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First ABA meeting ~advice/ideas?

(20 Posts)
sadminster Tue 18-Aug-09 11:17:17

We're meeting our ABA consultant on Saturday, I'm feeling vaguely apprehensive about it. He's asked us to have some activities that show ds's skills (currently falling to the ground, screaming, upsetting the baby), I don't have any idea of what to expect though.

What should we be asking about (practicalities (tutors etc), whether he can design a programme we can actually manage, what kind of improvement can we expect/over what timescale, language specific questions - PECS etc)?

silverfrog Tue 18-Aug-09 13:01:18

sadminster, can I ask, did you go ahead with SR as coonsultant?

If so, that's who I use, and he is really helpful. When he first arrived at our house, dd1 was in full tantrum mode (wanted me to read a story again, I didn't want to!) so he got to see her best side straight away grin

after that, we just sat and had a chat abuot stuff - I'd filled in some forms for him ahead of time, and sent on multiple reports that filled out dd1's skills/lack of skills, so he had a bit of an idea about her backgorund.

we had also spoken at lentgh as to dd1's issues on the phone.

the way we handled it was to let him take the lead in describing programmes etc - he is the expert after all! so he came in, sat down and had a cup of tea while chatting to us, and at the same time he started trying to engage dd1 in something (anything really - he picked up a rattle of dd2's that was lying arouind that dd1 had never even glanced at before!) and he took it form there.

we had a few specific aims in mind (less tantrums please, and how to handle dd1's echolalia) - our main aim at that point was a smoother running of day-to-day life, rather than any specific learning targets (this has changed over timee - each time he comes down we re-evaluate what we are doing/where we are going)

I twend ot shy away form asking what improvement over wha timescale - it isn't really a question that can be answered by anyone with any accuracy.

good luck with the meeitng - I hope it goes well for you.

mum2fredandpudding Tue 18-Aug-09 13:21:53

hi sad - good luck with it. silverfrog is absolutely right - he is the expert and he will lead the session and ask all the approprite questions and have the answers you need. he will absolutey be able to design an appropriate program designed around your needs, ds's needs nad the resources at hand.

I second perhaps having a thought about what behaviours you want to increase/decrease. Our were simple things such as less screaming, better manding (requesting), creatively playing with his toys and things like being able to take him for a walk without strapping him into the pram (he's a runner with NO sense of danger) etc. etc. I would also suggest that you come up with a list of 'reinforcers' - things that your ds finds very favourable nad likely to illicit engagement and positive behaviour in order to get it. Our reinforcers are things like popcorn and raisins, songs and games like 'this little piggy' and 'the wheels on the bus' to things like his scooter, his fav book and cuddles etc.

It's scary to start it and absolutely right to feel apprehensive - but at only a month in we are really happy with what is happening already. DS LOVES the changes and the extra, focused attention brings numerous results every day.

Im currently keeping a short journal where I put in things of note - like additional words (today he has mastered 'Open', two days ago he said 'Mama' appropraitely for hte first time!!) additional skills (changing his toy pandas nappy) and concerns (we are trying to start nursery and it is not so straightforward). Each day only has a few dot points and it is great to be able to look back on his progress. Do you have a video camera? It is a good idea to film some of DSs more inappropriate behaviours and the changes he makes under ABA as it will be a valuable tool to use in the future. Also there is a lot of info to take on in the first session so handy to have it to watch back.

Good luck, im sure you will feel great at the end of saturday.

sadminster Tue 18-Aug-09 13:22:21

Thanks Silverfrog, yes we've gone with SR I'm sure he's seen most things before!

I knew it was wishful thinking improvement/timescale (had a very bad night with ds & feeling slightly desperate). I suppose our first aims are to get him to pay any attention at all to anything we say, how to respond when he's naughty (I have no idea what he understands) and then what can be do to improve the language issue. I'd love him to come when I call or stop ... or both!

I want him to tell me what to do with ds - I'm burnt out & need clear direction hmm

(ds is currently very cross with me because I wouldn't give him a chair to knock over to show his displeasure at not being allowed to sit on the TV)

sadminster Tue 18-Aug-09 13:49:21

m2fred .... awww he's doing so well! I'd love to hear Mummy, ds says Daddy but has never attempted Mummy

Our initial aims seem pretty similar to yours. I'm not sure that ds has any concept of getting things he wants from positive behaviour.

The chair stand-off continues so I'd better go.

smallwhitecat Tue 18-Aug-09 17:39:12

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sadminster Tue 18-Aug-09 19:41:48

Luckily ds is still very motivated by biscuits/chocolate/bubbles/felt tip pens/stickers etc, I've joined the local toy library so I can rotate things in & out without it costing too much.

Survived GP today - ds didn't have melt down but found open (ground floor) window & was pretty much out by the time I caught him!

MuffinToptheMule Tue 18-Aug-09 20:26:24

I've just started work as an ABA tutor. I've been doing it for about 3 weeks and I find it totally amazing. I second what other people have said about reinforcers. Have a good think about what ds enjoys to do and what he likes eating. I'm constantly on the look out for reinforcers and as other people have said they are always changing.

moondog Wed 19-Aug-09 07:44:22

Best of luck Sadminster. All great advice here. I'm not surprised you feel burnt out but a good ABA consultant can and will take control and spell out to you what needs to be done.

I'm sure you will feel better when it is up and running and you sense control over the destiny of your family and child.

smallwhitecat Wed 19-Aug-09 14:30:39

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sadminster Thu 20-Aug-09 11:18:11

Thanks for the pep talk - v. much appreciated.

I'm putting in more than 12 hours a week 'extra' one to one with ds as it is ... I need something than has tangible results & goals or I'm going to lose my mind.

mum2fredandpudding Thu 20-Aug-09 14:16:36

we just had our first team meeting with the tutors nad consultant. it is about a month after our training days. during this month the tutors have put in a lot of work forming a relationship with DS1 and positioning themselves as reinforcers nad awesome play buddies. THis process might be a bit quicker for you as we had all sorts of housing issues and were trialling various tutors which pushed this initial process out a bit.

But yesterdays meeting was full-on, full of detail, tangible targets and explicit activities and techniques to put in place. DP nad I are estatic as we see so much improvement in DS already, we are excited about how this focused direction will impact on him. Already his initiation of communication, his attempting new words nad echoing as well as his motor immitation skills have come along significantly. We will be working on creating clear, spontaneous manding (no prompting), intorducing verbs into his vocab and to a lesser extent getting his echoic response under stimulus control, and less-preferred tasks (ie those not as obviously reinforcing as manding) like motor immitation and taking receptive instructions. So full steam ahead!! It is so great to have people helping me see clearly where the developmental issue are, in what order and how to address them.

I woudl also recommend beyond your own personal journal i mentioned above which keeps a short list of sanyhitng of note - of getting some sort of diary which each person writes in after their session about how it went. THat means the next person along can read it and get tips etc.

Good luck

sadminster Thu 20-Aug-09 16:11:54

Hi mum2fred

It sounds like you're making such good progress, I think your ds is more able than mine - I've just done a VB assessment on him and it is really bad. He doesn't mand vocally, has some tacting, no echoic response, no intraverbals, limited receptive skills, does not imitate at all as far as 'do this' is concerned and would never match items when asked to. I feel like we need a miracle

electra Thu 20-Aug-09 16:21:35

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mum2fredandpudding Thu 20-Aug-09 22:33:57

sad - did you do hte VB Mapp? My DS (2.8)rarely cracked level 2 (18motnhs to 3 years) so not a particularly favourable assessment in VB terms. But I'm not worrying about that. Its more about hte every day - the little things that he picks up. And what he picks up are not huge in other people's world but they are amazing in mine. ANd what is key to this process is that he is beginning to pick up pace - He is most most definately picking things up at a much faster rate - across the board. In his language, in his behaviour. ANd this is what I'm finding so encouraging. And that is absoultely coming from hte increased focused attention of ABA.

When you choose something like this, which basically rips a huge hole in your pocket for years to come, you yourself invest a lot of effort in it becsue you want good value nad becuase I think you realise that this is a fantastic opportunity you need to make the best of for your dc. My DS did a bit of vocal manding (aka screaming) and some tacting in his fav books - but many of those hitngs you mentione - immitation, receptive skills, intraverbals, etc - were almost completely absent in DS before we started the program. And i see them every day now.

it will be great.

sadminster Fri 21-Aug-09 09:23:41

mum2fred, it was a quick assessment not the full VB-MAPP. You're right of course - I want to see progress & I get massively excited by even tiny things.

Yesterday dh, ds & dd1 went to visit MIL, I used pictures to explain to ds where he was going & who he would see (thanks Lingle ) & I am sure he understood. No tantrums, he kissed me goodbye & waved without prompting ... after a really horrible day it made me smile

This really is the only help we're going to get - it's 3 months to see paed, at least 6 months for diagnosis, SALT is generally crap - if we left it to the NHS we'd have to wait until he was nearly 4 angry

mum2fredandpudding Fri 21-Aug-09 13:41:25

sad - that sounds great. especially the waving! my DS has only started waving and saying 'bye-bye' in the last 2 days, and never unprompted. BUT as you'll agree - a pretty big deal in our world! And these little things are coming thick and fast.

ABA is (in my opinion of course) the BEST help you cna get, nad therefore in matter such as these (our children!) the ONLY help.

On wednesday we decided to highlight the 'Pa' sound - one which is missing from his speech - and already we have 4 examples of him making it. Without ABA I dont think we would have realised that was an issue, been able to identify it as a primary sounds he needed to progress and then implement ways of getting him to make it.

must go - so much to do!
Good luck with tomorrow. I cant wait to hear how it goes.

sadminster Mon 31-Aug-09 19:56:01

Mum2Fred my ds' VB-MAPP is awful - mand, listener, imitation, echoic (for which he gets a big fat zero sob ) & vocal are only Level 1, play social, group & linguistics just scrape into Level 2.

After a week we're still stuck (very, very stuck) on motor imitation ~ we're working up to 10 hours a week initially then aiming for 20.

mum2fredandpudding Tue 01-Sep-09 15:56:31

sad - we are well in level 1 also with most of them. only scraping into level 2 in a few columns. bit disheartening... BUT....

Its ALLLL fine though because hes smart and willing to learn nad I see ABA working all the time. He will just take a bit longer than other kids, but I have no doubt that he will get there one day no doubt.

how do you mean stuck on motor mmitation? (or will this b the email?)

sadminster Tue 01-Sep-09 16:34:25

thanks mum2fred - I'm on full on crisis mode right now.

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