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Count and mand/calm ABA

(17 Posts)
salondon Sat 16-Mar-13 03:55:33

Hello all

Yesterday my daughter's ABA supervisor asked us to do the count and mand. Basically my daughter is using crying as a way of escaping any demands placed on her. Or just as a way of returning back to stimming.

What we were asked to do is similar to the below post.

What was your experience with this if you have tried it. With us, it resulted in a very grumpy and cranky child. It made no difference to her that she got what she wanted AFTER she stopped crying. She is non-verbal, however, we can tell that she is very upset with me(who did the counting) for letting her cry for so long.


sickofsocalledexperts Sat 16-Mar-13 08:02:48

It is hard at first but you should stick with it

Your dd is basically learning that mummy will not now dance to her every tune

She needs to learn that tantrumming is not going to achieve a good result and believe me, when she is 18 and taller than you, you will be pleased you stuck it out

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 16-Mar-13 08:12:44

As a mum, you naturally feel kinder about giving in to stop her crying

But actually you are not being kind in the long run

The kindest thing you can do is give her the best chance, within the bounds of her autism, of a normal life. She has to learn how to communicate , which currently she is doing with tears and tantrums

When a child is first "put under contingency" in ABA, ie asked to do things, rather than just following their own agenda 24/7, they naturally kick out. They don't want to do what they're told, they want to be left alone to stim or flood the bathroom all day (my DS at 2)

Teaching them more productive behavIour and how to communicate may feel cruel right now, but it is cruel to be kind

willowthecat Sat 16-Mar-13 09:42:34

You say that she is upset with you for 'letting' her cry so long - if that is the case then with that level of cognitive understanding, she can certainly learn that crying will not lead to the parents/teacher complying with her wishes ie it sounds like she is doing ABA on you ! I agree it sounds harsh and is very different to what others may tell you but really it is just supernanny for autism and as sickof says every child deserves the chance to learn as much appropriate behaviour and communication as is possible

MareeyaDolores Sat 16-Mar-13 10:22:34

It'll be ok. Just takes a while.

She might even be sulking because crying didn't work. ASD seems (to me, anyway) to be fully compatible with most of the usual irritating childhood habits.

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 16-Mar-13 10:23:42

I agree - they are still kids, and kids sulk when they don't get their own way!

MareeyaDolores Sat 16-Mar-13 10:25:51

Sorry, that sounds harsh. What I meant was,
no matter what the apparent level of functioning is,
most dc with ASD are like most NT dc
in having a very good grasp of the stuff
which you'd rather they'd failed to pick up wink

MareeyaDolores Sat 16-Mar-13 10:26:28

Cross posted, sick of, much better put!

salondon Sat 16-Mar-13 11:03:12

Thanks. It escalates into a massive tantrum. So you are saying, just follow through and what if it doesn't end? Or will it eventually(20 mins or 2 hrs later end)

PipinJo Sat 16-Mar-13 12:29:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

salondon Sat 16-Mar-13 12:39:23

So she has cried herself to sleep. No lunch. What do I do when she wakes up(it started off with me asking her to do something on the magnadoodle and her wanting to do her thing. Very quickly turned into her getting violent and wanting to bite me.)

MareeyaDolores Sat 16-Mar-13 13:15:46

Pretend you've forgotten the incident. Have her favourite lunch absolutely ready for when she wakes so starting afresh brings very immediate worthwhile reward. It may not help, but ups the chances.

zumbaleena Sat 16-Mar-13 15:58:36

Does your child know how to mand? Cos if she does not, how will she follow count and mand? Does she know signing or pecs?

bialystockandbloom Sat 16-Mar-13 18:08:37

Yes the behaviour will normally escalate before it disappears (called an extinction burst) - just like with any child! She's not used to this (having to comply with a request) so is expressing her disgust in the best way she knows how. Honestly, it will get so much better. As everyone has said, once she has been shown that there is a better, more effective way of communicating with you, she will use this, rather than tantrums.

Our consultant told us of the 20-knocks rule:

You see a door. You want to go in. You knock. No-one answers. You knock again. Nobody answers. You knock again. Nobody answers. You keep knocking 20 times and then finally someone answers. So you know that eventually, it doesn't matter how long you knock, someone will eventually give in and answer. So next time you see that door, you will keep using the same strategy (knocking) that you did before, as you know it was successful in getting what you want.

However: you see a door. You knock. Nobody answers. You knock again and again and again and again and again, over 20 times, 100 times, 1000 times but nobody answers. You eventually give up as you realise no matter how long you knock for, nobody will answer. So you realise that you have to change your tactics to get in, that it doesn't matter how long you knock, that door will not be answered.

The thing is that you, the parent, have to be consistent. If you start ignoring a 'behaviour' you must keep ignoring it. If you ignore it for 10 minutes then give in, the child learns that they just have to keep on tantrumming and you'll eventually give in. Or if you ask the child to do something and she tantrums, she must learn that the tantrum itself will not stop you asking her to do the thing.

Basic message for her is that a tantrum/aggression is not a form of communication that will get her what she wants.

Talk to your supervisor/tutors more about this if you need help - that's what you're paying them for!

salondon Sat 16-Mar-13 19:31:16

Thanks everyone. I will keep the group posted.

nupurkumarika Sat 16-Mar-13 21:04:50

I am afraid I do feel to say here that there has to be a difference between a tantrum and a meltdown. how do people know that girl is not having a meltdown?

salondon Sat 16-Mar-13 22:21:56

Thanks for pointing that out Nupur. It's neither to begin with. She just whines and expects( based on her past experience) that someone will give in. However, if you don't, like today she cries. She was looking out of the room to see if daddy is coming.

However, now that you say it, it probably turned into a meltdown. She was agitated and throwing herself around. Still, throughout the process she was aware of me being with her, and checking if someone will rescue her. After she did what I was asking her to do, she was still quite upset. There were no tears at all. Only moaning and loud whining.

How would you deal with meltdows?

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