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Alternative Communication Strategies

Today was a busy, active day in the center. I am at the program this week as a visiting BCBA. Two Today, we ran two support groups; the first with parents and siblings, and then second with teachers.

During each group, activities were completed in teams that involved solving a problem or completing a task where various members of the team could not speak. Follow-up discussions centered around the challenge of remaining engaged when communication challenges are presented. Additionally, assisting team members in engaging and participating who are not communicating can also present challenges. The teams shared strategies they used to facilitate non-vocal communication (pointing, modeling, gesturing, nodding, etc…)

Following these activities, team members shared examples of the use of reinforcement in their natural settings, and gave examples of specific targets they will focus on reinforcing this week. As a team, we discussed some strategies to assure reinforcement is effective, and to manage unwanted effects – like when a child asks for the reinforcer (aka a phone or electronic toy) too much.

Today ended a successful week at the project.

-Susan

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