Watch how the principles of ABA can be applied to teach potty training to a child with autism. With the assistance of therapists from the CARD, as well as a reinforcers, and a pottylog, success is bound to happen.
Here’s another segment of CARD founder Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh on Autism Live answering questions about autism from viewers. Here are the topics she covers this week:
Autism Live is an interactive webshow providing support, resources, information, facts, entertainment and inspiration to parents, teachers and practitioners working with children on the autism spectrum.
It’s that time of year.
I’m shamelessly susceptible to commercial marketing. Candy corn never crosses my mind until midway through September when the backpacks and crayons disappear and Halloween candy floods retail stores. I’m first in line for a gingerbread latte on November 1. Right now, it is in the high 80s in Southern California and I still bought a pair of gloves last week.
According to the retail stores, we are currently in the three-week window (before the Valentine’s Day rush) when we should be organizing our homes as we pack away winter holiday paraphernalia and find places for the gifts we received.
If you’ve been bitten by the organizing bug, consider taking some time to organize your child’s home program.
Organizing therapy space is very dependent on the nature of your child’s program. I recommend checking in with the lead therapist or supervisor before making any major changes, as they may have some specific ideas that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your child’s home program. With that in mind, here are a few organizing suggestions.
– Create a home base for the therapist. This space should be large enough to store and organize therapy supplies that stay in the home, including pens, Post-Its, tape, scissors and stimuli. Ideally, it would also be a place where the therapist can store his or her bag during sessions. It should be inaccessible to your child and their siblings – with regularly used reinforcers kept here. If not, they need to be stored in another location that will not provide your child with free access.
– When organizing toys or clothes that you expect your child to use (and clean up) independently, use labels that your child understands. If your child is not reading, label bins or drawers with pictures or drawings rather than words. Adhesive business card sleeves are my personal preference. They stick to bins and drawers and you can easily change the label when you change the contents by sliding in a new picture or written label.
– Store toys and reinforcers in clear bins. Just as we might do an inventory of our pantry before going to the store, when children see the contents of their bins, it serves as a reminder of what they have. This increases the likelihood that they will mand for these items because they can see the options available rather than having to recall all their toys from memory. If for some reason the therapy team needs to store an item out of sight from the child, a clear bin can always be lined with paper or the item placed in a bag.
– Find space in your home for the therapy team to store toys and materials that will be inaccessible to your child outside of sessions. Motivation is essential to an effective ABA program. If your child has free access to toys and materials used during sessions, they may quickly lose motivation to access those items during therapy. This can dramatically slow learning and shift the focus of therapy from learning new skills to identifying new items and activities that are motivating. Communicate with the therapy team to see which toys or materials they would like kept out of reach.
– Keep things close to the location where they will be used. This practical approach to organization isn’t always our first instinct. For example, you may currently store all your child’s homework supplies in her bedroom, but if your child always does homework in the dining room, it makes sense to keep those supplies in the dining room where they will be used. This reduces the task demand for doing homework because your child will not have the added chore of gathering and putting away homework supplies.
– Once you find storage locations that work, be consistent, especially if the therapy team and your child will be going to those locations to access items. Knowing where things are located reduces frustration and confusion for your child and increases their independence at home.
– Some ABA programs, like Skills® are now web-based. Having worked in the field for many years before the advent of tablets and web-based data collection, I cannot overstate how fantastic this new technology is! No overflowing log books exploding during a clinic meeting, no need to file data, and no risk of losing valuable information because of leaky sip cups or a sibling who wants to “collect data” all over the behavior graph. If you aren’t already using web-based curriculum and program management such as Skills®, now might be the time to start.
– Store additional documents electronically with a scanner. Organize and save IEP records, school work, assessment reports and medical records on your computer or a cloud. If you have a large backlog, this might take some initial work, but getting rid of that foot-high stack of papers will be worth it, and it makes retrieval and sharing of documents much easier too.
Wishing you and your family a productive and Happy New Year!
The Autism Society of California is pleased to release our 2014 California Autism Survey. While a number of areas are explored in the survey, the two major areas of focus are autism insurance and employment. The survey will be open through Wednesday, February 5, 2014 for input by parents, guardians and individuals with autism.
The educational, evidence-based app helps children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) overcome deficits by learning new skills.
LOS ANGELES (Jan. 15, 2014)- Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) today announced the release of Autism Learning Games: Camp Discovery, which houses a growing suite of educational games designed to teach children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) new skills. The app incorporates the evidence-based behavior principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) used in the comprehensive CARD curriculum for over 20 years. It offers fun learning opportunities for children with ASD, ages 2 and older, to learn lessons thoroughly by matching, sorting, and completing receptive tasks. Camp Discovery is available at no cost for iPad and is coming soon for iPhone, Android and Kindle devices.
Camp Discovery is voice narrated and requires little to no adult supervision. The interface is user friendly, with all responses requiring only dragging and dropping or touching flashcards to be successful. The teaching procedures used in Camp Discovery were designed by experts in the field of ABA and are grounded on evidence-based teaching principles. For correct responses, players receive both visual and auditory reinforcement to keep them motivated and engaged. If a player responds incorrectly, a unique prompting system guides the player to answer correctly. Although Camp Discovery was designed for children with ASD, all children can benefit from the carefully planned teaching procedures.
ABA is the only scientifically validated treatment for ASD, and research shows it is most effective when delivered early and at a high level of intensity. Camp Discovery is an innovative tool created by CARD to increase access to treatment resources through technology. The app gives families the ability to supplement their child’s treatment program from home and also may be used by families waiting to start services.
“Camp Discovery incorporates preference assessments, which sets it apart from other children’s learning apps. The component is used in behavioral intervention to deliver preferred rewards as reinforcement for correct answers,” said Dennis Dixon, Ph.D., chief strategy officer at CARD. “The app addresses the demand for mobile educational solutions that use proven techniques.”
Preference assessments take place before learning trials begin, and rewards for correct responses are personalized for each player to maintain the child’s interest. Camp Discovery also offers mini games that serve as rewards for completing rounds and keep children motivated to learn. The app gives parents and caregivers the ability to track a child’s progress across games with automated graphs. Multiple settings may be manipulated to personalize the player’s learning experience.
Through it all, this remarkable family has shown gratitude and humility that has touched everyone who has met them and shown us that helping others in need can bring joy and comfort to us all, “You cannot know heaven until you have experienced hell” Michael said to me one day. They believe a miracle has happened in the lives of their nephew and daughter, due to the generosity of others. One look at the happy face of a little boy named Criscent shows that miracles can come true.
Start the year off right with this month’s fun Smary video! This month (January) features an activity for children to practice their episodic memory skills. In doing so, they’ll get to make a fun time capsule. Just follow along the template below (also found on the Autism Live Facebook page) and you and your child will have a fun, simple time capsule to put memories in!
The Skills® Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) Builder is available for the first time as a stand-alone program that is designed to treat the root cause of challenging behavior. The BIP Builder offers newly-enhanced features and is the ultimate tool for efficiently designing effective BIPs to decrease challenging behavior using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). The program utilizes evidence-based practices and emphasizes least-intrusive procedures.
As the ball dropped and 2014 was officially rung in, my first thought was, “More Americans with Autism will have access to important, life- changing therapies than ever before!” My second thought, after a heavy sigh, was, “It’s not enough.” There is so much more work to be done. Autism as a community of individuals, both those who are on the spectrum and those who love those on the spectrum, has struggled to find a clear voice. Ironic? Perhaps. But the time to come together is now; the time to be clear, concise, and direct is NOW!