AIM raises the bar for what best practice can be for children struggling with social discomfort, challenging behaviors, and the daily struggles with life they must navigate. This text introduces and blends together the concepts of Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis. Together the approach seeks to improve the lives of children with or without disabilities who struggle with social and emotional challenges. Or in other words, every child.
Included is a comprehensive theoretical overview, detailed program guide, and entire curriculum:
Introduction to foundational concepts
The AIM Curriculum implementation guides
75 easy-to-implement mindfulness lessons designed specifically for children
175 ACT daily lessons that are presented in tiers of intervention intensity
Over 75 supplemental worksheets for ACT lessons
Data collection and progress monitoring forms
The Children's Psychological Flexibility Questionnaire (CPFQ) assessment tool
AIM was developed and implemented over the past 10 years by Dr. Mark R. Dixon in countless school and clinical settings across the state of Illinois. AIM grew out of a need for greater sophistication for managing behaviors than the typically found interventions like token economies, level-systems, classroom stop-lights, and other approaches that focused on negative behaviors instead positive behavior growth. AIM is the outcome of years of field testing, parent and teacher responses, administration push for easy implementation, and most importantly - child feedback. In pilot forms, AIM historically took the names "ACT classrooms", "Fusion", and "Behavioral BD/ED". The final name AIM was crafted to clearly summarize the three critical elements of intervention - Acceptance, Identification of Values, and Moving Towards such goals
About the Authors
Mark R. Dixon, Ph.D. is a professor of behavior analysis and therapy, and board certified behavior analyst. He is the best-selling author of the PEAK Relational Training System and ACT for Children with Autism and Emotional Challenges. Mark has written over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, and delivered countless presentations on how behavioral science can change the world. His work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, National Public Radio, and many other global media outlets.
Dana Paliliunas, M.S. is a licensed school teacher and a board certified behavior analyst. She has spent over a decade in the classroom teaching young children with disabilities, as well as college students. Dana has initiated many large-scale change programs for students with social and emotional disabilities.
ABOUT AIM COMPONENTS
Often times, people go about their day on autopilot, driving, walking, working, thinking about something else. Whether it be something that happened the day before, the ongoing to-do list in their head, or the overwhelming number of upcoming events and activities in the coming weeks ~ One might say they are "mind full." The practice of mindfulness seeks to develop a person's ability to be fully engaged in the moment as it occurs.
ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY
The goal of ACT can be summarized as an individual learning to accept, or become willing to experience unpleasant feelings, without overreacting to them or trying to avoid situations that occasion them, while constantly living a life of commitment to the pursuit of valued outcomes, and to the experiences in life that are most important to them.
APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) shows behavior is orderly and predictable. ABA techniques are frequently used by parents, teachers, and therapists to improve a child’s behavior and teach them new skills. ABA is implemented as an individualized therapy and techniques developed to understand why problem behaviors occur and how to treat them are frequently used in schools.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
DANIEL J. MORAN, PHD, BCBA-D
AIM hits the mark! Dixon & Paliliunas have created an excellent blend of the most effective applications of modern behavioral science. The AIM Curriculum will help professionals accurately target childhood behavioral concerns with precision and compassion.
STEVEN C HAYES, PHD
Packed with creative methods for moving behavior change processes of known importance, this book gives practitioners the scientific and practical understanding needed to apply this modern form of behavior analysis to children. Wise and easy to use, it will make a difference in your practice.
MICHAEL J. DOUGHER, PHD
This timely and important book describes the integration of three effective and well-established interventions, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy, and applied behavior analysis, into a coherent and unified treatment approach with children struggling to adapt and find meaning in an often chaotic and challenging world.