June 23, 2014

What's Good About Bed Bugs (I'm Smiling), a Behavior Analysis

In Mark Twain's classic novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck encountered some men who wanted to search his raft for escaped slaves such as his friend Jim. He pretended his family had smallpox and they left them alone.

I don't encourage lies, but if people are out to cause harm, simply saying, "I have bed bugs," can make them go away and stay away.

For example, when religious solicitors stuck a foot in my front door trying to pry their way in, I told them the news and they scurried away fast. I could have invited them to come sit inside, but that would have been wrong. So the Hot Shot* bed bug spray carton sits in plain sight on the shelf telling any would-be intruder they have no business here.

Thanks for the idea, Huck!

*Don't do it yourself. If you have bedbugs, it's probably best to call an exterminator. Don't act in panic, but ask them questions about everything you do. Moving to another bed or another home can spread them and putting unlabeled furniture out to the street gives them to neighbors and later you can get them from them, after you get rid of your initial infestation. Also, call the free hotline at the International Bed Bug Resource Authority.

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I am an advocate for people with disabilities certified to teach special education with a Master of Arts in Teaching. I am not a Licensed Psychologist or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. When in doubt, seek the advice of an MD, a PhD, or a BCBA. My ability to analyze the ethics of ABA stems from the fact that I am disabled and ABA interventions are often done to people like me, which I voluntarily accept, but only when I alone am the person granting consent, and not a parent, sibling, guardian, or institution.