The goal of any ABA therapist is to help improve the life of the child they work with and their family using the principles of behavior analysis. By using NET, these real life applications are addressed. Throughout this past month I have learned that as you get to know a child better, you are more equipped for NET because you know what generalized skills the child could really use and are able to use reinforcers that you understand are the child’s favorite to create these effective changes and improvements in their life. Such skills as answering the phone when it rings, asking for the child’s favorite movie when they want to watch it, and responding appropriately to a sibling make life for the child and the family a whole lot easier.
The EIBI group of 40 hours or more a week gained an average of 20 IQ points over the two year period and 47 percent of these children reached average intellectual functioning, whereas the other groups showed no significant change in IQ level. This does not mean that DTT is a successful method for every individual with autism, but does work very well for the majority.
In the few weeks of training I’ve been through, I have met some amazing therapists and met the kids whose lives they’ve changed. What is really inspirational, however, are the families that have made the necessary lifestyle changes which help make the most of the therapy and bring about real improvement in their child’s life. These parents take on so much and it is so beautiful to see them adopt the ABA principles themselves so that the child’s environment and interactions can lead them to recovery.
People with AS also understand emotions differently. While a typical person can quickly perceive sadness, anger, and happiness, some with AS find these emotions more difficult to comprehend. The identification of emotions may take longer, making communication more difficult. But in no way does this difference exclude them from feeling emotion.
‘Star Wars’, ‘Back to the Future’, and ‘Wizard of Oz’ were a few of my favorite movies as a kid. There is no avoiding the fact that these movies are best watched at the theater. There is something about watching a movie on a big screen, with great sound effects and being able to share this experience with a crowd that make you feel you are part of the movie.
A recent study tested whether children with autism would rather play with an object, person, or dog. The result was that they preferred and played with the dogs longer than either people or objects. As a dog lover myself, I know that sometimes I am the same way. Dogs are fun, loyal, and many mimic your energy, making them the perfect companion.
The Els for Autism Foundation was created in 2009 and since then, many events have been held to help raise the set goal of $30 million for the Els For Autism Center of Excellence. These centers will host researchers, as well as medical and clinical specialists that will communicate with and guide families in education and therapy programs. This free, digital service is part of the goal is to connect families all over the world with best practices for their children on the autism spectrum.” said Liezl Els, Ernie Els wife and co creator of the Foundation.
Many American’s have caught on to the yoga craze, including myself and many of my friends. Why? Because its relaxing, fun and makes you more attune to your body, while building strength and flexibility. When I learned that yoga teachers were offering classes for children with autism (not too common, but hopefully there will be more!), it made complete sense to me, because there are so many benefits. First, many children with autism are constantly moving, have a lack of coordination control and low muscle tone.
Among my peers, I am a celebrated optimist. Wherever there is a negative opinion, I am there to turn it into a positive. So it was only natural after reading a somewhat depressing blog (http://behaviorjunkie.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/) by ‘Behavior Junkie’, that I would need to reply to it with a positive twist. The blog discusses the path that behavioral analysis is heading, and discusses the faults that he has witnessed in analysts. I am in no way criticizing this view, because it may be very valid from his perspective, instead I am giving my opinion based on my experiences.
When I first saw the iPad, I must admit, I thought it was a completely unnecessary and awkward-looking device. It wasn’t until I heard how helpful it was for children with autism and other communication disorders that I understood how useful this technology could be. This makes complete sense, too; the iPad, which is simple enough for children to use, is also very appealing to the young ones who love to feel ‘adult’ by using new technology.