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AmyinWI
07-30-2011, 04:03 PM
for my G .
I'm going to try and implement some things at home. I've been watching youtube videos on the subject to see what things would be easy enough for me to implement.
I know I'm not a trained ABA therapist, but I am starting to feel desperate here. G is losing some skills he had,and I'm not terribly impressed with his progress in the school this past year.

I have a friend who has worked with both ABA and play based therapy. She has some real horror stories about the ABA and how it made the kids "robot like" so I have some concerns about that. So she is strongly recommending the play based therapy...but I think the constant repetition and positive reinforcers is the only way to get Gabe to learn . that's just how he works.:unsure:

So... what I'm wondering is if anyone has resources, websites, books,etc. that might help give me ideas for what types of activities to do with G to encourage the types of skills I want him to learn?
He needs a lot of work on verbal skills, fine motor and just improving his eye contact and attention span.
any advice welcome!

Alice R
07-30-2011, 06:01 PM
I always thought ABA was creepy too until I saw it done correctly. That totally changed my mind. Or maybe there are different styles of it? I don't know but I see huge improvements in the kids I work with. HUGE. And most parents are not that involved so it's really the ABA therapy doing it.

Play based? You mean like Greenspan? I have seen that and I'm like eh-eh with it. Maybe I never saw it done correctly either? I had a friend who did it with her child faithfully and I didn't see much improvement, however, her child was extremely severe severe, one of the more severe kids I've seen. I've seen it done in schools and it looked like a mess to me, however, I suspect it was being done wrong and not very clinical.

Sorry, this was probably not helpful. :lol:

You could do ABA on your own. There are so many courses that offer ABA training...can you do something like that? ABA isn't really that hard. It's very logical with a pattern.

I will look around and see if I can find any real video trainings on ABA. I just joined some group where I do video trainings so I can get my Continuing Ed credits without having to go to an actual course.

Lisalyn
07-30-2011, 06:44 PM
Amy,
This is the book that nearly every teacher/therapist recommended for us:

A Work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies A Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism :: Ron Leaf, John McEachin, Jaisom D. Harsh

I have to say, though, that I really didn't 'get' ABA until I actually saw it in action. The Autism Center that our EI set us up with sent me a video for parent training. That is what really worked for me.

I have read those 'robot' comments, but we definitely did not experience that at all. Our therapists use floortime techniques, but I don't really see the benefit of that compared to ABA. I mean, if you are down in the floor playing with your child, drawing him out, talking through the activities then you are basically doing floortime. (Unless I truly missed something about how it works. :unsure: ) I don't see how you can work in some of those skills.

Just thinking back to where we were when we started ABA--less than 5 words, no eye contact, etc.--it really is amazing how much Eli has learned because of ABA. We started with eye contact and sitting in a chair. He had mastered both of those within a few days. ABA taught him his colors, shapes, how to write his name, too much to list.

Another thing... I let the data worksheets really scare me until one therapist told me not to worry about taking down the data. She said the data does help the therapists keep up with where the child is and how he is coming along on goals, but being mom, you will know when each goal is mastered, ya know?

If it will help, I can post the beginning goals from Eli's book to give you some ideas. I can also write out what a beginning session looked like. Let me know. :)

AmyinWI
07-30-2011, 10:15 PM
You could do ABA on your own. There are so many courses that offer ABA training...can you do something like that? ABA isn't really that hard. It's very logical with a pattern.

I will look around and see if I can find any real video trainings on ABA. I just joined some group where I do video trainings so I can get my Continuing Ed credits without having to go to an actual course.
Thanks Alice, for encouraging me that I can do this on my own. I'm sure most ABA professionals would say otherwise:lol: I know it won't be nearly intensive as an ABA therapist, but I figure it can't hurt, can it?

I don't know what type of play therapy she meant... but this is a homeschool mom that was a previous playtherapy/ABA therapist,and she is very much an unschooler, so I guess I can see where her philosophy of homeschooling and the ABA therapy just didn't jive:)

I watched this (http://http://youtu.be/2afb4i7LMJc) youtube video on discrete trials and thought it was very helpful. If you get a chance, let me know if it seems to be accurate.
One of the tips I saw was to make index cards of the skills worked on,and mark the date, and whether the child is doing them independantly, or needs prompts. Then you rotate the cards daily,and once mastered, mix them in to review every so often. I am starting to work on that, so I have something to refer to ,and to see how he is progressing.

I started working on some of his "lost skills" today with him. For example: putting an item in a bucket. He used to do that without problems. I did a couple different sessions with him today,and by the end of the day he was putting a block in the bucket independantly! :clap:
Another thing I did was having him "touch his head". At first he didn't have a clue what I was trying to get him to do, and was fighting me. By the end of the day he was letting me guide his hands to his head.
We used one of his favorite things (bubbles ) as a reward after each success.
I don't know if it was just a very good day for him, or he is really going to catch on that quick?

Jenene
07-30-2011, 10:52 PM
for my G .
I'm going to try and implement some things at home. I've been watching youtube videos on the subject to see what things would be easy enough for me to implement.
I know I'm not a trained ABA therapist, but I am starting to feel desperate here. G is losing some skills he had,and I'm not terribly impressed with his progress in the school this past year.

I have a friend who has worked with both ABA and play based therapy. She has some real horror stories about the ABA and how it made the kids "robot like" so I have some concerns about that. So she is strongly recommending the play based therapy...but I think the constant repetition and positive reinforcers is the only way to get Gabe to learn . that's just how he works.:unsure:

So... what I'm wondering is if anyone has resources, websites, books,etc. that might help give me ideas for what types of activities to do with G to encourage the types of skills I want him to learn?
He needs a lot of work on verbal skills, fine motor and just improving his eye contact and attention span.
any advice welcome!

I got a book called RDI therapy. It was very good and taught through play... not decrete trial. We used ABA and went through some RDI training. The RDI was really expensive, so I bought the book and was very impressed with how many ideas it gave us to work with our daughter. If you are interested I will get the complete name and author.

AmyinWI
07-30-2011, 11:14 PM
I got a book called RDI therapy. It was very good and taught through play... not decrete trial. We used ABA and went through some RDI training. The RDI was really expensive, so I bought the book and was very impressed with how many ideas it gave us to work with our daughter. If you are interested I will get the complete name and author.


I would be interested in the book. what is RDI?

AmyinWI
07-30-2011, 11:16 PM
Play based? You mean like Greenspan? .

ok,I just looked at the website my friend recommended to me and they call it "playbased ABA". http://www.ids-wi.com/services/professionalservices.html

AmyinWI
07-30-2011, 11:19 PM
Amy,
Just thinking back to where we were when we started ABA--less than 5 words, no eye contact, etc.--it really is amazing how much Eli has learned because of ABA. We started with eye contact and sitting in a chair. He had mastered both of those within a few days. ABA taught him his colors, shapes, how to write his name, too much to list.

If it will help, I can post the beginning goals from Eli's book to give you some ideas. I can also write out what a beginning session looked like. Let me know. )

that is really amazing how much he learned!

I would love to look at the beginning goals.... and what a session looks like, if it's not too much trouble.
I'd be interested to hear how they got him to sit in a chair. just getting G to sit for a few seconds is very challenging! We are starting at a very basic level with him, he's just got a long way to go.

Alice R
07-31-2011, 12:37 PM
Thanks Alice, for encouraging me that I can do this on my own. I'm sure most ABA professionals would say otherwise:lol: I know it won't be nearly intensive as an ABA therapist, but I figure it can't hurt, can it?



You can most certainly do it on your own. It's really not hard. It's very logical. I think most ABA people would tell you that having atrained professional would be helpful in setting up the program, but parents make it fly all on their own. :yes:

However, I have a lot of confidence in you and with help, you could set it up. :group:

The school that I observe in and get referrals from, they are excellent excellent excellent. I cannot say enough how excellent they are. Anyway, this is how their classroom is set up.

One teacher overseeing who has a masters in ABA
Each child has an assisant (usually a college student) who implements the goals.

Each child is in a cubicle with a desk and chair. In the beginning, they are pretty much blocked in. Sometimes the kids just stand up and jump, clap hands or scream. Sitting is not what they want to be doing. The assistant says "sit down" in a firm voice and when they sit, they get a reward. I think in the beginning, they do that 200 times over and over each day.

The assistant goes over each goal in fast repetition. Each correct trial results in a (very very tiny) food reward and emotional praise.

They run through trial after trial after trial.

It looks very odd when you first walk in...BUT, I don't care if they are standing on their heads, if it is effective, then the proof is in the pudding. ;)

And there is a lot of fussing and screaming too. It's not easy and smooth at the beginning. The children are very resistant and the assistants struggle some days. But they do make progress no matter how loud the room gets or how much fussing there is.

Then the kids have about 45 minutes of "day care" which is a nice way of saying "time with children who do not fall on the spectrum". ;) The staff have their children in the day care and the students spend time mixing and hopefully learning to improve social skills. The assistant stay 1 on 1 with the child and facilitates play, interaction etc. At no point is the child left wandering or off by themself (as we know they will do).

It's a three hour program, 5 days a week. Then the child goes home and they have about 3 more hours of ABA trials at home, then speech, then OT and then PT.

It is a long day but this particular group does excellent work.

There are other schools that do OK work. There is one agency I know of that "tries" to do ABA and let's leave it at that. :eyes: I see zero progress. I think it's a waste of time. Whatever. What can I say? :eyes:

But, yeah, you can do it at home.

Alice R
07-31-2011, 12:38 PM
Amy, I checked out the video link but "no domain" comes up.

Lisalyn
07-31-2011, 05:38 PM
Amy,
The Autism Center we went through with EI sounds just like Alice's description. We live an hour away from the center, so had to opt out of 'school', but we had a head behavioral analyst who set up our program and then they sent their therapists to our home.

For some reason Eli was very open to ABA. We have very few days where he cried and screamed--thankfully! Many days we didn't even have to use the reinforcers. They had me prepared saying he would resist and that he would hate it. It was a pleasant surprise.

His first sessions were spent learning to sit in his chair and to look at the therapist. We used mini M&Ms as the reinforcer/treat and also used bubbles. Some of those first sessions were just two hours of "Sit in the chair, Eli." :eek: We used bubbles saying his name or saying "Eli, look at me" getting him to look at the bubble wand before we blew the bubbles--first for just one second, then 3 seconds, then 5 seconds.

We set up a therapy are in our laundry room--it was the only quiet space we had that was out of the main traffic area. We put a small child's table and chair in there and put a baby gate at the doorway. We also moved a cabinet into the dining room that helped block the vision into that area.

After getting him going on these basic attending skills, we began with other skills--body parts, etc. I will get his book out tonight and post about that later tonight or tomorrow morning.

He had one therapist that he really clicked with. She stopped by to visit about 6 months after his EI program ended and he ran and got the timer and pulled her to the laundry room. :lol:

AmyinWI
07-31-2011, 11:20 PM
Amy,

His first sessions were spent learning to sit in his chair and to look at the therapist. We used mini M&Ms as the reinforcer/treat and also used bubbles. Some of those first sessions were just two hours of "Sit in the chair, Eli." :eek: We used bubbles saying his name or saying "Eli, look at me" getting him to look at the bubble wand before we blew the bubbles--first for just one second, then 3 seconds, then 5 seconds.



How old was he when they worked on the "sitting in the chair" skill?
And was the point of it for him to listen to a command, or to sit for a certain amount of time?
I will be very happy when G learns to sit in a chair for more then a few seconds. We have to use a highchair for feeding him, otherwise he's off an running.

Lisalyn
08-01-2011, 12:26 AM
Eli started ABA about 3 months before he turned 3. They called it 'attending skills' and told us that he would have to be able to sit and follow along, hands down, making eye contact before we could go on to other skills. They pointed out that if he was allowed to move around without looking at the therapist, he would be in his world and not ours. Made sense, but it was hard to start with something so basic and watch him struggle.

I was looking at his book earlier and it took right at 2 weeks for him to master those. That was 10-12 hours a week with the therapist plus the time we worked on it ourselves, which varied each week. I didn't keep track or data of any kind. We enlisted every family member old enough to understand and had them try a few trials each day. I'm sure we put in a lot of hours breaking it down that way.


Sorry I haven't posted those goals from his notebook. I promise I will do it tomorrow. :)

Alice R
08-01-2011, 09:26 AM
In general, your first goal in therapy is to get the child to sit and attend.

If they cannot do that first skill, your therapy is pretty much over. You cannot teach a thing if the child is off and running.

Yes, it is sometimes hours of "sit down, Johnny" and "look at me, Johnny"

These are pre-linguistic skills that have to be addressed first and foremost.

The school I was talking about accepts children as soon as they have a dx. Most are about 18 months to 3.6 years, then they age out and head to another program for older children.

AmyinWI
08-01-2011, 10:55 AM
that makes sense, Alice! and it is probably the main reason G is not progressing in school, they can't make him sit down and pay attention. He is all over that room getting into mischief. It's ridiculous!
I guess that is what we will start working on.

Lisalyn
08-01-2011, 02:25 PM
Amy,

I hope this isn't too confusing! Please ask if you need details. :)

Eli's ABA goals


Attending Skills:

Sit in your chair

Look at me

Eye Contact (Call name, then eye contact for 1 second took 15 days; 5 seconds took 3 days. Then you try calling name while he is playing, then from a distance. We did this every day after his therapist left and I think that's why he mastered this so quickly.)

Hands down (in lap)


1 step directions

One target at a time until mastered:

clap hands--took Eli 18 days
wave hands
stand up
give me 5--took Eli 5 days
arms up
blow kiss--took 8 days
jump
come here
turn around

From there you go to 2-step directions like clap then wave, etc.


receptive and expressive skills

*receptive--"touch ____"
expressive'' "what is this?"

identifying body parts:

Start by placing you hand on head and saying, "head" then place his hand, then say, "touch head".

For example, Eli's trials of "touch _____" took this long until mastered....

head-10 days
nose-13 days
mouth-10 days
eyes
ears
hair
toes-12 days
feet
stomach
legs
arms
fingers
hands
thumb
etc


From here you go to Expressive body parts: "what is this?"

*This is how we handled colors and shapes, too. First receptively, showing one color card and saying the color, then having him touch the color, then adding another color and making him choose, then showing him a color card and asking "what color is this?"

We also did this with pictures of family members, animals, objects.


pivotal response training

1 Therapist gives instruction or asks a question
2 Eli responds
3 Therapist provides consequence depending on Eli's response.

Here is an example: Therapist picks up Eli's favorite toy and asks, "Do you want to play with your car?" (Question) Eli looks up and communicates using his sign or PECS, "More car". (Response) Therapist says, "Great! Let's play" and gives Eli his car and watches him play with it. (Consequence)

I think of pivotal response when I think of Floortime. Not sure if this is right, but it seems natural to be on the floor playing for this.

incidental teaching

This included opportunities to show him how to play with toys, drink from a cup, wash hands, etc. I don't have anything in his book. We probably did a lot of this as just common sense skills without any real data taken at home.

Functional communication

Use of sign language and/or PECS from the first session. (We had great success with PECS) I have an album on FB that shows a simple way to use PECS. If you haven't started, it may help you. I believe Eli is talking because of PECS.

Floor-time

Short sessions of therapist and Eli on the floor playing. Anything Eli showed an interest in, the therapist would talk to him about it and show him what to do with it. If he wasn't interested, she would choose items, going so far as to hand-over-hand play with that item.

turn taking skills

We did this with a ball. Sitting very close, hold ball in your hands and say/sign "my turn". Roll the ball to him and say/sign "your turn". Therapist then says/signs "my turn" and hand-over-hand rolls the ball away from child toward therapist.

My turn (This took a LONG time)
Your turn (So did this)

I don't even have a mastery date on this which means it carried over to his program when he went to school.

fine motor program

string beads
coin translation
puzzles: 1 pc out, 2 pcs, 3 pcs out, etc. until he works the whole puzzle (whole puzzle took Eli 18 days)

non-verbal imitation

"Do this"

tap table ( took 2 days to master)
knock block on table--4 days
block in cup--2 days
push car on table--4 days
crash cars--11 days


Copy drawing

copy therapist-- she draws a horizontal line (this took Eli 25 days)
" --she draws a vertical line
" --she draws a "+" (this took 3 months, but he had a 7 week break due to heart surgery)


Hope this helps!
:D

Alice R
08-01-2011, 03:47 PM
Amy, what kind of class is he in?

One for DS or children with PDD or general overall delays?

If he is not sitting down and attending, he sounds misplaced in the class. :eek: They are not able to deal with his particular needs.

I've been in classes like that with a "misplaced" child and I have to tell you, it's a big waste of time. All day is spent with "uh-oh, Johnny ran off again" "can someone grab Johnny" "Ok, Johnny, hello, look over here, Johnny, Johnny!!! over there!" "uh, he's throwing blocks around, can you grab him"

The teacher is frustrated, the child is all over and is simply doing whatever they want with a teacher's assistant simply trying to wrangle him for every single activity and task. That is not learning, it is managing his behavior until it's time to go home and he's someone else's problem. I've been in that position as a therapist and it is horrible. Just manage the kid until your therapy session is up and you can bring him back to class. It happens but it is not the way it's supposed to work. :no:

G is too little to already be stuck in this cycle. If his behavior can't be addressed at his young age, it's only going to get harder the older and stronger he gets.

This is why ABA is effective. They don't "manage" behavior. They get a hold of the child, get the behavior under control and teach him. Yep, it looks odd and yep, sometimes it sounds very scripted and not natural but it works.

Lisa, what you wrote is pretty much what I've seen and in the same general order.

AmyinWI
08-01-2011, 11:03 PM
Amy, what kind of class is he in?

One for DS or children with PDD or general overall delays?

If he is not sitting down and attending, he sounds misplaced in the class. :eek: They are not able to deal with his particular needs.

I've been in classes like that with a "misplaced" child and I have to tell you, it's a big waste of time. All day is spent with "uh-oh, Johnny ran off again" "can someone grab Johnny" "Ok, Johnny, hello, look over here, Johnny, Johnny!!! over there!" "uh, he's throwing blocks around, can you grab him"


Alice, he's in a public school "Early intervention" class. Which is for kids who "age out" of the birth to 3 program (our state's in home therapy services for kids that qualify). They can stay in early intervention until they are 6, as long as they qualify. Some from last year are moving onto 4K. I think Gabe and only 2 other kids are staying in EI. Gabe is by far, the most delayed of them all . I believe all the other kids are verbal and able to participate in activities. They have special toys for G , because he won't participate in othe r things. If he doesn't have certain toys to keep his interest he runs like crazy in the classroom, pulling down the garbage can, pulling out drawers, slamming doors,etc. I think the only thing worthwhile is his individual therapy sessions with ST,OT,PT. THe aide in the classroom is basically chasing after G all day while the teacher works with the kids who will sit down and participate.

I really appreciate all the help you are giving me! :kiss:

AmyinWI
08-01-2011, 11:08 PM
Lisa,
that's great! thanks so much for taking the time to type that out ! :kiss:

So, did they work on one thing at a time then? Like mastering attending, then onto 1 step directions,etc. Did they do each 1 step direction separately until mastered?

G just started doing PECS at the end of the school year, even though they were telling me in September they were going to do it, they never started until April :unsure:
So far, he uses 1 picture at a time (one picture for any object) so far he doesn't discriminate between what is on each picture.
He does well with it, I hope to see him progress in with the PECS this year.

AmyinWI
08-01-2011, 11:15 PM
Amy, I checked out the video link but "no domain" comes up.
http://youtu.be/2afb4i7LMJc

Lisalyn
08-02-2011, 12:17 AM
Amy, I hope it helps.

After they got him sitting and looking, they did a variety of the categories, but only one task per category. Once he had mastered some tasks, they would bring them back in for review.

His sessions started with sitting. A timer was set. When the timer went off, the therapist would say and sign "break time". He could get up but he had to stay right there in his area. He could play with anything she had for reinforcement.

He would get about a minute or two for a break (while she wrote down her data and checked the goal sheets) then she would have him sit again and set the timer again.

We started with 3 minutes on the timer and worked up to 15 minutes with 5 minute breaks.

So, once he was sitting and looking, a session looked like this:

5 minutes of "touch head"
2 minute break
5 minutes of 1-step: "clap hands"
2 minute break
5 minutes of pivotal response
2 minute break
5 minutes of 'my turn'
2 minute break
5 minutes of "do this" tap table
2 minutes break
5 minutes of fine motor: puzzles
15 minutes Floortime

and so on...

As he progressed the work times were longer and more complex. "Touch head" would include a new body part plus review and then go on to "what's this?" (head) all in one work time. 1-step directions would move on to 2-step directions and then move on to "wh" questions.

After his therapist was done and gone, I would make sure the older kids and Dh knew what Eli was working on (touch head, nose; touch red; touch circle; clap hands; review 'look at me, Eli') and we would all randomly work with him very casually throughout the day/night. I really think that helped a lot.

Here is a link to the PECS photo album (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1546761915607.73075.1431815934&type=1) I mentioned in an earlier comment. It is not a traditional PECS program at all, but it worked so well for us and it was so easy to use.

Alice R
08-02-2011, 03:13 PM
Amy, he sounds very misplaced in the classroom. Your instincts are correct. The fact that they have special toys for him is your first clue. In other words, they know he is misplaced and have no other place to put him, so they give him "busy work" while they work with the other children. Been there, done that. He's too little for that routine. That's not acceptable. I'm telling ya, they are just "managing" him and not actively addressing his needs. Again, he is too young for this. G is tough because he does have a dual Dx but there are plenty of challenging children around. Does he have a behavior plan in place?

You might need to call an IEP ammendment meeting simply to discuss his behavior. The teacher might be relieved! :lol: Sometimes the parents can push when the teacher cannot. You know, when they are doing morning cirlce and he is pulling down the blinds, HOW are they handling this clinically? Anyone can follow behind him and wrangle him but that is not the point of EI. The point of EI is to deal with him in a clinial manner and extinguish these behaviors and replace them with desired behaviors so he can LEARN. How are they doing that if they are simply grabbing him out of the garbage?

I'm sorry that this is going on like this. :group:

How are they going to do PECS with him if he's not really attending? :unsure:

I'm not an ABA expert by any means but the kids I evaluate...the ones who are doing PECS hav gone through an entire year of ABA and are able to point to pictures accurately before they can be taught to use pictures to communicate.

From what you are writing, G sounds very pre-linguistic and pictures are a high level. He might not be ready for that. :unsure: As a speech therapist (not from an ABA perspective) he needs to have more progress before PECS can fully be implemented. It never hurts to try and introduce but he most likely has a ways to go before he is ready for that.

Yes, Lisa, same thing here with our good program. One goal from each section. The kids have HUGE binders with data sheets and they are all broken into sections. Guess our programs are on the same wavelength. ;)

Amy, another thing, with the ABA, the children have their "own" materials and they are consistant. The smae picture cards, shape sorter, dinosaurs etc. They are all stored in a box with the child's name on it (both at home and at school) so everyone is using identical stimuli for the trials.

I hope I didn't give you a headache with my post. :group:

AmyinWI
08-02-2011, 08:45 PM
that helps a lot Alice ! Definitely makes sense having consistant materials. Gabe is all about routine,and having everything the same. Changing any kind of toy ,etc. will freak him out. we can't even move furniture in the house or he gets upset.

About the "reinforcing stimulus" , I have been using bubbles, but sometimes he is getting tired of them. So should I be rotating what we are using for that each time? Or only if he tires of it.
He won't eat solids, so cheerios, M&Ms,etc. are out of the question.
I hesitate to use any food type items, but what about a lick of a popsicle, or something that he might like? Or is it better to not use food items?:unsure:
Or just clapping and saying "Good job Gabe" ??

Today I worked on "sit down" with him. He wasn't very fond of it, but once I "assisted him" to sitting down , he would stay there for up to a minute sometimes. I suppose the goal is to increase the amount of time? What is a reasonable amount of time to have him continuing to sit? At what point is the eye contact the next goal? I know having him sit down will be taking quite awhile though.

Alice R
08-02-2011, 09:38 PM
You know, that is a good question about the food rewards with kids who don't eat solids or are extremely picky. I will ask my psychologist friend if he knows. I have probably just seen kids using food. :unsure: I will think about that one. They must use something and stickers won't work because of the sensory issues...I see a lot of "good job" and cheese doodles. :lol:

Yes, they use identical toys/materials/stimulus.

It's hard work doing the ABA. At first it is very phycially draining to constantly say, "sit down" and then have them sit and then block them from getting up. It's not a picnic at all so it sounds like you are doing really well just testing this out a bit and exploring on your own.

The assistants in the school that I work with...let me tell you, they are very firm with the kids. There is a sense of "I'm in charge and you are NOT". Once that gets established, I see nice, loving relationships. But at first, they are FIRM. Children with PDD are often so self directed and into what they want, that actually listening and following another person is a really new skill for them. We assume it is natural, like with typically developing children but for a child with PDD, this is truly a whole new world of "I need to listen and do". When they don't listen, we view it as "not listening" but I really think this a whole new concept for them that needs to be taught directly, rather than with other children, who just somehow know that they need to listen and learn. Ya know?

I'm not sure when the eye contact is the next goal...Lisa would probably know that one better.

Are they doing sensory integration with G at all? That also might help calm him down.

Lisalyn
08-02-2011, 10:33 PM
that helps a lot Alice ! Definitely makes sense having consistant materials. Gabe is all about routine,and having everything the same. Changing any kind of toy ,etc. will freak him out. we can't even move furniture in the house or he gets upset.

About the "reinforcing stimulus" , I have been using bubbles, but sometimes he is getting tired of them. So should I be rotating what we are using for that each time? Or only if he tires of it.
He won't eat solids, so cheerios, M&Ms,etc. are out of the question.
I hesitate to use any food type items, but what about a lick of a popsicle, or something that he might like? Or is it better to not use food items?:unsure:
Or just clapping and saying "Good job Gabe" ??

Today I worked on "sit down" with him. He wasn't very fond of it, but once I "assisted him" to sitting down , he would stay there for up to a minute sometimes. I suppose the goal is to increase the amount of time? What is a reasonable amount of time to have him continuing to sit? At what point is the eye contact the next goal? I know having him sit down will be taking quite awhile though.

Amy,
Our main reinforcer was "Good Job!!" and it was great when he began to beam and get excited about that praise. I think a lick of an ice pop, bite of yogurt or ice cream, etc. would be fine. There is a toy at Eli's school that has 3 balls. You put the balls in the top and you can watch them fall inside the clear twisty-turny thingy. :lol: He loved that toy, so they used that as his reinforcer. He could drop one ball.

I think food is easy because you can control it better than a toy. We've used Goldfish and M&M's and I've seen Cheetos, tiny pieces of bread or cookie. I've also seen sips of favorite drinks--if you do use food or drink you have to limit those items outside of ABA or they won't be effective. Honestly, Eli was very willing after a couple of sessions so we didn't have to use anything much.

About the eye contact....we started that at the same time as sitting. We would tell him to sit down and as soon as he was sitting and calm, we would say, "look at me, Eli" or just call his name, maybe show him the bubble wand and pull it up to our eyes. He would look and see the bubble wand which we held at eye level for 3 seconds. We'd praise that (Good Job!!) and then blow the bubbles. So he really worked on increasing sitting time while he worked on increasing eye contact.

We would do that over and over for 5 minutes then give him a short break and do it again.

Alice is right. ABA is hard and exhausting and you have to be extremely firm and unemotional. I think that's the part that makes it so hard for moms to do. :unsure:

Lisalyn
08-02-2011, 10:38 PM
Oh, Alice mentioned Sensory Integration. Very important! It G really has trouble with attending skills, you might try joint compressions-a few seconds of full pressure squeezing on the shoulders, elbows, wrists or wrapping him in a blanket like a burrito and squeezing him--before each session, or during the break times.

Alice R
08-03-2011, 09:07 AM
Yes, you can't use that food item, reward item, drink or bubbles at any other time or it's not a reward.

I am going to ask what rewards they do use for kids who don't eat solids or are resistant eaters. Toys are very hard to manage.

I did an ABA style feeding therapy with a girl and she used to put a piece in the puzzle, one nail polished, one sticker on a nail or paint in one little area on a water color paint set. She did not have any cognitive issues/delays so those things worked well.

Lisa, we ought to be in business. :lol:

Jenene
08-04-2011, 12:08 PM
I would be interested in the book. what is RDI?

The book is called Relationship Development Intervention with Young Children

by Steven E Gutsein and Rachelle K. Sheely