Each and every week, I talk to parents of children who have been recently diagnosed with autism. Some of them are very knowledgeable about ABA and others are just finding out about it, but all have questions. Just like we get excited when kids start asking questions, I get excited because I know that the more questions parents have, the more likely they are going to do the research and legwork to secure the services that are truly going to help their children.
I'm also excited that Meeting Point and the Lovaas Institute Blog strive to include comments and feedback from parents and professionals. It is our desire at the Lovaas Institute to create an atmosphere where all those involved in a child's life are part of the dialogue.
If you're a parent or a professional, we hope that you can take some of the suggestions and ideas in this newsletter and implement them with your child or the children you work with. If you have comments or suggestions for future issues, let us know, so you can be part of the dialogue.
One of the most important components of the services we provide at the Lovaas Institute is parent training. While we may be the experts in the field of applied behavioral analysis, parents are the leading experts on their child.
Hard to believe, but school is already just around the corner. The start of a new school year reminded me of a common complaint from many parents – the type of feedback they receive in parent-teacher logbooks. These communication logbooks are often sent home with a child on a daily or weekly basis.
Jimmy is a sweet, bright, and energetic 7-year-old boy. He enjoys all paper and pencil tasks and art skills such as writing, tracing, coloring and cutting. He also loves a variety of social reinforcers such as tickles or getting tossed into the air. Jimmy currently receives approximately 40 hours per week of one-to-one behavioral intervention in his home and school environments.
With a nervous smile, holding on tightly to his chair, Leo, along with his two sisters, was hoisted into the air above a crowd of family and friends to celebrate their B'nai Mitzvah. On their 13th birthday, these triplets were celebrating a momentous occasion in their lives.
The names of all children in this newsletter have been changed in respect for family confidentiality.
Puppet Teacher! Have a stuffed puppet praise and tickle the child. Have the puppet give the instructions.
Mandy! Sing Barry Manilow songs with either a good or an outrageously bad voice.
Funky Dancing! Sing and dance to really funky songs. Hold the child in your arms, or on your feet.
Cookie Monster Praise! Practice your imitations of kid show actors, such as Barney, Goofy, or Cookie Monster. Give praise in their voices.
Hair Torture! Lay the child down and gently sweep your hair over their face with "oh, no" or whatever to let them know it is coming.
Harry is in a regular second grade class with minimal support from a confederate aide. One day during reading centers with Harry's teacher, the kids read a story about a messy pig. Harry's teacher asked the kids whether they would want a pig for a pet. All of the kids said "yes," except for Harry. When asked why, he laughed and said if HE were to get another pet, he would get a "riding bull" because it would be a lot more fun than just a messy pig.
4-year-old Deron was playing with a peer, when the peer suddenly announced that he was going to use the bathroom. Deron declared that he, too, was going to use the bathroom and followed his peer. Upon entering the bathroom, Deron worked furiously to pull down his pants. He quickly turned around, only to discover that his peer had beat him to the toilet. Assessing the situation for a brief moment, he nonchalantly stated, "Still go," walked over to the side of the toilet, and began to aim in the small space left by his seated peer...His aim was impeccable.