Hand-washing Low Prompting
This video shows a later stage of teaching a child to independently wash her hands.
Remember, it's important to make sure everything your child will need, such as hand soap and a hand towel, is in its designated area. As with earlier teaching trials, these things should be kept in the same area throughout training, in order to help your child follow all the hand washing steps successfully. For consistency, remember it may be best to use a pump-style soap dispenser, rather than bar soap, as this style is what your child is most likely to encounter in public restrooms. It's also important to remember to check the water temperature, ensuring it's not too hot. If you've previously identified a preferred reinforcer for your child, such as a toy or treat, make sure it's readily available for you to immediately provide to your child after a successful teaching trial.
The therapist will begin by telling the child what she wants her to do using one clear, brief statement, such as "wash your hands."
Throughout the task, the therapist remains close behind the child providing light physical guidance to the child's forearm and elbow area as needed. Although the child has become much more independent at completing each step, it's important to remain close enough to quickly prevent her from skipping a step or completing a step incorrectly. Catching and correcting these errors quickly is important to ensure that all steps are completed correctly in the same order, and reduce the chances of repeating the same errors in the future.
Remember, each child is different, and will become more independent at completing these steps at different rates. For many children, it's likely to take many trials over a period of days or weeks for them to begin mastering each step.
If at any time your child is resisting the learning trials, you may need to step back and provide time to calm down before trying again, but it's important to limit any attention during this time. If your child is consistently resisting learning trials, it may be best to discontinue until you have the chance to consult with a professional behavior therapist, such as a BCBA or BCaBA.