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Shaping Your Child
With Autism's Behavior

As a parent, it can be difficult helping your child navigate life after an autism diagnosis. Shaping your child with autism’s behavior is an essential part of building a trusted and healthy bond between learner and reinforcer. At Blue Parachute, our Licensed and Certified Behavior Therapists understand the importance of shaping behavior with patients on the spectrum. 

We consider ourselves to provide autism home support services, as the videos available from Blue Parachute can do just that. These can give you the help and support you need to teach a child on the spectrum. Our videos even help those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as they are preparing for adulthood. These were made to help you teach and incorporate the necessary life skills, safety skills, essential skills, and more that we sometimes forget can be harder for some who are differently abled. We have many videos to choose from covering a range of topics, and these are one way we help to answer your questions.

If you are interested in shaping your child with autism’s behavior, below you will find insight from our team of experts. Our goal is to help children and adults on the spectrum to reach their full potential.

What Is Shaping in ABA Therapy? 

Shaping is the process of using positive reinforcement through the completion of desired tasks or behaviors. Shaping behavior in autism is a part of the sector that involves Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA. When using the shaping technique in children with autism, each achievement of the desired behavior is positively reinforced. When the child does not demonstrate the desired task or behavior, he or she is not reinforced. 

Using the reward system for children with autism provides a fun and healthy relationship to encourage particular behaviors. This form of behavior therapy teaches children new behaviors over time through positive reinforcement. Once the target behavior desired is achieved, the reinforcement will gradually be removed. 

How to Shape the Behavior of a Child on the Spectrum 

Shaping your child with autism involves clearly explaining the behavioral objective required with the target behavior. Many types of reward systems can help with the use of techniques for shaping with ABA therapy. 

Listen to your child and find what brings them joy and what they are capable of achieving. When taking on the role of reinforcer when teaching your child with autism, it is vital to understand when you can positively reinforce and when you must withhold until the desired behavior is completed. To shape your child on the autism spectrum, be sure to use small steps as you aim for your overall goal, raising the bar little by little. Be mindful of the behavior cycle until your child masters the end goal. 

Shaping behavior should be thought of as a step-by-step, gradual learning process until they reach their full potential. If your child has completed the first step, be sure to stop continuing the reinforcement of the previous task. If they have mastered the first portion of the desired behavior, you can begin moving to the next step toward the overall goal. 

The idea behind shaping your child with autism is to build confidence and help them understand the necessary tasks required to complete more complex tasks. Eventually, mastering the desired behavior process involves much patience, obedience, and a healthy and trusted relationship between the child and their reinforcer. 

Using Picture Charts When Shaping

When using the shaping theory on an autistic child, we recommend using picture charts, cards, or a picture wheel to help demonstrate essential elements. The child can follow the picture cards and know what needs to be completed and what to do next. An autistic child can benefit from picture charts, especially if they struggle to complete all of the steps to finish the desired behavior.  

Picture wheels are a great resource to add a fun element to the development of behavior shaping. Picture cards can be the perfect tool for shaping in ABA for children who require instant reinforcement after completing a task. When the child completes the desired behavior, they can report to the parent presenting the card to show that the task has been fulfilled.

Video Resources on Shaping Behavior 

At Blue Parachute, we are committed to being the most valuable resource in providing parents, teachers, and communities the guidance needed after an autism diagnosis. 

Providing the tools, information, and guides through our in-depth video library, we strive to be the most beneficial provider of autistic resources to parents and communities. Your child’s journey to greater independence starts today! Click here and sign up now to take full advantage of our library of high-quality, evidence-based resources to help individuals with ASD be set up for success and reach their full potential. Blue Parachute. Easy. Affordable. Life-Changing.


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