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Prevention Plans for Meltdowns in Children with ASD

presented by Jed Baker, PhD

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Jed Baker receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Jed Baker has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Accreditation Check:
This course describes the key components of an effective prevention plan, emphasizing how to modify triggers and teach replacement skills to cope better with challenges. Prevention plans are reviewed for common triggers like: demands for work, fears and phobias, having to wait or accept refusal, threats to self-esteem (correction, losing a game, teasing), unmet needs for attention, sensory challenges, and unexpected triggers.

Meet Your Instructor

Jed Baker, PhD

Jed Baker, PhD, is the director of the Social Skills Training Project, an organization serving individuals with autism and social communication problems.  He is on the professional advisory board of Autism Today, ASPEN, ANSWER, YAI, the Kelberman Center, and several other autism organizations. In addition, he writes, lectures, and provides training internationally on the topics…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Effective Behavior Prevention

Key components of an effective behavior plan are outlined. Prevention plans for dealing with demanding work are described, focusing on modifying work and teaching the skill of “trying when it’s hard.” The concept of a “growth mindset” (Carol Dweck) emphasizing effort and asking for help versus outcome is reviewed in detail.

2. Dealing with Fear

The art and science of overcoming anxiety are outlined. Details on how to face fears are reviewed, including: how to win individuals over to work on their anxiety, educate them as to how anxiety works, create fear ladders to gradually face fears, reward efforts to face each step of the ladder, combat worrisome thoughts with simple “think like a scientist” strategies, reduce anxiety with exercise and meditation, and consider the use of biological interventions such as neurofeedback and medication.

3. Tools for Patience and Disappointment

The focus here is on helping individuals learn to wait, handle disappointments and accept refusal. The use of visual timers and schedules to help clarify when individuals can have desired items and activities is described along with skills to help individuals understand what there is to look forward to even in the face of disappointments.

4. Self-Esteem: Mistakes, Losing, Teasing

This segment focuses on threats to self-esteem as well as how to get attention in positive ways. First, how to handle mistakes, correction, losing a game and being teased are all covered. Second, how to get attention in positive ways is described including ways peers can support students’ efforts to get attention appropriately.

5. Sensory Needs

This chapter starts by describing how to handle sensory challenges by modifying the environment and advocating for sensory needs. Sensory overload, need for stimulation and problems with self-stimulation are reviewed, including the issue of public masturbation. Ways to visually support rules around private time are reviewed. Then ways to handle unexpected triggers of meltdowns are described, emphasizing the use of relaxation folders and learning that “all problems can be solved if you can wait and talk to the right person.”

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