Sunday, February 17, 2008

Autism Diva: A better, much better way of teaching autistic kids

Responsive teaching strategies promote parent interactions with their children through strategies such as "follow the child's lead" and "take one turn and wait." The results of their study appear in an article in the April 2005 issue of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.


The Case Western study, at least a step above ABA, is very similar to my own "step above" in reaching Ben. Initially I was very frustrated, prayed for patience, and kept a copy of the "Love Chapter" (Love is patient, love is kind...) framed and placed on the wall where I could always look to it for guidance. In Ben's third grade, I decided to try a VERY BEHAVIORALLY BASED, but ineffective trial of immediately punishing "bad", in my mind, behavior, with the lofty goal of Ben going off Ritalin. It failed miserably, but gave me ideas....

Finally, a Ben's fifth grade teacher, Ms. Hunt ("still, small voice"), who I shall always see as a life-changing mentor TO ME, gave me tools similar to those used in the Case Western study. I entered Ben's world, and have never gone back.

I immediately saw results in my own behavior.


P.S. Thanks to the voyage blogspot for helping me find the Diva's post, which I had lost track of...

With the sometimes "do as you are told" politically expedient mentality of the NT crowd, who often end up being mentors to our children (teachers ARE social creatures...), how do we get ideas like this to replace "all things Lovaas"??

Thanks, Diva, for your timely post. You are a part of the solution, you know it?

9 comments:

Autism Diva said...

You are too kind. :-)

Maddy said...

It's a long journey but we keep learning.
Best wishes

Casdok said...

Its amazing when 'timely' things happen.

Club 166 said...

Thanks for bringing this up again. I, too, had lost track of the Diva's original post.

I like that there's some evidence that a fluid, responsive approach works better than behaviorism.

So many autistics in the past were taught by their parents successfully, without ABA. I've got to believe that they followed a more natural approach, rather than beating their heads against the wall trying to obtain compliance.

Joe

David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction) said...

Whatever they did, it was probably something that was more in line with ideas put forward by Vygotsky than by Lovaas. Even Skinner would have been unimpressed with Lovaas' 'work': the punishment angle especially.

In Vygotskyan terms, if one places a developmental target within the child's zone of proximal development, one has a better chance of facilitating development than if one places it outwith that zone. In English, it's best not to make a developmental target too hard! And this idea is one that is common to both Vygotsky's and Skinner's work.

Back to my lecture planning (on precisely this topic ;) ).

Suzanne said...

Thanks for bringing this up. I never liked the premise of ABA for much the same reasons Autism Diva and Joe"club166" wrote. If you have not seen MortonAnnGernsbacher's video (presentation of her paper ) on Reciprocity, I highly recommend that as well
http://psych.wisc.edu/lang/video-reciprocity.html

David Harmon said...

Off topic: What happened to Amanda's blog Ballastexistenz? It's throwing up a Server Default page.

r.b. said...

I checked Ballastexistenz: I saw the same as you. Sometimes she changes things, maybe in that mode now...

Rose

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