However, in most cases the reason behind such behavior is not that they are naughty by nature, but indicates a lack of danger awareness. When they see places or items they like (i.e. temptations in the environment), they may rush to these places straight away.
When your child with ASD exhibits these kinds of behavioral issues, we can teach them tagging and waiting skills.
Stage 1 – TaggingYou can prepare some tokens or stickers, and choose a location that your child has few chances to run away, such as at home or in a lobby. Present an instruction, such as your child, “Now, let’s practice walking together/walking with me.” At first, you can lead your child by two or three steps at normal pace, and then praise your child and give him/her a token or sticker as reinforcement. From here on, you should repeat the above steps until your child receives all the tokens or stickers, upon which reinforcement should be delivered immediately.
This stage aims at having your child understand that he or she should follow you when walking. Finding a place where your child cannot run away easily will help the child and you achieve the goal more successfully. Once your child can tag along in these areas with less temptations, you may begin to increase the duration, such as asking your child to tag five to six steps or more before giving him/her reinforcement.
Stage 2: Endure TemptationOnce your child understands tagging, you can move to stage 2. The goal of this stage is to let your child keep tagging you and does not run away even when he/she sees his/her preferred places or items (i.e. temptation). At the beginning, a place without temptation around may be a good start for training, and tokens or stickers can be used as a reward. After your child wins several tokens or stickers, you can lead him/her to somewhere enticing and attractive (with temptation around). At this stage, you should reward your child with tokens or stickers more frequently to remind him/her of the proper behaviors.
Stage 3: Teach Communication LanguageFor children with higher language ability, we can teach them to suggest the places they want to go verbally. When you notice your child desires to go to somewhere, you can verbally prompt him/her by saying, “Say, ‘I want to go to that place!’”. If your child copies your words, you should show your approval and walk slowly to the desired place with him/her. If your child runs away before requesting, you should stop him/her immediately and tell him/her, “You didn’t walk with me!”. Together, step back as a penalty for not following you.
When your child can consistently tag along with you each time and request to go to desired places with words, you can begin to ask him/her to wait, or refuse his/her request. If your child can stay calm and wait, you should give him/her a big reward!
Stage 4: Fade Tokens or StickersAt this stage, you can begin to deliver reinforcement intermittently. Ultimately, stickers and tokens should be faded completely, and reinforcement should only be delivered upon arrival at the destination. For instance, you can tell your child, “Let’s go to the supermarket. Remember, we need to walk together.” Then you walk all the way to the destination with your child. If your child runs away in between, you can go back to the starting point with your child and start again.
To learn more ABA techniques and programs from AP, please study from our online resources platform
Information provided by:Kan Wong (Autism Partnership Program Director)
Ms. Lai-Kan Wong is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis. She joined Autism Partnership in 2001 and began working as a Program Specialist. She is experienced in working with children across different settings including individual therapy session, small group training, and ABA classrooms. Ms. Wong has also helped training staff in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan office since 2005. She is now responsible for supervising individual cases, staff training, parent training, and overseas consultation. Kan also receives ongoing training and supervision from Dr. Ronald Leaf and Dr. John McEachin in the Los Angeles office.
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Learn more about our ABA Services[:zh]部分患有自閉症譜系障礙的小朋友和家人上街時，經常會突然鬆開照顧者的手，飛快地跑開。這些行為往往令家長感到很煩惱，一方面擔心小朋友會遇到危險，另一方面也會感到尷尬，因為很多時候他們需要在街上追著小朋友跑或大聲叫他們停下來。
其實很多時侯，小朋友跑開並非因為他們頑皮，而是因為他們缺乏危險意識，想做便做。 當他們看見自己喜歡的地方或物件 (引誘)時，他們便立刻奔跑去想到的地方。遇到這些問題，我們可以教導小朋友跟從及等待的技巧。
第一階段 – 跟著走家長可以準備代幣或貼紙，找一個小朋友不容易及少機會跑開的地方 (例如家中或大堂)，然後對小朋友說：「我們現在練習跟著走，不跑開。」，家長可先拖著小朋友，以平常速度走兩三步，然後讚賞並給他一個代幣或貼紙。其後，家長需重覆以上步驟，直到他儲滿所有代幣或貼紙，然後即時給予獎勵。
第二階段 – 容忍引誘當小朋友明白跟著走的意思後，家長便可展開第二階段的訓練。這階段的目的是要讓小朋友即使看見喜歡的地方或物件(引誘)，也會繼續跟著大人走，不跑開。在這階段，家長可先在沒有引誘的地方作為練習的開始，並給予代幣或貼紙作獎勵，當小朋友得到數個代幣或貼紙後，便可以開始往一些較高危(有引誘)的地方走，這時侯家長應頻密一點給予小朋友代幣或貼紙，以提醒他們應有的行為。
第三階段 – 教授溝通語言對於一些語言能力較高的小朋友，我們可以在這階段教授他們「利用語言指出他們想去的地方」。當家長看見小朋友有慾望去某個地方，可立刻口頭提示小朋友：「說，我想去那邊！」。 當小朋友跟家長說了一次，便立刻答應他，並慢慢和他一起走到目標地點。若小朋友在口頭提出之前跑走，家長應立刻阻止他成功跑走，並對他說 ：「你沒有跟著我走！」， 再回頭倒退數步，作為不跟著大人走的後果。
第四階段 – 減退代幣或貼紙在這階段，家長可以開始拖長給予貼紙的時間，也可以在小朋友跟從走一段路後才給一個代幣或貼紙，最後甚至可以不用代幣或貼紙，直接去到目的地才給予小朋友獎勵。例如先對小朋友說：「我們去超級市場，記著要跟著走不跑開！」，然後一直走到目的地，中途若小朋友跑開，可以回頭走一段路，再重新開始。
資訊提供:王勵勤 (Autism Partnership 應用行為分析治療課程總監)
王勵勤小姐為國際認證行為分析師，擁有行為分析的碩士學位。於2001年加入AP, 為個別個案進行ABA訓練。 她經驗豐富且資歷甚廣， 負責個別治療、小組訓練及 ABA為基礎的教室。 自2005年起， 她致力培訓本地、新加坡及日本各級別的治療師及導師。 她現負責監督個別個案、治療師培訓、為各家長提供支援及海外諮詢服務。 她亦定期赴美國洛杉磯總部接受Ronald Leaf博士和John McEachin博士的培訓及持續進修。