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ABA vs other therapies - having major dilemmas and need advice (long - be warned!)

(15 Posts)
heartinthecountry Tue 19-Apr-05 19:43:04


As some of you will know we have been planning to start an ABA program with dd for some time now. We haven't quite got going for a number of reasons 1) money, we needed to find some! 2) finding tutors and 3) if I am totally honest probably because I am scared about making a commitment to it.

Well we now have 1 and 2 sorted so its really down to me.

I suppose my biggest concern is that we can only really self-fund for about 6 months, beyond that we just don't have the money. We had a visit from the EP who is dealing with Willow's statement today and after talking to him, I don't know, I just can't see us ever getting our LEA to fund us further. So we are maybe talking about doing ABA for 6 months and then having to stop.

So, bearing that in mind, is it worth starting it? dh is concerned that it may be confusing for dd to have one kind of approach for 6 months and for that to stop. I, tbh don't understand enough about how ABA works (particularly in tems of behvioural stuff) to know if this would potentially be a problem. I would be really interested to find out what those of you who do ABA think. InternationalGirl in particular I think you did a summer of ABA with your dd2 - how has that fitted in with other provision since? and Jimjams - I think you do P/T ABA so hs it been a problem for you to integrate it into other provision?

I suppose also, I just don't know if it is the right thing for dd. Would we be better off spending the money we have on a private physio and a private SALT and leaving her in her current provision, which is okay, though not great.

I think one of my problems is that because dd doesn't have autism there seems to be so little compelling evidence to say 'this is going to be the best way for your child to learn'.

I just don't want to get it wrong. We have had to borrow/beg a lot of money to do this. It is probably the only chance in dd's life that we will have to spend any money on getting her more help so if this f**ks up, that's it.

Would really appreciate any thoughts...

Blossomhill Tue 19-Apr-05 19:58:41

HITC - I am not sure if we have talked about this before but have you ever considered Bibic? A lot of the therapy that you do is at home and apart from the initial cost,so costs nothing!

Jimjams Tue 19-Apr-05 20:09:04

HITC- we do a part time ABA program- Saturdays only. It works fine with his provision (which is now behavioural based anyway). I suspect a full time course would be more effective, but we have seen real improvements. he now plays independently with toys (trains, puzzles etc), he imitates to a limited degree, his receptive language has come on a treat.

I'm reading up on the RDI lifestyle at the moment- although I still don't understand it tbh, but that's cheaper so can add it in anyway I think and will give me a framework for interaction I hope,

Bibic is good, but not really a replacement for school- whereas ABA could be.

Tricky one.


Blossomhill Tue 19-Apr-05 20:48:59

Jimjams - that is so lovely to hear Really pleased for you. Just knew your ds would come on once in the right school!!!

heartinthecountry Tue 19-Apr-05 20:50:17

BH - we have thought about BIBIC. Actually we have our phone interview next Monday. Even if we do ABA we think that a program from Bibic will probably be complementary and could help more with her motor delays.

Jimjams - did the ABA fit in as well when ds1 was in mainstream? I think we are probably looking at mainstream with support for dd, certainly at nursery/pre-school level.

Davros Tue 19-Apr-05 22:19:58

Hi HITC, I know you are thinking about BIBIC and, from what I know of your DD I think that would be good for you. But, as Jimjams says, its not a substitute or able to provide complementary learning to other education. I think having a workshop and trying ABA for a month or so would be a very good way to decide but I do understand what a big step it is. Believe it or not, I didn't want to do ABA and DH was the one who was convinced.... all those years ago
The thing is, it isn't going to solve everything and brings its own set of problems. But if, like Internationalgirl, you saw great progress and could learn enough yourselves then it would be worth it. Knowing who you are going to use to run the prog I don't see that as a problem and the potential tutors you have found may also be OK about it and could possibly morph into offering another type of care/help anyway.
If its a choice between ABA or BIBIC then I don't know, hopefully the phone consult will help.
Not helping much am I? Sorry! If you want to talk then please phone me. Although my background is full-on, intensive Lovaas etc etc I've got a lot more perspective on ABA since our early days.

Jimjams Tue 19-Apr-05 22:29:14

HITC- It didn't fit that well with mainstream because ms didn;t have a clue really. I spent so much time trying to teach them about reinforcement but they didn't get it.

The biggest problem with ms was ds1's lack of language- it may be different with a more verbal child. They were very out of their depth with ds1. If he had been in ms with an experienced shadow it may have been different though.

heartinthecountry Wed 20-Apr-05 10:22:21

Thanks - all helpful.

Davros - I may call you this eve if that is okay. I think I am a bit clearer in my head now and feel I want to go ahead with ABA. However, I have also realised I have to get my statement report in by the end of the week - eek!

RnB Wed 20-Apr-05 10:44:26

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heartinthecountry Wed 20-Apr-05 11:06:25

Thanks RnB.

We are only planning to do a P/T program (15 hours a week) anyway. But I think we will have to take dd out of her current provision in order to even do that. tbh I don't think it is the right place for her anyway. It is an early intervention centre and an almost completely non-verbal environment whereas I think dd would benefit from being with NT kids who would interact with her much more.

I've pondered a lot overnight and this morning, read through loads of stuff again and I do feel ABA is the right way to go. I think I am just feeling daunted by it all and a possible battle.

You are right of course, if it works, it will be money truly well spent. Its not so much that I am reluctant to spend the money - just that we don't have enough of it .

Thanks for your reassurance . Hey, what's happening with that meet up? would be good to see you again.

InternationalGirl Wed 20-Apr-05 21:14:24

Only just seen this..

HITC - I know trying anything new is going to be scary and a risk. ABA was the best thing for my dd2 at the time last summer and she has gone from strength to strength ever since but I never would have known if I hadn't tried and I certainly don't think she would have made the same kind of progress if we hadn't done it. Like Davros says - you could just try it for a month or so and see if W is receptive.

We are going through a similar thing at the moment trying to decide what kind of schooling for dd in the new country (special or mainstream) - funnily enough special autism school is a whole lot cheaper BUT we are not certain special school is the right thing for her - she has been doing well in mainstream but it is SOOOOOO expensive hence no money for therapy - double edge sword really. Still lots of investigating to do to find the best fit.

Sounds as though you've pretty much made up your mind about what you are going to do re ABA, but I know its still hard - keep us posted on how it goes.

RnB Wed 20-Apr-05 21:23:09

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Socci Wed 20-Apr-05 21:38:59

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Davros Thu 21-Apr-05 18:47:59

HITC, have you looked at ABA-UK today? There is quite a good thread on the issue of how to word parental input to statement and whether/how to mention ABA. Let me know if you can't get access. Don't think I suggested getting Peach funding pack..... too late for this week but might be worth it or maybe RnB, Socci or JakB has one? Mine's in the attic somewhere.

heartinthecountry Thu 21-Apr-05 19:24:17

Thanks Davros - just looked. Sounds pretty much that the advice is to do what I was going to do anyway so thats reassuring.

I have got the Peach pack - problem for me is all the supporting documents really are for autism, but it has been helpful in other ways.

Better get on with it now - it has to be in tomorrow!!

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