How to Help Your Clients with School Problem Behaviors

  • Frustrated boy doing homework

Tackling a problem behavior at school can be overwhelming for us as clinicians.  It is a long school day with many challenges and factors. The best way to work on school behaviors is to use a skill called shaping.  Shaping is the process of changing a difficult or complex behavior by breaking it up into steps.  Reinforcing each step until it is consistent before adding more is the key.

For example, if you are working with a child who has difficulty staying seated at school, you could use shaping to change this behavior.  Maybe the child gets reinforced with praise and a small reward for sitting calmly for just one short period of time (snack time, or 10 minutes of writing time).  Then once that is consistent, more time can be added.  No punishments should be given if the child fails a step and parents should be in charge of the reinforcement.

By | 2017-08-09T16:47:09+00:00 September 14th, 2015|For Professionals|