12 Mar 2019

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In today’s blog we will talk about how to make school fun again. Many children enjoy school but some will struggle at school. This can be very stressful for children, as well as parents and teachers. Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) can help to make school fun again, addressing both engagement in school activities and enjoyment.

Where to start with school difficulties?

The first thing to address is why your child isn’t enjoying school. Maybe they are bored, over taxed or having difficulties with friendships?

Our ABACAS team consultants will want to develop an individualised, function-based plan to reduce any barrier behaviours to learning and friendships. This might involve breaking down new skills into easier to learn chunks in consultation with teachers and parents. It might also include looking closely at reinforcers.

Depending on the target behaviours, reinforcers can include social activities with peers (something the child may not be able to access at home!). We might also look at special items or activities at school as reinforcers.   As you know from our other posts, the aim with reinforcers is to make them special for the child. Typically when we are working with schools, we look at reinforcers that aren’t available at home. That way we start to build up reasons for the child to look forward to  going to school.

Where to get help for school issues?

School needs to be associated with positive experiences, people your child likes to be around and fun. An ABA Consultant can work with the school and their teacher to adjust your child’s environment to suit their needs, and increase their skills. They will also work to fade out extrinsic motivators, and find a balance between inclusion and environmental modifications that suit your family and its values.

If this sounds like something we could help you with, please contact Jasmin Fyfe or Rachel Puan (9274 7062) for further information and support. We can help you understanding the reason why your child doesn’t like going to school, finding the right reinforcers for your child and coordinating with school.

Jasmin Fyfe

ABACAS Program Manager

(with help from Verena Hoffman, our psychology intern)

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