My autistic daughter can’t stay still ...

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groundhogy
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22 Feb 2024, 6:35 pm

Hi,
My autistic 8 yr old girl can mostly not sit still. On her worst days, it seems like she’s writhing. Shes always been this way as far as i can remember.
She gets ABA therapy. During the parents meetings i can see the video feeds from all of the other children in each room. The other children can sit at the activity table and do their lessons, but not little miss F. The tech spends alot of energy wrangling F to the table for each learning event.

Any ideas on what this could be?
Has anyone here had this same problem?



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22 Feb 2024, 6:56 pm

Is she bored?


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rse92
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22 Feb 2024, 8:34 pm

Might find some answers in the parents forum.



CockneyRebel
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22 Feb 2024, 8:46 pm

Maybe she's bored with therapy.


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beady
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22 Feb 2024, 8:56 pm

Is she undiagnosed hyperactive?
Is she unable to stop moving at home as well?
Some people have repetitive motions for various reasons. I think for some its soothing.



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22 Feb 2024, 9:03 pm

What about using a wiggle seat/cusion on her chair? Could be used at therapy & out in public (like at restaurants). Maybe she just needs much more physically exhausting play options between seated therapy sessions?

Maybe try some sort of reward for so many times sitting still-ish (or just staying seated to start)... A toy, she gets to pick the restaurant for dinner (celebrating meeting a goal), time doing something she likes but is uncommon (a visit to the local children's museum)...?

My parents used the child bribery (do something to build up to a goal) thing a few times, & it nearly always worked. They kept track on the big calendar with star stickers or such so I could see the progress. But I don't how well it'd work for sitting still, as I didn't have that problem. 8 is old enough to understand the process tho.

Last thought, don't let a couple days or times of being unable to comply negate all the past (stars, etc) work.



lostonearth35
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23 Feb 2024, 12:04 pm

"She gets ABA therapy"

Well I just died a little inside.

Maybe she has horrible anxiety from what was described on a pro-ABA website as "similar to training dogs". Except that autistic people are not dogs, they are human, and most sane people would never train their dogs that way, and would get arrested for animal abuse if they did.



groundhogy
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23 Feb 2024, 9:36 pm

I forgot to mention that F is non-verbal. Mands only.

I don’t think the problem is simple boredom. If it was, her problem would disappear when she is interested in an activity. She has this difficulty 24/7.

I think it prevents her from learning and fully participating.

Maybe ADHD on top of the autism?



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23 Feb 2024, 9:59 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
"She gets ABA therapy"

Well I just died a little inside.

Maybe she has horrible anxiety from what was described on a pro-ABA website as "similar to training dogs". Except that autistic people are not dogs, they are human, and most sane people would never train their dogs that way, and would get arrested for animal abuse if they did.


Thank you for saying it before I did.



y-pod
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23 Feb 2024, 11:14 pm

I was going to say ADHD is a possibility. One of my boys has that. He's just sooo active. Tried a few medications for ADHD and he said they're not worth the side effects. The good thing about it is that he's lean and fit from being so active, that's unlike the rest of us. :D


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24 Feb 2024, 4:11 am

lostonearth35 wrote:
"She gets ABA therapy"

Well I just died a little inside.

Maybe she has horrible anxiety from what was described on a pro-ABA website as "similar to training dogs". Except that autistic people are not dogs, they are human, and most sane people would never train their dogs that way, and would get arrested for animal abuse if they did.


Wow, talk about something "Shooting itself in the foot"

Were one of us to make that assertion about ABA being like training dogs, I could imagine the retorts and pushback from the ABA industry, and being accused of having no actual arguments and just resorting to insults, so when a pro ABA source uses the those same words the a link to that would be a fine resource.

It is possible that without outgoing speech, movement is the most accessible communication style. Ones cat cannot communicate in spoken language, but if one has the privilege to be a cat's human companion one slowly learns what various movements, body wiggles or stretches might mean, the various forms of "The Look" regarding chair use, food bowl levels etc, similarly the tail language meaning " I have had enough hand petting now" or "Please stroke just my head"



autisticelders
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24 Feb 2024, 8:50 am

anxiety!
I would have been on constant "stampede" mode if I had been subjected to such "therapy".
Young children are active creatures and need to exercise vigorously and very frequently.
I wonder if she ever gets the opportunity to be a child? It is more natural at that age to run, swing, sing, jump, and explore than to have to be "trained" to sit and endure endless boredom for the sake of performing on cue and displaying instant compliance on demand.


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24 Feb 2024, 1:37 pm

rowan_nichol wrote:
It is possible that without outgoing speech, movement is the most accessible communication style. Ones cat cannot communicate in spoken language, but if one has the privilege to be a cat's human companion one slowly learns what various movements, body wiggles or stretches might mean, the various forms of "The Look" regarding chair use, food bowl levels etc, similarly the tail language meaning " I have had enough hand petting now" or "Please stroke just my head"
Does she have a way to communicate?

I assume she is too young for the manual alphabet...she'd have to know how to spell words. Does she use a subset of sign language?


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groundhogy
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24 Feb 2024, 9:36 pm

Seems several of the responders “die a little inside” every time they see someone type ABA. Lol ABA
Is ABA there any other ABA trigger words ABA you have? Lol



groundhogy
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24 Feb 2024, 9:48 pm

F very much enjoys going to see her friends at therapy as what they call ABA now is very much watered down now from what it used to be.

Due to people saying its traumatic, the industry repeatedly watered down the actual ABA learning events with play. Kind of like adding sugar to the medicine.
Now take your kid to ABA and its mostly all playtime. Its got very little actual medicine in it now and is not terribly effective at helping my poor daughter to speak.

She may have to go through life unable to be spoken to. And thus unable to care for herself, unable to care for a child or even have a mate.

Anything worth having is difficult and hurts. Learning hurts your brain, as anyone who has been to college can tell you. Shoving all of that learning and knowledge into ones head burns the brain.



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27 Feb 2024, 5:48 pm

What is she like with a book?

I wasn't wiggling a lot (that I know of) but I had trouble paying attention in 2nd grade.

I was bored. I tried to surreptitiously fold sheets of paper and cut out snowflakes during class.

I was successful in making paper snowflakes but I was not successful in being surreptitious. There was Parent-Teach conference because of this and my parents came home with Tom Swift and His Giant Robot...I have been in love with Science Fiction since then.


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