By Kaori Nepo, PhD, BCBA-D, Dir of Behavior Services – PA Region

Promoting Self-Management

  1. Set Expectations
  2. Choose a System for Success
  3. Provide model/examples
  4. Monitor
  5. Provide feedback

Given the uncertain situations brought to us with COVID, teaching children to become more responsible and independent has become critical to function as cohesive family units. ABA provides you with ways to promote the skill: Self-Management.

First, you want to set the expectations for your child, including what does he/she have to do and when. These can be schoolwork, chores, taking a shower, taking care of pets…etc.

Then, you want to help your child pick the way they want to organize their schedule. Your child can use visuals such as a calendar checklist. There are many technology-based systems available with visuals and audio reminders (e.g., text on the phone or popup on the computer).

You also want to share your system for organization as an example. Your child may be more likely to buy in the use of such a system.

Once your child has decided on a self-management system and started to use it, you want to monitor how your child is using the system. DO NOT expect your child to be independent and successful for 100% of the time on the first day or all the time. You should expect a learning curve, and it may take a while for your child to be efficient with the system.

MAKE SURE to focus on and celebrate small steps of success. You may want to use a special treat with your behavior-specific praise (e.g., I am proud of you finishing all of the schoolwork this morning).

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