Remedial Reading And Homeschooling Using Behavior Science (with Adrianna Horne and Michael Maloney)

Erika is joined by Adrianna Horne, a homeschooling parent of a neurodiverse family. She shares her story alongside pioneering behavioral scientist, Michael Maloney, who works with both her children. An inspiring episode, particularly relevant to those who are experiencing literacy challenges with their children or raising a neurodiverse family.

Interview Highlights:

  • Adrianna is a mom of a neurodiverse family. She has one son who is typically developing—or neurotypical—and one that is neurodivergent. Both of them are served by behavior scientist, Michael Maloney. [0:27]
  • Over the course of his 45-year career in behavior science, Michael Maloney has written 30 books and taught over a hundred thousand children to read. He later describes this as a drop in the bucket, but it’s pretty incredible to teach that many individuals to go from illiterate to literate. [1:15]
  • Michael has another 30 books that he’d like to write, and just came out with a reading instruction app that is very effective in teaching kids to read through highly structured lessons. Its slogan is, “If you can read, you can teach your child to read”. [1:30]
  • Michael has helped thousands of adults to learn to be proficient readers and go on to be successful in college after having to change careers due to workplace accidents. Currently, he’s working on a literacy project serving 2,500 children in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and reaching mothers to teach their children to read from their cell phones. [1:44]
  • Adrianna’s oldest son Samuel was diagnosed with autism at age three. At that time they put him into the public school system for a special education program. [4:16]
  • Adrianna decided to strike out on her own and look into homeschool options because she believed that her son was able to learn basic reading and math skills. [5:14]
  • Her younger son Benjamin who’s neurotypical, started out as a Kindergartner in a private school with a very small class size. [5:25]
  • Samuel, who is now 11, started homeschooling halfway through Kindergarten. Benjamin, who is now 8, was in school for two years— Kindergarten and first grade. [6:23]
  • Adrianna had been searching online for options to support her homeschooling endeavour. Eventually a Google search led her to Michael’s website, The Maloney Method, and it met all her needs and more. [7:41]

“I always firmly believe that my son, both my sons are able to learn. I just needed that tool, that resource that would allow for those breakthrough moments and make that progress that I knew they were capable of.”

— Adrianna Horne

  • Michael was standing at a three-way junction when three geniuses came by. One of them was B. F. Skinner, the founder of Behavioral Psychology. Another was Skinner’s first graduate school student, Ogden R. Lindsley who created Precision Teaching. The third was Zig Engelmann who created Direct Instruction. He was fortunate to have all three of these men as his personal mentors for a very long time. [10:17]
  • Michael was in a situation where he and his colleague, Eric Haughton, who are both behavioral practitioners, saw the opportunity to put together Direct Instruction, Precision Teaching and Behavior Analysis in special education classrooms in a public system. They did it and it’s grown. It has gradually becoming adopted as a very effective way to deal with academic needs of children. [10:47]
  • Michael’s work was first published in the Journal of Precision Teaching with a seminal article on integration of these practices. Their work is now global. They started a school in Hong Kong for children with autism. They’re not limited to Canada, but they’re proud Canadians and happy to share. [11:20]
  • Adrianna was able to use Michael’s instructional method with her sons and they loved it. They made progress and were building their fluency. They started out reading around 20 words per minute. Now they’re at over a hundred words per minute. [12:26]

“I also learned to reinforce the positive behaviors that I wanted to see more of and not the negative behaviors.”

— Adrianna Horne

  • Fortunately, now there’s a new digital reading program that Michael built into an app. The app does the Direct Instruction presentation and the Precision Teaching fluency checks. The app is called Teach Your Children Well after the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song.  [15:41]

“Direct Instruction, Behavior Analysis, and some behavioral objectives. Parents need that kind of training if they’re going to work with their own child.”

— Michael Maloney

  • The app uses instructional design from the model that Zig Engelman and Doug Carnine created for Project Follow Through. The measurement used is from Ogden Lindsley’s Precision Teaching using count per minute [17:27]
  • One of the things that Adrianna has done is she’s gone out and collected a whole cadre of specialists who have very different skills. They are helping her with everything, including play. [20:49]
  • Here is Adrianna’s advice for those who have the same experience as her: [23:04]

“Look for those tools that are gonna meet with success and trust the instructional design of DI programs.”

— Adrianna Horne

  • Michael’s Maloney Method has been tested. The data doesn’t lie. You can actually track the progress and know what your kids are learning, what they are retaining, and what we still need to work on [23:14]

“Take the data first of all, so you can actually track that progress and know what your kids are learning.”

— Michael Maloney

  • Adrianna has two very different kids.They were both struggling for different reasons, but the outcome from the school perspective was the same, it wasn’t going anywhere. And using these behavioral science tools, they’re both succeeding, and they’re both motivated. [24:32]

“Using these tools they’re both succeeding, they’re both motivated. It’s not just for a certain segment of the population. It works for all kids and they all can have these types of outcomes.

— Adrianna Horne

  • The best advice that Michael has ever received is “Never give up on a dream”. [25:38]
  • The best advice that Adrianna has ever received: [25:57]

“Find the good. Reinforce those positive behaviors, don’t take errors as a bad thing, those are just learning opportunities. That’s good information too. So, reinforce those positive behaviors and have that as your focus.”

— Adrianna Horne

  • Michael’s personal habits that have contributed most to his success. [26:24]
  • Adrianna’s personal habits that have contributed most to her success. [26:37]
  • Michael’s suggestion is to take some behavior that you want to change (either increase it or decrease it) and count it for a period of time each day. Write it down somewhere and see what happens over time as you seek to change it. And if you’re not looking at your own behavior, it’s very hard to take seriously the results of someone else’s. [27:13]
  • Adrianna’s recommended internet-based resource is the Heart the Chart YouTube channel. [27:56]
Photo of Adrianna Horne

“Consistency and success don’t come from what you do occasionally, but what you do consistently.”

— Adrianna Horne

Michael Maloney with his colleague, Eric Haughton, amalgamated Behavior Analysis, Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching into a powerful learning system, now known as the Maloney Method. After being hindered from advocating for macro-level change in the public education system, Michael created the first private, for-profit behaviorally-based learning centre and school in North America for children at-risk of school failure in 1979.

Now he creates, publishes and markets effective methods as a series of educational books, CDs and software. His aim is to make empirically proven methods commonplace in education. He teaches a distance education course at University of West Florida’s ABA dept – A Model for Education, outlining the features of the behavioral components of the Maloney Method.

Photo of Michael Maloney

“Grit, not intelligence. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep doing it.”

— Michael Maloney

Resources from this episode:

We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.

Read the Transcript

Erika Ng

Welcome to Behavioral Health Collective podcast, a community of behavior analysts who are passionate about sharing our science by connecting families to information that promotes meaningful behavior change. We are a community of practitioners who seek to empower parents by sharing effective behavioral strategies and evidence-based practices from the perspective of behavior science. 

I’m Erika Ng, the founder of the Behavioral Health Collective, and thank you so much for joining us today. 

Every family is so unique and today we have the honor of hearing from Adrianna who’s a mom of a mixed family. She has one son who is typically developing or neurotypical as one may say and one’s that, one child that is neurodivergent. Both of them started by behavior scientist, Michael Maloney. 

She’s here today to share her story and provide encouragement out there to families who are going through similar situations. The main focus of our show today is about the academics of threat that Michael has provided for Adrianna’s children through the science of direct instruction, precision teaching and behavior analysis and that’s Direct Instruction with a capital D and a capital I. So if you’re not familiar, this is a way of teaching that has tons of history-evidence behind it originating from C complement, which you’ll hear more about from Michael Maloney. 

Over the course of his 45 year career in behavior science, Michael Maloney has written 30 books and taught over a hundred thousand children to read which he describes later as a drop in the bucket but I think that’s pretty incredible to go from illiterate to literate. He has another 30 books that he liked to write, and just came out with a reading instruction app that is very effective in teaching kids to read through highly structured lessons in terms of their format.

The slogan is, if you can read, you can teach your child to read. Michael has helped thousands of adults learn to be proficient readers and go on to be successful in college after having to change careers due to workplace accidents. Currently, he’s working on a literacy project serving 2,500 children in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh and reach mothers teach their children to read from their cell phone, believe it or not has better cell service than parts of rural Canada. 

I’m excited to share this conversation with you as I think it will resonate with a wide variety of families. Those that are experiencing literacy challenges with their children, or if you’re parenting a family of next neurodiversity, or even if you’re just your kids are struggling in a public education system, and you’re talking about homeschooling. Adrianna is a homeschooling mom, and she talks about her experience of going from starting in the public and private system actually, and then not homeschool. So without further ado, let’s get to the interview.

Good morning, Adrianna and Michael, how are you doing today? 

Michael Maloney

Feels great! Happy to be here. 

Erika Ng

Great. Thank you so much for joining me this morning. I really appreciate it. I’m so looking forward to hearing your stories. It is such a treat to have Adrianna, you as a parent here and Michael you as a practitioner together, sharing your stories. So thank you so much. 

So without further ado, maybe we’ll jump right into the questions. So, Adrianna, today we really want to focus on your story and hearing your experience as a parent and a family with a neurodivergent child and a child that is typically developing and hearing that experience. So maybe we’ll start with you.

So can you describe for us a little bit about what life was like for your child or both of your children? I suppose prior to working with Michael and starting some behavior interventions in your home. So maybe kind of set the scene with how things were going at school and home and where your children were at, I suppose.

Adrianna Horne

Great. Yes. So my two boys, you know, they’re very different. And my oldest son was diagnosed with autism at age three. And at that time we put him into the public school system for a special education program and get access to therapists and all the tools that, you know, specialists and and you know for the past, it took about three years for us to in that system, to realize that even though the people were well-meaning and, you know, had training he just wasn’t making the progress that we had hoped for. And you know, he’s mentally verbal, but we had high expectations and we, as we were learning and became more aware of, you know, what autism is about and the treatments for it, we, you know, wanted [00:05:00] to see more progress and the school, their focus tended to be more on life skills or they didn’t even attempt to give him equal access to academics and education, but the rest of his peers were receiving. 

So at that point, we decided to strike out on our own and look into homeschool options because we, we believe that he was able to learn you know, basic reading skills, math skills, and then my younger son Benjamin who’s neurotypical you know, he started out as a typical kindergartner in a private school actually with a very small class size.

So we thought, yeah, this is great. This is, you know, the most the best set up for him but as he was, you know, starting out, we noticed that he was struggling also to just learn to read and you know. The school then tended to look at him and see, okay, what’s the problem with the child, as opposed to looking at, into, okay, different teaching methods, you know. How can you adjust things to to meet him where he is. And since I had already started and seen so much progress with Samuel, because had, at that point been working with Michael I was like, well, it doesn’t make sense to keep doing something that isn’t working.

So I decided to stop trying to get the school to come along board on what we wanted to see happen. And I ended up homeschooling him as well, with great success. 

Erika Ng

And how old are they now? So how long have you been doing homeschooling? 

Adrianna Horne

Samuel is 11 and I started homeschooling him halfway through kindergarten around seven and then Benjamin is eight. So he was in the school for two years, kindergarten, first grade. So yeah, for a while. 

Erika Ng

And how did you first get connected to Michael then? So that was your, with your first son, Samuel? 

Adrianna Horne

Yes. Well, so I was just searching. You know, when you start out as I don’t, it’s pretty typical as a homeschool parent, you don’t really know there’s so much out there. So many resources, you know, so you have to sit through and trying to figure out, okay, what is the best way to teach and I had tried different things. I had talked with other parents and got their advice, but it just wasn’t working. It took about a year for me to realize that these tools aren’t sufficient. I wanted something that the two top things I was looking for is the ABA-based Interventions that I’ve seen work so well for Samuel in the past.

When we had a home ABA program, I wanted to see those behavioral tools used in the academic, you know. Learning to read and other things and I also wanted a measurement tool component because otherwise, I wouldn’t know, you know, really what was going on. I needed a better tool and I needed something that had a robust, you know, teaching method, you know, so that I was doing, using the best tools out there to teach. And so when I was searching online I don’t know, I think I just put in, you know, some of these words into a Google search and I came up with michael’s website and The Maloney Method met all those needs and more. So, so pleased.

Erika Ng

Amazing, and Michael, do you, so hearing Adrianna’s story, is this a common story of other families that come to you? And if not, what are some other, 

Michael Maloney

Sadly, Erika, it is. Unfortunately, too many parents really have no idea of how to be a consumer of education and they don’t get much guidance from school districts or specialists. Oftentimes it results in being tested to death and then being given a PAT portfolio that tells you exactly what you already knew, but no direct way to solve it. So, yes, it’s a very common story. 

Erika Ng

Actually, I’ll be speaking with Judy Bui in a few weeks of fit learning and fit also does precision teaching and Direct Instruction.

And recently Dr. Kim Berens has written about called Blind Spots and talks a lot about this, about just those, yeah, lack of measurement, like you said, Adrianna. Like we don’t have that in the public education system often that has really objective and effective behavioral teaching strategies that are really moving kids ahead. And like you said, not just behaviorally, but why not apply the same things to academics and see how they succeed. So you bring up some really good points there. 

So back to you Adrianna, how did you decide, I suppose, to work with Michael rather than going to another learning center or, I mean, I know you mentioned that you Googled it. He was the first one that came up. Did you, try other things at all, or were there other ideas you explored? 

Adrianna Horne

Yes, I tried. Well, like I said, several of the homeschool curriculums but like they were just not meeting I, you know, I, I kept, it was uneven. Like I would see some success, but then I’d see confusion.

And so I feel like that was like, we were just in a cloud and I didn’t really know what was going on. And, you know, it was taking, you know, some personal hits on myself because I was like, what am I not able to do this? Cause I always firmly believe that my son, both my sons are able to learn, you know. I just needed that tool, that resource that would allow for those breakthrough moments and make that progress that I knew they were capable of.

Erika Ng

And so for Michael, could you describe to us a little bit about what your services look like when you do start working with a family like? 

Michael Maloney

Erika, I’m the luckiest person in the world. I was standing at a three-way junction when three geniuses came by. One of them was B. F. Skinner, the founder of Behavioral Psychology.

Another was his first graduate school student Ogden R. Lindsley who created Precision Teaching. And the third was Zig Engelmann who created Direct Instruction. I was fortunate to have all three of these men as my personal mentors for a very long time. So, we’re in a situation where a colleague of mine, Eric Hutton and I, who are both behavioral practitioners, saw the opportunity to put together direct instruction, precision teaching and behavior analysis in special needs classrooms in a public system.

And we did it and it’s grown ever since then and it’s gradually becoming adopted as the way to deal with academic needs of children. 

Erika Ng

And was that in the public system in Canada where you’re located in Ontario? 

Michael Maloney

Well, it was first published in the journal precision teaching and the seminal article on the integration. Our work is global. We started a school in Hong Kong for children with autism. So, no, we’re not limited to Canada, but we’re proud Canadians and happy to share. 

Erika Ng

Wow. That is amazing. Those are some Titans in the field that you’ve had mentoring you and that’s pretty incredible. 

So back to you, Adrianna. I guess when you first started working with Michael, how did your sons both respond when you started using some of these technologies, like precision teaching, direct instruction and behavior analysis altogether?

Adrianna Horne

Well, I noticed they were, they gain confidence because the instruction is built. It’s consistent and you know, I model what I’m asking them first then we do it together and then I ask them to do it on their own, and this pattern is built in throughout the program. So they were able to you know, hang on to that and realize that, you know, there’s nothing coming at them that I hadn’t already told them, you know?

So I was able to use that consistent instruction method and they loved it, you know. They, they went, they made progress. They were building their fluency. I think they started out around 20 words of reading, 20 words a minute. And now they’re over a hundred words a minute. Yeah.

And I also learned to reinforce the positive behaviors that I wanted to see more of and not the negative behaviors. So I can give you an example. My oldest son, Samuel, he would, he tended to want to avoid moving at the page, you know, as we were working on the lesson. So I tended to, you know, tell him, Oh, come on honey look back at the page. You know, trying to redirect his attention. And this was not getting us anywhere. You know, it kept having to interrupt the flow of the lesson constantly. So I brought it up with Michael and he said, why don’t you catch him when he’s doing, when he is looking at the page and reinforce it. So it was like, Oh, that seems pretty simple and straight forward, I can do that. So I did it and surprise, surprise. He tended to more and more, you know, do the behavior that I want them to do, as opposed to, you know, the negative or the avoidance type behavior. So I was like, wow, you know, here’s a practical way that, that behavioral strategies you know, were effective in learning how to read.

And you know, we’ve seen them build their self-esteem and just motivation to learn because success feels good and it’s where they want to be. So, and it’s also helped my teaching.

Erika Ng

Amazing. Wow. That’s such a great example, such a simple example of just using that behavioral science to increase that behavior that you want. Wow. 

Michael, so thinking about when you first started working with Adrianna and other families for that matter. Can you describe what your sessions with the parent looks like? Do you do any teaching? I mean also Adrianna you’re in the States, so you two are in physically different countries. So what has your services looked like especially for remote people? I guess it hasn’t changed very much because of the pandemic, but maybe it’s changed for some of your more local folks, Michael during the pandemic. What does it look like to be coaching a parent and working, providing a program for them via Telehealth? 

Michael Maloney

Well, if you’re fortunate enough to get a parent like Adrianna, it’s very easy. But they’re not all Adrianna’s I work with a lot of therapists as well as parents. And basically they, first of all, need to learn how to use the system because they’re not behavior analysts. They’ve not had the opportunity to learn to teach a child how to attend, which is all of Skinner’s work.

You know, they’ve not learned how to instruct all of Zig Engelmann’s work and they don’t know how to measure and so they’re really in a bind. So basically I got to Adrianna because she signed up for a course that I gave at the University of West Florida, and she took the course and it contained precision teaching because we were going to use it to measure our own behavior throughout the course.

Direct instruction and behavior analysis and some behavioral objectives. So, parents need that kind of training if they’re going to work with their own child. Now, fortunately, we now have a new reading program that we know we can’t train enough parents to get this done or enough therapists to get this done, so we built it all into the computer. And now the computer does the Direct Instruction presentation and the precision teaching fluency checks. So that’s just available. 

Erika Ng

And what is the name of your app, Michael? Cause I can put that in the show notes. 

Michael Maloney

Oh, it’s it’s called Teach Your Children Well. They all Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song. 

Erika Ng

There you go. That’s awesome. And that can just be accessed on the app store, Apple app store, elsewhere? 

Michael Maloney

No, it’s just on our website. It, we just launched it. This is really the very early beginnings and Adrianna can speak to that. She’s using it. 

Erika Ng

Okay, amazing. Adrianna how was that starting that with everything built into it, the Direct Instruction built in like. 

Adrianna Horne

Oh yeah, it is. Wow. Yeah. So all the things I had learned and, you know, we just, you know, taken the time about a year and working with Samuel, you know, to get through when I got the app and I, you know, we plugged that in.

It was w it was, it made it so effortless, you know, it’s all there. And it’s at the tips of your fingers. Both my sons love it because it’s quick, you know, we get through it. They’re met with success and it’s just a pleasure to work with. It’s, I’m not really sure how to describe it other than, wow. You know, it was great before just, you know, using the books, but now it’s so much easier and easier. Feels good because you’re just going along and and it’s just your fingertips. It’s great. 

Erika Ng

I did play around with that at a trial or a pilot and it, yeah, it just seems so straight forward. And I think is your tagline is the tagline.

Michael Maloney

That’s the benefit of a having a Zig Engelmann in your corner. He’s the ultimate instructional designer and that’s straight out of the model that he and Doug Carnine created for the Follow Through Project. So there’s no surprise there that, and the measurement is the same. It’s Ogden Lindsley. It’s count per minute, free time, count over time. And it’s precise and it is essentially it’s like, it’s just a huge step forward for everybody. I wish I could take credit for it. 

Erika Ng

Like this would have created the app, but brought the sciences together. So that’s something else. And is your, is the phrase I feel like I’ve heard you say the phrase, “If you can read, you can teach your child to read”. Is that kind of the tagline for the app there? It’s that easy? 

Michael Maloney

That’s exactly what it does. And you’re not like, and are, just to be clear, our therapists are in no better position because the very little of their work if you happen to be a BCBA, centers, first of all, on education academics. And secondly, they don’t get any training, in Direct Instruction or precision teaching. They’re really good at behavior analysis, but the, the rest of it is somewhat foreign to them. So this should be a big boost for them as well. 

Erika Ng

Yeah, no, that’s great. So it’s applicable to BCBAs working at homes and parents. 

So for Adrianna for you, did you start, so your boys had already started learning to read. Did you start back at lesson one when you started the app or did you kind of jump ahead to where they were? 

Adrianna Horne

Well, so, so yeah, so we had already sort of passed the point before the program starts in, in terms of Michael’s you know, level of programming, but it’s a great tool for reinforcement, you know, it’s just fun to use.

And like I said, like, I, it builds up their motivation, cause they’re met with success at using the app. And so I use it as a refresher or even just something, you know, a little different sort of just interfacing with mom. You know, now they have, you know, digital way of working on similar things and practice, good practice.

Erika Ng

Okay. So Adrianna, I also wanted to ask you a little bit more about your role as the interventionist and the teacher for your children. So with Michael coaching you and you’re fully homeschooling by the sounds of it. What has that personally meant to, I suppose, to see these changes in your children and knowing that you are the one who is making that happen, really. Like you’re, you are the interventionists and the educator.

Adrianna Horne

Yeah, it’s been incredible. It’s been you know, just rewarding, very positive experience and just, I, you know, continually am the confirmation. Is there that the things that I set out and I believed in that my kids can learn and that, you know, if I’m giving them the correct tools that I could be successful in teaching them to learn. And that, that all those hopes and dreams are realized in this program. 

Erika Ng

That must have been really empowering. It’s like the word that comes to mind, or like hearing you say that. 

Adrianna Horne

Yes, starting out you met with so much discouragement, you know, seeing things not working out and not knowing why. And and then moving towards, you know, getting more information, training and using these awesome tools and seeing that it takes us, you know, make more and more gains every day.

Michael Maloney

Erika, one of the things that Adrianna has done is she’s gone out and collected a whole cadre of specialists who have very different skills and they are all helping her with everything including play. So, she’s quite the intervention. 

Erika Ng

Yeah. So you’re coordinating a lot of other folks, a lot of other practitioners as well. Yeah. Wow. 

So for Michael, back to you, just thinking about other learners that you’ve worked with, what other outcomes have you seen? I know you’ve worked a lot with adults with WCB. What else has reported from other families? Like what other kind of successes do you see? 

Michael Maloney

Erika Uh, right now I have the son of one of the children who came to my school 35-40 years ago, and I’m working with them.

[So it’s becoming intergenerational. But we have been fortunate enough to teach a hundred thousand children how to read so far. And while that’s a drop in the bucket, there are 10 million children enrolled in schools today that cannot read. So we’ve got a huge job in front of us. And most of my kids look the same.

80% of them are male, they’re in grade three, grade four. They come in dragging their feet, their heads down, their shoulders slumped. They are thoroughly beaten and they’re not happy to be there. And so, we do an initial assessment, which takes about 30 minutes because as soon as we find out, we can’t read everything stops because we tell the parents until they can read, there’s no point doing anything else.

And so then we learn, we start to teach them to read and I trained tutors and teachers and they get it done, and it’s wonderful to watch. 

Erika Ng

That is incredible. A hundred thousand. Wow. 

Michael Maloney

Well, that’s 25 earning centers that we’ve started over a period of 40 years. So it’s not really all that many given that scope. We shouldn’t be a lot bigger than we are, but we will be. 

Erika Ng

Yeah. And that’s so life-changing for someone to become literate, and you know, as you have described your journey with your children. So I guess we’ll give you the last word Adrianna before I have a couple of lightning round, quick questions for you both. But what advice would you have for families for whom your story has resonated today?

Adrianna Horne

Well, I would say, look for those tools that are gonna meet with success and trust the instructional design of DI programs and programs like Michael’s Maloney Method. They’ve been tested, they work also the data doesn’t lie, you know, take the data, first of all. And so you can actually track that progress and know what your kids are learning, what they are retaining, what we still need to work on. And if you do then you’ll beyond the right work path to attaining the goal of fluency. And yeah, just, I can’t stress enough that these powerful tools are what you need. That’s what, that’s, don’t avoid it. Try to find it in other ways, you know, just cut to the chase and trust, you know, these tools because they work.

Erika Ng

I think one thing that really stands out that you mentioned is that measurement component and parents deserve to know that the tools being used to teach their children are working. And in this case, you’re the one delivering it at home, but you bring up such a good point that, you know, I’m sure a lot of parents are at there wondering like it, how are they teaching my kids at school?

And how are they measuring the progress? Can my child read? It doesn’t look like things are actually changing, but on the report card, they’re saying like, Oh, there. It’s sounding better, but it’s not measurable. So I think you bring up such a great point that we can empower parents too, to realize that something they do deserve to know more about.

So thank you for bringing that up. So just to end, Oh, sorry, go ahead. 

Adrianna Horne

I was also going to emphasize, you know, I have two very different kids, right? I have a kid on the spectrum mentally verbal and then I have a typical developing child as well, and both, you know. They were both struggling for maybe different reasons, but the outcome from the school perspective was the same, you know, it wasn’t going anywhere.

And using these tools, you know, they’re both succeeding, they’re both motivated. They’re both, you know, so it’s not just for a certain segment of population. It works for all kids and they all can, you know, have these types of outcomes. So, don’t think that it wouldn’t work or it can’t apply to me because, you know, whatever category your child might be in.

Erika Ng

That’s powerful. That’s really powerful and amazing to see that you are doing a homeschool program and it’s successful with two very different children. So I’m sure there’s families out there listening right now that are in similar situations with mixed families, but it can work together. That’s great.

So I’m just going to go back and forth and ask each of you some wrap up quick questions. So Michael, for you, what is the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Michael Maloney

Never give up on a dream. 

I’ve been working at this for 45 years and we are almost at the edge of starting. 

Erika Ng:

You’re just pursuing it. Yeah, wow. 

And Adrianna, how about you? What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Adrianna Horne

I would say find the good. So, you know, reinforce those positive behaviors don’t take errors or, you know, as a bad thing, those are just learning opportunities. Those are areas that Y that’s good information too. So, but, you know, obviously reinforce those positive behaviors and sort of have that as your focus. 

Erika Ng

And Michael, which of your personal habits have contributed most to your success, you think?

Michael Maloney

Grit, not intelligence. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep doing it.

Erika Ng

Wow! Adrianna, how about you, personal success? 

Adrianna Horne

I’d say, you know, consistency and success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, but what you do consistently. So, you know, that’s why this program is I guess, a good fit for me too, is, you know, we’re taking daily measurement and and seeing where that takes us. So consistency is key.

Erika Ng

Now I’ll ask both of you. So Michael, can you share a resource? Well, I mean, you’ve got your app, but an internet based resource or tool that you use regularly. If there’s anything else to add, I certainly will have your app in there. Is there anything else that parents could go to? 

Michael Maloney

Well, if I could encourage everyone to take some behavior that they want to change, either increase it or decrease it and count it for a period of time each day. The number of events that happens and write it down somewhere and see what happens. And if you’re not looking at your own behavior, it’s very hard to take seriously the results of someone else’s.

So we always start with getting a client to start their own self-improvement program, to do something that they’re going to measure every day. 

Erika Ng

That is good advice. And Adrianna, how about you? Do you have a resource to share aside from Michael’s app, which has been really powerful? 

Adrianna Horne

Well, I subscribed to Heart the Chart which is a YouTube channel.

It’s made up of a group of persistent teachers, behavioral analysts, and it’s been so helpful and I actually worked with some of these people and it’s just been good to have those watch those videos and get feedback. It’s just, a really good starting point, but it’s also, I think also helpful for people who are in the field in behavior analysis type field.

And finally, what book Michael would you recommend and why? 

Michael Maloney

Well, I’m going to be selfish for this time. I’m going to recommend Teach Your Children Well, not that I’m asking people to go out and buy it. If you’re going to get a copy of it, go to the used book sites and pick it up for a couple of dollars, but it’s the first chronology of the development of the three different methods into a system and the people who carry that forward in the learning centers that they started. So if people want to know a little more in depth about what these systems look like, that would be a good resource. 

Erika Ng

Okay. And Adrianna, how about you? Do you have a book that you’d recommend? 

Adrianna Horne

Well, yes, I agree with Michael. That’s a great book. I’ve read it. But right now I’m in the middle of reading a book called What You Need To Know About Motivation And Teaching Games by Steven Ward, who’s a BCBA and it’s been really helpful. Very, you know, concrete, unthinkable and if I’m using it specifically to set up a game program, so Michael mentioned that I’m trying to teach my oldest you know, methods of play and it’s just really great on teaching practical ways of teaching set traditional games, but also how to encourage free-flow play. So it’s been very helpful.

Erika Ng

That’s great. Thank you. Well, thank you so much to both of you for joining me today. I really appreciate you sharing your story Adrianna as a parent and Michael as a practitioner and how you’ve worked together. I think this is a really powerful story for families, and I’m really excited for people to listen to this and hopefully take away something and feel inspired because I think you’ve had so many good nuggets throughout this conversation for families to grab onto and to give them a practical next step. And some help, really. I really think so. Thank you so much. 

Adrianna Horne

Thank you, Erika! 

Michael Maloney

Much welcome!

Erika Ng

Well, I just want to wrap up by sharing some of the links and important information that was shared by Adrianna and Michael throughout the episode. 

So, first of all, you can find Michael’s website at maloneymethod.com. All of these are linked directly in the show notes. So that’s M A L O N E Y method.com. And some of the things that Adrianna mentioned so well, both of them mentioned Michael’s book called Teach Your Children Well, he specifically said you can find them at use bookstores, or you can find it online. So I’ll try to link both in the show notes there. 

Adrianna also mentioned a book by the name of  What You Need To Know About Motivation And Teaching Games, an in-depth analysis and that is by Steven Ward who is a BCBA. So I’m going to link that. And finally, the app, you can find the Maloney Method app on his website, on Michael’s website and that is something that both of them had mentioned and use on a regular basis. 

So I wanted to say thank you again for listening, and if you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Thank you so much. See you in the next event.

The comments and views expressed in this podcast do not constitute or replace contractual behavior analytic consultation, or professional advice. Views expressed are solely the perspective of the speaker and do not represent the views or position of their colleagues, employer, or other associates.

Please seek out a behavior analyst through BACB website, if you’d like to receive further behavior consultation. Until next time. Take care.

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