We had our monthly meeting today with the ABA team. One of my concerns is that R. is over generalizing the mand, want book. She is saying want book for nearly everything she wants. The supervisor thought that this was typical for R, and she’s right. R. does have a tendency to over generalize specific mands when they are first learned. She also said that they are working on an object identification program that will help R. increase her vocabulary, and this should help.
R. will come to me and say want book, while she hand leads me to what she wants, which is rarely a book. If she wants a cookie, I’ll say want cookie and she will only repeat the word cookie. I know it is common for children with autism to repeat just the last word. I do find I can get R. to repeat two word requests when they don’t contain the word want.
We discussed this for quite a while. They suggested that when she says want book, we should give her a book, even if we know that is not what she wants. Then when she refuses the book we should prompt her to say the correct mand. We decided that we should limit our use of want, okay I pushed for this, but it wasn’t hard to get them to agree. So instead of want cookie, I’ll say eat cookie, instead of want water I’ll say drink water, instead of want open, I’ll say open door. They modified their mand program so they will work on eat cookie, play ball and want doll.
R. has started saying Hi spontaneously, mostly to inanimate objects. She was cold so I put a sweater on her, she looked at it and said Hi, with the most joyous, glad to see you tone. She said Hi to the water in her shower, to the box of cookies, to the new straw I put in her cup, always with that pleased as can be tone in her voice. The behaviorist and supervisor thought this was a little weird, but cute. The therapists said they thought it was typical behavior for an early talker.
They are increasing R.’s sitting on the toilet to twenty seconds, up from ten seconds this week and last. Her pants are still on while she is sitting. We discussed the fact that she needs to sit for the entire twenty seconds with out any prompting. They are giving her a reinforcer after sitting, and they wondered if they should give her the reinforcer while sitting. I said that I would like to keep reinforcing her after sitting, until we get to her sitting with her pants down. Then when we switch to pulling her pants down, she’ll also have the addition of a reinforcer while she is sitting. They agreed.
R. has been doing jigsaw puzzles with the image on the background, so it is really matching. They are going to start doing the same puzzles without the background. I’ve been doing a jigsaw puzzle with her lately with no background, and she is starting to get it. I think she has memorized the picture, but that is okay, at least she finds it interesting. She’s bored with her insert puzzles, so I’m looking for other activities like that. It’s like it needs to be a little challenging, but not too easy or difficult.
They are working on a new tracing program. R. is supposed to trace a dotted horizontal line. She needs a little bit of a prompt but she seems to like doing this. I know she likes to have me hold her hand and we do dot to dots or write the alphabet. The behaviorist wants me to stop doing that until she gets further along in this program. It bugs me a little, but I do get where she is coming from. We’ll do more coloring.
I finally asked about being provided a list, even a short one of activities that we could do with R. on days off and sick days. She seems to be bored and looking for more to do on those days. They said they could give me a list of the programs that were on maintenance, and seemed to think it was a good suggestion.
One of our therapists is leaving, Friday is his last day. It happens all the time, but it always makes me a little sad, and he says he is too. R. really loves him, I hear them both laughing throughout their sessions.