Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Living as a Radical Behaviorist

Living as a Radical Behaviorist (RB) is very rewarding, but can also be very difficult. I'm not going to get into the history and what radical behaviorism is in painstaking details here. But I will discuss some difficulties, some benefits, and some personal views.

To start, very few people you'll interact with (unless you're a professional, and even some of their "radical behaviorist views'" can be questionable) are not RBs. Many people are unfamiliar with Skinner, let alone his RB. And trying to convince them of an alternate world-view that isn't filled with mental constructs and free will is hard for them -- some will even get mad if you try. It is additionally difficult in the school system, as teacher preparation barely gets into Skinner and behavior analysis, let alone Skinner's RB. Now, remember, a lot of these people are professionals, but to have them flip a pedagogical switch is hard and you may come off as arrogant. I once had a supervisor at a school tell me to "stop drinking the ABA Kool-Aide." I bit my tongue, but I would have liked to tell her that RB is a philosophy of a science that explores how the world works -- and it's always at work. For me, I felt like she was telling me not to breath. Now, of course, I didn't want to be rude, and I am becoming more impermeable to these sorts of statements by people whose minds I won't change in a single, passing discussion, but it is hard.

It is equally frustrating working with educators, special or general, because you sometimes will want to shake them and saying, "You're providing education services to children who will become people, why don't you know about these things." These things referring to principles of reinforcement and punishment and functions of behavior. They seem to think behavior is only what's bad, and as we know, that supposition is wrong. They talk about "expectations," "thoughts," and "experiences" in a way that they think is enlightening to what's going on in their classrooms, but it doesn't tell me much. What tells me a lot, because of my world-view, is observing their rooms and teaching strategies. And now, I get it, you don't need to know everything about RB or ABA to be an effective teacher, but wouldn't they want to know "why" their instruction is effective? Even for those teachers using evidence-based procedures and making data based decisions, a theoretical and conceptual framework behind the why and how strategies work should be understood (and quite well!).

There are, of course, joys to being a RB. I appreciate being able to distill the world into manageable units of behavior. I like understanding that if someone is being impolite to me to get a rise out of me, I should ignore them on every occasion, or if their being rude because it makes them feel better, there's little I can do about that. I like looking at my own learning history, and that if others if I am privy, to see why I and they behave in certain ways -- it's a fun, intellectually stimulating activity. Of course, being an RB makes me a better ABA clinician, but it also allows me to be less emotional about some of the smaller circumstances that arise in life -- my strong emotions are reserved for serious issues. Incidentally, I was reviewed today by two people. One gave me a stellar, almost perfect review, the other gave me a lesser scored one. For the latter, I knew that her comments came as a result of feeling threatened by my presence and in anger at that. So, those criticisms, if not constructive, bounce off.

I also enjoy being deterministic. It means that I can manipulate the world in a certain way to maximize on the benefits, and try and fade out the drawbacks. For example, I can weed out that rude person by punishing their behavior so they'll stay away and be rude to someone else, while I can reinforce the people who meet my automatic and social needs to stay around me.

Really, in a simple phrasing, being a radical behaviorist is liberating. It allows me to remain objective about instances that others see as subjective. It allows me to see that people are doing what works best for them, whether it is optimal or sub-optimal. It allows me to strive for significant, socially meaningful outcomes across many aspects of my life, both personal and professional. In all, living as a radical behaviorist enriches my life in many ways.

Many thanks to B.F. Skinner and all of the giants who have helped to develop radical behaviorism and the related science. Without them, I'd be sitting here trying to figure it all out with useless mechanisms of philosophy and illogical reasoning.

Friday, October 4, 2013

GASP "Do you think it's Autism?"

I have to admit that nothing really gets under my professional skin more than another professional hypothesizing a diagnosis of autism when a child is behaving in maladaptive or aberrant ways. And there are a couple of reasons for this...

First, even if it is autism, are you going to change the CONTENT of what you're teaching? We don't have autism academic curricula. What we do have are efficacious and potentially effective, evidence based interventions and ways of teaching. That is to say, you may have to change your teaching methods.

Second, autism presents as a set of symptoms related to neurobiology. What do I mean by that? I mean that there are certain aspects of brain wiring and chemistry that are different -- the same is true of AD/HD and other neurobiological conditions. Some of their behaviors may be automatically maintained. That is, it feels good, like if you squeeze your hands when overly stressed and feel more relaxed afterward. So the function of that behavior may serve one function, but then you run over and scream "STOP FLAPPING!" and now flapping not only feels good, but it's a way to gain adult attention. This is especially problematic because of the communication deficits which typically present with a diagnosis. However, always remember that the brain is a muscle. It can be exercised like any other muscle can, just in different ways. Through repeated practice, inductively teaching skills, and making sure those skills generalize and remain mastered. Think of that practice as a sports practice. You don't just go out onto the court and start hitting 3 point shots -- you practice, practice, practice, and then on game day, you're better suited to make those shots.

Third, operant behavior is learned through contingencies of reinforcement or punishment. And all behavior serves a function. A response class is shaped up through contacting consequences and then evoked under certain environmental conditions with that learning history at play.

Lastly, it shouldn't matter. Especially at the 0-3 years and K, 1, 2 grades. All children learn skills to access the curriculum and be successful. If a child does not engage in, let's say, a set of behaviors that signal they're paying attention, then those skills/prerequisite behaviors need to be explicitly, and inductively taught. If you keep telling a child -- any child -- to "show me your paying attention," and they're not, then saying it over and over again is not going to help build the behavioral repertoire required for the learner to "show you" they are ready. If you call a learner's name, and they don't respond, saying it 5 more times probably won't help. And if it does, a learner should still respond to their name upon hearing it the first time. After your vocal, if they don't respond, get in there and prompt! Just be sure you can effectively fade your prompts over time.

All in all, I find it distressing when people immediately jump to thinking a child may have autism. "They're not following directions, I think it's autism!" Well, what if they're hard of hearing? Why does that not enter into your "hypothesis?" This bandwagon of educators proposing autism left and right is unprofessional and has got to stop not only because it's just bad practice, but because it continues to perpetuate the stigmas (and not the positives) associated with autism as being the diagnosis for poorly behaved children -- it's tautological and unhelpful.

Please, always remember that you are the adult -- the educator -- and that the children in your care deserve your time, patience, differentiation, and playing to their differences to provide them with skills that will allow them to be successful students, adults, and members of the community.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Quick Ethics Reminder

Hopefully, all educators have had a lesson in ethics -- there are certainly ethics guidelines that you should be following.

As such, I thought it would be helpful to give a succinct brief in ethical practice.

Have you seen all those mugshots over the last two years on Facebook or in your favorite news blog? Have you then read, or made, a comment or two? Well, here's my bottom line...

If you are practicing, in the public- or private-sector, what would the reactions be to your practice if they were posted on YouTube? What if some conniving co-worker took a video, within legal means, of your interactions with a learner and went public? What if a parent, within legal means, were standing outside of your child's classroom or treatment room and listening in? Would they think you were being ethical?

My point not being that you're doing anything wrong, with malfeasance, or out of boredom, but if someone were watching, would you practice the same. And boy, how would your life be if you were the YouTube educator who got caught in a moment of irrational attachment, took it personal, and did something news worthy?

Keep yourself in check. Ethics always come before outcomes.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

#DearPrivateEvents -- #Aspirations

#DearPrivateEvents -- What if I were J.A. Hyfler, Psy.D, M.Ed, BCBA-D, OTR/L, SLP, RN, MD, Esq. Whoa. #Aspirations

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ADHD and ASD as evolution of the human animal

I've recently been thinking about autism and ADHD and the related symptoms. And I mean this with some serious inquiry, but also with some brevity -- what if these different neuro-biological conditions are an evolutionary step?

What if my attention deficit slows an overwhelming world down in some aspects, for me to be able to process other aspects?

What of my hyperactivity, actually means hyperproductivity?

I suppose the question then becomes, how does this contribute to the actual promulgation of our species? And it may not... But in an increasingly intellectual (not hunting and gathering, or building skyscrapers) society, maybe the symptoms related to ASD and/or ADHD are meant to make us more fit to survive in a world where we don't need to hunt and gather. Where there is PeaPod to deliver your groceries (and I mean your... I can't afford to have groceries delivered). Where advantageous, industrial pursuits are all but unnecessary in an over-developed world that actually needs more natural, green spaces.

I wonder if this isn't why more and more individuals with ADHD or autism are engaged more in the realm of technology and creativity. We can sometimes already be closed off in our own world, so why bother leaving it when we can still contribute, enhance, and thrive? And holy crap, others like it, too, and maybe pay?... Now we are really primed for survival.

I know the basic premise of all this may sound asinine, but I think if you feel that way you A) Don't understand the challenges and gifts of having these diagnoses, and; B) may not really understand evolution. Funny thing is this, for whatever most understand about evolution -- selection by consequences and survival of the fittest (i.e., Darwinian evolution) -- evolution happens as quickly as it does slowly. In fact, when evolution really does occur, it's when the environment and other species compensates for newly selected traits (e.g. Google looking for individuals with Aspergers).

Crazy stuff... What do you think?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Proposing a new hashtag, titled #DearPrivateEvents. It's like your personal diary of private events, that we can call as they are.

No thinking, no minds -- no thoughts, no consciousness.

#DearPrivateEvents, thank your environment.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Community Outings

At times, community outings can be daunting for both parent and child alike; however, shaping up success on community outings can help with family cohesion and become increasingly more enjoyable for all involved. Below is some helpful advice on how to make community outings fun and beneficial.

1)      Start small and simple. For example, if you want to go to the grocery store, and the store is typically difficult for your child, only go for a few things
2)      When running errands, bring a list. Don’t just walk around and peruse. Go with explicit purpose
3)      Have an exit plan. Know that if something goes awry, how you’re going to get yourself and child out of the store as easily as possible
4)      Know that if your child has some difficulty with hearing “No,” or “We need to wait,” to plan for those instances
5)      Remember that the goal is for the child to learn. Don’t rush around, make it a meaningful learning experience
6)      Be prepared for people to stare, and maybe even comment to you or your child about their beahavior. In this same instance, don’t be hyper-critical of yourself or the on-lookers. Keep focused on what needs to be learned
7)      Visit the same places often in the beginning. Don’t expect that a successful trip to the small, neighborhood grocery store means it’s time to tackle a large box store. Wait until you feel that they’ve acquired the ability to use their new skills in other environments
8)      Don’t bring other children or siblings in the beginning. Focus on yourself and the child.
9)      Use expectation and preview statements, and use them frequently. For instance, when you pull into the parking lot, stating “OK, we are going into the grocery store for bread, milk, and eggs. Remember to have an inside voice, not to run, and to keep your hands to yourself.”

I hope that this list of advice is helpful. Keeping these things in mind, and remaining calm and focused can make community outings fun, functional, and successful. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New podcast on ABA

My most recent interview with special educator and national inclusion expert Tim Villegas ( on applied behavior analysis, special education, and what does it all mean?


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An Exercise in Stimming

I was just thinking about Autism Awareness Day/Month/Lifetime, my AD/HD, and what we have decidedly called typical. I think this may be an interesting exercise in not only understanding the potential functions of stimming (stereotypys) but also why they're not so atypical.

1) Sit down and define stimming
2) Remain seated and operationally define any stimming behavior that comes to mind (don't get too specific -- don't need to know "close fingers into a fist, extend arm to 180 degrees, lift arm upwards at 3 MPH, and pull arm down from the shoulder with 40 Newtons of force = fist pump)
3) Make a list of potential stimming behaviors you engage in
4) Take a frequency count of how many times in a day you engage in stimming behavior

Also, keep in mind stimming as it relates to automatic functions (feels awesome AND follows something really cool I did that others recognize and mediate socially), is maladaptive (e.g., I sometimes hum when ice pellets come barreling down onto my face during a Chicago winter, knowing full well this humming won't remove the aversive stimuli), and is also adaptive (forget about getting up and walking around after sitting for a long period of time. How often do you belt out the chorus of a song "out of the blue?").

Again, track all of this. Does this stuff really matter? How badly is it impacting your life? Are you a stim-o-holic!? If so, you don't need help. You need acceptance. But you can't provide acceptance if you are at the same time judgmental.


Fostering Self-Advocacy

     Self-advocacy is the ability for an individual to make their needs and strengths known so that they can not only be accommodated, but be successful in getting supports across environments. Many times, children with needs are left out of the decision making process as it relates not only to their education, but to their lives in general. This, however, does not need to be the case. If we educate our children to be successful, empowered self-advocates, we can create resilient and successful adults.

     Self-advocacy begins with self-determination. Self-determination is the idea that, as a person, one can identify and achieve their goals. This is not something that can be taught in one sitting, or even multiple sittings. It develops over time as more choice and control over one’s life is afforded to them. Additionally, when speaking of choice, it is meant real, not forced, choice. It is not selecting from 2, adult provided options, it is of all of the things potentially available to you, which one do you really want? Involving students in their IEPs, 504, and transition planning can be a key to helping empower students to be self-determined. 

     In line with developing self-determination comes a set of prerequisite skills. We need to teach how to identify and set goals, and the necessary problem solving skills to attain that goal. We can’t just assume that we provide choice and the learner will automatically be able to identify the best choices that will lead to larger goals. Again, this development happens over time with mentoring and oversight. 

     Another key concept to fostering self-advocacy is in developing self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to identify and express strengths, needs, and preference. Teaching all children about various disabilities, different accommodations available, and how people with different skills still have many strengths can help breed self-aware and genuinely empathetic individuals.

     Self-advocacy also requires a certain amount of leadership prowess. Empowering all students to be aware that they can all assume leadership roles in their lives, homes, and schools is a very important consideration. When you always have those one or two strong leaders taking the reins, other students may feel less self-worth, that they don’t have a loud enough voice, or resentment.  The level of competitiveness (especially in today’s classrooms) is high. It is not uncommon for competition to be present, whether welcomed or not, in many of the day-to-day roles children may assume. Taking time to plan for all children to take charge and be leaders from time to time can go a long way towards developing self-advocacy. Additionally, having children learn to share leadership roles can help with relationship building.

One great tool for fostering leadership and self-advocacy is called I-PLAN. The acronym stands for:
1)      Inventory your strengths, areas to improve, goals, needed accommodations and choices for learning
2)      Provide your inventory information
3)      Listen and respond
4)      Ask questions
5)      Name your goals (Van Reusen & Bos, 1994).

     This is a great strategy for promoting participation (and leadership) in the various meetings and decision making processes that impact a child’s educational and day-to-day activities.
It probably goes without saying that self-esteem is going to be a key factor to developing self-advocacy. Even as adults, if our self-esteem is low, we are less likely to express our needs and wants that can help facilitate meeting our goals. This also ties into whether or not a child feels effective. If a child doesn’t think they have self-worth, and that they would be ineffective in expressing what they need, then the potential for them expressing it in an active and meaningful way is diminished. Providing small opportunities for success, and recognizing those successes, is the first step in promoting self-esteem. Of course we want self-esteem to develop naturally over time, but providing contrived situations at the start can help this natural development occur faster. Lastly, helping children identify WHY they are successful is going to promote their positive self-worth and positive attributions to their successes and identify what needs to be done differently next time if they are unsuccessful. 

     One last key strategy is providing appropriate, positive role models. Modeling is how all individuals learn a host of skills and abilities. For a very watered-down example, we aren’t born opening doors. We see someone do it, we try it, it works, and we keep opening doors thereafter. Providing positive mentors and role models who can take the time to help teach, demonstrate, and promote self-advocacy can go a long way in promoting the natural development of successful, empowered self-advocates. 

     As we’ve seen, self-advocacy is not only a key consideration for all people, but is made up of many other skill sets. Fostering these skills, ideas about self-worth and attribution, and allowing children to make choices that lead them to success is not going to happen overnight; however, the sooner we start teaching and promoting self-advocacy, the better quality of life we can ensure.

Van Reusen, A.K., Bos, C.S. (1994). Facilitating student participation in individualized education programs through motivation strategy instruction. Exceptional Children, 60, 466-475.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Reinforcement & Punishment for (not of) Parents

Of the many considerations that behavior analysts keep in mind, one important consideration is a schedule of reinforcement and punishment. While, generally, these concepts can seem overwhelming, we are going to break them down into manageable parts. A few notes to begin before we get into all of this is that we reinforce behavior, NOT people. And we do not know if something is reinforcing or punishing until we see an increase or decrease in the behavior.
Antecedent – what happens before the behavior
Behavior – anything observable that an individual does
Consequence – what follows the behavior
Reinforcement – process of increasing the rate of response (usually frequency and/or intensity)
Punishment – process of decreasing the rate of response (usually frequency and/or intensity)
Positive – The introduction of a stimulus
Negative – The removal of a stimulus
Here is a nice little visual to help keep the basic principles straight.  You can also download the visual by itself here.
Reinforcement Increase in the probability of a behavior occurring again under similar conditions
Punishment Decrease in the probability of a behavior occurring again under similar conditions
Positive                                    + Introduction of a stimulus
Negative                                   – Removal of a stimulus
Let’s take a look at an example of positive reinforcement. When James asks for a toy, you give him a toy. If that toy has a reinforcing property, he will ask for the toy again when he wants it. If that toy does not have a reinforcing quality, he will not ask for it again. To break it down, James wanting a toy is the antecedent.  James requesting a toy is his behavior (he moves his mouth, produces sounds that are a request for something), you giving him a toy is the consequence. Now, we cannot know for sure if we have reinforced his behavior, because we need to wait and see, if I take the toy, will he ask for it again. If so, we can safely say that we have positively (introducing the toy) reinforced (increased the probability of him requesting the toy again) his behavior.
Let’s take a look at another example. James is sitting at his desk and he throws his materials on the ground, he then is not required to complete the task. When you present the materials again, he again pushes them off the desk and is again not required to complete the task. Any thoughts on this? If you’re thinking negative reinforcement, you’ve got it! The antecedent is the presentation of a demand (to complete his work). The behavior is him pushing the materials off the desk, and the consequence is getting out of the task. When he does it again, we know that the consequence of getting out of the task is negatively (removal of the materials) reinforcing (increase in James pushing materials). Therefore, in the future, when James does not want to complete a task, he may throw the materials – he has learned that engaging in this behavior in the past has resulted in him not being required to finish.
Now, for some punishment! To keep it basic, you and I are having a conversation, and I want it to end, and I rudely turn away from you, and you stop talking. My behavior might punish (cause a decrease) in you wanting to speak to me again. So, our antecedent is a conversation I am not too thrilled with, my behavior is turning away, and the consequence is I get out of the conversation. By my behavior of turning away rudely, I have decreased the probability of you engaging in conversation with me again. Therefore, I have positively punished our conversing.
Negative punishment is a little easier to follow. If I remove James’ toys because he is throwing them, I am hoping that he will not throw them again in the future. Therefore, while the antecedent for throwing may be unclear, I am still taking his behavior of throwing and giving it a consequence, removal of the toys. If, in the future, he does not throw his toys again under similar conditions, I have negatively (removed) punished (decreased throwing) his throwing behavior.
In summary, understanding how behavior is reinforced or punished is going to tell us a great deal about how they may behave in the future under similar conditions. Behavior analysts look at what occurs before a behavior (the antecedent), but more emphasis is placed on what happens after a behavior (the consequence) as science has proven that schedules of reinforcement and punishment has a predictive value on future behavior.
We know that this can all be a little confusing, so take some time to think through some other examples as they come up.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

#TeamInclusion first hangout video!

Myself, Nicole Eredics (@Inclusive_Class), Time Villegas ( @Think_Inclusive -- thanks for organizing!), Lisa Friedman (@JewishSpecialEd), Alex Hunt (@SmartInclusion), and AZ Chapman discuss inclusion at the first #TeamInclusion Hangout on +Google.

Running time ~1 hr.

More to come!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

A conversation about sensory needs with the venerable Autistic self-advocate, Karla Fischer

Please note, this is copy and pasted from Facebook. Hence the formatting.
If I could teach you a way to deal with noise that didn't require ear plugs, and a way to navigate Dick's Sports that didn't take you hours, would you still find me contemptible?
Like ·
  • Karla's ASD Page why do you think you are "contemptible" to me?
  • Joshua A. Hyfler In all honesty, because I am a professional in the field of ABA, and I read and respect your posts but also have a differing view point. In the same breath, I think that stim is generally OK, but not everywhere all the time. Basically, I am conflicted ...See More
  • Karla's ASD Page First I want to set the "record" on you personally.

    1. You are here reading and you are conflicted. Means you are smart, objective and honest.
    2. You did not go into your job because you wanted to fail. ALL people want to do well in their jobs a
    ...See More
  • Karla's ASD Page If that is clear please answer me this.... do you know WHY an autistic person is stimming? (have you absorbed this concept) If the answer is that you think that you do know then please define the "line" that you use to stop it.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler The line where I stop it is if it A: interferes with learning; B: Can't be transferred to more meaningful experiences; C: Causes harm -- e.g., throwing an arm out of socket, sucking fingers until they bleed, atypical sexual arousal.
  • Karla's ASD Page Stimming is essential for me to learn. I pace, flap, rock, shake my legs, play with play dough, pipe cleaners or doodle in class. Always have and always will. Without those things I can think of nothing but how painful it is for me to have to sit and try to hear/process what is going on.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler What about interference with learning? -- I recognize B as being a subjective stretch.
  • Karla's ASD Page Do you know why I need to do this?
  • Joshua A. Hyfler I actually do similar things. I can't sit in a class without having paced around my apartment reciting important taking points over and over again.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler I sit at my desk for ~10m. at work before I go walk around outside.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler I bounce, skip, dance, sing, make asinine comments to my colleagues, and close my eyes for a period of time, but, if I could find a more efficient way at staying on task, I wouldn't oppose it.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler I was diagnosd with AD/HD at 3 yrs.
  • Karla's ASD Page the reason people with weakness in frontal cortex (including ADHD people) do this sort of stimming is because their nervous systems are disregulated.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler But don't you also think it may be because we don't have the "tools" to get us where we need to be? If I spin on Wall Street, I'm fired. Granted, it's unfair and societies constraints, but that doesn't change the reality...
  • Karla's ASD Page When a person's nervous system is dysregulated they must be supported first. In the case of Autism, it is most always a combination of being out of context and also having sensory processing issues on top of the normal EF issues that a person with ADHD experiences.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler I'm lucky to have mild EF issues, and I understand context, but I tend to think that sensory stuff is a result of learning histories -- mylenation and pruning of the brain, expanding neurons and lengthening synapses.. etc.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler I have these conversations all the time with colleagues -- when does behavior mod. stop being effective at dealing with sensory needs? I don't want my personality traits programmed out of me, so why should I assume anything for others with different experiences?
  • Joshua A. Hyfler However, research is really weak on the neurology...
  • Karla's ASD Page Stimming is about slowing down how fast I am burning through tokens. You can STOP the stimming but you will most likely cause either burnout or meltdown in a much shorter time than if you allowed it. Net is that you should always allow it when it is ...See More
  • Joshua A. Hyfler My question becomes this. If I can teach a 3 year old a faster, more efficient way of meeting their sensory needs (like what I do, skipping, humming, or stomping), to replace more grandiose displays of stereotypy, shouldn't I?
  • Karla's ASD Page So for everything that you "teach" me there is a cost and as the teacher you had best really know that cost. You asked me a question above and it is now time to answer...

    If you could give me some magic sauce that would make my sensory processing (th
    ...See More
  • Karla's ASD Page What is a grandiose display of sterotyping exactly?
  • Joshua A. Hyfler I would never want to "deprogram" an individual with an ASD. The adage "I'm not broken, don't try to fix me" has resonance... always. A grandiose of stereotypy, to me personally, is engaging in uninterrupted vocal scripts about Dora following viewing ones self in a reflective surface, waving ones arms towards the ground after watching Mickey Mouse in an attempt to watch more Mickey Mouse, or spinning.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler Karla.It's so late, but I don't want to end here. This is a debate I have with ABA colleagues frequently. I want to better understand the perspective of an Autistic AND be able to reconcile that with applied practice. I hope we can continue, and thank you so much for your time.
  • Joshua A. Hyfler Not debate, discussion!
  • Karla's ASD Page I would stop non of those personally but I am not in the moment to say for sure. In fact I would likely join in on the stimming (especially the waving of the arms and the spinning) to affirm that the child is accepted and to help them to push through ...See More
  • Joshua A. Hyfler I always make the point that I can never wholly relate with a client -- that they'll need to get their needs met -- but I can provide them with alternatives (e.g. teach them that our clinic is a safe place to spin, but they shouldn't do it in the knife aisle. It's to dangerous).
  • Joshua A. Hyfler What are the least dangerous of therapies? No confrontation intended...
  • Karla's ASD Page Any therapy done by a competent teacher.

    Seriously... Research doesn't prove ANY of them to be good over another (including ABA). But what research does tell us (and is also repeated over and again) is that the teacher matters more than the th
    ...See More
  • Joshua A. Hyfler I think all service providers have some work ahead of them. So long as we respect the individual's perspectives, preferences, and priorities, we should at least be doing no harm.
  • Karla's ASD Page 'zactly..... See how it works? Easy peasy.... But we are a LONG WAY off from getting it right the majority of the time. It is easy to say that you are taking perspective but because ASD material written about us by NT professionals is so wrong it is really hard to actually do it. You have a big advantage in your own wiring....
  • Karla's ASD Page btw: I disagree that sensory issues can be "cured" and also have other comments but let's save it for another day. Need to wind down here.