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ABA wobbles

(33 Posts)
phlebas Wed 26-Aug-09 20:05:23

(I've name changed for this - I've been clogging up the forum with ABA threads for the past month)

We had our consultant visit & spend the day with ds & us. We'll see him again in the next couple of weeks & he'll send us a report & plan.

DS has major avoidance issues. We're working on gross motor imitation, he imitates well (picking up signs rapidly) but not to command, so it's an exercise in compliance. The vague plan is that we move from gross motor imitation to oro-motor to vocal imitation (ds' biggest deficit is language).

We're pretty much doing it ourselves atm, ds is vaguely more cooperative & we've had a couple of unprompted successes - but nothing consistent. It is supposed to be errorless so I'm doing instruction ... pause ... physical prompt ... reinforce (I'm trying to do it differentially so the less strongly I have to prompt the greater the reward).

Has anyone got an heartening stories of non-complaint children being won over hmm ... how long did it take?

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 26-Aug-09 20:15:00

It does take a while, but yes I have a very positive story. The tricky thing is to understand that your DS will get upset/will cry / will tantrum but in the end will calm down and accept that he has to do his "work". Don't think you are being cruel - this is the best chance you are giving him here of making progress. My DS used to scream the place down and try and avoid work - it took a few months to settle down. But the gross motor imitations did indeed lead to oro-motor, did indeed lead to him learning to talk!! I still get goosebumps thinking about it. Keep it up, don't let him put you off by his tears or tantrums - keep at it. In some senses, he has to learn that you/tutors are the boss, not him. Your will has to win, not his. Good luck - I know you will not regret it.

phlebas Wed 26-Aug-09 21:44:43

thanks SOSCE ds doesn't tantrum so much (although he did for the consultant) but becomes limp & passive, withdraws eye contact, lies down & tries to fall asleep, or (a new one today) climbs into my lap & kisses me.

We will continue - I just completed his VB-MAPP which is pretty depressing

PipinJo Wed 26-Aug-09 21:59:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PipinJo Wed 26-Aug-09 22:07:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

phlebas Wed 26-Aug-09 23:13:23

"these can be the hardest to ignore as sooooo cute"

Absolutely! They are little stinkers wink

I appreciate hearing that it din't all come together overnight ... ds has some strengths but his language issues are huge & I'm so scared for him

PipinJo Wed 26-Aug-09 23:23:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

phlebas Thu 27-Aug-09 09:56:41

Pipin, that's exactly what I needed to hear - we had another difficult session this morning. We've only been going for 5 days (14 hours a week atm) but no improvements & that's scary.

DS can talk, but he has very few words & often doesn't use them we had a perfectly enunciated 'bubbles' on Tuesday which I haven't heard for ages), the consultant thinks he has also issues with dyspraxia - but he wants to communicate, he often initiates spontaneous communication with makaton signs.

phlebas Thu 27-Aug-09 11:50:33

argh is it supposed to get worse?

I managed 10 minutes of complete nightmare before he smashed his head on the floor & kicked me in the face, all the time the baby is screaming blue murder. I stopped the session when he paused long enough to count to three. Trying to settle baby then will try again.

This isn't anything like the ABA videos on youtube

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 27-Aug-09 15:03:23

It is like when you have to go back to work after 2 weeks holiday - he really doesn't see why his nice easy life should be interrupted by all this work, so he's giving it his all to try and get you all to stop bugging him! After a while, he will get that all his moods/kisses/cuteness don't stop the same outcome - he has to do some work, but Pipin is right that if he starts to get rewards for tiny bits of work (in my boy's case it was either maltesers, or a big push on the swing!) he will start to see the benefit. Don't give up - it isn't just you, it really is hard, but that's why in the end it works (as opposed, in my view, to wooly stuff like TEACCH, which never really expects much from our kids, and therefore never really achieves much either). I have had one theory throughout this whole battle -I dictate what DS does, not DS; and I'm aiming high for him, not low. Good luck!

phlebas Thu 27-Aug-09 19:31:29

We've had a bit of a breakthrough!

I decided to change the reinforcer (crisps) & did a session when I knew ds was hungry blush we had no tantrums, minimal avoidance (mainly looking away or hands in nappy hmm ) and 50% of actions done without prompts - with huge cheesey grins from ds the other half required some prompting but it was like working with a different child. Obviously long way to go but there's my glimmer of hope!

He'd better watch out because I know he can do it now! grin (and I know he can enjoy it!)

I've also found a lovely CM who is going to have my dd2 for 2.5 hours 4 times a week so I can concentrate on ds ... dh is going to start cycling to work (we have a gas-guzzler) to save money to put towards a tutor a couple of afternoons a week.

Thank you both for the encouragement

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 27-Aug-09 19:50:41

fantastic - hunger and food, the best motivators going! Well done!

DavethePlasterer Thu 27-Aug-09 20:01:25

LOL phelbas You're SO obvious.

My plans are the same. DD has to go to a childminder across the road sad

Starting ABA as soon as the world gets going again after the summer break. Parent tutors (with another for 5 hours - hopefully ds' preschool 1:1 whoever that will be).

Very scared! - Now do you know who I am?

phlebas Thu 27-Aug-09 20:25:10

Hey Dave wink

DD's CM is 2 doors down from us ... it feels a tiny bit less scary having her so close

I'm still in a state of disbelief about my life ... I was a lentil weaving-never used child care-autonomously HE-ing-long term breast feeder & now all of a sudden I'm Pavlov-ing my ds wink & putting the dds in childcare & I'll wean dd2 if necessary but hope to avoid it ... crazy, I'm still in the land of WTF.

I'd like two afternoon sessions with an experienced tutor ideally ... I think it would do my confidence the world of good - it is pretty scary doing it all yourself (we must email the consultant 3 or 4 times a day blush )

PipinJo Thu 27-Aug-09 20:39:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaleyDale Thu 27-Aug-09 20:40:39

OMG, - you are SO me! Are you? - Sorry tis Dave - having a spate of name changing.

phlebas Fri 28-Aug-09 09:30:20

This morning was back to tantrums ho hum

Have portage in an hour which never goes well & I just got ds' CARS result - feel insanely upset by it.

MaleyDale Fri 28-Aug-09 09:46:54

Oh plebas We we scored on GARS on Monday and it was worse than we were hoping/expecting, but you know it doesn't change anything and it absolutely must not change your expectations of progress. Keep them high.

Our area doesn't do portage so I'm not sure what it is, but is it an opportunity for you to have 30mins break and collect yourself?

phlebas Fri 28-Aug-09 11:54:22

Psychologically (for me at least) there seems to be a huge difference in my ability to remain optimistic with mild rather than moderate. It's a stupid reaction because it is all about behaviours ... ds' most 'autistic' being language problems ... & I know the problems, that's why we're doing ABA.

Didn't cry during portage ... felt like it though. He managed 40 minutes(v. good for him) before he started throwing toys around - he started waving goodbye 5 minutes in (he waves to make people go away). It's all his classic demand avoidance stuff - his way or the highway.

He broke one of the toys today as well ... HV told me that they are all 'scratching their heads' about what to do with him *eye roll* Have finally got it through to SALT that we don't want to use PECS (BIBIC & ABA agree it isn't right for him & I'm going to trust them right now) ---> she's going to find out about makaton training (yippee) & attempt to fast-track us to CDC.

phlebas Fri 28-Aug-09 13:17:50

This is awful, I'm starting to think we've made a terrible mistake - 2 long sessions today, back to what it was like with the consultant (tantrums, sobbing). I have no idea what to do, it is now really upsetting.

I thought ABA was a few minutes of some activity then some playing then more of the task. We've been asked to do an hour at a time of this compliance stuff ... is it pre-ABA, no point trying to teach him if he won't do what we ask?

Would getting a really good tutor help - someone who'll just do hours and hours until he complies?

phlebas Fri 28-Aug-09 15:41:50

I'm worried I'm encouraging the non compliance - he gets rewarded whether he's prompted or not - errorless. 99.9% of all his responses have been fully prompted) - why would that encourage him to do it unprompted?

SOSCE & Pipin - what were you actually doing in the early stages, was it just gross motor imitation like we're doing?

I'm having to do the sessions on the bed because I worried he'll get hurt if we're anywhere near a hard surface.

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 28-Aug-09 18:50:58

Yes we started with just gross motor imitations, but also teaching him how to play and making it fun - eg lots of noise and excitement with cars. Also, they started quite early on walking him to the playground to go on swings (he had previously been unwilling to walk down the road, wanting only to be carried). You are doing the right things - it's early days yet. One other tip: forget ABA in the evenings, drink wine and watch crap TV, or whatever it takes to get your mind off it!

phlebas Fri 28-Aug-09 22:04:57

Argh just managed to delete my post.

Thanks SOSCE ... we have a new plan from the consultant & will continue. Would really like to see some progress (if only minimal - ds is currently refusing the reinforcer despite asking for it at other times) in the next three days as he has a day at the CM on Tuesday (essential for my mental health) & we will lose momentum.

Have new/better reinforcers & an indoor trampoline. Oh & wine.

PipinJo Fri 28-Aug-09 22:31:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaleyDale Sat 29-Aug-09 00:02:24

phlebas Your ds is spirited. It'll serve him well when he has learned how to use it to his advantage. At the moment it isn't being used productively and you have to knock it on the head until he has the skills and maturity to own it responsibly.

My ds is similar. When he is in one of his moods he'll ask for chocolate and when I jump up and down with excitement at his verbal request and instantly offer him some he tosses his head to one side and whines, - so I put it back and then he yells, so I try to give it to him, but he won't take it and so on and so on......

This is a GOOD thing I believe, - and gives a good prognosis, but you don't want him to be still whining when he is 12, you want him to have developed the skill to frustrate and control other people with his clever verbal reasoning instead! grin

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