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  1. #11
    ArizonaGirl is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeys_mom View Post
    DS has an autism diagnosis (Aspergers) and we found ABA therapy to be very helpful. He was 9yo when we did ABA. We would have started a year earlier but it was a long wait for services. I don't know what age is the earliest you can start. DS can also be very reactive and explosive and the goal we were working on was to have him do homework without yelling, storming off or throwing things. I was amazed that we actually were able to accomplish the goal and make homework not a dreaded process. We then used those strategies and applied them to doing chores around the house.
    I recently re-applied for services through the Department of Developmental Disabilities and am hoping that now that things have gotten so much worse that we will qualify and maybe we can get ABA therapy.

    I have a question about ABA therapy though because I thought that it was intended to help with children having trouble communicating because they were non-verbal. He is very verbal, just very reactive, explosive, and he can be violent.
    Lindsey

    Married to DH June 2005 gave birth to Shawn December 2008 and Lilian August 2012




  2. #12
    ArizonaGirl is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melbel View Post
    Children diagnosed with ASD should carefully consider Lyme Disease as part of the differential diagnosis, preferably using more reliable labs and more sensitive methods for interpreting the Western Blot (similar to how China's interpretation). I am friends with a mom in Arizona who stated that virtually all of children diagnosed with PANDAS and/or ASD in her local support groups are testing positive for Lyme Disease. I have helped parents of children diagnosed with ASD with Lyme testing, and many of those children are losing their autism label. It is important to note that the parents of the children rarely recall a tick bite or suspicious rash.

    [/B]
    Thank you for this info Melbel, I will approach his specialist about testing for Lyme.
    Lindsey

    Married to DH June 2005 gave birth to Shawn December 2008 and Lilian August 2012




  3. #13
    ArizonaGirl is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper View Post
    I agree with PPs - your immediate needs are safety, and extra help for you since you can't leave DS alone for a minute.

    Get some small plastic tool boxes from the hardware store and small combination locks (the kind that will let you change the combination, so if DS figures it out you can make a new one) to lock up kitchen knives, medication, household chemicals, etc. Or put a lock on your cellar door & keep the chemicals down there. Get a set of those baby-proof oven knob covers, if you have that kind of stove, and turn the burners off if you have to leave the kitchen while you're cooking.

    Can you get a mother's helper, maybe a teenager to come after school? Even just to play with your toddler so you can keep an eye on DS. (I had a really hard finding someone who could handle my DS1; when he was 6 I couldn't get a helper and ended up sending DS2 to daycare - he was a very social 3-year-old and although it was hard for me to send him off, it was best for our family at the time). Depending on your sate, there may be assistance available - in MA there is some respite care, but children have to be approved through the Department of Developmental Services and that takes time. There are some other services available though Mass Health (it's like medicaid for kids with disabilities) but again it takes a while to get through the application process & services in place.

    Is DS aggressive, destructive when he's reacting? Can you make a "safety plan" with him? Such as, when you are not being safe, I will cover you with this blanket, or you will go to your room to calm down, or whatever might work to help calm him? My DS1 is ADHD, RAD, and maybe on the spectrum (still waiting for the latest eval results) and has always been aggressive when upset. When he starts escalating, I try to grab everything that's within his reach before he tries to throw things (if I have time, sometimes he's just explodes without escalating). Some toys/objects have had to go into the locked cellar for a while because he tended to throw them. Trying to make a safe place/comfy spot for him in the main living area didn't work for us, but lately I've had some success with "you cannot be with the family if you are not being safe. You must go to your room to calm down."

    So much of it (parenting) is trying to figure out what works for you child, and for you yourself. I told our behavioral team, I cannot do sticker charts, lol! DS1 was highly resistant to all forms of positive reinforcement for a loooong time, but starting around age 7 he began to be more responsive to rewards/motivators for good behavior. It's tough. Hang in there.
    This is right where we are in that if you try to do a sticker chart it just becomes a bargaining chip, (example: I ask him to get undressed and ready for bath and he looks at me and says I'll do it if you give me two stickers )

    He is very aggressive and destructive when he is reacting and we generally try to have him go to his room so that it is at least safe and he escalates immediately and without warning.
    Lindsey

    Married to DH June 2005 gave birth to Shawn December 2008 and Lilian August 2012




  4. #14
    ArizonaGirl is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastrygirl View Post
    My son is not aggresive, but he is/was destructive for a long time. He's 8 now and doesn't remember breaking things, but I remember and have the proof. He'll ask why something is scratched or broken, and I'll remind him that he did it when he was 3 or 5 or whenever. He has NO recollection.

    I had to lock everything away. I've only just brought scissors back out (he's EIGHT!), but Sharpies are still out of reach. I had markers and crayons stored in the basement for many years, too. I had to pay to replace an ancient window in a historic town hall once because he smashed it with a toy xylophone stick. UGH.

    I had the most child-proofed house in existence when he was little. I never had to do any of that with my younger son.

    Home ABA is helping a ton... if only to reinforce that he has to listen to adults and do what they say ("listening" <> "doing what was said" in his head, whereas "listening" = "obeying" to my younger son). I had to learn a lot of those nuances with speech; choosing the correct words, etc. My ABA therapist helps a lot with that. The other benefit is that SHE has him for 3 hours twice a week. That is downtime for me! I tune in, but I don't have to be in charge of him. It's wonderful. We started this when he was 7, because that's when we got his diagnosis. If I could've started this when he was 5... I can only imagine how great it would've been to have some help!

    As for mother's helpers, that can be tricky. I know of a younger babysitter who finally told me this summer that she's not comfortable watching my older son AT ALL, even if I'm home.

    My son has his own ideas and plans in his head, and carries them through no matter what anyone says to him. It's like he needs to be convinced of what we're saying, so we keep rewording until he agrees (many times, he doesn't). But if we can make him see WHY he shouldn't do something, sometimes he doesn't go through with it. But like I said, usually, he thinks he's right and forges ahead. Not maliciously, but because he has little impulse control and truly thinks he has a good idea and can't get it out of his head until his mission is accomplished.

    It's FRUSTRATING...but it's a million times better than when he was 5. You can't pay me to go back to his younger years. (Unlike my younger son, who I'd gladly visit back in time!)
    This is also DS, he listens and then forges through with the plan in his head.

    I really am hoping that with the latest problems we have been experiencing that he will qualify for services through the DDD which hopefully will get us on the right track.

    Truly Thank You to everyone, your replies let me know that at least I am not alone.
    Last edited by ArizonaGirl; 09-09-2014 at 10:17 PM.
    Lindsey

    Married to DH June 2005 gave birth to Shawn December 2008 and Lilian August 2012




  5. #15
    mikeys_mom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizonaGirl View Post
    I have a question about ABA therapy though because I thought that it was intended to help with children having trouble communicating because they were non-verbal. He is very verbal, just very reactive, explosive, and he can be violent.
    No, ABA is not exclusively for non-verbal kids. DS is extremely verbal and we found ABA to be a great tool. It's a technique to improve behavior, not necessarily just for communicating. I'm no expert as we've only done one round of ABA services but I think the theory is that with lots of positive reinforcement, you can train someone to increase desired behaviors and decrease undesired ones. The therapist we worked with was great. She worked together with me to put together a program that worked for our family. If there were any suggestions that I felt were not realistic for us, she was usually able to come up with an alternative. There is a lot of documentation and reporting required by the parents or caregivers throughout the process. It was not the type of therapy where they only worked with DS, it involved the parents quite extensively to monitor and reinforce the behaviors. Also, it got worse before it got better but then it was much better.

    ETA - Also, from what I understand, the reactive and explosive behaviors often are a result of the inability to communicate emotions properly, or at least we had that with DS. So, even though they can be very verbal about other things, they actually do have trouble communicating how they are really feeling and need to be taught more appropriate methods to communicate. We are still very much working on it but maturity and the ABA techniques have helped improve his ability to communicate feelings and lessened the major explosions. Plus, we learned the signs leading up to an explosion, which can often be very subtle (Something as tiny as him starting to shift around in his chair a little. During ABA, the therapist would often point it out to me and I never would have noticed otherwise), and now know how to diffuse a situation before it gets out of control.
    Last edited by mikeys_mom; 09-10-2014 at 06:29 AM.
    DS - 10
    DD - 8
    Twin Girls - 6

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