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Showing posts from June, 2007

Autism, Communication and ABA

Children with autism suffer from a range of sensory interference. Everything they hear, see, feel, taste and smell is distorted into a range of “overs and unders” in accounting terms. Some may see every hair on your head in individual detail and others may just see an amorphous blur where your head is. Some may hear the wind blowing through the trees on the calmest day, as if it were a gale. Others may hear a pleasant blur of white noise, like a mistuned radio. A touch can feel like a squeeze, a squeeze can feel like nothing, like when your foot goes to sleep, except it is their whole body, ALL THE TIME!

They find it difficult to tune in to their human environment as a result and do not learn the baseline skills of communication and self care naturally, through imitation of their parents and peers.

Why do we find that ABA helps?

ABA stands for Applied Behavioural Analysis. It is an applied science using observable behaviour to determine how someone learns, and how they may be best taught…

Toilet Training, my experience

Ideas for Toilet Training: A Mum asked recently about training her 3 Year old with Autism, this is what I said: 3 is very young for ASD and my two didn't get started until 4.You have to be ready to persevere with it so make sure there are no holidays, or house moves coming up, or that can set you back.I made a visual social story and laminated the pictures to put in the downstairs cloak room. I also made a little book of steps, and had to get a little explicit with the pictograms.
I downloaded "do to learn" pictures and added in the extra bits with a brown marker. I also used a picture of clean pants, y-fronts for my Boo boy and colored in pink for Brattygirl.The best way to start is with charting, a time chart that you can tick off with a W or P for each movement to give you and idea of when to expect things is a good idea, and take data over a couple of weeks to get the weekend in.Also, think about a large training potty. There is a model in the big toyshops like Smyths…

Dear MaryS Harney and Hanafin

Hope I got the attention of you ladies as I am aware that your staff are reading the threads.Here we are in 2007; Ireland is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. And there are families in crisis all over these boards because your Health and Education Departments cannot provide a timely adequate service to parents on diagnosis.Mary Han' you boasted on question time that the cabinet posts held by women in the last Dail were responsible for 45% of the budget.What have you done with the money?Maybe you need to ask the Department of Ed and NCSE to refocus their energy on providing services, rather than blocking and removing resources from the Hedge schools that provide ABA from age 2 and WORK.Ms Harn': Yes, you are pushing Shite up hill trying to get the managers and administrators in your hospitals to be proactive in using their budgets to get sick people off plastic chairs and into beds. You could also start some capital works in the way of publicly funded nursing h…

How can we compare ABA to the other system?

Bratty has sat in a state ASD classroom since the end of 2002. As part of this she has been made to attend "circle time" regardless of her ability to understand it, for the better part of 4 years. She had an assistant to get her to "attend" but in a class of 6 children to one teacher, it hasnt been possible to tailor scheduled activities to her interests. As a result she has had little input into the activities which come up in the curriculum as a matter of course.
Recently the class was doing an exercise on Shapes at "Circle time", and she began pointing at the shapes and naming them verbally. She is mostly non-vocal and uses PECS to communicate, so this was a BIG DEAL. She even answered on behalf of other children who were too slow for her.
News to us? NO, Bratty has been able to label shapes, animals, numbers and colors for 18 months in her home based ABA programme, because we broke it down into steps to suit her level and tailored it to her interests.
W…

clutching at straws, ABA for ASD; first posted on 24th March 2007

Hi there,
Thought I might share a little analogy from the wonderful world of living with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
As you have gathered by now, I have two children with Severe Autism, my son is 9 and my daughter 7. My son bit another child (at school) on Friday, while I was marching in front of the Four Courts, for the 5th time in 2 years, He bites himself all the time, despite my repeated requests for a behavioural analysis and treatment plan. And now my Darling Daughter has just spent the last half hour beating the hell out of me.
Why? Because the company that makes the apple drink in a box that is (the only thing she will drink) have changed the color of the straw in their packaging. And she won't have it. On Friday we stocked up with our usual supply of 3 trays x of 9 boxes of 3 packs, half of which had the new straw. By Saturday the boxes with the old pink straw had run out, but we had loads with the new green ones.

She is functionally non-verbal, but last night she decided the…