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44 Casting a New Functional Assessment

This is an article about assessment. It is built upon three concepts: 1) that interactions between people create thoughts in the other person which may be helpful and/or harmful; 2) that this interrelatedness extends to all of the people who regularly populate an individual’s ecosystem; and 3) that these regular participants need to take responsibility for the whole, not simply draw attention to a part. These concepts might suggest that referral and assessment for professional clinical services may be ‘toxic’ as presently implemented.

43 Social Education – Overview

Since school is likely to be the first and most powerful socializing environment outside of the home that children in this society will face, it seems incomprehensible that more effort is not made in helping children with the adjustments that they need to make. Instead, the teaching and administrative staff tend to view the children who fail to adjust as ‘interlopers’, who need to be removed as quickly as possible so that the rest of the children can achieve academically.

42 Introduction To Functional Cognitive Behavior Assessment

The functional assessment requirements of IDEA ’97 have provided an impetus for the consistent implementation and interpretation of the functional behavioral assessment or FBA. Unfortunately, it also ignored the history of children with emotional and behavioral problems who create the most difficult issues for education and clinical services. This omission occurs because of the unwillingness or inability of practitioners to identify the differences between children whose behaviors are predominantly the result of deficits and those whose difficulties are primarily the result of distortion.

41 Creating an Elegant Theory of Self

One of the constructs that is vital to understand about human beings is that they create themselves. Personalities are only influenced but not created by genetics or environment. Helen Keller and the ‘elephant man’ created elegant selves despite egregious influences of both genetics and the environment. This article explores the ‘elegance’ of self and expands to consider a group theory of culture.

40 Cognitive Concepts for Behavior Assessment

A functional behavior assessment is virtually mandatory whenever one works with a child’s behavior. The intent is to make a hypothesis about the function of the behavior. Knowing that, we can test the hypothesis and then find alternate ways that the child may reach those goals. Finally, we can then teach new skills to reach the goals more appropriately. Embedded in this description is of course, thought.

39 Professional Elicitation

There is danger in being an expert for in the mind of a beginner there are many possibilities, but in the mind of an expert there is only one. Professional clinicians need to discover the essence of their client’s ‘inner logic’, but often fail. All of the historic material given to you about the client’s past performances and the observations of other professionals combines with your own expertise to create a barrier to understanding. More importantly, perhaps, you have to watch as well as listen.

38 Responses to Atypical Behavior

What is the underlying problem that generates the symptoms that define the problem statement? Answers such as mental ‘illness’, bad schools, bad home environments, etc., are not the answer. Attempts to resolve the problem by covering the symptoms with pharmaceuticals or ‘blaming’ parents, teacher, human services workers or the children themselves are simply acts of ‘shifting the burden’.

37 Behavior Planning

School behavior plans are often just a statement of how the educator wants the student to behave with rewards for production. This fails by a wide margin in being effective. When seeing such plans which are predestined to failure, it occurs that there are a few thoughts about how to better prepare.

36 Cognitive Rehabilitation with People with Schizophrenia

The traditional approaches to people with thoughts and behaviors that cause them problems in living tend also to increase the problems. Delinquency is often punished rather than rehabilitated, and mental health “controls” through chemical or physical restraints. Both procedures are easily interpreted as unhelpful, if not downright hostile. Despite the poor prognosis and stability given by the mental health professionals, all is not lost. For our cognitive structures and even the unconscious contexts, are open to conscious consideration and decision-making.

35 Empathic Communication

The goal of every helper must be to first understand the person whom they serve. This requires a process of engaging that person in a kind of communication in which the person can and will share their innermost thoughts from which you can infer in a kind of retro engineering of their inner logic. Once the helper understands the inner logic of the person they are serving, they become capable of helping that person either change the inner logic or find better behaviors to serve their goals.

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