ABA Program

Oct 20, 2011
So I've begun a parenting course to do with ABA. The first night was last night. I have the oldest kid in the class. All the other kids are 7 and under. I feel a little out of the loop, but I was told that once we get further along it will make more sense, and there will be more geared towards older kids. They have grouped IBI parents and ABA parents for the first couple of sessions.

I did learn about more reinforcers that I could use with Rosy. I'm glad about that. I need to use them right away and they have to be quick things, to get the point across at first (then they can be longer things like playing video games), when she is showing that she can do the things we want her to do. I want the kids to come in and empty their backpacks and their lunches before they do anything. That doesn't seem to be happening, so I need to find a small, quick reinforcer that will work. I plan on using it with both the kids, even though Flash is considered "normal."

I also learned about pairing and that we should be doing this every day. Pairing is when you play with your child and don't expect anything of them (like getting them to answer math questions). Rosy is getting older, so I need to figure out ways to spend one on one time with her and not have an agenda. After this busy, crazy week, I will put more effort into it. I tried tonight, but she didn't want to join me on a search around the computer. Oh well. I can't force her either.

I will post more as the course goes on, as I'm sure any help that I get may help any of you.

Bye for now!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Family Life-Fun, Loving, and Special

Oct 12, 2011
As a member of S-O-S Research, I was asked if I could do a blog post to share with everyone. This is going to be part of their Best of the Best, Edition 11. Here is what we were asked to write about:
"I know all of the past issues are important and helpful.  But there is another side of autism/special needs families that I think is equally important.  The moments that make us laugh.  It’s not all therapy, schedules and methodologies.  There are the funny little moments in our day to day lives – that are just as significant.  When it’s not about special needs – it’s about just being a family and enjoying our children just as they are."
I have to say this kinda stumped me for a bit. I didn't know what I could write about. I seem to remember all the crazy things and none of the good things. Another reason for this blog is to get those things down, but again, I keep forgetting to get on here and blog about them. Well not really forgetting, just not making or taking the time to post something (would be easier if this silly thing would allow me to post things from my phone - tried and I can't get it to work). So on to what I want to write about...

Rosy makes me smile every day! She can be angry about something one minute, and the next she is smiling and laughing about something. It could be as simple as the cat meowing to her, and she will have the biggest smile. She did something wonderful the other day, and even though I'm not impressed about one part of it, the other part makes me happy. 

Saturday she came to me and told me that there were baby fish in her brother's tank. Now this is where I was unimpressed! She went into her brother's room again without his permission (he was at a birthday party, and she didn't have a chance to ask for permission). I went in to look at the tank and couldn't see any fish, and thought her working memory was causing her to believe that she saw a baby fish, so really I didn't believe her (I feel bad about that). Well, she insisted, and low and behold after watching for a few minutes, I did see a baby fish! I spent the next hour (and many times with her help) separating the babies and moving them to a beta tank that we have for sickies. Ten baby fish in all!

The reason I post about this, is her caring! She doesn't really seem to care for her brother much (do any 11 year old girls show love for their younger brothers, I ask?). This showed immense caring! She could have never told me, and all those babies would have been eaten by the mommy fish and the other fish in the tank (in fact I'm sure a few probably were). She even kept quiet when I asked her to (as I wanted to see if my son would notice the beta tank with water in it, since it was empty when he left for the party). She wasn't supposed to be in his room, but because of her impulsiveness, she was able to save 10 babies (mind you they may all die, we have to be prepared for that). I love her for that! I'm still trying to figure out ways to remember to ask permission before going into someone else's space (hard thing for an ADHD kid to learn).

So no, this is not about laughter, but we have shared many times with laughter. There has been joy in this house. Many tears too. We all need to focus on the good and positive things, or life will get you down. Thanksgiving for us (Canadians here), was this weekend. This is a good reminder for all the things we have to be thankful for!

Next blog post to be sooner, rather than later! Bye for now! Oh and here is a pic of the babies: