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ABA compliance programme - fatigue/lethargy

(9 Posts)
amunt Thu 11-Jun-15 20:38:20

We have just started doing an ABA programme ourselves with supervision. Ds has real issues with compliance and a lot of the initial programme is based around this. He's making good progress, but he gets so lethargic and has even fallen asleep at afternoon nursery - where he also has to comply. It's as though his body shuts down under the weight of having to comply. We are only doing 2 - 3 hours a day.

Has anyone else had experience of this?

StarlightMcKenzee Thu 11-Jun-15 23:10:34

No. I'm not clear what you mean by comply though. A good ABA programme usually means the child is choosing to engage in a fun task that you have set up, with small amounts of learning and demands switch in unnoticed.

Is your child just being extremely active? excited? and needs to rest, or drained emotionally? I hope not the latter.

amunt Thu 11-Jun-15 23:30:22

I'm fearing that he may be a bit drained emotionally, but not sure how to avoid it.

The set up is supposed to be: about 2-3 minutes at the table and then some fun, pretty much toys, interaction anything I can do to reinforce. But, by the time the activity at the table is over, he's sort of zoned out and it's really difficult to get him buzzing (which he usually is). A typical activity at the table would be for him to copy an action of mine playing on a play set. Because of his compliance/control issues he always puts his own spin on it (or doesn't copy at all) and so he's prompted to try again which gets a mini tantrum. So this sort of thing over a few hours, even though there isn't much time spent at the table, seems to take it out of him.

Maybe I'm reading to much into it and he's just not on top form at the moment. But it's good to get reminded that it should be fun StarlightMcKenzee, because it doesn't feel like it at the moment for either of us. And I don't think it's the programme, I think I just need to find a way to make it less of a battle.

StarlightMcKenzee Thu 11-Jun-15 23:37:21

Oh gosh! I think the lessons must be too hard for him. He needs to be successful and able to achieve what you are asking of him at least 80% of the time not because you MAKE him, but because he wants to and he can.

And if you have been doing it like that for a while then he will 'expect' the table stuff to be awful and resist before you've even asked him to take a bite out of his most favourite food ever and refuse to do it simply because it was something you asked.

I would change the place, reduce the demands, get him to see how much fun and lovely you are to be with before I did anything else tbh.

I'm not criticising. I know it is hard and a big job for a parent to take on, not least because it is harder to step outside of the situation because you just want your child to progress and all this 'having fun stuff' seems like you are wasting the valuable learning time, but it is SO important that you get his cooperation willingly.

amunt Thu 11-Jun-15 23:58:42

It is pretty much constant fun and attention all the rest of the day, but it seems to mean so much to him to give up the minimum of control. I certainly don't think you're criticising and really appreciate the input. I'll look at a change of place and reduction in demands to get some momentum and willingness. Thanks

StarlightMcKenzee Fri 12-Jun-15 09:36:25

Can you watch him and start to give him instructions in the things he is doing anyway. So if he reaches for a truck say 'pick up truck'. If he starts to stand up say 'stand up' etc. to blur the lines a bit?

cansu Fri 12-Jun-15 17:01:45

Try moving the skill you are teaching away from the table. I had terrible trouble initially with receptive language but once I moved the task to the floor and made it more engaging dd got it. We were trying to teach her to discriminate between two labels shoe and nappy. I made it into a game where she had to run and get the right item and she seemed to get it much quicker than sitting at the table. I also increased the physical rewards and did lots of spinning and tickling to make it v motivating. All that said I thing ABA is demanding and we used to let dd have plenty of chilling time afterwards.

amunt Sat 13-Jun-15 23:44:44

I've tried doing that today StarlightMcKenzee and although he still wants to 'subvert' the instruction, it's much more fun and conflict free.

And, thanks cansu, you're right, spending some of the session on the floor or in the garden seems to create some natural motivation which at the moment is lacking when he's at the table.

Elisabennet Sun 14-Jun-15 13:52:31

You could pair table with reinforcers Before you work on structured tasks. I think perhaps if he can only sit at table for 2 min and you make him do something hard for 2 minutes he may not want to sit more. I believe pairing process is very important (people, table, new work environment etc). I'd imagine your consultant/ supervisor should be able to turn that around. So much can be done whilst having fun! Good luck

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