Creating and implementing effective behavior plans for children and adults with PWS can be challenging. Due to the obsessive nature of the syndrome we often find that the individual becomes overly fixated on points or rewards and subsequently the plan itself becomes a daily bone of contention. That being said, I have seen very effective plans that have made a big difference in reducing problematic behaviors. Those plans include the following:
- 1. A detailed and lengthy assessment process. Observations, data collection and most importantly talking to the individual and those in his or her team about the behaviors (what works, what doesn't, patterns etc...) are essential to getting to the root of the behavior. It is during this process that we often discover what is underlying and why the behavior is occurring in the first place. Sometimes the information gathered during this time eliminates the need for a formal plan.
- 2. Always use positive behavioral supports. The plan should be based on earning and not losing. We know that punitive approaches do not work. In regards to a plan the only effective approach is earning preferred items or activities for positive behaviors or refraining from negative behaviors. Be sure that preferred activities are not exclusively earned and happen regardless of behavior.
- 3. Make the plan time limited. No one should be asked to comply with a plan indefinitely.
- 4. Be sure that the individual has as much say as possible in the creation of the plan. The most effective plans are those that have heavy input from the person who is expected to follow its contents.
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“He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.”
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge