Information for parents of disabled children

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Just Another Intervention


Do you have a BIP? Behavior intervention plans are, in most cases, essential for any child on the spectrum. In the case of my son, behavior intervention is a primary discussion each year about this time. In gen. ed. settings, it's frequently never discussed with the excuse that " Johnny doesn't need it".


Often, families don't even know to discuss it until after a behavior puts their child in the doghouse with teachers or administration. With behavior, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can argue that typical kids need the same things, but the trouble is that ASD interferes with a child's understanding of everything practically.

What needs to be in an intervention plan? As a parent, you can keep certain things in mind as you prepare to discuss your BIP. First, don't assume anything! Funny Story; when I was a small child, but not too small, I tried to unplug my atari- which was stuck- with a butter knife. Scary, huh? But no one ever once told me that metal conducted electricity. They assumed I knew. Now, what do they say about assuming things again? Second, how well do you think your child understands right and wrong?  For instance, some kids may make the assumption that if their friends do something, it's all right. This is more than peer pressure. It's processing information in a very specific way. I like my friends. I respect them, and they smoke. It must be okay. Finally, ASD causes kids to have socialization issues. You've heard it before, but it bears repeating.

Again, we're talking about assumptions here. If a kid is a basketball star, has friends based around that activity, and appears to communicate well, does that mean he's cured? Think of all the issues surrounding those things. Fearing rejection by your peers drives all of us, even adults, to behave stupidly. Think about having ASD coupled with that pressure and anxiety. We have to make sure our kids can handle all social situations and understand the full impact of each decision on their lives.

In Indiana, at least, a parent has the ability to put that behavior intervention into practice and keep it there. Schools only have so much time to intervene. It's imperative that we start ASAP, before they stick the butter knife in the light socket!

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