Meeting Point: Latest From Lovaas

May 07

Meeting Point: Latest From Lovaas

Searching for Answers
Part 4 of a 4-part series

Read Parts 1 , 2 and 3 in previous issues of Meeting Point.

Because of Bronwyn's participation in behavioral treatment, her family has found many milestones to celebrate. Her mother states, "Of course the amount of talking she is doing is one milestone we've celebrated. We hang on every word she says." Another milestone mentioned by her dad is her participation in the regular education classroom with an aide. Prior to treatment, she was placed solely in a special education classroom. The skills she has learned in therapy have allowed her to spend part of her day in a regular education classroom, working on similar material to her peers.

Bronwyn's family has celebrated her social development as well. "She now asks to do social things with us," says her mom. "And in school, the kids genuinely show interest in her. Yesterday, a peer who got to sit at the "special lunch table" for good behavior chose Bronwyn as the friend to sit with her."

When asked about any insights they might have through their experience with the Lovaas Model of Applied Behavior Analysis, Bronwyn's family replied:

"ABA is a technique. It's not rocket science, but like any technique, you must specifically plan to learn and do it. It doesn't all come naturally."

– Bronwyn's mom

"ABA gets a bad wrap, like the idea that it's about bribing kids. The truth is, all parents bribe kids. If I want my kid to learn to go potty, am I going to sit down and have a metaphysical discussion about the 'greater good' or am I going to say, 'If you go potty in the toilet, you can have an M&M?' Every one of my friends with kids knows the answer to that"

– Bronwyn's father

"What is sad is that many parents with typically developing children who really don't use rewards, are typically using punishment instead – berating a child if they have an accident, pressuring them to get potty trained. ABA is much more in line with current culture in that it emphasizes positive reinforcement."

– Bronwyn's mother

A special thank you to the Bronwyn family for their willingness to share their experiences with others.

The names of all children in this newsletter have been changed in respect for family confidentiality.



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