TikTok is the way of the future when it comes to disseminating information and getting the word out there. I have recently joined TikTok this summer @TurnAutismAround, and have had the opportunity to see a lot of great information out there on “Autism TikTok”. Today I am talking with Mandy Grass, @TheFamilyBehaviorist, a BCBA and SPED teacher. Mandy is new to TikTok as well but has gained a lot of traction over the last few months in her educational videos about common problems parents and professionals face with both typically developing children and children with autism.
How Can Tone Impact Behavior?
We are all guilty of getting frustrated, being short, etc. BUT tone is crucial to how a problem is handled and behavior continues afterwards. It’s important to maintain a positive tone with whoever you’re working with, students, parents, staff, etc. How you say something can make a huge impact on what the response will be. You can find Mandy’s video on tone at her TikTok or linked below.
Sometimes the answer is no. For whatever reason, a child cannot have or do what they are asking for. Mandy shares her experience with reducing tantrums when hearing no for her own children. With high reinforcement and a simple replacement behavior, Mandy’s family is no longer facing problems if something can’t be done right away or even at all. For Mandy, she introduced the replacement behavior of “Okay, Mommy” when they hear no but even if you have a non-verbal child this concept can work with an adapted replacement your child can understand. To hear more about the specifics, this video is available @TheFamilyBehaviorist and linked below.
Dealing with Power Struggles
If you’re playing tennis and you put your racket down, you’re no longer playing tennis. Put your racket down. Arguing back and forth creates a power struggle, but you have the power to stop it. Create an agreement about when you can revisit the discussion. Is it when the child is sitting in the chair? Is it when they stop a specific behavior? Mandy tries to avoid the word calm and instead provides a specific action that represents calm. She shares about figuring out the cause of behavior and also administering appropriate consequences that don’t unnecessarily escalate or elongate the problem. Mandy’s videos on power struggles can be viewed on TikTok and some are linked below.
The advice Mandy and I share and discuss today can be used in a wide variety of settings by both parents and professionals and for both typically and non-typically developing children. If you’re on TikTok please check us out. You can find me @TurnAutismAround and Mandy @TheFamilyBehaviorist. Follow us and be sure to Like, share, and comment, to really help us reach more people who need to hear what we have to say!
Mandy Grass on the Turn Autism Around Podcast
Mandy Grass is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and mom! She has been in the field of education for over 10 years. She started her career as a special education teacher at a school for students with intense behavioral needs. She is currently a BCBA in a public-school pre-k through 12th grade and has been for 5 years. She became a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst in 2015 and had her first daughter in 2016. She now has3 daughters! She has realized how the evidenced based practices of applied behavioral analysis are applicable for all kids. She has worked with hundreds of families over the past few years to help parents navigate a variety of behavioral issues using science.
- How BCBAs and other professionals are reaching the public with TikTok.
- The interesting message and perspective from Mandy Grass @TheFamilyBehaviorist on TikTok.
- How can tone impact behavior?
- How to help your child accept no.
- How to deal with power struggles in your household.
- A look into Mandy Grass’s viral TikTok videos.
- Tips for parents and professionals to help common problems with typically developing children and children with autism.
- Mandy Grass (@thefamilybehaviorist) TikTok
- Mandy Grass (@thefamilybehaviorist) Instagram
- The Family Behaviorist
- Positive Parenting Solutions Without Coercion | Interview with ABA Inside Track
- “I’ll talk to you when you’re calm” – The Family Behaviorist – TikTok
- Are you getting caught in power struggles? – The Family Behaviorist – TikTok
- How to help your child accept no! – The Family Behaviorist – TikTok
- Tone can impact everything. – The Family Behaviorist – TikTok
- Mary Barbera
- Mary Barbera on TikTok
- Mary Barbera on Instagram
Mandy Grass – Turn Autism Around Podcast Transcript
Transcript for Podcast Episode: 191
Autism TikTok- Parenting without Power Struggles with @thefamilybehaviorist
Hosted by: Dr. Mary Barbera
Guest: Mandy Grass
Mary: You're listening to the Turn Autism Around podcast episode number 191. Today I have Mandy Grass on the show. She is a board certified behavior analyst who's been in the fields for over ten years. She started as a paraprofessional and then moved to a special education teacher and BCBA. I found her on TikTok. And for those of you that are on TikTok or want to go on TikTok, I'm at turn autism around. So we talk about TikTok and we talk about a few of her TikTok videos with hundreds of thousands of views, including how to use the right tone in all of your interactions, not just for kids with autism. We talked a little bit about accepting no. And we also talk about power struggles. Again, this information covers typically developing kids as well as kids on the spectrum and with other issues. So it's a great light conversation with Mandy Grass. So let's get to it.
Narrator: Welcome to the Turn Autism Around podcast for both parents and professionals in the autism world who want to turn things around, be less stressed, and lead happier lives. And now your host, autism mom, behavior analyst and bestselling author Dr. Mary Barbera.
Mary: So, Mandy, thank you so much for joining us today.
Mandy: Thank you for having me.
Mandy Grass @thefamilybehaviorist on the Turn Autism Around Podcast
Mary: Yes. So you're one of the few people that I've had on the podcast that I really don't know. We just chatted for 5 minutes before we hit record. So I found you on TikTok and we're going to talk about that. But before we get into why I'm having you on the show, why don't you tell our listeners how you fell into the autism world?
Mandy: Sure. So I started off as a paraprofessional while I was getting my SPED certification, and I worked with two boys on the spectrum, one of which I am still really close with to this day. And then once I became a special ed teacher, I got a job at an outplacement school for Kids with Autism. Phenomenal school here in Connecticut. And once I was there, I saw ABA and I was like, oh, my gosh, this is amazing. So I started my BCBA coursework and then I passed my exam in 2015. So that's how I ended up here. And now I work as a BCBA in a public school doing pre-K through 12th grader or beyond that for the kids that need that til 21.
Mary: Okay. And do you work with kids with autism or other disorders, too?
Mandy: Sure. So in the public school, I'm probably about 50% autism and 50% other disabilities, ADHD, emotional disabilities, developmental delays. We have a couple of rare genetic conditions in school. So, yeah, I work with a variety of kids in both intensive needs programs and in the general education setting.
Mary: So you sound busy.
Mandy: Very busy.
Mary: So we're going to talk about TikTok. And you know, my listeners are varied. We don't actually know exactly who listens. We're predicting 60 to 70% are parents and the rest are professionals. But we don't really have good data on who actually listens to the podcast or watches it. You can always watch it on my website. MaryBarbera.com/podcasts you can watch the whole podcast and also on YouTube. So you know, there's different ways and we have just the audio version. We have almost a million downloads now of all of our podcasts, so we're really gaining traction. So one of the newest ways are social media platforms that I joined a few months ago. It sounds like we joined Tik Tok at very similar times around May or I think maybe I joined in June of 2022 and I was really hesitant to start TikTok. I just didn't know if I had the bandwidth to get another social media platform but I was like, okay, you know, my mission is really to help people around the world, especially the younger children who might have signs of autism and and the young moms. The statistics are quite good for TikTok that I think 40%...I should not be quoting stats, but I think I heard like 40% are over the age of 30 or 40 and that for people that are on TikTok, they watch 80 minutes a day on Tik Tok with the volume on. I'm like, what? So. So you know, you've got on TikTok. So what was your motivation for getting on TikTok? And you are @thefamilybehaviorist. So @theFamilyBehaviorist, for those of you on TikTok, I'm @turnautismaround on TikTok. So let's talk about TikTok, why you got on and how it's going.
Mandy: So I think I downloaded TikTok. I have a one year old, so on those late nights I think I downloaded TikTok and I do watch it on mute because I'd be like nursing her or whatever. So I probably was in those 80 minutes a day at that time. And then I started my company, the family behaviorist, because in the public school, I work with a lot of kids outside of autism. And the thing is, there's not really a lot available for those families. So I've worked with my director and I do a fair bit of parent consultation in my public school role. And I was sort of like, you know, I use this for my children all the time. I have three daughters, six, almost four and one years old. And so I'm using the principles of ABA in my parenting. And so it was sort of like there's a lot of families that could benefit from that. Also, I have a lot of my friends being like, Should I do this star chart? But they are too young for this. How do I handle this? And I was like, I can do this. So yeah, I got on TikTok right before my daughter's birthday. So the very end of May and I've just sort of been posting there about common problems, frustration, tolerances, and how to use ABA in your home to reduce some problem behavior.
Mary: So it's mostly home based that you're talking about on TikTok.
Mandy: Yeah, so I've kind of varied a little bit because I am in public school. I have done a lot of things about classrooms and classroom management and what FBAs and BIPs look like in the school. So there's definitely some content there for teachers as well. So teachers, parents, and sort of walk you through what a BCBA does and, you know, some tips and tricks to sort of help combat some of the problem behavior.
Mary: So on Tik-Tok, you have over 36,000 followers in just a few months, which is amazing. I only have over 2000, which I think is a great growth too just in two months. But so for those of you that are listening that are like, oh, I don't want anything, any parts of Tik Tok the same, we post the same or very similar content on TikTok and Instagram. They are short form videos on a particular topic. Some are super short like seven or 8 seconds and some are up to 3 minutes in length. So they're very short, you know, like this podcast video is going to be, you know, 30, 40 minutes. But these are very short clips with one little tip. And I'm also at Instagram @TurnAutismAround and you're...
Mandy: @TheFamily Behaviorist
Mary: On Instagram as well. But one of the things to, you know, to reach more people and to really make all of this effort because it's not just like, 'Oh yeah let's go on TikTok' and like posts every now and again and get for you 36,000 followers. I mean it's a little part time job.
Mandy: Yeah. So my goal is really to start it in the summer because I have that time and flexibility because I am on, I only work a ten month position. So I've poured myself into that and it's working well for me. I offer parent counsel and parent training, so I've worked with a couple of families already. I'm doing a professional development for a school next month, so there's a lot of exciting things coming out of it.
Mary: Nice. And this is your first podcast?
Mandy: Yes, this is my first podcast.
Mary: So I reached out because I like Mandy's stuff and we're going to talk about her actual videos that have had tons of views like over 100,000 views. And we're going to talk about those, those concepts. So the first one that has the most views is 650,000 views at the time of this recording. So by the time you go back on and we can link these top three in the show notes, this will be MaryBarbera.com/191. So the first one is about tone. So can you fill us in on what you said about the tone that was so appealing to so many people?
How Tone Can Make an Impact.
Mandy: Sure. So this was a general education teacher and she had come to me with a list of things she's like, I've done everything you said. And she brought me this paper. She had written down everything she had said to the student, the whole class. And I was like, Oh, this is weird. Like, let me let me go in and let me see what's going on. And so her, the way she was saying, the helpful thing she was saying was really difficult. So she was like, What do you need from me to get started? And I was like, Oh, okay. I think I see the problem here. And to be honest, like those are difficult conversations to have, especially when the person's like, I've done what you told me to do, "you have...but", and so just sort of working with her on like being more aware of how we're saying. Things. And again, theoretically, you're asking, what do you need? But it's not in the most approachable manner. And so that was creating a cycle with this particular student. So we really worked on how we could be more mindful of the tone, which are very difficult conversations to have but necessary.
Mary: So and tone, you know, just having that sharp edge. Like what? Well, what you need is different than. Hey, what do you need? You know? And this is not for kids with autism. This is not for teachers only. This is not for parents only. This is, you know, around the clock, every interaction you have. You know, I did a lot of counseling in schools through the Verbal Behavior Project for seven years. And I always subscribe to and I think I've done a blog and a podcast on Glen Latham's advice of doing 8 positives to every negative. And this is again not just to your students. So I went into a consultation speaking of tone and being positive and having a gentle tone and a positive, enthusiastic tone when you are speaking to people. And I went in and this woman was having really bad interactions with the paraprofessionals. And that's what I saw. I saw it not even just the tone. She was just like, negative, negative, negative. Like I told you, he needed that, you know, before you went to music. That's why there was, you know, and I'm just like, I am uncomfortable. This is like a negative environment. So, you know, it was like too many negatives, no positive. I didn't see any positives. So I sat her down talking about difficult conversations and you know, after the consultation, then I was like, you know, these 8 positives to every negative are not just for the kids. And I said, so you need to flip it. You need to have 8 positives to every negative. And she's like, They don't do anything right. I have nothing positive to say. And I'm like, okay, let's start with I like your shirt. Those are pretty earrings. Let's start with silly little things.
Mandy: But I used to tell a parent it was a grandparent, she was raising her grandson and he did have autism and he was a tricky kid. I love this kid but he was a tricky kid. And I literally said, you have to be like you're acting like, "I love the way you picked that up." "I love the way you got the red truck." I was like, Just find anything. So, yeah, and I'm totally guilty of a tone, too. I made a follow up video of that because there was some teacher hate and it's like everybody has been to that place. Everybody has been frustrated, you know, how your tone is received. So just try to be more aware of that and nobody's saying you need to be perfect, but if it's happening all the time, sort of catch yourself and put some systems in place.
Mary: Now, I love that. Okay. And another video that has at the time of this recording, 300,000 views is on accepting no. And some of my listeners probably don't know what that is. And I haven't really been you know, I don't know, I may have a blog or a podcast, you know, where I mention that, but it's not really a topic I cover that much, especially to the general audience. I do more so within my courses. But so can you tell us what accepting no is and then what your video was about?
Mandy: Sure. So it's tolerating no, right? There are times that the answer is no. And so the example was I'd been working with my six year old and really tolerating when I said no to something because there had been sort of tantrums or over-the-top reactions when she was told no. And so, for example, she had asked to use Play-Doh. It was nearly bedtime. I find Play-Doh really messy and I just didn't have it in me to battle the Play-Doh mess at that time. And so I said no. And she said, okay, mom and I talked about how I reinforce that at a high rate. The example I gave in the video, which it got a lot of hate on, was like, sometimes it is a piece of candy, but sometimes it's praise and sometimes options. And how I reinforced that every single time she tolerated no, and how we were able to fade to intermittent reinforcement and how it worked really, really wonderfully. And it did work really well for my six year old and my three year old. My three year old had gotten home the other day and she was like, Can you get me something out of the shed? And my hands were full. And I thought, I can't right now. Okay? And I was like, Thank you so much. And she came back to me a few minutes later and said, Could you get that for me now? I said, Of course. So, you know, I got a lot of comments. There are a lot of proactive strategies we could do giving choices, letting her know when she can access it, all of that thing. But the bottom line is sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes you're asking for something that I don't have or I don't have access to. And so we really needed to work on it. And it worked really wonderfully when we put a pretty strict system in place.
Mary: And your system, I remember watching the video involved a lot of teaching the child, if they are verbal and can speak to say okay. But even if a child doesn't really understand as much as a three and a six year old typically developing child, you can do this with a child that can't speak yet. And I like what you said about, you know, choices. So, you know, in the beginning, it might be like, you know, he wants milk, but they know he had too much milk already and you don't want to give him milk. So proactively, I would most of the time say we can't have milk, but here's water or juice. You can have either of these and have them tolerate another option. I think some kids or some parents and teachers kind of are just like when they hear accepting no, it's like, no. And then the child's like forced to wait or forced to do nothing or forced to have nothing to drink. And it's like. So, yeah.
Mandy: Where are the nuances of that? Like giving options, letting her know when she can access it, like, hey, it's too late tonight, but we can do that tomorrow, you know, all those proactive strategies. And yes, the replacement behavior I had given was, okay, mommy, but that doesn't have to be yours. Like it could be less of a tantrum. It could be her saying, I'm really mad right now. I don't like that choice. For me, it was a tantrum reduction. So yes, it was okay, mommy, for the Play-Doh. But I, I probably would have accepted some other things. That's just the one that we worked on. So you have to determine what's the appropriate replacement behavior for your family. In my opinion, it was an overall reduction in tantrum. So whatever replaced the tantrum, that was more appropriate for our family. That's what we did.
Mary: Yeah. And a little while back, we did a podcast episode with Rachel in terms of tantrums, throwing and hitting with her three year old typically developing son. And we can link that in the show notes as well. But I know you watched that podcast episode and you know, it's just to illustrate that, you know, I know this podcast called Turn Autism Around, but really all of these behavior techniques work. They work even better if you have a typically developing child like that, you can use all these techniques where there's no reason to put up with tantrums or hitting, biting from anybody because they have autism does not mean they need to be aggressive or self-injurious or whatever. We have to get to the bottom of it.
Mandy: I have a video about that too. I have it posted yet, but about age appropriate like yes, it might be age appropriate to throw a temper tantrum. It might be age appropriate to bite someone. That doesn't mean we don't work on it doesn't mean that there aren't consequences in replacement behavior and teaching. But like in seventh grade, it's age appropriate to cheat. That doesn't mean if my kid cheats, I come home and there's no consequence or loss of a device or something like that. Yeah. Let's talk about what we should have done instead. Let's go over the replacement behaviors. Let's go over how to avoid this in the future. But I still think it's appropriate to have consequences for age appropriate behavior.
Mary: Yeah. And to try to get tantrums and other whatever problem behaviors you have to zero or near zero levels. Because if we don't, we're not going to be as safe as possible. We're not going to be as independent as possible and we're not going to be as happy as possible. The parent, the teacher or the child. Because when you're having tantrums or, you know, throwing things, it can damage property, can hurt people. It can be unsafe if you have flopping on the ground. You know, if she's having a tantrum right before bedtime and right before bath time about the Play-Doh, then she's probably not going to be washing her hair right. And showering right. And, you know, there's just so many things that we should not be putting up with problem behavior and just tolerating it.
Mandy: Absolutely. And, you know, I think an important thing to discuss, too, is shaping over time. I think there's this like all or nothing mentality and it's like, okay, if she's throwing 30 minute tantrums every time, then it might be getting to 20 minutes and getting to 15 or shaping that over time. Same thing when parents have a variety of behaviors. Let's pick one. Let's start there. Let's shape that behavior like we. Yes, we would love extinction. We'd love everything to go away immediately. But that's just not real life. So how can we shape this down to decrease it over time?
Mary: Yeah, I love that. And, when you're trying to pick the problem behavior you're going to work on, I would pick the one that's causing the safety concerns, the most severe problems, the places that the things that are going to get you kicked out of preschool and those sorts of behaviors you want to tackle first. So yeah, if you have that get down instead of throwing themselves on the floor or they're crying for 2 minutes or 5 minutes and they're whining, you know, that shaping is important. I don't probably don't talk about that enough as well. So I like the fact that you brought that up. Okay. So the final video that we're going to talk about, which is in your top three, is power struggles. On TikTok. So what do you mean by a power struggle? And what advice would you give in 3 minutes about power struggles?
Dealing with Power Struggles
Mandy: Sure. I think it was a school example. We get stuck in this arguing. It happens at home, too. Like, well, no, I didn't do that. Well, no. And we're going back and forth. And so that type of behavior obviously is individualized. We do an FBA and have our data, but most often it's attention manding So going back and forth is just giving that more attention. So the example somebody had, I don't I wish I could tell who told me, but example is like if you're playing tennis and you put your racket down, you're no longer playing tennis. So that was my advice: put your racket down. Right. You know, in a perfect world, say, I will talk to you when you're able to sit on that chair. I try to avoid the word calm, although I will say as a parent, I say it all the time. I don't so much as a receiver when I'm at school. But due to what's it like? I can talk to you when you want. I will talk you through how to calm down, all of those sorts of things. But engaging in that back and forth is not going to end that battle. It's just breathing more life into it. So it's okay to walk away from that and say, I'll talk to you in 5 minutes. I'll talk to you in a little bit. Whatever that may look like, that doesn't mean that there's no consequences for that. The really important thing we don't talk about enough, I think, is delayed consequences. I think teachers get stuck in this a lot and it's like, okay, well, if we issue the consequence right now, right. So I didn't throw that thing. Yes, you did. No, I didn't. Okay. You have a lunch that we are just going to continue to escalate this entire altercation. We have 20 other kids. It's not appropriate. That doesn't mean if you don't issue a consequence just then, that doesn't mean there won't be one. It's okay for there to be delayed consequences. So you just have to think about that a little bit. The function of behavior is so, so important, and I think it gets overlooked a little bit in our day to day life.
Mary: And do you see in schools, though, a lot of functions where it's partially escape related and partially attention manding?
Mandy: Yeah, absolutely. So that particular student had an FBA and it looked like his behavior was escaping because he just wasn't doing anything. But it was more so attention manding. He did a really good job of you're in a classroom like everybody is off task for, you know, 2 to 3 minutes each. Well, he would bounce around to whoever was off task. So he was just escaping the demand. There's often a primary and secondary function, but in those altercations especially, it's most often attention maintained.
Mary: Yeah. And I also find that I don't do a lot of well, I don't do any FBAs anymore. But even when I was in schools and consulting, we didn't do a lot of FBAs because what we found was that most of the kids just didn't have the right level of programing, they didn't have the prerequisites, they didn't have the right dense enough reinforcement, they didn't have 1 to 1 support. So you can, I think, chase your tail doing FBA and saying that's the primary function and the secondary function when really the program's not right, the placement isn't right, the goals aren't right, the prerequisites are there. And that's really where my approach comes in. Like, you know, the second half of when I was in school, if somebody would ask me to do an FBA, I was like, I'm only doing it FBA. If I get funding to do a VB-MAPP at the same time, I'm not working with just problem behaviors.
Mandy: So that's something that comes up a lot in the public schools is if I am doing an FBA by then saying so, obviously I can't. I can say it's escape maintained, but I can't necessarily say he has no clue what he's doing or the work's not appropriately modified or accommodated. I am a special ed teacher so I do make some of those suggestions, but it can at least prompt us to like where is that data from his last evaluation? Do we need to reevaluate this? It appears to me to be escape maintained. It appears that he doesn't know what's being requested of him and so we can collect more of the data that way at least.
Mary: Yeah. Yeah, I like that. So before we go on to the next couple questions, what's your plan for TikTok? Are you planning to try to blow it up more?
Spreading the Word and Reaching More Families with TikTok
Mandy: You know, for me, TikTok is marketing. I'd like to work with families. I'd like people to visit my website at thefamilybehaviorist.com. I'd like to do a parent consultation. I'm working with a couple of families right now. They're collecting some data for me. We've put some plans in place. One of the families I worked with, this wonderful Mother and she honestly had tried everything. It was a great conversation, but the problem was she was trying too many things, so she was like, I have a pom pom jar and I have this for that and we have this schedule reinforced for that. And I was like, All right, let's slow down. We got too much going on here. So sometimes when we're doing that research, we can try and follow all the research that we've read, but we really need someone to come in and sort of look at what we're doing and help give us some individualized support. That's what I do.
Mary: Nice. Nice. So as both working with parents and working with professionals, let's start with professionals. What do you think are the top couple of struggles of professionals?
Mandy: It can be really difficult with some general education teachers. And I want to give the caveat that I completely understand. I know that they are overworked, they have duties, they have grades, they have curriculum. I absolutely get that. One of the things that I struggle with, though, is often they'll come to me and say, oh, I have this problem behavior. The student is interrupting. So we put a plan in place and then sometimes it's like, well, I don't take that data. I was like, Well, he just interrupted every single minute of your lesson, the amount of time you spent redirecting him. If we put it on an interval based check in might be easier. So that can be really tricky. I like to be a problem solver. So what can we do? I understand capacity issues and logistical issues and we don't have paraprofessionals. We don't have an extra set of hands. But what can we do and how can we team up? And the only other tricky part I have is, you know, before TikTok, I didn't know that speech and language pathologists don't like BCBAs all the time. That was news to me. But I will say this year I did have a little bit of a not a run with that. The speech pathologist I work with is phenomenal, but we have a four year old. I don't really have a background in early childhood. So we were trying a couple of different things. And one of my problems was how are we prompting her to communicate? Is it a touch? Is it a look? Is it a grab? I don't want to limit any communication, but I also worry that we are teaching her so much. She's not going to know what's expected of her. So like debating that a little bit, like how do we prompt this? What is the best way to ensure that she has a variety of means to communicate, but that she also knows what's being asked of her? So that was my first run in with that in general, I work with phenomenal OTs, PTs, speech, general education teachers, administration, parents. But yeah, there's a lot of people involved in the team and I'm just one opinion on said team.
Mary: Yeah, yeah. And that is multidisciplinary teams, even if everybody's positive and relatively on the same page can be tricky. Yeah. Because they all have their own background. Okay, so what about the number, you know, the two or three top struggles that you see of parents?
Mandy: So it's consistency. How often do you have a kid at... You go to the parent teacher conference and the teachers like they're amazing here. I don't know if you talk, you're like, What am I doing? So yes, of course. Like our children feel more comfortable at home. I get that. But also I think that we are more susceptible to falling into some of the traps, especially attention maintained, especially wearing us down, asking over and over and over. My very first day of my BCBA coursework, they played a clip from Family Guy of Stewie saying, Mommy, mommy, mommy. She said 100 times and on the hundredth time she was like, What? They were like, That is the worst thing you can do if you're going to say what, say it for the first time. So I think we intermittently reinforce a lot of behavior completely unintentionally, but I think we play a huge role as parents into, you know, the behaviors that are increasing and we don't necessarily have the tools or we're applying super inconsistently. So that's a big one. Empty threats, not following through on contingencies. Again, I as a parent are guilty of all of these. The only benefit I have is that like day four or five of pulling my hair out, I can step back and be like, okay, what should I do? But I fall into all of these as well. The empty threats, inconsistent responding. I think those are my two biggest ones right now. Yeah. Like responding to tantrum behavior, all those sort of things.
Mary: Yeah. And you are, you know, as a parent, just of typically developing children and then that there's additional stressors of course.
Mary: With parents of kids on the spectrum. Okay. So I think we'll wrap it up soon. But before I let you go, I think you've done a phenomenal job of getting on TikTok and expanding. And so I would really encourage all listeners who are on TikTok or you can get a free account to not just follow us, @thefamilybehaviorist and @turnautismaround, but also to comment, share, like because that really helps the algorithm. If we can get our videos in front of more people, it helps us spread the word. I know we use the hashtag for my stuff of #turnautismaround. So if you are a baseball listener out there, you can start using that hashtag too. If you want us to see your stuff and then mention us in, you know, if you're using any of Mandy's stuff or you like what you heard just mention us and that helps on Instagram and on TikTok. So I think it's the way of the future. Like I said, I had some resistance to going on. But now that I'm on, I think it's where we need to stay. So before I let you go, part of my podcast goals are not to just help the kids, but also help the parents and professionals be less stressed and lead happier lives. So what are your stress reduction tips?
Mandy: So being home on summer break is interesting because I give stay at home parents a lot of credit because I am never alone. This summer I have three kids and I am never alone. So that is difficult. So carving out that time for yourself, what independent activities can we put in place so that the kids are able to play and we can sort of take a moment for ourselves, but I think recharging and being able to have that time. The other thing is, my husband and I are working a lot on this sort of tag teaming, right? So if you see me getting frustrated instead of afterwards being like, well, you got fresh, that's a helpful tag to be like I see you're getting water and I step in and we are all I am so susceptible to getting frustrated, having a bad tone, inadvertently reinforcing behavior. I do all of that as a parent. But yeah, having a partner, holding each other accountable, tagging in, working together I think can be really helpful.
Mary: Love that advice. So thank you so much, Mandy. Thefamilybehaviorist.com, to reach out to Mandy or just comment or send us messages on TikTok or Instagram and definitely send us messages and start tagging us. Especially if you're in a similar situation where you are trying to reach more people. You have the same general. You know, you don't have to think or talk just like us. But if you're listening till the end of this, you're probably in alignment. Just like Mandy. I found to be very much in alignment with my overall strategies. So if you're in alignment, tag us, get to know us and we'll help promote everybody and get the message out that ABA is a good thing if we use it correctly. Science is never wrong. Just some of the techniques that people use are not great. So we need to get those positive methods out to the world, not just for kids with autism, but for everybody. So thanks so much for your time. Mandy and I look forward to seeing you on TikTok and Instagram.
Mandy: Thanks so much.
Mary: If you're a parent or an autism professional and enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out my online course and community where we take all of this material and we apply it. You'll learn life changing strategies to get your child or clients to reach their fullest potential. Join me for a brief online workshop at MaryBarbera.com/workshop where you can learn how to avoid common mistakes. You can see videos of me working with kids with and without autism. And you can learn more about joining my online course and community at a very special discount. Once again, go to MaryBarbera.com/workshop for all the details. I hope to see you there.
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