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aba people please help :(

(20 Posts)
phlebas Sun 30-Aug-09 08:56:18

I'm aware that I'm taking over the forum - I don't know anywhere else to ask for help (I'm on ABA-UK but am not sure if it is for general discussion).

It's a bank holiday weekend & we're not in contact with the consultant. I have massive concerns about what we're doing.

Basically ds is not compliant at all - he tantrums & goes rigid - we're doing errorless motor imitation ---> instruct-prompt-reward.

The prompt is physical/hand over hand he really resists it to the point where we have to force him to make the action - it was limp passive resistance which made him easy to prompt but this is wrestling & restraint to keep him sitting.

The tasks are ones he can & has done previously (gross motor imitation), we've got lots of reinforcers ... we're switching between a few minutes of work & really good play (trampoline/water pistol etc). What if he doesn't understand we want him to do?

I don't know what to do? How much is too much? Can we change anything ... I'm worried we're harming him.

PipinJo Sun 30-Aug-09 11:16:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PipinJo Sun 30-Aug-09 11:17:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

phlebas Mon 31-Aug-09 09:24:30

I will post on ABA-UK too thanks.

We changed approach yesterday - very short bursts of work then a longer break for play. Was more fun - we're also not forcing the prompt when he's tantrumming, we're waiting until he is less resistant then repeating the instruction & prompt. Had a really good am session - good compliance, even some actions un-prompted. The afternoon session was back to being a nightmare though. ds can only manage 20 minutes before completely flipping out.

It is very hard to remain optimistic when everything says this is the only thing that helps & it isn't helping. We really need more support from our consultant - bloody bank holiday.

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 31-Aug-09 13:30:18

Phlebas - Pipin is spot on about extinction burst and sticking with it. I am reading a book by Catherine Maurice, called Hear my Voice. Please read it, as it gives the most intelligent, uplifting and practical description of how ABA works that I have ever read. Perhaps he does need some days completely off? I must admit I never did ABA at weekends. But do not let his behaviour put you off teaching him - think of him at 18, and then you will realise that (despite his painful tears) you are doing the right thing!

PipinJo Mon 31-Aug-09 14:58:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

phlebas Mon 31-Aug-09 15:45:53

AM - fewer tantrums, was more compliant though not unprompted - at one point he came and sat down to continue the session without prompting though. Managed 50 minutes of work/play which is stretching it - he was exhausted.

PM - much worse - 15-20 minutes lots of tantrums but not unexpected. He does know what he's doing - he accidentally complied once & was extremely angry that he had hmm

(we're aiming for 2 hours a day atm so are still quite a way off, I regard this as only our second day though because what we were doing last week was totally the wrong approach for him - I think it set us back the very first session we ever did he was more compliant generally than he is now)

When we get going properly the idea is to do a 2.5 hour session 6 mornings a week & a couple of shorter afternoon sessions. He'll carry on going to the CM one day a week which will be his day off. I have to accept it will be slow progress & take a long time to build up the hours - he isn't hating it now (not upset just cross when he tantrums) & he loves the play bit. Really hard though.

Just ordered Sense & Nonsense, I'll try and get hold of the Catherine Maurice one after that.

Thanks for the hand holding

knat Mon 31-Aug-09 15:56:37

very interested in ABA but dont know where to start. Does it help with the contolling behaviours? as dd is very controlling and oppositional. Where do you start?n Thanks

PipinJo Mon 31-Aug-09 18:11:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sadminster Mon 31-Aug-09 18:22:23


sickofsocalledexperts, am I right in thinking you ran a VB programme? In an earlier thread you offered to talk through some issues I was having ... do you think I could take you up on the offer? My email is webmistress at outofthewest dot co dot uk I'd really appreciate your advice/experience.

PipinJo Mon 31-Aug-09 18:23:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Mon 31-Aug-09 18:24:17


sickofsocalledexperts Mon 31-Aug-09 19:11:26

sadminster - will email you. Can't remember if you were the person looking for an ABA supervisor in Surrey as I do now have a name if you were? Will email anyway

PipinJo Mon 31-Aug-09 19:33:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Tue 01-Sep-09 22:55:14

Look at the bottom right hand of the page for instruction. Tis easy. I promise!

PipinJo Tue 01-Sep-09 23:30:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

knat Wed 02-Sep-09 10:00:38

thanks i'll take a look

phlebas Wed 02-Sep-09 10:34:19

it's a nightmare Pipin I'm seriously doubting we'll ever make progress.

Advice now is to have very tiny bits of work (15 seconds) the a long break. I tried doing some imitation with objects I new he'd do this morning - block in cup, knock tower over, draw a line or dots - then masses of reinforcement, he did some of these but they were things I knew he'd regardless of me saying 'do this _'. I don't think he gets that he needs to do the same as me. As soon as I request one of the motor imitations that we've been working he totally flips out & runs off. I can't control & prompt him by myself.

We're only doing really short sessions - 40 minutes maximum. I feel so down about the whole thing, we feel totally lost & unprepared - an expensive disaster. Consultant said that it may well take a very long time to get the motor imitation (how long is a long time), but that once we've got it progress should be quicker. I don't know - I need real practical help with it.

Doesn't help that I started anti-depressants yesterday (urge to jump off bridge) - feel shit today loads of side effects & can barely stay awake.

phlebas Wed 02-Sep-09 10:44:38

thing is Pipin we've had no training I honestly don't know what I'm doing. Next week when the dds are out of the house it might be better. Everyone seems to get off to productive, fun, happy starts & this has just been really bad. I don't know whether to contact another consultant or what.

I feel like we've doomed the whole process.

PipinJo Wed 02-Sep-09 21:24:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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