Most of us are at home providing families with support the best we can. For most, this means parent training. Many parents have stepped up and are surprising us with their great ABA skills. How can we make the most of it? We can’t model what we want them to do with their child. I try to explain the best I can, but it is difficult without being there. However, there are still ways to provide behavior skills training while providing services remotely.
Remote BST Strategies:
1. Written Protocol. First, email them written information on what you want them to do.
If you are like me and have a difficult time not using ABA terms, just follow up with definitions and examples relating to their child. Remember to be very specific. You may need to provide specific steps of what you are asking them to do. Email prior to the scheduled parent training session so they have a chance to review it.
2. Verbal Instructions. At the start of the session, review the information you emailed and answer any questions they may have. Make sure to provide rationales as to why the skill is important so they buy into the process. This will give you a chance to address their concerns and modify procedures or materials based on their feedback.
3. Modeling. This is the tough part. How do you model behavior if you are viewing the family through a computer screen? Video! Have your child or other willing participant role play so you can show the family what you want them to do. You may want to provide various recordings showing different circumstances that may arise and how to respond in the moment. Provide examples while you are describing what you are doing and more naturalistic examples.
4. Rehearsal. Have them try it. Reinforce and interrupt if needed to give feedback in the moment. If needed, they could run through it with a different child, spouse or even just go through the steps themselves. This way when they are implementing the program with their child, your client, they will feel more confident and you won’t need to interrupt as much for training on the basics.
5. Feedback. Reinforce their participation. We all need reinforcement. Make sure to use behavior-specific praise and try to have a 4:1 ratio of 4 positives to 1 corrective statement. The parent is now the behavior therapist so train and reinforce the parent as you would the therapists.
6. Repeat as Needed. Practice as much as necessary. Make additional videos modeling program implementation while highlighting the
pieces the parent has difficulty with. Continue to explain the reasons behind what you are asking so they understand the importance and are more likely to focus on those instructional components. I find treatment integrity data helps provide parents exactly what I am looking for or the important pieces of what I am asking them to implement. It lists out what exactly I am scoring about their behavior while working with their child.The parent could also record program implementation during the week and send it to you for feedback.
For other ideas on providing remote ABA services and providing caregivers with specifics on teaching life skills, check out my other blogs: