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ABA TV documentary - 5 Nov, 9pm, BBC Four

(116 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Tue 05-Nov-13 20:29:06

Anyone else going to be watching this?

NewBlueCoat Tue 05-Nov-13 22:53:55

how far does that go? resistance to reading and writing? ok then.

resistance to stopping spitting? ok then.

resistance to stopping biting? ok then

resistance to behaving in any socially acceptable way at all? ok then.

bloody awful.

I wouldn't accept it for an NT child, so why shoudl I be expected to accept it for a child with ASD?

Rentahoose Tue 05-Nov-13 22:53:57

Oh and I know a school where the teacher gives stars out to foundation children who arrive with a smile on their face. What message does that sound out. That to be sad is wrong.

And those who don't cling on to their parents get a star too. In the first two weeks of school. These systems can be used for good but some teachers seem to go way over the top.

banana87 Tue 05-Nov-13 22:54:34

The only time it would "take 3 hours" would be if you've presented the child with a demand and because in the past sitting/crying/screaming/hitting meant that demand was removed, the child tries everything he/she can to see if the demand will be removed. It's basic science. We do it when that soda machine doesn't deliver your drink like it's supposed to, or the washing machine doesn't start when you press the button. You initially try harder and harder to get that machine to make the response you expect and if it doesn't you stop trying. If you keep the demand on it may well take that 3 hours (known as an extinction burst), but as soon as the child works out that those behaviors no longer get him out of doing the task, he will stop and starting complying.

NewBlueCoat Tue 05-Nov-13 22:54:40

reward systems being used badly doesn't mean that all reward systems are bad, though.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 05-Nov-13 22:54:46

So why do YOU tidy up and contribute to the household?

NewBlueCoat Tue 05-Nov-13 22:55:21

yes, banana. demand avoidance a huge issue.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 05-Nov-13 22:57:43

Rentahouse, I do not doubt that due to the immense ignorance around ABA and reluctance to study the topic means that you have a substantial number of teachers badly using reward systems.

banana87 Tue 05-Nov-13 22:58:05

Demand avoidance isn't the issue. The reinforcement for displaying avoidant behaviors is.

Rentahoose Tue 05-Nov-13 22:58:38

Yes the eating example was a great outcome and it was handled relatively sensitively. I'm sure it would have taken weeks and weeks to get to that point.

I suppose I was just thinking just let him eat what he wants and keep putting new foods on the table/plate and eating with him and not putting him under any stress but that is what I would do for a NT child ( I have a fairly fussy eater). I accept that whereas an NT will eventually extend their repetoire, an autistic child may not.

NewBlueCoat Tue 05-Nov-13 22:59:43

yes, banana, agree.

banana87 Tue 05-Nov-13 23:00:05

What's more ethical? Allowing a child to beat you up, having everything done for him, doing whatever he wants because he can't be told 'no' or a temporary 3 hour extinction burst? Hmmmm....

banana87 Tue 05-Nov-13 23:02:02

I think it took 6 months to get to that point (with Jack eating) which shows how much shaping went into it. It's not a "fast fix" and doesn't claim to be.

NewBlueCoat Tue 05-Nov-13 23:02:55

but then what's ethical about treating a child so very differently (ie not shaping behaviours, which happens in all schools) just because they have autism? because that's what the argument of 'oh, but it's the way they are wired, and we can't change that' leads.

NewBlueCoat Tue 05-Nov-13 23:05:09

'fast fix' is exactly what it isn't.

we've been working for 7 years now to get my dc drinking again, following some spectacular mismanagement in a mainstream pre-school. and while fluids are now allowed, we're still not at the point where a drink can 'just' be given, or asked for when thirsty etc.

Rentahoose Tue 05-Nov-13 23:05:32

"So why do YOU tidy up and contribute to the household?"

I tidy up if I want a tidy room not because someone is paying me/rewarding me. It might be it's own reward. Sometimes I just don't tidy. Soon gets messy again with DC.

I contribute to the household because I love my DC and want the best for them. if they are happy I'm happy. I appreciate DC are great big egotists though!

I do some work for money but luckily enjoy my job and that is what gives me a lot of satisfaction.

I'm not saying people don't work for rewards but I want my toddler to wee in the potty because she needs to go not because she's going to get a chocolate button. You can't force someone to wee on demand.

I don't think all reward systems are bad (although Alfie Kohn would disagree) and some children definately need them. I just wanted to see if I could appeal to reason but accept children are not reasonable beings.

GobbySadcase Tue 05-Nov-13 23:08:16

Now you see I find that really offensive.
Autism is a massive spectrum. What works for some doesn't work for all.

I've said ABA doesn't work for my family but I accept it works girl some.

How DARE you say my way is wrong? Path at because I don't follow a system that isn't right for my family that I am allowing undesirable and dangerous behaviours to continue?

You have NO right to do that. None whatsoever. It's not your way or the highway.

How disrespectful.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 05-Nov-13 23:08:21

Is having a tidy room not rewarding to you then?

NewBlueCoat Tue 05-Nov-13 23:09:24

you dont have to use food rewards, though. it's up to you to get inventive and creative with your rewards.

one of my dc potty trained using a dvd as a reward. it helped shaped the behaviour - she knew when she needed to go, but sometimes wanted to hold out too long (if playing etc) and helpfully was desperate to watch a particular DVD. combine the two for a short while, and job done.

another one potty trained using me singing a silly song as a reward - another new verse each time there was a success. made for lots of laughter and shared time while we made upt he new verse. I preferred that reward, but you have to work with what motivates the child.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 05-Nov-13 23:09:30

I don't think anyone has said your way is wrong Gobby.

banana87 Tue 05-Nov-13 23:10:40

Socially mediated reinforcement will come for NT children. But you have to start somewhere and's exactly how you would have been shaped to find a clean room reinforcing.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 05-Nov-13 23:11:05

My goodness, what would become of my NT dd if I simply let her be herself with no behaviour shaping.

googlyeyes Tue 05-Nov-13 23:11:30

Oh yes, the acceptance of the near-inevitability of tube feeding was utterly chilling. And the anti ABAers would doubtless think that denying the child the chance to ever EAT FOOD was less cruel than teaching him to try new foods, which involves some short-term discomfort, yes, but leads to a life positively transformed forever.

As someone said earlier, Jack certainly looked happy when the sausages and chips arrived.

The proponents of the 'ah, bless' school of thought never seem to give a thought to the fact that the cute kiddies they work with will be adults one day...childhood is a v small proportion of their lives and when they reach adulthood unable to make any sense of the world, or to cope with changes to routine, or unable to even communicate basic needs/ wants...what then? Someone else's problem I guess!

Rentahoose Tue 05-Nov-13 23:15:00

Yes but it is its own reward. I want my DC to do things because they are intrinsicly motivated. They want to do it because it makes them feel good about them selves. I do use praise but I prefer giving a lot of choices, hoping that DD will choose to help me tidy up. If she doesn't ok she's made a choice. If she does I'll tell her that was a great help to me.

Now I'm not saying I don't have a quite difficult time parenting because of this. As my DH says without consequences I frequently render myself powerless.

I can see how these systems are helpful to other children/parents though.

Please don't see any of this as a criticism of those who use these systems. I was interested because I come from a different perspective.

GobbySadcase Tue 05-Nov-13 23:15:27

Oh there's plenty of snarkiness here clearly showing that any way other than ABA is 'wrong'. Loads of it.

If my son wants to hand flap to calm himself down who is that actually hurting (to give a direct example from the programme itself). Gunnar stated parents wanted that kind of behaviour trained out because they found it embarrassing, which I find appalling.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 05-Nov-13 23:15:34

'I contribute to the household because I love my DC and want the best for them. if they are happy I'm happy.'

Then your reward is that you are happy because your Dc are happy.

'I do some work for money but luckily enjoy my job and that is what gives me a lot of satisfaction.'

Then your rewards are both money and satisfaction.

Rewards are not stickers. They are not money and they are not food. They are whatever it is that motivates you to do something.

If you are thirsty, you are rewarded for getting off the sofa and getting yourself a drink.

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