RE: Kids w/ Classic Autism, PDD-NOS & Speech Delays

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cyberdad
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19 Aug 2019, 9:36 am

Jon81 wrote:
The feeling is he just matured a little bit and made the choice himself - as with a lot of other things such as eating with his hands. We never used any ABA to teach him these stuff.

Could you explain a bit more about developmental changes in cognitive maturity and ability to reason?


One small caveat is that every child is different....but...your little one will inevitably surprise you as he gets older. The ability to reason and need for independence varies but we notice that for our daughter she started wanting to do things herself on her own initiative. Toileting, bathroom, washing etc....

The question in our heads was whether repetitious teaching via ABA helped or whether her ability to reason and cognitive maturity "kicked in"....I don't know the answer. The safest course of action is repetitious learning as the child at least develops schemas for the activity, the danger is of course is their schema for the scenario (i.e. toilet training) involves you being there but I am sure this will change with age.



Jon81
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09 Oct 2019, 4:08 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Jon81 wrote:
The feeling is he just matured a little bit and made the choice himself - as with a lot of other things such as eating with his hands. We never used any ABA to teach him these stuff.

Could you explain a bit more about developmental changes in cognitive maturity and ability to reason?


One small caveat is that every child is different....but...your little one will inevitably surprise you as he gets older. The ability to reason and need for independence varies but we notice that for our daughter she started wanting to do things herself on her own initiative. Toileting, bathroom, washing etc....

The question in our heads was whether repetitious teaching via ABA helped or whether her ability to reason and cognitive maturity "kicked in"....I don't know the answer. The safest course of action is repetitious learning as the child at least develops schemas for the activity, the danger is of course is their schema for the scenario (i.e. toilet training) involves you being there but I am sure this will change with age.


Yes, ABA is the big question. Most times I don't see the connection in my sons development if you look at the stuff we're doing in sessions. He did learn how to match, point, hand over and a bit of puzzle from sessions, but there are plenty of other things that he learned while just playing together with me or out of curiosity. I have even figured out the way he looks when he gets inspired. Earlier this week he briefly stared at some kids rolling down from a hill, and there was that look on his face that I've noticed he does when picking something up from his environment. I figured he'd want to try it in time, he never jumps into something without letting it sink in. And guess what, the other day they told me he'd been rolling down from a hill and had a lot of fun at daycare. So there is certainly inspiration coming from outside his bubble.


I'm currently reading Communicating Partners by James D MacDonald and I find it very interesting how his approach teaches social skills. The reason I find it interesting is I experience the same thing growing up with a younger brother being a suspect of having the syndrom.

So, my youngest brother was tested for Asperger due to being impossible in school. He never reached the stage of getting a diagnosis because my mom and dad thought it was just blaha, and so they just terminated the whole thing. My father was telling the psychologist the questions were bullshit because even he could identify with the answers leading up to a diagnosis, and that would mean he'd be autistic as well, upon which the psychologist had replied: Yes! 8O

Maybe I'm digging too deep into this now but since I've already typed all that text I just go ahead explaining how these social training techniques came in a natural way.

Turn taking - eating snacks - we always had to take one each. We had to wait for each other to finish before taking a new.

Drawing - He loved drawing. Way above age appropriate skills. He was absolutely mad about dinosaurs and would draw them constantly. His starting point of a T-rex would be the leg... I would often sit and draw together with him as to "join in".

Three older brothers who constantly played with him on his level.

All that leading to him being quite ok socially, even though a bit withdrawn.


From your posts it seems like your daughters biggest issue is fitting in socially. Do you believe you've missed out on teaching her social skills? Did you incorporate any techniques in the style of "More than Words"(Hanen) or "Communicating partners" or any other 'social skills' technique? I also find the work of Jason Lu (eikonabridge) very, very interesting.

If you look at all the behavior therapies and just ignore the medical part I notice there are some overlapping ideas crystalizing on how to work towards helping our kids. They all share the part of needing to find what motivates your child. Joining in without taking over and expand play. Picture oriented learning.
Then there are some parts where you need to make a decision. Use pictures or work on the verbal skills - or both - as an example.
Would be interesting to hear your view on this.


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SaveFerris
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09 Oct 2019, 5:15 pm

*ignore this post*


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cyberdad
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10 Oct 2019, 1:18 am

Jon81 wrote:
I just go ahead explaining how these social training techniques came in a natural way.
Turn taking - eating snacks - we always had to take one each. We had to wait for each other to finish before taking a new.

So all ABA does is systematically use a combination of positive and negative reinforcement, so if your son eats with you then you just apply these techniques in the normal course of his eating 3 times a day

Jon81 wrote:
Drawing - He loved drawing. Way above age appropriate skills. He was absolutely mad about dinosaurs and would draw them constantly. His starting point of a T-rex would be the leg... I would often sit and draw together with him as to "join in".

Which doesn't surprise me, every young nephew/cousins son I know went through a dinosaur phase. Drawing is both recreational and for my daughter it was a great "time out" or relaxation exercise to allow her to unwind if she was anxious about something. Building resilience and independence requires keeping their self-esteem high, this is called strength based learning where you use their strengths (in your son's case drawing) to build confidence by encouragement.

Jon81 wrote:
From your posts it seems like your daughters biggest issue is fitting in socially. Do you believe you've missed out on teaching her social skills?

This is mostly our fault rather than hers. She is an only child and we have no friends in Melbourne where we live. In primary school she went to a mainstream school and kids tolerated her but were nice/played with her. But zero friends. At least in highschool she has developed friendships in school but again nothing close (at least now she gets invited on play dates/birthday parties). One of our ex-speech therapists scolded us for not doing enough to develop her social skills. We thought that was a bit harsh (especially since we were paying her to improve her social/speech skills). If she had siblings/kids to play with outside of school (especially in her early years) I am sure she would be fairly social as she likes other people.

Jon81 wrote:
They all share the part of needing to find what motivates your child. Joining in without taking over and expand play. Picture oriented learning. Then there are some parts where you need to make a decision. Use pictures or work on the verbal skills - or both - as an example. Would be interesting to hear your view on this.


I think simply observing what your child likes and encouraging them when they have a go can only help. For my daughter she loves travel. We have used the promise of travelling to far away exotic places as an incentive for her to do a wide range of activities she may not have had the initiative to do because travelling requires some level of cooperation and independence (for example she's an expert with dealing socially with customs/baggage). Fortunately when she is internally motivated she is capable of moving mountains. Just need to broaden her interests.



cyberdad
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23 Nov 2019, 5:58 pm

Jason Lu may be too humble to promote this but his methodology in bringing up children with autism is really quite groundbreaking
http://www.eikonabridge.com/

My only regret is I discovered this so late!

Strongly encourage parents to read Jason's methods and spend less time reading about Lovaas, Baron-Cohen and Attwood



Jon81
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23 Apr 2020, 4:08 am

cyberdad wrote:
Jason Lu may be too humble to promote this but his methodology in bringing up children with autism is really quite groundbreaking
http://www.eikonabridge.com/

My only regret is I discovered this so late!

Strongly encourage parents to read Jason's methods and spend less time reading about Lovaas, Baron-Cohen and Attwood


It is an interesting methodology indeed and I always find myself thinking about it whenever we're getting advice on how to develop our son (which is soon to be sons because boy #2 is without a doubt coming along on this ride).

A lot of these approaches have some overlaps and some contradictories when you compare them to each other. I suppose everyone here is aware of who Jacob Barnett is and how his mom Kristine helped him emerged (or if it would have happened anyway). It would be totally fantastic if that was the case with my kids as well, no problem with that, and I'm sure many others would feel the same. So the only thing I see differ here between Jason's approach and Kristine is he's using pictures to communicate. The rest is focused on following the lead of the child.

Then there are people like James D MacDonald who focus a lot on social interaction. I'd say his method was the one my little brother got from me and his older siblings during his time of growing up. We had a lot of interaction by sharing interest in drawing (he would draw much more advanced than his age group). Me being 11 years older also gave access to his interest for riding motor bikes.

ABA is the least appealing from a parents perspective because it just takes so much effort doing something repetitive without knowing if you actually gain any progress. That video with Lövåås training the kids and getting those results are hard to argue with. I know he's not very popular here around because of his methods and the money in this "business" puts me off quite a bit. Of those 47% 'recovered' one guy even rocketed into the gifted level of iq. So there's something that must have been done the right way. He states that not all children with autism can learn through ABA, so what if all these autism cases are different conditions or just have different brains with exclusive way of learning...

I also have a lot of first hand stories on Lövåås since our therapist/Advisor was a very close friend of his since the early 80's and spent a lot of time working under him during this period. The man was eccentric and pragmatic. When telling his students how NOT to do ABA he would show videos of his own therapy sessions. So he was not proud of that work.


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cyberdad
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23 Apr 2020, 5:43 am

Jon81 wrote:
I also have a lot of first hand stories on Lövåås since our therapist/Advisor was a very close friend of his since the early 80's and spent a lot of time working under him during this period. The man was eccentric and pragmatic. When telling his students how NOT to do ABA he would show videos of his own therapy sessions. So he was not proud of that work.


Lövåås was likely influenced by educational behavioural research that was based on operant conditioning methods to reduce disruptive behavior in classrooms.

Schools deployed operant conditioning based on the use of similar strategies used in the armed forces for hundreds of years to condition soldiers.

I think Lövåås was convinced that you can take advantage of neuroplasticity in infants to create permanent brain connections. The only problem with operant conditioning is that each child responds differently to cues and even after repetitive conditioning (the main strategy) there is no guarantee the child will not extinguish the learned behavior over time. This is probably why he was so tough on his students following exactly what he published because he was insecure about deviations from his original published method.

In any case for many parents it's all there is so I guess we work with what we have available but not carry high expectations.