This is Lesson 4 of the ‘Effective Parenting Tips for Raising a Child with ASD: Free E-Learning Series.’ This series addresses a variety of concepts and strategies that are found to be effective in helping children learn and develop as well as improve behavioral issues.
So far, in this parenting tips series, we have covered the following topics:
- Improving Your Child’s Behaviors through Data Collection (Lesson 1)
- Strategies to Help Track and Improve Your Child’s Learning (Lesson 2)
- Effective Parenting is Based on Effective Scientific Concepts (Lesson 3)
In this lesson, we will cover ways that you can use systematic methods for introducing certain strategies to make sure that your child is truly making progress.
Although, as a parent, you may not complete full experimental activities on your child, using experimental designs in some ways can help you to better help your child.
This isn’t meant to be a sterile or cold strategy. Instead, it is a way of using your teaching strategies that allows you to see if your child is making progress as well as to evaluate what really helps (so you know for the future what works and what doesn’t).
Some examples of how you can set up your teaching include:
- Use a withdrawal or reversal design.
- Sometimes this happens naturally without parents even realizing it but you can use this method intentionally to see if your efforts are really making a difference. Basically, in combination with taking data (like we covered in Lesson 1), to use this strategy, just take data without using your teaching or behavior management strategy, then introduce the strategy while continuing to take data, then again stop using the strategy, and then reintroduce the strategy. If your child improves only when you are using the strategy, then you know your efforts are worth it!
- Use an alternating treatments design.
- You can use this method to see which strategy works that best for helping your child learn a new skill or to improve some challenging behavior. Basically, you could select two or three different strategies to try and then rotate between the different strategies. Take data and see which one works best. [Here’s an explanation of using an alternating treatments design.]
- Use a changing criterion design.
- This method can be used by gradually increasing the expectation for your child. Your child can earn a reward for meeting the expectations (or criteria) that you set for him or her.
- Use a multiple baseline design.
- You can find out if certain strategies are effective by using this design on two or more behaviors. Start by taking data on your child’s behaviors (two or more of them) that you want to change. Then, start using your intervention strategy but just use it on one of the behaviors (such as using praise or giving a reward or whatever you decide to do to help your child improve their behavior). Later, starting using the strategy on the other behavior.
- Use a multiple probe design.
- This is similar to using a multiple baseline design but you don’t need to take data on all behaviors that occur. Instead, you take data on “probes” or samples of the behavior.
- Use a component analysis.
- Sometimes we, as parents, can put more effort into helping our kids than what would really be necessary in order to make the difference that we’re looking for. A component analysis evaluates what parts of what we are doing is making the difference and what parts aren’t really necessary.
- Use a parametric analysis.
- You can use a parametric analysis to see how much of your intervention makes a difference to help your child’s behavior change. For instance, how much electronic time (video game time, screen time) is enough to get your child to do a certain thing like clean his room.
The tips identified above help you to further evaluate what is effective for helping your child learn new skills, helping them improve behaviors, and helping them function better in everyday life.
Check out the following lessons in the
‘Effective Parenting Tips for Raising a Child with ASD: Free E-Learning Series’