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Anyone using ABA or VB for autism?

(15 Posts)
RexandBen Sun 28-Sep-03 14:55:13

Hi everyone. I have just found this site and so pleased that there are so many other perents of special needs kids out there!

My ds is 27 months and has autism. He is non-verbal, happy, gorgeous and cheeky. We have decided to start an early intervention programme using VB. Is there any one else here doing this? What are your experiences?

Davros Sun 28-Sep-03 16:13:33

YES! But not VB, Lovaas. I know its not so popular and certainly not as attractively "packaged" or fashionable but it is the one with the randomised, controlled, followed up, replicated research into using ABA with young children intensively in their home (phew, long sentence). I know plenty about both so please ask away. You may want to visit the Special Needs section of MN too.

Davros Sun 28-Sep-03 16:15:31

YES! But not VB, Lovaas. I know its not so popular and certainly not as attractively "packaged" or fashionable but it is the one with the randomised, controlled, followed up, replicated research into using ABA with young children intensively in their home (phew, long sentence). I know plenty about both so please ask away. You may want to visit the Special Needs section of MN too.

Davros Sun 28-Sep-03 16:23:57

Ooops! Repetition is a key method in ABA!

JJ Sun 28-Sep-03 17:24:35

RexandBen, my sister in law (husband's sister) has a little boy who does ABA. She set up his program three years ago when he was just over two. I can get you guys in touch, if you'd like. (Email me via the "Contact another Talker" link at the top of the page.) It's been great for her son. She's in the US in the Chicago area.

My brother in law (sister's husband) was an ABA therapist in New York and might know some people around there (if you happen to be in that area....).

They both think, like Davros, that ABA has the most research to recommend it.

Davros Wed 01-Oct-03 16:40:50

So I obviously put you off getting any further info here Dying to hear what you are doing, why and who with.......

Jimjams Wed 01-Oct-03 17:25:20

Sorry Davrosnot RexandBen but wanted to say BIG BIG THANK YOU!!! The book arrived this afternoon and is great- exactly what I needed.

Can I just check that I'm doing it right though. Take for example "copy me". Do I introduce it initially just with say clapping hands. Once that is established do I then move onto the next one- say tapping table. When introducing this do I carry on doing clapping hands sometimes or just stick to tapping table until that is established? I got the impression that I would introduce each one at a time, checking every now and then to see if the skill has generalised, but if not carry on with one at a time?

I'm sure these are idiot questions Looks great though. I'm very excited. Well worth 40 quid.

Davros Thu 02-Oct-03 12:44:39

Was just about to post on SN to find out if book had arrived and found you here! I'm pleased you think its good as it is a bit pricey.
Re questions on copying, I think you should teach in isolation at first and than alternate or rotate the 2 or 3 you've got. Once he gets the skill "copy" you can go through all sorts of things he hasn't been taught if he knows "copy" and its within his skill range. You must rememeber to keep the reinforcement up! NOrmally with other skills, e.g. learning to associate the word "ball" with the object or a picture, you would teach in isolation to begin, then introduce two "distrators" that are irrelevant/unrelated to check if "ball" has been learnt and they're not just handing/indicating the first thing they touch/see. You can prompt by tapping the table lightly near the correct one, or positioning the correct one closer to the child and you can still do full hand-over-hand prompt if necessary and fade back to above. You would then teach a new one, keeping "ball" separate but still maintaining it. Then when you've got 2, 3 + you rotate them, e.g. have 3 items that have been taught and ask randomly for each one. The next step would be generalising away from a teaching situation to wherever you happen to be, saying, e.g. "touch the ball" in the park. You have to be careful not to include an extra skill such as "bring me the...." unless, of course, he can do it but that is another component and "bring me" is a skill in itself.
Phew! Hope this answers your question. DO remember that most of my knowledge is from 6 years of osmosis so if you want a better or more specific piece of info I can always ask a front line therapist for you as we still have 2 working at home and I'm friends with lots of others who are always happy to discuss theory (over a beer )

ScummyMummy Thu 02-Oct-03 13:26:48

Does anyone here know where I can get a list of autism specialist schools/units in London, by any chance? I thought you might know, Davros... Eternal gratitude and all that for anyone who can help.

Jimjams Thu 02-Oct-03 13:29:06

Brilliant Davros. I'm pleased to see your suggestions of how to prompt (tap the table etc) are exactly what I've always done with pecs (always wondered whether it was "allowed".

His LSA seems open to suggestions, I'm going to ask her to work on copying (especially as he has his nursery key worker there at the moment) so I'll print out some stuff from the book. They've been doing some work on copying at nursery anyway.

Anyway off to buy some choccy buttons and raisins- we need a strong reward atm for copy me (not that keen).

I did try the first one in the book (look at me) and was pleased to see he does have that skill. He wouldn't look at the reinforcer - insisted on making eye contact with me instead

Jimjams Thu 02-Oct-03 13:32:03

Scummy- the NAS keeps some sort of list I think- they're probably your best bet. Also there is a list in The Austism Handbook (not sure who publishes it).

The NAS index is here:

Davros Thu 02-Oct-03 22:42:50

Scummy, follow Jimjams' advice for schools. Any idea what you're looking for and what area as you'll need to know not just what is there but what they are like.....
Jimjams, hope things going well. I should say that what I've been describing is Discrete Trial Teaching which is a method used to teach new skills/concepts etc. It basically means you have
Antecedent - your instruction/action etc
Behaviour - child's response (correct or incorrect), non-response, prompted response, unrelated behaviour (maybe a stim), tantrum etc
Consequence - reinforcement, ignoring undesirable behaviour, you ending that attempt and starting another with increased prompt etc
DTT is one of the foundations of ABA and very much associated with Lovaas although it is used in VB too. It basically helps to break tasks etc down into very small steps, makes it easier to track progress or problems as each component is short and gives you a very clear structure of what you are teaching and how much you are doing it. Hope this makes sense, again just my layman's description, not necessarily 100% technically.

ScummyMummy Fri 03-Oct-03 17:51:52

Thanks for your help Jimjams and Davros. Have printed out the NAS list. It's not for me so I'm not sure what kind of place is needed ideally but the person concerned is v on the ball and can go and check out any that sound good to her.

pushkar Mon 20-Oct-08 19:16:51

there are some independent schools in london for asd. aba schools include rainbow and snowflake, teeach school include eagle house group hall school queensmill and then there are the ordinary specil needs school that don't do 1;1, i ill advise against these ones as all children with special needs need 1;1
you could also look up the gabbitas book directory of special needs,,, most private schools cost £45.000 annually, thus a tribunal will be needed, and state schoos are free...
there are some units in state schools and some next to mainstream schools and a small one called st davids in croydon and jigsaw in surrey.

pushkar Mon 20-Oct-08 19:17:56

also look inside the autism file magazine can be looked at on line, there is an autism directory associated with that.

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