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Aba Again: Is It Right To "normalise" Our Kids Instead Of Enabling Them?


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#16 Jolly Roger

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:44 AM

LN has had a 24 hour curriculum for ten years now, and we have used bits of everything - including the Cruel Rule which I think is essential if children (autistic or not) are not going to grow up to be entitled douchebags: "You want something from me? You do someone for me! You get nothing for nothing."

And while I am hugely in favour of behaviour intervention, ABA is one thing I decided to reject after I realised what it iwas doing.

I used an ABA technique to persuade LN to eat a piece of broccoli - ignoring the sensory problems he was having. The technique worked, but he vomited all over the kitchen table because ABA was capable of overwhelming his sensory issues. That, to me, sums up the problem with ABA.
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#17 Mozzy

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:54 AM

Yes I see your point but I do think some aspects of ABA are ok, maybe ABA takes them too far and thats what makes it ABA but still, I think some aspects are ok.



#18 maximus prime

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:12 PM

Yes I see your point but I do think some aspects of ABA are ok, maybe ABA takes them too far and thats what makes it ABA but still, I think some aspects are ok.

I'm with you on that too Mozzy, it's knowing where your own particular limits lie, just because you follow one route it doesn't mean you have to take on the whole kit and caboodle. Lucy wouldn't eat broccoli if her life depended on it, a few years ago I could have got her to eat it so long as I had the right motivator but for me that is an abuse of power and Lucy is my child and not an automatum and is just as entitled as anyone else to have her own preferences.

 

I consider that if we are out and broccoli is on her plate (I don't put broccoli on her plate) then her being able to remove it to her side plate with no fuss and still eat the food she likes  is more than good enough for me and that's how ABA worked for us. 



#19 Jolly Roger

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 07:18 PM

Yes, I see what you mean - but knowing that you should be aware of whether ABA is overstepping the limits is the basic point of my criticism of it.

You don't overstep the limits that ABA finds so easy to overstep when you use more conventional interventions.

#20 maximus prime

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:42 PM

I suppose there are always going to be the evangelists who push too far, you're right there. I've met a few and they are real bores tbh not least because they can't see anything other than their own rigid views. But I'm not one of those, I don't consider ABA a miracle cure, superior to any other method and I definitely don't think that Lucy is cured and nothing else would have worked as well.

 

For me it suited Lucy's particular needs at that time, I found it easier because I like logic, I liked having a plan, I liked having targets and boxes to tick and I liked being able to see real progress as each tiny step was mastered. Would something else have worked equally as well? Well quite probably and I would have given them a go rather than flogging a dead horse but it worked for us back then.

 

I suppose it ends up being down to you and your conscience at the end of the day, I never saw it as a way to get rid of the autism I just saw it as a way to give Lucy some skills that would make a difference to her life choices. It worked far better than I ever imagined it would if I'm honest but I think that's more down to Lucy being so young when I started and her personality than it being an exceptionally good method.

 

Lucy is a worker and incredibly determined so she will persist over and over again until she has mastered something, I suspect that's down to the ABA and it serves her well in school now and I think it will be invaluable as she moves into secondary school and beyond so if nothing else I think it was worth it for that.


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#21 Jolly Roger

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:13 AM

For me it suited Lucy's particular needs at that time, I found it easier because I like logic, I liked having a plan, I liked having targets and boxes to tick and I liked being able to see real progress as each tiny step was mastered. Would something else have worked equally as well? Well quite probably and I would have given them a go rather than flogging a dead horse but it worked for us back then.

Me, too. Plans, progress charts, targets, milestones - they all help far more than the actual intervention strategies, because they keep you on task and help to maintain the momentum. That structure alone achieves results, quite apart from the nature of the intervention you are using. (There's a name for that, if you're interested: the Hawthorne Effect.)

 

Would something else have worked as well? I think you are probably right. My research has shown that ABA does get results - it takes a lot longer than other interventions, costs a lot more if you buy into the programme, and has a few negative aspects that I don't like and you didn't bother with anyway, but it is a popular intervention (especially in the USA, where advertising convinces more people than empirical research - but who am I to criticise the most powerful nation on the planet?) and if you don't mind letting someone else tell you what you are trying to achieve when you deliver an intervention for your child - which, again, you & I didn't do - it works.



#22 maximus prime

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:37 PM

 I think really anything where you put in about 30 hours a week one to one then you are going to see progress of some kind so maybe the hours and the planning and measuring are key rather than the method.

 

My reservations would be that it's sometimes touted as a cure and that concerns me because it's usually desperate and  vulnerable parents that the marketing is aimed at.

 

Sometimes I think that some practitioners are very blinkered and persist along the same lines when, for me, I'd consider an alternative because the results are more important than how it was achieved and again I think it's wrong not to make allowances for sensory difficulties and personal preference.

 

I never really mention what I did IRL and I certainly don't promote ABA or any other interventions come to that but what I did was because I was desperate and I had no choice. Early intervention around here doesn't really exist I had a SALT who branded me neurotic before Lucy was diagnosed and then decided she didn't have any communication difficulties after she was diagnosed, Lucy didn't get Portage because I was considered to not be in need of their support and she saw the Early Years SSSEN for one hour roughly every month what sort of impact would that have made?


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#23 Eggman

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 12:52 PM

I watched the tv programme on 5th and found it very interesting and I realised I had been using these methods with LE particularly when he was much younger.

 

To me it was just common sense because LE would only do something if there was a reward at the end of it. From not talking at all I got him talking (with the help of his amazing SALT) using these methods.

 

As I said I only realised that I had been using ABA techniques when I watched the programme!

 

I did find certain aspects of it uncomfortable to watch and I couldn't take it too far but these technques do work well they did for us anyway.


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#24 Melly1

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:54 PM

With S (he has classic autism) and my children at school, enabling them is my aim. I use whatever strategies work for that child/young person at the time and am lucky that the schools I have worked in have always allowed that to happen. My philosophy has always been that S has to work so hard to be a part of the m/s world, that it wont hurt others to meet him half way. Certain social norms have been taught eg not to run and shout in the library, but if he wants to shout and whoop in the pool - fair enough.

 

I think normalisation is ok if the young person has aspergers/hfa and is aware they are different and is distressed by this. However with that level of understanding - I would be working WITH them to modify behaviour rather than using behavioural techniques i.e. suggesting they are go to the bathroom if they need to jump/flap etc or have a discreet fiddle toy in their pocket etc

 

Melly1


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