From The A-Word

The A-Word, Part 48: Happy Points, Social Story, and Problem Behaviors

Jack Riley has been having a hard time being nice to his little sister Lainey. In reaction to that, his parents are trying out some positive reinforcement to get him to behave nicer. They started a system called ‘happy points’ where every time Jack Riley is nice to his sister, they give him a ‘happy point’, and once he gets enough happy points he is able to get a fun prize. Simultaneously, with his therapist Jessica, they work on writing a social story about ways in which he should interact with his sister. Hopefully, with enough reminders he will be nice to his little sister all the time.

The A-Word, Part 47: 4th Birthday, Scripting, and Echolalia

Jack Riley is now 4 years old. A lot has changed in the last few years. He’s a lot more verbal than he used to be, but occasionally his language isn’t functional. Today he keeps scripting the same phrase while he’s doing tasks like unwrapping his birthday present, or playing with his toys. Echolalia is fairly common with kids with autism spectrum disorder because it’s a self-stimulatory behavior and is intrinsically reinforcing. The behavior comforts, and helps regulate themselves no differently than body rocking or hand flapping; it’s just a different form of stereotypical behavior.

The A-Word, Part 45: Statement Statement And Sequences

A lot of Jack Riley’s program are is about getting him to socialize with his peers. Jessica is working on a program with him called “statement-statement” which has him practicing making a statement after he hears someone else make one. For example Cheryl says, ” I am laying on the floor.” Jack Riley then responds, “I am playing.”

The A-Word, Autism Part 43: Preschool And IEP Meeting

Jack Riley began preschool this year which has been a challenging adjustment for the family. On top of the stress of starting school, the family had an IEP meeting. Typically an IEP meeting happens annually after the child’s birthday, but this year they are having two meetings.

The A-Word, Autism Part 39: Feeding Issues

It’s been over a year since Jack Riley was diagnosed with autism and ten months since he began ABA therapy. Cheryl and Mike discuss how feeding used to be a nightmare and how this has radically changed for the better. Jack Riley used to not feed himself and his diet was limited to apple sauce, yogurt and bananas. His diet has since expanded greatly and he is now more willing to try new foods.

The A-Word, Autism Part 38: Potty Training

The big day is finally here — potty training. With the aid of Jack Riley’s parents, therapists, reinforcers, and pottylog, success is bound to happen. Watch how the principles of ABA can be applied to teach potty training.

The A Word, Autism Part 37: Parents Talk About Inflexibility Issues

Jack Riley is more aware of others and gets excited when he has visitors. When Jessica and other therapists first started coming over, he wouldn’t acknowledge their presence, but now he does with enthusiasm. At the same time however, Jack Riley has been having behavioral issues and has been very inflexible. Cheryl and Mike share with Jessica what his behaviors have been like. Jessica and Jack Riley continue working on categories as Mom and Dad help as interpreters.