Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ABA is a little scary

With the start of 1st grade next week (and full days of school), we are cutting way back on the boys hours of ABA therapy.  Both have been in an ABA program for more than 3 years now.

Did you know ABA therapy can be controversial?  I was very nervous about beginning this program, because before I really knew what ABA was, I knew it was sometimes not the right way to go with Fragile X kids.  When I started asking around (i.e., emailing the listserv to see who else had been doing ABA with their Fragile X kids) the first thing I got was a link to an article warning against the ways straight ABA therapy (intended for kids with autism, not with Fragile X) could be harmful.  I had two little 3-year-olds.  I didn't want them harmed.

I did want them to cooperate with the activities of daily living though.  I wanted them to be able to feed and dress themselves.  I wanted them potty trained.  I couldn't imagine how they were going to go to school when they couldn't sit still for more than a nanosecond.

Behaviors were out of control.  Neither of them could do anything without screaming about it first.  I wore earplugs.  Literally.  Mostly just in the car, but sometimes around the house too.  I could still hear, but they muffled the constant screaming quite nicely.

And ABA therapy has been a lifesaver around here.  Zack and AJ have learned, among other things, how to communicate without screaming.  It's wonderful.  And I don't regret a second of the undoubtably 1000's of hours of one on one therapy we've put in.

But it might be time to move on.  To a more classroom-oriented therapy.  With other kids.  In a group.  Socially.

I just stumbled upon this blog called Reward and Consent, that discusses ABA therapy, its history and significance and the pros and cons.  I love it.  I'm going to follow this blog carefully, because three years later, I still feel like I need to stay on top of the ABA program and make sure it's not "harmful."  It certainly wasn't, for us.  But that doesn't mean each parent shouldn't pay close attention to exactly what kind of program is being used on their kids.

Every child is an individual (even if he's an identical twin), who should not be subjected to a cookie cutter therapy program.

No comments:


#youmightbeanautismparentif 2012 in review 9/11 memories ABA therapy Acceptance acronyms advocacy affection aggression AJ Aliza Aliza the playwright All I really need to know... Alphabitty Moments American Girl Ann Coulter antibullying anxiety anxiety in parents of children with special needs apple orchard apps for autism AppSmitten Arbaclofen Arbitrary Thoughts ARC autism autism brushing autism portrayed in TV shows Autism Shines awareness backyard band baseball bath toys beds behavior problems being tall Birthday Boys biting blog change blog hop blogging books bottles brushing bubbles Burnsville Fire Muster bus Cabin Fever in Minnesota candy Carly Fleischmann Carly's Voice cats cats and dogs chewys Chicago childcare for special needs children childhood Children's Museum chocolate Christmas Church circumin clinical trials Clonidine CNN Hero of 2011 coffee communication comparisons computer Conference cost of special education Courage Center Curcumin daddy dance dance competition dance moms Dental surgery dentist developmental milestones diagnosis diapers Diego Disability Day dogs Dolphin Tale Doomsday Preparation Dora Doritos drug trials DVD player early intervention earrings Easter ECSE Parent Retreat electronic gadgets electronics Everything I need to know... Evil Overlord fall falling asleep at school families family fashion fear Featured Feel Good Friday field trip fireworks first day of school Flash Gordon Food Chronicles food issues in Fragile X and autistic children forms forts Fragile Face of God Fragile X Fragile X advocate Fragile X and autism Fragile X Awareness Day Fragile X carriers Fragile X in the news Fragile X presentation Fragile X statistics Fragile X Writers friends fundraiser for Fragile X funniest Funny Gabrielle Giffords Galveston games getting carsick Girls' Night Out Giving Spirit glasses global warming going home Good Morning Great Quotes guest blogs guest post haircuts Halloween hearing test Heaven is for Real hippotherapy holidays Holland Holly home life homework hotel hugging human behavior hyperactivity IEP Meeting IEPs in the news inclusion inspiration integration iPad iPad apps iPad apps for autism IQ testing Jack Jablonski January First Joke journal entry kids with Fragile X and animals Kindergarten Kindle kisses language study learning to talk leaves lemonade stand Lily Little Einsteins losing teeth Mad Gab makeup mall Mall of America marcia braden McDonalds media sensationalization medications Melatonin Miami MIND Institute Minnesota Bloggers Conference minocycline Miracle League monkeys mosquito bites Mother's Day movies MVMOM Used Clothing and Equipment Sale nail trimming names naughtiness neighbors nicknames nightmares normal off topic one thing leads to another online dating Operation Beautiful oral sensory orphan drug act other bloggers Our Wedding outside overstimulation panic attacks parade parental stress Parenthood park Partners in Policymaking penicillin people with disabilities pets pharmacy fun photography Photoshop picnic Pictures pinching pink shirt Pinterest playing outside playing with toys poem politics poop potty training Presents protecting autistic children rash reading to kids research Retreat riding a bike Robin Williams Roger Ebert routine RSS feed RUSH University San Diego Sandy Hook Elementary Santa schedules school school bus school notes school pictures screaming self image self-checkouts sensory Seroquel siblings with developmental delays sick kids sippy cups sleep smile snow pictures Snowstorm social situations speaking of the unspeakable special education special education evaluation special needs kids special needs parents Special Needs Ryan Gosling Special Olympics spelling spoon feeding spring break staying positive stimming Strep STX209 Stylish Blog Award suicide summer Sunday School Sundays sunshine survival mode swimming talking talking to kindergarteners Target teacher's aides Teeth brushing Tegretol Temple Grandin Ten Commandments textbook case of Fragile X thankful thanksgiving that window/mirror thing The Autism Store The R Word the rapid passage of time The Right Things to say to parents of special needs children The Santa Experience the Shedd Aquarium The Twin Thing The Wiggles therapeutic horseback riding therapy This is Autism topless trampoline traveling with special needs children TV twins with special needs Twitter typical Fragile X characteristics typical kids typing vacation Vacation Bible School video games videos volunteering Waisman Center water play way-back-Wednesday What I've Learned What's your song? when a special needs parent dies Wiggles Wii games Winner Winner Chicken Dinner winter wonder Wonder Pets Wordful Wednesday Wordless Wednesday Words of Wisdom World Autism Awareness Day YMCA You Tube Zack Zoloft zoo animals

Fragile X Blogs