Shame. Shame. Shame.

The septa from the final episode of Game of Thrones season 5.  The caption reads
The septa from the final episode of Game of Thrones season 5. The caption reads “Shame. Shame. Shame.”

For all children, motivation is a factor in learning to speak. If a child never got anything in return for trying to communicate, his attempts would cease.

Crissey, Pat (2013-12-02). Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Autism (Kindle Locations 408-409). Attainment Company, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


So, if a kid doesn’t learn to speak (which means to verbally talk), then they have not been motivated enough.  So, shame is implied here.  Shame on who, though?  That’s the question.  It almost seems possibly shame on the caregivers for not motivating the kid to speak.

But here’s a thought: who should be shamed for a Deaf child who doesn’t learn to speak, but learns to sign instead?  Motivation only goes so far.  If speaking is painful or uncomfortable, then do caregivers have the right to “motivate” with something good enough that the kid will work past the pain and uncomfort?  I would say no.

Let’s try a thought experiment.  Imagine that I gave you a reinforcer every time I stabbed you in the arm with a knife hard enough to draw a little bit of blood.  The first time, I try and give you a chocolate.  You fight the next time you see the knife.  So, I make a delicious chocolate cake and give it to you after I stab you in the arm.  You fight again the next time you see the knife, so I make a vanilla cake and give it to you after I stab you in the arm.  Again you fight the next time you see the knife and again I do something else.  Was the reinforcer enough to make you okay with the discomfort and pain of being stabbed in the arm?  Probably not.  If being stabbed in the arm is your thing, then try something like electrically shocking you ever time you do something that you talk.

The point I am trying to make is that there may be no reinforcer that is reinforcing enough to handle the discomfort and pain of the activity they are trying to make you do.  And then they have the guts to tell you that nothing motivates you.  WELL LAH-DEE-FREAKIN-DAH!

Yeah, this was a short one.

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