Monday, October 14, 2013

Behavior Mapping by Amy Buie

One of the things all hands-on professionals and families look for are very practical resources they can use immediately and expand upon to meet the unique needs of their students or child. Behavior Mapping written by Amy Buie, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA is an example of such a resource. I have found over the years that simple, practical information can sometimes be the most powerful when you are addressing the day to day needs of a child with ASD. Behavior mapping is not a new concept and has been established in the research literature for some time now. It capitalizes on the use of visuals in a systematic manner in which the student is explicitly shown the path of their behavioral choices.  It has long been established that people with Autism struggle with complex social rules, social-communication and the broader concept of the hidden curriculum. Behavior mapping provides a concrete representation of the expectations of the student and the consequences (reinforcement) while showing what the alternative path is should the student engage in the targeted behavior to decrease and what those consequences will be.  The book provides clear instructions and a wide variety of examples to begin with.

One of the things I like most about this book is that it is written by a practitioner. Teacher research, that is teachers who reflect upon their practice in a systematic manner impacting the effectiveness of their instruction and thus supporting better student outcomes, tends to produce some of the most helpful ideas available for immediate application. It is an ongoing conversation which adds to the evolving knowledge and practice of the profession.  I would recommend taking a look at this book. It is something I will be placing on my resource list for many of the classes I teach.  I have found that preservice teachers are often much more invested in purchasing, reading and applying knowledge from these types of books as opposed to more traditional texts. 

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