by Mary Staub, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
Independent play skills do not always develop naturally and sometimes must be taught. One way to teach independent play skills involves breaking play into a doable schedule in which the child receives reinforcement for completion of the activity. Some ways that independent play can be encouraged in the home involve using “play bins” in which a single mastered play activity is put in a bin and an activity schedule is made to signal what the child is to complete before earning reinforcement. All materials can be things that you already have at home and that the child would typically have access to so that the presence of designated bins can be faded out for more naturalistic play.
Following are steps on how to use in the home:
Teaching the use of a play schedule can be useful for increasing independent play and can also be a tool to use when your child might not have immediate access to parent/adult attention and must engage in an activity independently. An example of when this might be useful could be when you are in the kitchen cooking or need to make a phone call and cannot play with the child.
Task analysis teaching steps
Example of a play schedule
Blog entry written by Mary Staub, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
4 easy steps to help you contrive simple situations which will require communication!
Step 1. HOLD BACK! Make sure most preferred things are not readily available all the time.Put preferred items in clear boxes or bags within sight, but out of reach; tall shelves work great as well
Step 2. ENTICE! Play with your child’s toys and prompt them to use words (or PECS or other communication modalities) to reqest to also play
Step 3. FOLLOW THROUGH and hold your child up to what they can do! Follow through with communication and make sure they are asking appropriately then provide access to what they are requesting.
Step 4. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Try to practice this everyday in order to enrich your child’s environment with communication opportunities.
Below are some pictures of opportunities we've created in our preschool room! Bolts for the toy drill set are sealed in containers, coins for the popular coin bank are out of reach, but visible in a zip lock bag, and the ALL TIME favorite sensory table is roped off. These created opportunities to: ask for help, identify a problem (what's wrong? "I can't reach/it won't open), gain an adult's attention, and request for an item!
What are some things you can do in your home to create amazing communication opportunities?
Blog article written by Crystal Wilson, RBT and Elizabeth Ginder, MSSW, BCBA.
While I love every ounce of my profession, my biggest goal is using ABA principles and techniques to teach kids to be KIDS! Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is very important, but it is equally as important to generalize these skills across people, settings and stimuli. Today, we had fun with dinosaur bones and fossils. If your child has a list of ABA program goals (and if they're with me, you know they do!), don't forget to carry those goals into fun activities. I'll try to post some of these ideas under the Everyday ABA heading.
Baking/cooking is probably one of my favorite ways to incorporate ABA program goals into a child's day without it feeling like "work." Mix up your own salt dough with your child. While making the dough with your child, count and measure, work on action words like "stir" "mix" "scoop", ask about textures, temperatures and all those other describing words listed in his/her program book. This is also a great time to work on pesky positional words: put the flour in the bowl, put the spoon on top of the table, etc. For my older kids, I like to have them draw sequence cards to work on remembering steps and putting steps of a task in order.
For dinosaur day, we worked on matching dinosaurs into salt dough fossils and also worked on putting dinosaur bones in order from small-->big, heavy--> light and thin--> thick!
I must give credit to the wonderful world of Pinterest for initially giving me this idea a year or so ago! If you want to make your own salt dough, follow this recipe:
~Elizabeth Gagliardi, MSSW, BCBA Owner and Behavior Analyst of ABA Interventions