The “NO” word

There is a general list of demands that can provoke a negative response. Saying “no” can be one of the more significant ones that can lead to problematic behavior. The acceptance of the word “no” can be difficult for many to accept. Accepting “no” is even more challenging for those with developmental disabilities.

Accepting “no” can have a more desired outcome and can be positively received when choices are provided. Many time parents or caregivers receive a negative response to the demand of “no”. Providing options is much like redirecting, ultimately you are providing an alternative, rather than the original problematic option. Your alternative option should serve the same function. For example, “no, you cannot watch another movie, it’s almost bedtime, but if you hurry and get ready for bed, I will read a book you choose”. The function in this scenario is access to a wanted item. By alternatively allowing access to an item will increase the probability of success.

When enforcing the “no” make sure you follow it up and stick to the demand you are giving. Those who say “no” and then alternatively give in due to problematic behavior will only diminish the value of saying “no”. Providing alternatives with redirection will increase success.