Modifying Autism Special Interests


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Tom teaches you how to modify your child’s special interest with replacement behaviors that might be more appropriate for your child at school or wherever they are. Tom says the only reason special interests need replacement behaviors is if they are hurting other people or are doing self-harm to the child with autism. It is important that we do not take away the behavior without replacing it with a more appropriate and safe behavior. Tom has a lot of experience with behavior and he will explain how he is able to self-reinforce his own behavior. He will teach you how to introduce replacement behaviors to your child that will still get the same outcome your child wants. They will just get it in a much more appropriate way. Tom shares that the replacement behavior should be along the lines of the same context as what the behavior was. In this book Tom shares a story about how he helped a senior in high school modify his special interest by introducing him to a replacement behavior. The kid had a special interest in women’s feet and whenever the women would wear flip flops to school he would just stare at their feet and compliment them on her feet. He obviously had a need to be able to express himself and tell people he admired them but he was going about it in the wrong way so that he came off as creepy. Tom introduced a replacement behavior to tell the women they had pretty eyes instead of telling them they had pretty feet. This is a perfect solution because we did not take away his behavior or special interest entirely. We just gave him a new tool to work with that he had not thought of by introducing a replacement behavior. Tom is a huge advocate of applied behavior analysis and in this book he describes how behavior therapists can help children with autism find replacement behaviors. The book will also teach parents how to reinforce behaviors at home. This is a great book for anyone wanting to learn more about autism, special interests, and behaviors. Here is an excerp

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