Saturday, November 27, 2010

ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) - Alex's Godsend

For those parents out there who have a choice for in home 
ABA therapy (35-40 hrs. a week)... 
I will give you one very good reason to initiate it....
It works....It worked wonders for Alex.

ABA, in summary... 
is the use of valid Psychological and Educational Techniques to
measure and alter behavior...
teach skills...
and evaluate the progress...
to tailor fit it to the child.

It was first developed in the 1960s by
Psychologist Ivar Lovaas PhD.  UCLA

It does not consist of Negative Reinforcement.
It is designed to make the sessions enjoyable, and so, productive.


For those without...the basic application is as easy as
Positive Reinforcement for desirable behavior
and the redirection, gentle correction
(with great praise at the newly accomplished positive behavior)...
or the ignoring, of bad ones.


Easy, of course, in theory...much more difficult in application.

It takes dedication and consistent application.

We were so very fortunate in having had a full time...
 dedicated, very professional and caring
staff that helped guide our son...
Alex, to love learning...people (particularly adults)...
and life.

Although he had finished the program years ago
(because it was such a success)...
we have consistently applied all of the techniques we had learned
by direct observation of his therapy to become
far better parents than we otherwise could have been.


The man on the right was the director of therapies
for special needs children in the County.
He periodically came over to discuss the progress
and to note any problems with
the contracted actual therapy provider.

He was very proficient and professional.
He listened carefully and made our whole experience smooth.

The ladies on the left were supervisors...
and part time teachers of Alex.

There were very few problems.
Any small problems were handled immediately and professionally.

I cannot say enough positive things
about our experience with them, and with the process as a whole.

There was also a staff member that met with the school for our IEP
(Individualized Educational Program).

The school (when Alex attended school - he is now home schooled)
was very accommodating.

Alex loved all of his teachers, both at school, and especially...
 his in home therapy teachers.

Alex was diagnosed with Autism at age 2.5 yrs.
We, as parents, were mortified...
 and living in fear for our son's future.

He first started his in home ABA when he was 3 yrs. old.  
He had various obsessive behaviors and was non verbal.

Through their consistent and loving application of ABA...
Alex conquered his negative behavior and greatly flourished. 

Early intervention plays such a significant role...
however...it is not too late to apply for any child.
The same principles apply regardless of age.
It is, however, most effective the earlier it is used.


The note book was to record therapy done...
response to it...and progress.

This was done to ensure a continuity of therapy
from teacher to teacher.




Great praise was used to great effect.  
Alex loved doing well...that positive attribute carries on to this day.



A teacher accompanied him to preschool
(and later - part time at his regular school)
to ensure he was making progress socially and behaviorally.
The teachers took him out to various outside locations
to have him reach out to others and to handle new situations.


Alex loves all of his teachers.  
They were so warm and caring toward him.

Most of all...
they were so extremely effective.


To the State of California...
To the administrators...

Most of all...
to all of Alex's teachers...

we owe such a great debt...
one that we can only repay by...
never hindering the great growth that Alex is experiencing...
by...
consistently applying all we had learned from you...
our great teachers.

From all of us...most of all from Alex...
we thank you through constant upwards growth....
but mostly with...
a deep and cherished love.

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