Workshop gives practical applications to caregivers

2 Nov 2011 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

"Some people don't understand. Maybe they thing (our child's behavior) is due to bad parenting or that some of our kids just need discipline. If it were only so simple."

The above quote references a mother interviewed by Carrie Bishop with Indy's Child, an Indiana magazine for parents, about difficulties parents have with their children's negative behavior.

With a significant number of exceptional family members aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine and Family Services is determined to provide as many resources and workshops to their caregivers.

A "Practical Applications for Everyday Behaviors" workshop was presented by Butterfly Effects to parents, educators, childcare providers and social workers at the Russell Marine and Family Services Center, Oct. 26.

Exceptional family members aboard the base have challenges that range from very high function disorders to some of the most sever cases of autism.

Autism, along with may other disorders, is often invisible until symptoms like social awkwardness, stemming and tantrums occur, according to Indy's Child. Butterfly Effects offers comprehensive and coordinated case management for individuals with a broad range of challenges similar to these symptoms and behaviors.

They provide therapy and tutoring services to individuals of all ages, addressing challenges in the areas of academics, behavior, communication, daily living, and social and life skills.

While some workshop attendants wer parents of children with special needs, most were staff at either one of the child development centers or youth pavilions.

"I want to get as much information to help with the kids in our program," said Gaylin Rogers, with the Tarawa Terrace Youth Pavilion. "We have some (children) that have been diagnosed with (autism) and some that have not been diagnosed, but have the characteristics. I'm trying to get more tools for my toolbox to help the other staff."

Leah Bean, a behavior analyst with Butterfly Effects, focused on how to deal with problem behaviors on a daily basis.

"Manipulating the environment ahead of time and making a plan before the behavior occurs is the best place to start," Bean said.

Some antecedent strategies include: providing clear instructions that are appropriate for the child's skill level, providing choices in work, play and motivating activities, modeling desired behavior, providing clear consequences for undesired behavior, providing frequent reinforcement when the child is not engaged in problem behavior, giving verbal and silent praise and paying frequent attention to the child without requiring anything of them.

Some consequence strategies include: forming a plan, making the behavior ineffective and teaching appropriate alterternatives.

The next Butterfly Effects workshop "Helping children identify and cope with behaviors" will be held Dec. 14.

For more information on upcoming workshops, call 451-4103.