Behavior Modification- Skill of Following Instructions
The steps are as follows:
1. I Say, "Look at me."
2. I Say, "Do X." Stated simply that way, void of "please, will you, for me, etc".
3. Client say one of the following things to acknowledge me: "Yes, Okay, Yes Ma'am"
I pick a "marker" for progress. Usually I use literal markers and a mug. Every time the Cl completes the task (task=eye contact + task + verbal affirmation) I place a marker in the cup. We set a goal of, say, 10 markers and then I give the Cl a reward. Sometimes the reward is a prize, sometimes it is activity of their choice.
When I have concluded that the Client does, indeed, want to please and/or is motivated by a prize, I bring the parent into the session. Together, Client and I teach the parent the skill of following instructions. I invite the parent to alternate giving an instruction to the Client. This tool is very helpful in identifying road blocks of communication between Client and parent. I often find that the parent is sending difficult to understand symbols. It is a great place to start!
I use this consistently in my work with children. It establishes an expectation of behavior of mine for them and of them for me. (Good things happen for Good Listeners!)