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Behavior: are you over-accommodating?

Date: July 14th, 2016
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: I drive this point home because I want you to be careful, have caution. We make accommodations for things. Accommodations are, you get a participation award, accommodations are, you get to go sit in a separate room.

We’ve had so many accommodations lately on standardized testing for kids who have IEP’s for our special education population, and they have to have a small place, or a small group away from the crowd to do testing. That small room has become more crowded than our general classroom, because we’ve got too many kids who’ve got too many accommodations!

That’s because we haven’t taught them the skill on how to be able to focus, or attend with distractions. We run into some future problems, and that’s why we have to drive this point, we have to teach this stuff all day long. Here is what I consider some of our future problems. What do you see when you first look at that picture? What screams out at you?

The line. Well, something happened along the way and people forgot how to stand in line. Who remembers walking into a store and being able to stand in line without a corral? Some of us do. How many of you walk into a place now and there’s a corral there, and even if there’s no one in front of you, you go through the whole corral?

You finally get to the counter but have forgotten what you wanted to order because you were too busy going through the corral. But what happens to us behaviorally is that we adapt to accommodations very quickly, and then we grow to expect them.

If my behavior plan has a corral like this to teach me how to stand in line, my intervention plan better be teaching me how to stand in line without it. Or I’m going to need this every place I go, and I’m also going to need this, a sign at the end of the line that tells me why I got in the line in the first place.

To wait for the next available representative. Well no kidding, isn’t that common sense? There’s a reason why that’s there and if you don’t get it, we can give you even more, we’ll give you this sign that tells you why you’re waiting there. “For patient privacy, please wait here.”

What is privacy? What is patient? What is that even all about? I don’t even know what that is, I just want my drugs.


I want them so bad, that I’m going to get right behind that guy because I want to make sure I see what he’s on, because I might like his better. “What’re you taking? Let’s trade up.” If I don’t get it, it makes it even worse for me. Now what’s going to happen? Since I’m not waiting where the sign said, I need them to give me a place to put my feet. An actual floor sign with shoe prints telling me to wait here!


This is devastating friends, this is devastating. How many of us have walked in and done just that very thing, placed our feet right on the shoe prints? I’m ready for my drugs now at the drug store.

There are worse things that happen to us. This one is reward based, if you will, this one has a visual model too, I like that. “Please end all cell phone calls [with a visual model] while placing your order, so we may serve you better.” We’re going to serve you better, we’ll give you a little reward for this one. If you don’t do that we’re going to serve you like garbage, that’s what that implies. [laughs] If you don’t end it we should be throwing the food at your head.

“Reserved parking for expectant mothers or families with infants.” This one I’m not sure why that’s there. I always carry my daughter’s ultrasound in my pocket just to see their face.


Go ahead, ask me.