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ABA/ Duncan Fennemore or ESDM for 2 yr old?

(21 Posts)
stardustmum Tue 14-Sep-10 22:05:55

My 2-year-old son was recently diagnosed with autism. I am overwhelmed but trying really hard to get his therapy on the road. We are thinking of going the ABA route with Duncan Fennemore, alternatively the Early Start Denver Model with Ruth Glynne-Owen. Has anyone in the London area had experience of either of them? I'm particularly interested in hearing from mums who received an early diagnosis (for toddlers under 3).

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-Sep-10 22:08:40

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StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-Sep-10 22:10:54

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stardustmum Tue 14-Sep-10 22:42:39

Ruth Glynne-Owen is the only person in the UK who is undergoing training to conduct the ESDM but she's based in Scotland and I'm in London. I've read fantastic stuff about ESDM but not sure how RGO will be able to oversee my DS's therapy adequately.
StarlightMcKenzie, what has been your experience of both RGO and DF?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-Sep-10 22:53:32

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BialystockandBloom Tue 14-Sep-10 22:54:15

We've got DF as our consultant. Yes as Starlight says, he does VB approach. We've only just started but only good things to say about him so far! But of course it's very early days, and of course the approach you use would depend on what you think would suit your ds best.

I wouldn't think it would matter that a consultant is based so far away if they are willing to travel - and (certainly in DF's case) you may only see the consultant every few months - it's the supervisor who keeps much more close supervision on the programme, so would have meetings every few weeks or so. But I'm sure R G-O could advise you on all this in any case.

stardustmum Wed 15-Sep-10 07:54:50

StarlightMcKenzie - thanks, I will CAT you for more feedback on the two.
BialystockandBloom - thank you for your advice. Do you find that the VB approach with DF still leaves you with time to go to playgroups/ the park etc? My fear is that intensive therapy (if that's what's needed)may be socially isolating if all of it is home-based.

phlebas Wed 15-Sep-10 09:00:43

Star we do a VB programme that is entirely NET based so we are out of the house every day (so far this week it has been train trip, park, shopping, car wash, animal centre, play group & we're off to a chicken place today).

We talked to both RGO & DF felt pretty positive about both (2 of my tutors work on DF programmes as well as us atm & our consultant worked with DF for years). Our programme isn't typical ABA, but the whole point is that it is a teaching method not a curriculum (though we keep out eyes on the VB-MAPP) - we do alot of developmental stuff as well as ABA & some RDI. Also we do 21-24 hours a week atm (+ 6 nursery but that isn't really educational hmm ), but have done as little a 6 hours & even with that little we had really good results.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 15-Sep-10 10:01:33

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BialystockandBloom Wed 15-Sep-10 11:00:00

Agree with phlebas and starlight. It is pretty full-on for us all at the moment but that's because we've just started so I need to be there for sessions as much as possible in order for me to learn it all too. But ds has been out and about a bit even so far with his tutors (he's at the park with one atm hence why I have time for MN!).

So no, it's not all home-based. I don't know about 'traditional' ABA, as I think that's more table-top based, but certainly VB approach is all about equipping children with skills in the ordinary environment so playdates, trips out etc are all part of it. In our case, ds's social interaction skills are particularly deficient (esp with his peers) so we'll concentrate on that, so opportunities to mix with other children are key. We'll have our tutors shadowing ds at nursery too.

The general advice I've had (including from DF) is that starting with intensive therapy, under as much supervision as possible, is more effective, then gradually the method becomes the normal way of life whatever you're doing, as Starlight said.

stardustmum Wed 15-Sep-10 18:26:32

Thanks to all of you for such encouraging feedback.
DH and I went to a Mindbuilders/Floortime introductory session today and we are keen to try to incorporate some of the developmental stuff into our programme as well.
Phlebas:you mentioned that you do ABA and RDI. Do you mean DIR(ie.Floortime)?

phlebas Wed 15-Sep-10 19:05:24

just a quicky 'cos it's bathtime - RDI Relationship Development Intervention, Steve Gutstein. It isn't a million miles away from Floortime.

stardustmum Wed 15-Sep-10 19:31:05

Cheers. Glad to hear that a combination of ABA/VB and developmental programmes do in fact work. What I've heard so far is advocates of each slagging off the other! All very confusing for someone out to make an informed decision on therapy.

JoMaman Wed 15-Sep-10 19:48:27

just wanted to say hi, i'm another london based mum using DF with a 2yr old... also just starting so don't have a great deal of insight yet, but feel free to CAT me if you want to discuss any specifics! its good to know there are others out there - wish I had more time for MN at the mo, but am overwhelmed by the whole ABA process, plus trying to immerse ourselves in the biomed side of things, so have to keep it as my occasional treat for now x

stardustmum Wed 15-Sep-10 20:23:07

JoMaman - best of luck with your child's therapy. As you're in the same boat as me, it would be great to keep in touch. No doubt I will CAT once our ABA is underway with DF.

cathygreen Sun 07-Aug-11 15:26:38

I am the Mum of a child with Autism and a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) if anyone needs to chat about ABA/VB I would be happy to help

appleofmyeyes Wed 17-Oct-12 12:01:15

Hello BialystockandBloom,

We are completely new to ABA. My son is 4.5 and was diagnosed as moderately autistic. We were giving him some general speech therapy but recently heard of ABA and would like to start off with it. We are looking to hire Duncan Fennemore and your inputs on that would be very helpful. If you can also share if ABA did really help your kid. Thanks in advance!

appleofmyeyes Wed 17-Oct-12 12:02:16

JoMaman, I would also love to hear from you about your experience with DF and ABA. Cheers!

bialystockandbloom Wed 17-Oct-12 13:45:15

Hi apple

We are still doing a small amount of VB - we have six hours at home a week, with a tutor shadowing ds at school and have trained up the school's TA in basic ABA principles. (Our home tutor also has lots of experience with RDI btw.) The direct teaching has always been NET (natural environment) - that aspect has reduced as ds's difficulties now are more subtle and complex.

Briefly: ds made an absolutely enormous amount of progress, particularly in the first year. He has gone from a child who had no play skills, minimal interaction with anyone other than those familiar, basic functional communication but nothing social, and lots of echolalia, to a boy who in many ways functions like a neurotypical child - meaningful conversations, great play, genuine friends, self-awareness, independence, and many normal interests. He still has autism but he is so far away from what I feared so much two years ago.

Happy to share experience of DF - will pm you.

Peachy Wed 17-Oct-12 21:04:14


I don;t use any named therapy- although am close to finishing my own MA in Autism so feel able to incorporate techniques in a way that is manageable with 3 autistic (and one NT) child. I think the pressures of any routine we ahd to follow would be unmanageable with the 3, struggle enough with SLT tbh.

But I have certainly found a lot of floortime / DIR melds well with other approaches (I basically use a mix of teacch / DIR and functional analysis) and I have found that the mix is best for us at elast.

Go with what you feel suits your own child: ABA wouldn't work for us, nobody much will work with ds1 anyway- combination of his violence and his pother siblings wandering about everywhere stimming and butting in (and I very much include the NT one in that). Most therapies have a lot to recommend them and it's about your child and what works, nothing else. Also- remember to take YOUR personality into account, as well: no point choosing something you can't work with long term. I have AS myself and find ABA hard to manage in it's pure form, even without the other complications, and we all have different personalities and desired outcomes.

Good luck X

PipinJo Thu 18-Oct-12 01:23:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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