How can parents determine what reinforces or discourages a behavior?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,599
    Autism expert Peggy Halliday discusses how to discourage bad behavior and reinforce good behavior.

    Peggy Halliday

    Peggy Halliday is a board certified associate behavior analyst who has specialized in autism education for the past ten years. She is the Director of Outreach Services at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) in Charlottesville, VA. VIA is a non-profit organization which provides a day school and other resources for families, educators, and other professionals seeking services, training or information about autism and evidence-based interventions. The Institute operates a year-round school for students ages 2-22, a 700-volume library, training workshops, internships for undergraduate and graduate students and teachers, and customized trainings for schools. Peggy supervises a wide range of outreach services, including development and supervision of comprehensive, home-based early intervention programs incorporating naturalistic, incidental, and structured teaching using the principles of applied behavior analysis; training for parents and home instructors; skills assessments, functional behavior assessments and intervention plans, and consultation on Individual Education Plan goals. She has presented trainings and workshops at state and national conferences.

    Host: How can parents determine what enforces or discourages a behavior?

    Peggy Halliday: Behavior that is reinforced continues and behavior that is not reinforced goes away. So, one way to find out whether we are reinforcing a behavior is, is that behavior continuing. Sometimes, we may be reinforcing behaviors inadvertently; we don t even know where we are reinforcing them.

    But if a behavior is increasing or continuing there is something that we are doing that s reinforcing that behavior.