Play IS the Gateway: Social Goals With ABA Flair

Play IS the GATEWAY

Parallel Play occurs when children play side-by-side or in the same area, however, there is a lack of give and take (cooperation/interaction) between the two parties. They may be playing with similar toys and occasionally mimic one another.  For example, a child stacks blocks to build a tower then knocks it down and the second child may be motivated to do the same with his/her pile of blocks.  The children may be playing with totally different items and choose not to interact.  Nevertheless, both are examples of parallel play.

Parallel play is common in toddlers between the ages of 2 and 3 ½ but can take place at any age.  It may look like there is very little contact between the children; however, valuable behavioral and nonverbal pragmatic lessons are being soaked up by both parties.  Parallel play is important as a transitory stage for the development of social maturity, which is key to later stages of play.

I see endless potentialChildren with disabilities often have difficulty with social interactions. Play serves as a platform for these interactions and provides a way for children with disabilities to learn social standards and values. Children with disabilities who do not participate in play can suffer secondary impairments, such as depression, decreased balance, strength and endurance. Different play environments—such as a gym, a classroom, or a playground—can affect a child’s play behavior and social development. Certain toys and play equipment can result in more independent and isolated play, whereas other play equipment may promote more social play. For example, slides, sandboxes, and large toys are designed for several children to use together.

Think about your own observations, experiences and the following ideas the next time you sit down to draft social goals for your students: 

Part 1: Cooperation and Reinforcement

 PLOP: XXX responds to a variety of primary and secondary (goldfish, skittles, tickles, squeezes) reinforcers.  He will take a reinforcer when offered and look for reinforcers in various places.  We are currently using a continuous reinforcement schedule (CRS) in which every correct response is reinforced.  We plan to thin this schedule as XXX continues to learn new, more advanced skills. He cooperates in therapy sessions at the table with limited coercion.

Goal: XXX will wait for permission to obtain a reinforcer when it is present.

NOTE: Typically if a reinforcing object is placed in front of XXX, he immediately grabs it (ex. His bear).  When asked to wait he will cry or continue to reach for the object.  I would typically introduce and practice benchmark one at the table and then move to various locations.  Remember, XXX may be playing with a toy or working on a task when the reinforcer is presented.   

Benchmark 1: When the desired item (toy or edible) is placed in front of XXX, he will wait appropriately 3 seconds before verbal permission is given to obtain the item with 90% accuracy, by the end of the first grading period, as measured by data collection and teacher observation.

Benchmark 2: When a reinforcing item (toy or edible) is placed in front of XXX, he will wait appropriately 5 seconds before verbal permission is given to obtain the item with 90% accuracy …

Benchmark 3: When a reinforcing item (toy or edible) is placed in front of XXX, he will wait appropriately 15 sec before verbal permission is given to obtain the item with 90% accuracy by …

Benchmark 4: When a reinforcing item (toy or edible) is placed in front of XXX, he will wait appropriately 30 seconds before verbal permission is given to obtain the item with 90% accuracy by …

Goal: XXX will make a choice between two reinforcing objects.

Benchmark 1: When given a choice between a nonpreferred and preferred object, XXX will immediately choose the preferred object with 90% accuracy by …

Benchmark 2: When given a choice between a less preferred and highly preferred object, XXX will choose the highly preferred object without coercion with 90% accuracy by …

Benchmark 3: When given a choice between two highly preferred objects, XXX will choose one object without coercion with 90% accuracy by …

Goal: XXX will take a nonreinforcing or common object when offered.

NOTE: XXX will not generally take objects that he can not DO something with.  For example, when offered a piece of paper, XXX will generally not take the item because it is of no value to him.  Remember, XXX does not have to do anything with the object but accept it.

Benchmark 1: XXX will take a nonreinforcing object within 5 seconds without prompting with 90% accuracy by …

Benchmark 2: XXX will take a nonreinforcing object immediately when offered without prompting with 90% accuracy by …

Goal: XXX will approach and respond for reinforcement.

NOTE: The teacher is only holding up a reinforcer and saying “XXX”. (Calling name of student) Do not say “XXX come get your bear..” (this would be considered a verbal prompt)

Benchmark 1: While holding a reinforcer and calling XXX, he will approach and take the reinforcer with verbal or physical prompting with 90% accuracy …

Benchmark 2: While holding a reinforcer and calling XXX, he will approach and take the reinforcer without prompting with 90% accuracy by …

Benchmark 3: While holding a reinforcer and calling XXX, he will approach, perform a known task (with prompting), and take the reinforcer with 90% accuracy by (the second week of the second grading period).  For example, the teacher holds up a goldfish and calls XXX.  He walks over the teacher.  Teacher asks him to clap his hands.  XXX will clap his hands and then the teacher gives him the reinforcer.

Benchmark 4: While holding a reinforcer and calling XXX, he will approach, perform any known task without prompting and take the reinforcer with 90% accuracy by (the last day of the second grading period).

Part 2: Social Goals

Goal:  Demonstrate motivation to participate in parallel play.

Benchmark 1:  XXX will participate, without coercion, in at least three 5-10 minute, parallel play sessions playing with preferred toys.  XXX will participate in the parallel play situations with the use of positive reinforcement, and prompt fading hierarchy with 80% accuracy by (the end of the first grading period) as measured by data collection and teacher observation.

Benchmark 2: XXX will participate, without coercion, in at least three 5-10 minute, parallel play sessions.  XXX will participate in parallel play situations, even though access is not restricted to favored solo activities with the use of positive reinforcement and prompt fading hierarchy with 80% accuracy by (the end of the second grading period) as measured by data collection and teacher observation.

Benchmark 3:  XXX will choose, without coercion, to participate in at least three 5-10 minute, parallel play encounters.  XXX will participate in parallel play, even though access is not restricted to favored solo activities without continuous positive reinforcement and prompts with 80% accuracy by …

Method of evaluation:  Aide/Teacher will record and quantify XXX parallel peer play behavior during at least 10 minutes of parallel play activities daily.  For evaluation to be valid, XXX must have the opportunity to engage in parallel play encounters at various times during the school day.

Level of Mastery:  At least 10 minutes of parallel peer play per day without coercion, prompts or consequences—2/3 days.  The skill must be generalized to various play settings.

Goal: Demonstrate motivation to participate in cooperative peer play.

Benchmark 1: XXX will participate, without coercion, in at least three 3-5 minute, cooperative play sessions.  XXX will participate in cooperative play situations, even though access is not restricted to favored solo activities with the use of positive reinforcement and prompt fading hierarchy with 80% accuracy by (the end of the second grading period) as measured by data collection and teacher observation.

Benchmark 2: XXX will participate, without coercion, in at least three 3-5 minute, cooperative play sessions.  XXX will participate in cooperative play situations, even though access is not restricted to favored solo activities without the use of positive reinforcement, various prompts and consequences with 80% accuracy by…

 Goal:  Independently joins group activities.

Benchmark 1: XXX will join group activities without coercion with the use of various prompting procedures and positive reinforcement with 80% accuracy by …

Benchmark 2: XXX will join group activities without coercion without the use of prompting procedures and positive reinforcement with 80% accuracy by …

 Goal:  Wait, appropriately, in a small group.   

Benchmark 1: XXX will wait appropriately (stay seated, hands to self, may utilize fidget) in a small group setting for his/her turn without coercion with the use of visual and verbal prompting (time timer…) and positive reinforcement with 90% accuracy by the end of the first grading period, as measured by data collection and teacher observation.

Benchmark 2: XXX will wait appropriately in a group setting for his/her turn without coercion, utilizing positive reinforcement with 90% accuracy by …

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Fun Toys To Support Early Play Skills

mylittlehouseCheck out My Little House! This is an awesome product developed by an SLP. 🙌😎 This fun,    3-D felt house is wonderful for receptive and expressive language tasks. Your students will love the vibrant colors and enjoy constructing rooms of the house by placing all of the objects in different rooms.  Find My Little House at www.smartfelttoys.com

Use The Speech Banana discount code at checkout: BANANA

 

Instagram Storytime toys                                                                                  Storytime Toys is a fantastic addition to the classroom. These are beautifully designed and exceptionally crafted. I adore these and use to teach vocabulary, work on function, feature, class, associations, answering comprehension questions, story sequencing and narrative skills. You can do SO MUCH WITH THESE!!!  Simply set them on the rug during free play and watch your students flock to these brightly colored structures.  Find more information at www.storytimetoys.com

 

Pinterest Play

 

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