Positive Change, by Edward G. Carr, Ph.D., Len Levin, M.A., Gene McConnachie, Ph.D., Jane I. Carlson, M.A., Duane C. Kemp, Ph.D., & Christopher E. Smith, M.A.

Copyright © 1994 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

Preliminary Considerations

The purpose of this book is to describe a communication-based intervention for severe problem behavior in persons with developmental disabilities. We need to be clear about what each of the terms used in the preceding sentence means. "Communication-based intervention" refers to an approach that reduces or eliminates problem behavior by teaching an individual specific forms of communication. Because the communicative forms that are taught are more effective ways of influencing others than the problem behavior, they eventually replace the problem behavior itself. Although the intervention of "communication training" is central to the approach, other interventions are also involved and that is why we use the term "communication-based" rather than simply "communication." By communication training, we mean that individuals are taught specific language forms, including, for example, speech, signing, and gestures that can be used to influence other people in order to achieve important goals. Severe problem behavior includes intense forms of aggression (punching, scratching, biting, and kicking others), self-injury (head-banging, self-biting, and self-slapping), property destruction, and tantrums (prolonged screaming and crying, often accompanied by one or more of the other forms of problem behavior just described). "People with developmental disabilities," in this book, typically refers to those people with mental retardation or autism, although we have also used the intervention approach with people with aphasia , neurological impairments, brain damage, developmental delays, and schizophrenia.

Major Themes

Six major themes recur throughout the book, which we now introduce.

Problem Behavior Usually Serves a Purpose for the Person Displaying It

You are probably used to hearing problem behavior described as "aberrant," "random," "psychotic," or "maladaptive." We think that these terms are misleading. To the contrary, problem behavior can be adaptive and that is why it is displayed so often. If a young girl learns that the only way to get her father's undivided attention is by banging her head against the table, then head-banging becomes a useful and adaptive response because it guarantees that the girl will receive continued contact with and influence over a very important person in her life.

Functional Assessment is Used to Identify the Purpose of Problem Behavior

Because problem behavior is typically purposeful, you cannot change it successfully in the long run without trying to discover what the purpose of the behavior is. This process is referred to in the scientific literature as "functional analysis" or functional assessment." To continue with our example, you may be able to suppress the young girl's head- banging temporarily by shouting at her to stop, but such punishment does not take into consideration why the girl is head-banging in the first place. Sooner or later, she will crave her father's attention again and she will resume head-banging. Therefore, if you want to help her in the long run, you must discover the reason for her head-banging, in this example, attention-seeking. Then you will be in a position to help her by teaching her new ways of getting her father's attention, for example, by talking to him.

The Goal of Intervention is Education, Not Simply Behavior Reduction

The most important implication of functional asses

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Table of Contents

Foreword, by James W. Halle
Foreword, by David P. Wacker
Part I: Background, Crisis Management and Functional Assessment
  1. Preliminary Considerations
  2. Crisis Management
  3. The Purposeful Nature of Problem Behavior: Conceptual and Empirical Background
  4. Functional Assessment: Describe
  5. Functional Assessment: Categorize
  6. Functional Assessment: Verify
Part II: The Core Intervention
  1. Building Rapport
  2. Choosing Communication Forms
  3. Creating an Appropriate Context for Communication
Part III: Additional Procedures and Programming for Generalization and Maintenance
  1. Building Tolerance for Delay of Reinforcement
  2. Embedding
  3. Providing Choices
  4. Generalization
  5. Maintenance

Resource Materials
Appendix: Results of Field Tests

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