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ABA therapy in Birmingham

(30 Posts)
philomena15 Tue 12-Nov-13 01:37:09

Hi all,
I have a 3 year old son with ASD. He is non-verbal.
Please, can someone suggest excellent ABA consultant in and around West Midlands who can travel to Birmingham. The consultant should understand my son very well and design the program. Is it good to go with VB-ABA or Lovaas?
Also, please suggest pros and cons about PECS?


sickofsocalledexperts Tue 12-Nov-13 08:12:00

I know that the UK Young Autism Project has people in Birmingham

I cannot remember the name of an excellent consultant I met at a conference but remember she was from UK YAP

I prefer VB to mre traditional ABA

PECS can be good, as long as teamed with the words too, and used as prompt for language, not alternative

Just get some mand training going is my advice, even if you can only find one supervisor or tutor at first

Go on the ABA-UK chat group

Good luck, you are doing the right thing

davidsotherhalf Tue 12-Nov-13 08:57:18

national autistic society will give you a list of professionals in your area,not sure if these are available on there website as I phoned them to get help for my dd and they gave me names and numbers over the phone.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 12-Nov-13 17:15:43

The National Autistic Society will not give you ABA names: they are quite prejudiced anti ABA, not least because the schools they operate (and profit from) espouse only Teacch or eclectic.

boobybum Tue 12-Nov-13 17:20:31

Go on the BCBA website to find board certified consultants in your area. Good luck.

lottieandmia Thu 14-Nov-13 12:56:14

Lovaas is good for children who have no or very few skills and for childre who can't already imitate. We did Lovaas for 18 months then switched to VB - it really depends on your child. I'm in the midlands too and we started with UKYAP. Feel free to pm me if you want to know which consultant we used for VB - he has a very good reputation. I also know some other names which may be helpful for you.

moondog Thu 14-Nov-13 16:44:50

An opportune moment to remind you all of the box fresh UK ABA society which is growing all the time and a great source of info. and support.

moondog Thu 14-Nov-13 16:46:36

'PECS can be good, as long as teamed with the words too, and used as prompt for language, not alternative.'

That's how PECS is meant to be used Sickof. People who aren't differentially reinforcing speech attempts aint doing PECS right! smile

Unfortunately, I rarely see PECS used properly which is an enormous shame as it really bridges so many areas between ABA and s/lt.

salondon Thu 14-Nov-13 16:55:42


If you are going to follow the (I am told) "American" model of a consultant, supervisor, lead tutor, tutors then you dont need a local consultant.

If your lead tutor and supervisor are good, you will only need the consultant couple a times a year. They usually travel reasonable distance anyways.

I would first find a good consultant and let them recommend a supervisor. The chemistry between the consultant and supervisor is very important I have noticed. I can email my supervisor at any time of the day and she usually consults the consultant and has next steps ready by the next day or two.

I think finding good local tutors is hard and important. Learnt here on mumsnet, that an expensive tutor isnt always a good one and how to pick a good tutor. Just find people who would like the challenge, team players and smart. I have recently found a mother's help, who is rubbish as help, but brilliant at copying what she sees the tutors do. Guess what, she now attends my workshops..

There is another model which can work, just hire a good lead tutor and let them train others. Its a bit risky but worth a try

All the best

lottieandmia Thu 14-Nov-13 17:18:25

I used to put posters up for psychology students at the local university when we were looking for tutors. Where I live, there are not many ABA programs so tutors who were already trained were hard to find. But we trained some up from scratch who turned out to be very good.

lottieandmia Thu 14-Nov-13 17:24:00

Philomena - have you joined the Yahoo group ABA-UK? I found that very helpful both in terms of getting information about ABA providers and tribunal advice. There were several parents on there who were extremely helpful when we had our appeal.

philomena15 Mon 18-Nov-13 03:31:24

Thank you all for the information. I am hearing some negative things about VB-ABA that it will not be suitable for school environment because child has to sit and learn in school. But VB will not teach them to sit and learn in table. Any parents here doing VB-ABA in school, Please clarify me on this whether it is right or not.
lottieandmia - I have sent you a PM. please look into that. I have joined in the yahoo group.

salondon Mon 18-Nov-13 09:10:44

Did a TEACCH proponent tell you that?

boobybum Mon 18-Nov-13 11:00:45

Hi, my DS is 4 and like your son is non verbal although he is starting to use more 'words'. We are doing VB ABA and my son's tutors go into school with him. It is working really well and the information you have been given saying that VB isn't suitable for school is IMO incorrect. DS does some programs sitting at the table whilst at school although we tend to focus on more social activities whilst at school (such as imitating peers, turn taking etc) and more of the academic side at home.

philomena15 Mon 18-Nov-13 11:21:34

No. One of a tutor told me this.

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 18-Nov-13 11:24:18

Actually a mumsnetter on here just won at tribunal, on the grounds that ABA is good for mainstream - as it teaches the child to cope with the busy class environment (whereas the other method, Teacch, requires that the whole class be adapted to the child - eg no posters on walls, visual timetables, low arousal levels, singular workstations etc)

ABA/VB was the only thing that go my boy sitting still for more than a second - pretty much a prerequisite of going to mainstream. But it is not all done at a table, far from it, a lot is keening thru play.

Beware people with a tiny bit of second hand info on ABA, who are instructed to be against it due to cost and LA politics

My boy was too severe for mainstream, in honesty, but ABA allowed him to experience it for over 3 years, something for which I will always be grateful.

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 18-Nov-13 11:25:34

Which ABA tutor told you this? It is rubbish. We need more ABA and VB in mainstream, not less.

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 18-Nov-13 11:29:56

You know I think some of us should write up how well an ABA (or VB) trained tutor can work as an LSA in mainstream, and use it as a case study. If it can keep my boy in mainstream for 3 years (severe ASD, severe LD) it must be getting something right. Agnes?

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 18-Nov-13 11:31:49

We could even try and get it in somewhere like the TES, to counter all this misinformation.

salondon Mon 18-Nov-13 11:40:22

One of a tutor told me this. shocksad

lottieandmia Mon 18-Nov-13 12:39:09

Some tutors who have only been trained in the Lovaas model seem to have a problem with VB without knowing what it actually is. It's interesting though that there are an awful lot of practitioners who started off with Lovaas but changed to VB because they felt it was better overall.

Our consultant told to me that he decided to switch to VB one day during a block imitation program which he felt was a total waste of time!

lottieandmia Mon 18-Nov-13 12:41:34

I've replied to your pm btw.

parasaurolophus Mon 18-Nov-13 18:57:56

Experienced Behaviour Analyst here.....

ABA is the process of breaking skills down into small steps and reinforcing the child's progress. Prompts may be used.

There are many different ways to break down these skills. They can be taught at the table and they can be taught through play. Verbal Behaviour does not mean play based, it often refers to an assessment (often used as a curriculum) that emphasises teaching language skills called the VB-Mapp. The VB-Mapp curriculum can be taught using discrete trials. The Lovaas curriculum can be taught through play.

Some very savy behaviour analysts branded "VB" as something distinct from "Lovaas," and used it to mean "not table based." This was a shrewd move about 10 years ago, because the first discrete trial progammes in the UK developed a dodgy reputation.

You need a good consultant who will teach your child in the way s/he needs to be taught in a variety of settings. Any consultant who only does things one way is likely to be a poorly trained or unimaginative consultant.

There is no research showing that discrete trials or play based learning are more effective than each other.

PECS are great. Some people prefer makaton, but again, there is no evidence at all that one is better than the other. Different children have different needs. Any communication system is better than none.

Good luck. I am not from the Midlands and do not know the area, but I hope you find someone you really like.

lottieandmia Tue 19-Nov-13 00:42:07

I agree, it's a misconception that VB equals only play based and not table top. Vince Carbone very definitely uses DTT as can be seen in his training videos, but the difference is the prompting procedures - errorless learning instead of 'no, no, prompt'.

philomena15 Tue 19-Nov-13 01:40:23

Thank you all for your prompt response to my message and it is really helping me a lot to decide about the program. I did not expect so many response for my message and the support is really consoling for me.

Also, I am talking by phone to some parents who are doing ABA now. I am getting more positive advice about VB. I am seeing many parents switched from Lovaas to VB.

I am going to meet a Consultant tomorrow. I will update here after the visit. Hope everything goes well.


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