A description of a successful ABA therapy graduate. Initially diagnosed as Autistic, he is a 2E child (twice exceptional - In the Autistic Spectrum and Profoundly Gifted). A brief description of his path to enrichment and excellence as laid out by the therapists and by, mostly, his Mother - his Chief Instructor.
Both, my mother, and Alex's mother (my wife), are from Japan.
------Alex was born in the year of the Golden Dragon (Nov 2000) ------
Monday, June 7, 2010
Positive Reinforcement - Positive Spiral
Whether temperament is nature or nurture - your growing child responds best to Positive Reinforcement. Any fool can say "No". That tells the child nothing other than it was the wrong choice. Teach him the principle so he may not only figure it out for himself that time, but in all similar instances. You will have given him a valuable tool that he may carry in his ever ready tool box. This will give him confidence (True confidence - not the mind numbing stupidity of PC feel good "empowerment"). Remember - Positive Reinforcement is praise for a job well done. Praise him and he shall strive for excellence. Praise him for a mediocre job and he shall strive for mediocrity since it is the path of least resistance.
The path of least resistance is the path water takes. It is at the mercy of the mountain (challenges in life), allowing itself to be diverted, split and to be run in circles (by giving way to obstacles instead of overcoming them as challenges). It also never flows upward (towards the goal - it merely flows down and away from it). Kids who drop out of life take on the aspects of water. Running away from the obstacles in their lives instead of overcoming them.
There are but two basic drives in humans:
The pursuit of pleasure
The aversion to pain
This concept, while simple, is vital to understand.
It is also the key to teaching your child.
Positive Reinforcement is aimed at the pursuit of pleasure principle. He loves the feeling of accomplishment and the good feelings from the ancillary attention he receives, as well as other more tangible rewards from the good results. He yearns for Positive Reinforcement. You give it to him. Both of you become of like minds, and so, are working together. He learns to hunt for challenges in life as he knows the pleasure to be had from them.
It becomes internalized at this point and, with little care, remains an inner drive. That is why nothing breeds success more than success. Once your child has a taste of winning, of having overcome great struggles and sacrifices to achieve a goal, he forever knows he can do it again. Life becomes boundless and he realizes new horizons. Life becomes an adventure, and so, a pleasure.
Great rewards for a long time.
He learns the great growth to be had from the momentary discomfort.
He looks forward to the next workout as he knows he will emerge stronger.
He learns to love the discomfort as he sees this as the path to greatness.
He feels himself a Titan among mere mortals. He knows he has taken a step toward mastering himself...and so, his world. Life is wonderful all the time; something to look forward to and to fully experience.
They crave some kind of good feeling as it is generally absent in their lives. It is quick and easy and involves no immediate sacrifice. They feel a false high; a momentary hollow victory over the pain of a bleak outlook in life. They then feel listless and empty for many times the hours of the good feeling. Most of their lives are wasted - and when they realize it has become too late to make any great changes in their lives...the pain worsens...the need for more drugs increases. Their lives are filled with anxiety and pure dread trying to fulfill the need for the next artificial high except for the all too brief good feeling of the drug. Life is dreaded and empty. Life gets tougher and more painful as it ticks by. They merely wish to stop feeling bad all the time. They no longer care about feeling good.