Some areas of effective application
Parenting and parent-child relationships: 1) Training in general parenting skills. 2) Correcting a child’s
Education: 1) Enhancing instructional methods. 2) Improving classroom conduct.
Instruction for people with developmental disabilities: 1) Training people with mental retardation. 2)
Training children with autism
Health and sports: 1) Health psychology. 2) Sport psychology
Employment and community settings
Self management: changing one’s own behavior: 1) Benefits of self management. 2) Self-management
for children with developmental disabilities
Parenting and parent-child relationships
Training in general parenting skills: Modeling and discussion are useful strategies for teaching parents
behavior change methods to improve their child-rearing practices
Correcting a child’s existing behaviors: Two examples: 1) Oppositional behavior. 2) Bed wetting
Oppositional behavior: Refers to acting in a hostile and contrary manner. Correct this behavior by: 1)
Reinforce cooperation (with a smile and enthusiasm). 2) Punish oppositional behavior by isolating target
person for a period of time
Bed wetting: Technically called nocturnal enuresis. This is characterized by the occurrence of wetting
the bed at least twice a month after reaching 5 years of age. Correct this behavior by: 1) Using a urine
alarm apparatus; liquid sensitive sheet electrically connected to a loud battery powered bell or buzzer.
When urine is released, the bell rings, waking the child. This method incorporates both operant and
respondent conditioning components. 2) Operant conditioning techniques; parents periodically wake
the child up from sleep. At each awakening; a) Provide praise if dry / encourage to use the toilet. b)
Remake the bed and change PJs if wet. Combining the two methods may be more successful than using
Enhancing instructional methods: 1) Programmed instruction. 2) Computer assisted instruction. 3)
Personalized system of instruction.
Programmed instruction: A self teaching process in which students actively learn material presented
step by step as a series of discrete items with corrective feedback in textbooks or with technological
devices. Builds towards overall learning goals (e.g. recite multiplication tables). Computer assisted instruction: Advanced form of programmed instruction. This form uses a computer
to coach students through a series of lessons. CAI programs explain concepts, give examples, ask
questions, give feedback for students’ answers and provide additional explanations if needed.
Personalized system of instruction: Divides course content into units called modules. Have students
study the modules independently and then take a test on it. An 80% must be achieved or you have to
retest. Advanced students tutor their peers. This improves the skills of both tutee and tutor.
Improving classroom conduct: Mainly via operant conditioning: Antecedent Behavior
Consequence. Manipulating antecedents and consequences to behaviors allows teachers to control
Instruction for people with developmental disabilities
Developmental disabilities: Refers to significant and broad limitation in learning or performing mental
physical or social activities that is evident in childhood and continues throughout life. Mainly refers to
people with mental retardation or autism (in this book).
Mental retardation and autism: Particular difficulty in learning almost all skills; motor, cognitive,
Training people with mental retardation
Mental retardation: Mental retardation defined as: 1) Subaverage intellectual functioning. 2)
Deficiencies in adaptive behavior; such as literacy, interpersonal skills and personal care. People are
often classified on the basis of IQ scores.
Standardized IQ tests: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Stanford Binet Intelligence scale.
Average IQ score is 100.
Four levels of mental retardation
1. Mild (IQ 53-69); ‘educable’, function at a sixth grade academic level and can maintain unskilled
2. Moderate (38-52); ‘trainable’, often have poor motor coordination and unlikely to advance
beyond second grade academic level
3. Severe (22-37); likely to remain very dependent on the help of others throughout life, but able
to acquire habits of personal cleanliness and perform simple self-help skills
4. Profound (<22); usually have severe physical deformities and require lifelong care and have
short life spans
Factors leading up to mental retardation:
1. (Severe) Abnormal brain development due to genetic disorders, prenatal damage or diseases. 2. (Mild) No detectable brain damage. Frequently come from culturally alienated, poverty stricken
families with neglectful and socially immature parents. Retardation may result mainly from
Training mentally retarded:
1. Break down into small steps.
2. Introduce antecedents
3. Monitor each student’s performance and provide rewards for correct responding
Many adult mothers with mental retardation can learn basic child care skills; bathing their babies,
cleaning baby bottles and treating diaper rash.
Training children with autism
Autism: Developmental disorder characterized b