What Is a Behavior Change Contract

Mary: Well, what are you? Not married? Dr. Heward: Sure. Well, the driving contract has two essential components. The task that is clearly stated what happens during the execution of the task and then the reward that the child or, in the case of a child, has a contract with his parents. And we talk about it with the reward that comes after. So if a contract specifies, as you said, Mary, and the relationship contracts are in a real code of conduct, as described in our book, it`s a written agreement. Not necessarily in words, usually in words, but for very young children or children. For some reason, you don`t have the reading skills or a lot of reading skills. There are image contracts. OK, and sometimes a contract. One of the examples of stories in our book When We Get There, maybe we`ll talk a little bit about it. One is a contract to help a young boy with autism get ready for school in the morning, and he has reading skills and there are a few words about it, there is also a visual activity plan built directly into the contract where he can follow up.

I think Jill would agree with what you described about four, maybe three for some kids at a young age, but there`s no upper limit. And important, both research, especially research, and then a lot of both Jill and my experience and working with families and teachers. Contracts can be used until adolescence. Maybe grandparents have a contract to spend time with kids, all kinds of apps. Mary: You`re listening to episode number one hundred and sixty-eight of the Turn Autism Around podcast. I am your hostess, Dr. Mary Barbera, and I am delighted to welcome a married couple to the series. I think this may be our first, well, my husband and I were a married couple on the show together, but I`m interviewing Dr. William Heward and Dr.

Jill Dardig. And many of you who are BCBAs working in the ABA space will recognize Dr. Bill Heward`s name because he is the co-author of the acclaimed white paper Applied Behavior Analysis, now in its third edition. And he is also the author of Exceptional Children An Introduction to Special Education, now in its 12th edition and falls between Applied Behavior Analysis and his second book. The combined sales of these two titles amount to over a million copies, which is incredible, and they are translated into so many languages, which is incredible. Now his wife, as well as very accomplished. Dr. Jill Dardig is Professor Emerita of Education at Ohio Dominican University, where she has trained teachers in special education for over 30 years.

They`re on the show today, Jill and Bill, and we`ve agreed to call them by their first names to make things easier. They are here to discuss their new book called Let`s Make a Contract, which I had the pleasure of reviewing and writing a blurb. And it`s a really good ABA tool that`s underutilized, and we`re all talking about what a behavioral contract is, who it`s for, for what age, how long a behavioral contract should be written, and how to avoid nagging and falling back on the slippery slope, when to then work first, and then get, you know, Reinforcement and all the things that could go wrong in the behavioral contracts that we are also talking about. So it was a pleasure to meet Bill and Jill. So let`s move on to this big episode with Dr. William Heward and Dr. Jill Dardig. Mary: Like signs here. I mean, literally, he loves, I think this boy is going to be a lawyer, which is not the case, but the point. But he was very persistent when he had the idea that we should sign a contract. Basically, a code of conduct contract is exactly like what Spencer did.

He, you know, but it would be developed by the adult here or in collaboration with the child. It is a collaboration. Of course, cooperation. Thus. So why not secure ourselves quickly? And I know we absolutely want to go back to history, like this new book. But how old is it? What is a code of conduct? And, you know, because I think if I were to enter into a code of conduct contract now, I would definitely need this book to guide me as an experienced BCBA. A code of conduct contract has two parts. A task that needs to be accomplished and what the accomplishment of that task entails, and the reward or reinforcement that can be gained by completing that task.

These contracts must be a collaborative written agreement and may be between parent and child, child and teacher, child and behaviour analyst, or a combination of these. There are certain cognitive conditions, a participating child must be at least 3 to 4 years old and understand the language that receives a reward for a task. However, there is no age limit. Anyone can enter into a behavioral contract at any age to achieve a goal, including setting personal goals. Mary: Yes, which was very scary because autism wasn`t diagnosed until the 1940s. All right. Yes. It`s pretty amazing that she had this diagnosis, mostly because she was deaf, because I`ve worked with deaf students and it`s like, you know, a lot of people love autism, they blame autism.

If they are deaf, blaming the deafness and getting additional diagnoses was certainly extremely difficult at the time. So yes, it`s really good. And I think I did a podcast. I know I did a podcast where I mentioned the refrigerator mother theory and the autistic mother story, so we can tie that in the show`s notes that this will be podcast 168. So it`s a wonderful story, Jill, and we`re going to talk about your background and your new book with Bill. So Bill, why don`t you, our listeners in the ABA space, listen to the behavioral analyst and definitely know your name? How did you fall into the world of autism? Q: What should I do if I find that the Code of Conduct is not working? Dr. Dardig: It depends on the behaviour and the amplifier, as you say, we do not see contracts as a permanent solution or not. It`s a transition to get you from point A, where you have difficulties or a goal, to point B, where you`re doing better, you`re doing well. And then there`s the idea of letting the contract expire.

So it`s a relatively short-term solution to a problem, but we`re going to have bigger effects that can be generalized in the future for future gains. Mary: Wow. Impressive. Impressive. OK, before we talk about behavioral contracts, I just want to stop you for a second. Simply because a lot of our listeners, you know, it`s a new topic for them. And you know, they might have a toddler who only shows signs of autism. You could have a 15-year-old with severe autism. And in my experience, which is very little, we are going to talk about your book that I have here. Let`s make a contract. And we`re going to talk about behavioral contracts, but I don`t want to just slip in because a lot of people might be confused.