Teaching safety skills to children with autism using behavioral skills training is highly important in this quickly changing unsafe world. There are many kids who have this inherited sense of danger which keeps them comparatively safe. The kids with autism lack every sense of risk and danger that innately puts them in more risks and danger than the average kids. As with maximum behavioral skills, you should approach it from an advancing point of view. What you are unable to do it to overlook teaching safety skills regardless of the age of the person with ASD.
In 2016, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children support law enforcement as well as the families with almost 20,500 cases of missing kids. Some caregivers and families attempt to safeguard their kids from abduction by particularly teaching safety skills like understanding the warning signs of unreliable behavior, the concept of strangers, and what they should do if a stranger approaches them. The attributes of ASD may make conventional teaching processes such as discussions, an inefficient method for teaching these imperative safety skills.
Behavioral skills’ training is possibly capable of helping. It has been efficiently utilized for teaching different skills to children, with and without disabilities. Different studies have already showcased behavioral skills’ training as a proficient strategy for teaching kids safety skills like gun safety, fire safety, and overlooking a stranger who will try to get the kid to go somewhere else with them. Some studies have maximized this study and utilized the behavioral skills training for teaching kids with autism disorder abduction prevention skills.
If you have a kid with autism spectrum disorder, you know that security and safety skills are the major concerns. Your kid can experience situations daily – like crossing a road which might pose a danger or they might involve in risky behaviors like wandering. When it comes to teaching safety skills to children with autism, it can be tough to understand where to begin and how to teach them the best practices for avoiding and responding to unsafe situations. However, you can apply the methods mentioned below to many common safety concerns which come. You should think about implementing these steps in the scenario of a kid getting lost in a shop.
Here are a few steps which are basically utilized in the teaching protocol of a behavioral skills’ training.
1. Fix a target you want to reach
What do you wish to teach a kid? How is it possible to know whether the kid has learned the skill? Determine in advance what the answers to those questions are so a person knows whether he/she has reached his/her target. The children with autism should be taught in their training to say ‘No’ whenever a stranger asks them to go somewhere, instantly leave and run to a secure place and report this event to a familiar person. Some kids may first require working on necessary skills like association from reliable caregivers or family or being careful about strangers. If a kid cannot learn this simply through a discussion, you can show them some images of different adults depending on the categories of acquaintance, stranger, or reliable family member.
2. Offer guidance
This includes offering a verbal or written detail of the aimed skill. This can also be a scope to offer an excuse as to why the aimed skills are imperative. In a study, the researchers discussed many possible ways an adult may get them for leaving a place and teach the kids for stating the most appropriate steps to avoid a stranger. Nevertheless, this step could be simply adjusted depending on the comprehension level and requirements of every kid. For instance, rather than verbally stating these steps, the kid could classify images representing the precise actions.
3. Correctly model a skill
A kid is shown a precise model of the aimed behavior. This must be an accurate model and incorporate every element of the aimed skills. For instance, the kid would be shown a model of a stranger who is close to another person and uses a common strategy or lure to get the kid for leaving with him. Additionally, it would show the kid saying ‘No’ and instantly leaving the place. This can be done in video models or in person. Videos are a feasible way of modeling the skill as it can be the way of promoting generalization across ambiances and individuals as different scenarios can be also displayed in video clips.
4. Offer scopes for practice
A kid with autism spectrum disorder needs to have a variety of scopes for practicing the safety skills. The kids with ASD sometimes require more time and practice for gaining new skills. The kid must practice an extensive array of several scenarios in different ambiances and with various people for making sure the generalization of the safety skills.
5. Give or reward feedback
An adult needs to appreciate the behaviors which are correctly performed by the kids with autism and should give the corrective feedback for the elements which are performed wrongly. It is imperative to give more positive than corrective feedbacks. For some kids with autism, it may be fruitful to include extra rewards or reinforcers for precise finishing of the aimed behaviors.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 if required
You may require repeating steps 4 and 5 to make sure that a kid has learned the skills and can utilize it while required. Repeat them until you have reached your targets.
When it is tough to decide predominance, kids with disabilities may be at a big risk of being victimized by the intruders than kids without disabilities. Understanding this, it is imperative to utilize the most efficient teaching methods possible while teaching them safety skills. Behavioural skills’ training is a proficient teaching method which has the potential of being a strong tool to help keep kids with autism safe from danger.