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Help with ABA - How do i get started?

(80 Posts)
mum2fred Fri 26-Jun-09 16:39:51

OK. There seems to be a consensus on here that ABA is a really effective way to go and dh and I really want to get a program started (ds1 2.5 ASD). Just wasted an hour trying to source good info on it (should have just stayed on MN!)

So far I have had a good look at PEACH and requested an info pack.

Does anyone else know of an organisation/ case manager / consultant that works from central or South London? Personal recommendations would be adored.


We have miraculously managed to get DS into a very nice local nursey for 2 days a week (as his socialisation sits on zero) and would like to keep him in that. Would ABA be able to work around that - ie. is is possible/ effective to do it part-time over 3 days a week?


how long will it take me (if i push hard) to get a program up and running?

Any other thoughts, links or first-hand experiences with ABA would be appreciated.

Phew! Thanking you in advance.....

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 26-Jun-09 18:40:32

There is a chap called Duncan Fennemore who you could google as I think he has his own ABA company. He is in London and might be able to a) run an initial "getting to know ABA " session with you or maybe even b) recommend a supervisor to you. You may though have to go on sites like the ABA/VB community or the AWARES noticeboard and recruit your own tutors. The tutors can work alongside nursery, yes. Don't let anyone put you off by saying you have to do 40 hours a week or anything like that, there is a lot of mythology around ABA. My DS at your DS's age did am's in nursery and pm's with ABA tutors (so only 15 hours ABA per week) but it worked really really well. You are doing the right thing - no doubt in my mind, and I have tried TEACCH as well, plus SALT, plus OT. The only other thing I would definitely do at your DS's age is give fish oil for his developing brain. And use EVERY opportunity to get him to vocalise "you want what, you want ch....chocolate, that's right" etc. The other way of recruiting tutors is that once you have one on board, get onto a nanny website and train someone up by shadowing the first one. It is hard to get going, but it is SO worth it.

mum2fred Sat 27-Jun-09 14:30:48

thanks sickof. that is exactly what i wanted. it is so hard to decide how to go forward, having the opinions of people a few steps ahead is invaluable. but it def seems that ABA is effective for most people and we want to see some results. but so many of the other therapies seem like good ideas, it has been a hard decsion. im a bit nervous as hte nursery only does full days (half day not an option) so it is looking like 2 days of nursery - 9 to 4 - and then 3 full on days of ABA (plus some over weekend).... not really ideal ratio for his week, would prefer if it was a bit more spread out over the week.

had not considered fish oil (in fact have not looked at diet at this point at all. think that a lot of people do gluten-free? Ohhhh this list of things to do is ENDLESS!)

am i going to have to buy a laminator and printer? hmm

PipinJo Sat 27-Jun-09 15:46:13

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PipinJo Sat 27-Jun-09 15:55:21

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mum2fred Sat 27-Jun-09 19:07:38

thanks pipinjo. that is all really helpful advice.

sadly my ds doesnt really seem to have many reinforcers. His Panda teddy and his evening bottle of milk are the two things he loves above all else, but i couldnt imagine using them as a 'reward' as they are sort of emotional trasitional things he has had since birth... only other thing would be popcorn and a dinosaur dvd. Actually, they would probably be great.

OK. I just typed out an internal monologue. Apologies.

I have a lot of those sorts of toys, sadly he is uninterested in most of them. Yes also to a space set aside with table nad chairs for him.

I would like to take on a few sessions myself as I know DH would also over the weekends. We do have a DS2 (10months) so will definately have to hire. We live a suburb away from a big london colledge which has a psychology department so was thinking that that was a place to look. I have used gumtree to find a nanny in hte past and found that 90% of responses were crap.(that being said, i did find someone great) pipinjo Did you get a few quality responses?.

Hmmmm.... i guess that lovely paperchase a4 box i bought (shoebox size) ain't going to cut it...... might have to get DH to pillage his office!

statementing.... LEA funding.... Only got unexpected dx a few weeks ago...have not looked into this too much. seems to me from lurking on other threads it is a bit of a nightmare... which is why e just wanted to get it started...and cross our fingers....

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Jun-09 22:00:40

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StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Jun-09 22:02:50

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PipinJo Sat 27-Jun-09 22:40:41

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mum2fred Sat 27-Jun-09 23:44:23

StarMck - i think we are at similar points to be honest. Perhaps my bravado makes me seem further ahead grin . But after a week of crying ive decided to be ridiculously positive, be in control and get. things. happening. Whilst I love the ideas in Floortime and think many of the other therapies out there have great potential...

...i think you summed it up perfectly on your other thread on ABA (im a lurker!)

'I want a systematic approach, with clear aims and objectives with measured outcomes and impact, not a random distribution of isolated 'support hours' given by loads of different people with a range of training styles, levels and personal preferences. '

spot on.

keep updating us with how it is going. we can compare war stories

and out of interest - how are you finding hte interaction between your boys? It breaks my heart how much DS2 follows DS1 around and gets nothing....

pipinjo thanks for the positivity and more excellent ideas! it will be a pleasure to film DS1, he is rather cute. Are there specific times/instances which I should try to film? Perhaps in one of his trantrums when we try to get him to stop playing with the toilet-bowl water ? Tee hee. I guess also maybe in his play (pouring sand, pouring water, spreading my clean laundry about the house) and maybe when he counts to ten (two, two, feh,fuh,ive, di-ix, uhnn, aucht, neun, tin!... perhaps he is fluent in german?). Advice taken on the hiring of tutors. A couple of hours ago I did a cheeky email to a couple of people advertsing
on gumtree right now for ABA to see what sort of replies they got... and thankfully the people didnt think me nutty (i heart the ASD community!) and told me how good the results were and how happy they were with the responses and the ABA program in general.
ALSO - pipinjo how long has your DS been doing ABA? s it still full-time? I must applaud you, i often wonder how single mums do it with NT kids, let alone one with SN -i can't imagine how hard it must be, its inspiring.

On a slight aside, what is harddest for me at the moment is that on top of all this research im trying to do, in light of dx, DH nad I have decided to try to move back to Australia as soon as we can to be with family. So im desperately trying to find out what ABA is on offer there (not a whole lot) and am in Limbo as to whether to actually start a program here (ie invest all that £££ now only to have ot do it again in Aus). It is likely that it would take us a year to get back there so it's a real headfark. I dont want to be starting this when he's 4

But, to be honest, im going ahead as though we are not going back because in ths state of limbo, it's the only way i can keep sane.

full steam ahead!

(my local LEA better watch out! come Monday.... they ont know what has [nicely at this point] hit them!

mum2fred Sat 27-Jun-09 23:44:47

is that the time?

BAD Mumsnet! BAD!

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 28-Jun-09 08:31:07

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mum2fred Sun 28-Jun-09 09:30:27

starlght did i say 1-2 years? (i cant find it, i probably did). But in my positive way, I I guess I do see this as a long term therapy and that all going well it will go for that period of time probably longer. And i will set it up with that in my mind, However I will no doubt re-evaluate at some point along the way (3-6 months)to make sure it is the right thing for DS1.

sorry about calling your little girl a boy! i think i just assume that everyone in the orld has a little boys. sigh a girl must be lovely.

i know what you mean about DD2 outpacing DS1. Just this morning DS2 started playing the cutest peek-a-boo of his own initiative... somethng DS1 only started a couple of months ago I think that is awesome you are maybe thinging of another kid. I think i would like that too (but im pretty scared about it also), but realistically with this dx it wont happen for a few years until DS1 is in full-time schooling.

that sounds like a good plan wth the ABA also (i tkink - no knowledge here though!). It sounds like a very thoughtful approach and one that should surely present a proper case to the LEA. Will the results of what the LEA offer be meausurable or quantifiable? Do you even know yet what they plan to do with your whopping 1.5 hours a week?

pipinjo i forgot to mention how happy the idea of buying a dolls house has made me!

re: my whole limbo thing. i got 2 emails back from the only two places that offer ABA in my city (1.5 `million population) and both encouraged me to use the UK services if i could

PipinJo Sun 28-Jun-09 09:32:30

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mum2fred Sun 28-Jun-09 13:21:57

pipinjo i have avoided looking at ths whole statementing business TBH as it seems to be one of the things people find hardest. right now im focusing on getting ds1 into the right therapy asap. once those balls are rolling i can take on the other stuff. we are lucky enough to have come into a bit of money lately so that we can cover getting things started. Having a look at IPSEA... looks daunting! But dh has a bit of legal experience so might make this one his project.... hmm or in the very least insist that he is involved as I get so lost in those types of documents.

will start. but still have DLA to hand in, nursery to settle him in, ABA sessions to organise sitting in on, ABA assesments to organise, AND start looking at dolls houses grin ....

also want to tackle nursery as I an to see if they will make an exception for his hours (As i want to spread out ABA a bit more over the week) and also whether they ould be illing to have some of their staff trained in ABA. etc. etc.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 28-Jun-09 14:44:56

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PipinJo Sun 28-Jun-09 22:36:41

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electra Sun 28-Jun-09 22:47:29

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mum2fred Mon 29-Jun-09 09:57:31

starlight absolutely no offense possibly taken! i agree with you on that one.

pipinjo he is due to start nursery next week as they had a vacancy and considering his circumstances tehy were happy to accept him early.(did i mention im moving house next week? argh!). SO looks like nursery will start before ABA. not ideal? Hmmm. Also - Six weeks from dx letter. I have not yet receieved that letter but will call today as i need it for about 10 dfferent things (dla, autism services in australa, statementing etc. etc.). Not lookng forward ot getting it though. Suspect it will be a teary day

electra thanks for your thoughts, really interesting what you say about the two ABA styles. In my ignorance i thouht it was standard VB across the board, i didnt realise that Lovaas was actually another style of program. functional analysis what what? So that tdbit was invaluable and sending me straight back to the research boards (but to be fair, im still waiting on info packs from 3 providers adn books from amazon). Membership to yahoo group is pending.

must run as have errands to run this morning but will write something a bit more thoughtful in the afternoon.

(hmm. i must change my nickname, i do have a second ds who deserves a mention...)

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Jun-09 11:20:29

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silverfrog Mon 29-Jun-09 11:22:27

I agree Sean Rhodes is excellent <waves to Electra>

he has really helped us with a few tricky problmes that dd1 has set us, and is great at thinking outside the box and coming up with novel ways to tackle things.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Jun-09 11:42:50

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silverfrog Mon 29-Jun-09 11:53:50

consulatnt's travel, but of course then you pay a transport cost (Sean'si sfairly reasonable) so it can end up costing more. I guess having someone local-ish would ease that a bit, but tbh, i'd go with who you instinctively feel will suit you/your family best (as in ways of working, thoughts on how to present programme etc)

mum2fredandpudding Mon 29-Jun-09 15:15:57

electra or *anyone who knows!*- ive done a bit of research and from what im getting back it seems like VB programs place more emphasis on the value/expressive content and the functional content of the language component of ABA thank Lovaas. ie. One of the primary ideas behind Verbal Behavior approach is that the meaning of a word is found in its function and not in the word itself. - would this be a fair assessment of the differences between programs?

if so, to my mind the VB program is offering a more rounded therapy.

Sean is based in Bristol (According to google) - right? Pretty simple trip into London then....

Will contact his org and see if they are available and what timescales are.

New questions on ABA
(i love you people!)

- How does NHS-offered SALT fit in with ABA? Is it something I should contnue on top, or is ABA integrated enough to not need it?

- Is there any other techniques, skills, or programs i should learn prior ot getting ABA started (well- in the interim waiting for it to start)? Eg. PECS has been bandied around a bit on these pages.

thank you everyone for your help. you have saved us hours nad hours of faffing about on the internet and really solidified our positiity for this therapy.

starlight ive got a pack from Peach and waiting to hear from CEIEC and UKYAP - all orgs based in/near London. where are you based?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Jun-09 17:17:33

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