This is week 3 of ABA and let me tell you, Jonah has made some tremendous progress. More than I’ve ever seen.
You can watch the video to see, but here is what is highlighted.
Jonah is completely at ease with our therapist. They have established a good rapport so Jonah allows the therapist to stay and play with him. He actually enjoys his company.
Jonah identifies colors. We have previously never heard him say the name of any color, much less correctly identify a color correctly. Jonah allowed Our therapist used lego blocks to get Jonah to identify the color of them as he built his tower. Building lego towers is something Jonah was doing anyway, and our therapist found a way to incorporate the play that Jonah initiated to teach him colors.
Next, Jonah learned to verbally request for something UNPROMPTED!
You can see it in the video, but one of Jonah’s therapist would say “Tickles?” and then start tickling Jonah.
Jonah LOVES being tickled. Each time before she tickled him, she would ask “Tickles?” and Jonah quickly caught on and then would repeat “Tickles!” and then she would tickle him.
It was a VERY short leap for Jonah then to request unprompted when the therapist was ready to tickle Jonah but didn’t actually say the word. Jonah jumped right in and he was tickled when HE said it, instead of when he repeated it. You can see the joy in his face at not only being tickled, but understanding what it is she was requesting and having the tools to respond.
Being able to verbally communicate what you want so others can understand is a huge step in reducing behavior escalations. Many times, Jonah will lash out because he is frustrated that I can’t understand what it is that he wants.
He is word imitation is out of this world. He can imitate 80%-90% of every word his therapist says and loves doing it.
One thing we are working on is giving him a tool to express displeasure when he doesn’t like something. Something as simple as saying “no.” Right now he is just screaming/squealing in displeasure whenever he doesn’t like something. Our therapist tells him “oh, you can say ‘No thank you!’ ” but Jonah doesn’t want to say it. I think it is because WE say it so much to him when he is doing something he shouldn’t.
So, at least something we can work on with him.
But this week has been AUSOME!
I’ve still been wary of negative “compliance-based” directives, but through 3 weeks, I haven’t seen any. No abuse or toys taken away after the therapist leaves. There are no aversives being used as punishment and the therapist will give Jonah space if he needs it. Jonah’s not even being physically rewarded with treats or tokens. He’s just naturally praised when we see he’s doing a good job. Just like we do for any kid.
So far, so good.
Will see you next time for week 4!