Friday, September 9, 2011

What Do Aggression, Nicky and a Car Chase Have in Common?

Nicky's aggressive behaviors (and a bunch of other behaviors we work on) remind me of police car chases. The police might be right on someones tale, but somehow the cars manage to slip away evading capture until finally they are pinned in a corner and  it comes to an end. It appears to be over, but you really don't know maybe they will get free and do it again.

It's the same with Nick's aggression, spot it, chase it down, and hope for the best!. First we identify the behavior, and give it a name. Then we determine what triggers it. Then we take step after step, giving each action a name to help him know we're on to him, albeit our goal in the end is to help him recognize the behavior, and trap it in a corner where he's in control.

But while we are focused on reducing or eliminating the initial behavior he's swapping it out for another, just like the guy in the car chase turning left when you thought he would go right. It's maddening. Nicky's aggression used to include pushing, biting, hitting kicking, pinching people and destroying things when he was frustrated or angry.  We have worked for years to track down the behaviors and arrest them one by one. We've made progress but damn if he hasn't just gone and found another replacement behavior! Don't get me wrong, we are making progress. It's rare that he hits people, and I'm very happy he's not hitting me, but it not so great that he's hitting and pinching himself now. 

It's like a criminal who get's caught and is set free on a technicality. It's four steps forward and two steps back.  So frustrating!!!!

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