Decreasing Self-Stimulatory Behavior
I have a student in my Multi-Disability Classroom who insists on flapping pieces of paper – he won’t go anywhere without the paper – if he doesn’t have a piece he will search in the trash cans or use his work papers. He is integrated into some classrooms and just uses the class papers to flap. What can I do to extinguish this behavior?
Provide the paper to the student (maybe a choice of two) – decide on the size and very slowly each day decrease the size of the paper. By the end of a few weeks the paper may be very small and the student may be satisfied just holding something small in his hand. Simultaneously provide opportunities for items that provide a similar input during designated times such as ribbon wands or whistle on a lanyard during gym class or recess.
Decreasing Self-Stimulatory Behavior in this instance refers to shaping the behavior by decreasing the size of the item so the behavior is not interfering with activities AND simultaneously replacing the behavior/item with a more appropriate item that provides the same input during scheduled times of the day.
- Child's Age: 3-5, 6-10, 11-13
- Planning Effort: Low
- Difficulty Level: Easy
Different sizes of the preferred item (in this instance, paper) other objects that provide similar input (ribbon, etc.)
- Decide on the size of a piece of paper for the student.
- Provide the paper for the student during times he may always want to hold, shake, or use.
- Each day slowly cut the paper into a smaller piece so it is not noticeable to the student.
- By the end of a few weeks the student may be fine with a small piece of the paper – BUT simultaneously:
- Provide substitute item during scheduled times that can provide similar input such as rainbow ribbon wands that can be scheduled during a break time, time in the gym, or recess.
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