Pivotal Behaviors | Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education - ABA Therapy

If you’re a practitioner, you should read (or reread) the post (Behavioral Cusps) on 4.1.16. It’ll help you understand the differences. If you’re a parent, you likely only have time to read one thing at the moment, so I’ll make Pivotal Behaviors as clear and as entertaining as I can. To review very briefly the prior post, a behavioral cusp is essentially a behavior change that has consequences beyond the change itself (as defined by Rosales-Ruiz & Baer).

In this post, we will introduce pivotal behaviors – you should continue to read this post because pivotal behaviors matter. They’ll help your kiddos significantly given that they will help you emphasize teaching your children the most important skills. I’ll define a pivotal behavior as one that, when learned, causes other changes in different behavior WITHOUT additional teaching. GREAT for both the learner and teacher right? One example of a pivotal behavior is learning observationally from peers. I’m FANATICAL over observational learning because it’s the type of thing that you teach if you would rather not teach everything. What do I mean? I’ll explain more. 

Today, I’ll assume the responsibility for explaining what learning observationally looks like at home. Observational learning occurs when someone imitates behavior or otherwise learns from others by observing. This has become important to us as parents and practitioners because while many of us seem to pick up observational skills “naturally,” we do have kiddos that, at times, are not as motivated to learn from those around them. These children have needed extra support and reinforcement for looking at their peers and imitating at the right times. In other words, observational learning is not always natural and may require direct instruction.

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