I have implemented the Behaviour Adjustment System on many many occasions and would like to share a couple of my experiences.
The Six Sibling Family
This group of six siblings, aged five to twelve, had many and varied very challenging behaviours. For two of the siblings, the aggressive physical behaviour, displayed by all of the children, was life threatening due to their medical condition.
The first week that the program was implemented was action packed. On the first day the children were very excited about the opportunity to earn some ‘awesome’ incentives. The children all earned maximum points in an effort to be winning the most points. On day two, the children’s mother rang me to ask for my advice. The second youngest child (age six) had refused to attend school unless ‘the score me’ sheet was taken down. This young fellow wanted to control his environment and wasn’t having any of this! What was I to do here? It wasn’t the outcome I’d expected. I explained to the mother that to take the sheet away would result in this young fellow achieving what he wanted through negative behaviour, so taking the sheet away was not an option. We agreed that if there was no school, there was no pool. Given that it was a very hot summer this worked well. We also agreed to add ‘complying with ‘the score me’ sheet’ to the behaviour/skills/task list for all the children. Well this young fellow, after he determined that the sheet wasn’t going anywhere, and that his siblings were gaining points, completely turned around and he became the highest point scorer for that first week. When none of the children asked to trade points, the parents, in their enthusiasm to demonstrate to the children that there would be some tempting incentives on offer, supplied some favourite treats for the children to trade for on their first points trading night. However, unbelievably to all of us, not one of the children would part with their points. It was actually a number of weeks before the children started to part with their points. These children were high achievers when earning points and the program has remained highly successful for many months. All of the children earn almost maximum points daily, and the parents remain delighted with the results.
This young fellow was escalating in challenging behaviours and becoming well known to the police. He would usually never comply with any requests or rules. Whilst the program was successfully implemented in the home with his two sisters, we assumed that it would be fruitless to attempt to engage him in complying with it. He would often interfere with his sisters sheets by erasing information or ‘tagging’ it. We decided to see what would happen if we added him to the sheets and list some behaviours/skills/tasks under his name. From that day forward this young fellow earned almost maximum points every day. At first we weren’t sure how this would play out but we agreed not to mention the program to him. A few weeks later he asked to trade 90 points for phone credit out of the 172 points he had earned. We were stunned. He had been keeping track. To this day we don’t mention the program. This young fellow just tells his parents when he wants to trade points. We change the behaviours/skills/tasks from time to time and see an instant adjustment to the new behaviour/skill/task listed.
The Four Year Old
This very gorgeous and cute little lady presented some complex and challenging issues. One concern had been her fussy eating behaviour. She would not eat food ‘with holes in it’ (bread), and food of a particular colour. Most of the time this was managed with the use of points, but occasionally, she would announce that she did not want to eat something, and therefore ‘did not want a point’! The secret was finding the motivator that was ‘bigger’, more important to her, than the behaviour. This turned out to be as simple as working toward getting a ballet dress and shoes. Every time she overcomes a challenge with food, choosing between a point and a food item, she is able to enjoy a wider variety of choices, and usually ends up loving the food. Occasionally she still comes out with a ‘left field’ problem with a food option. However, with a little bit of creativity, and the right motivators, we eventually overcame the issue.