Friday, July 26, 2013

 Reward Chart

Before dinner, we review exactly what behavior is expected, using utensils not our hands to put the food only in our mouths (not on the floor or somewhere else), sitting on the chair (not standing on the chair and not running around the dinning room) and using polite words such as please and thank-you (no yelling, whining or rude talking). If I have to give more than three reminders, they do not get a sticker. I never remove a sticker from the chart because it is only used for positive reinforcement not punishment.  Throughout dinner, I give as many compliments as possible to remind the children to stay on task. The Behavior Management Package, available on the left hand side of the screen, has pre-made behavior charts to make things easier for you, since your life is hard enough.
15 stickers = Restaurant trip
Good sitting
Good Eating
Good Manners

Am I to blame for my child'a autism?

 Should I blame myself for my child's Autism?
I work with children with Autism but I also work with their parents to help them help their children. Once a parent becomes comfortable with me, this question always comes up...Am I to blame for my child's autism? I had one parent confess to me that during her pregnancy with her autistic son she considered having an abortion because she was not ready to have another baby. She is so haunted with guilt by this thought, that she believes her son's autism is a punishment for this thought. I have worked with another mother of a child with autism who goes to grief therapy with her husband to mourn the loss of the son they anticipated. Some mother's go over in their minds everything they may have eaten during their pregnancy or anything they may have come in contact with that may have caused this disorder. Some parents reveal to me that they have various relatives with mental disorders, social oddities or speech delays and they wish they would have realized their might be a genetic disposition in their family to Autism.  Then there are things that plague them about their parenting once the child was born, since he seemed typical at first but then became delayed. Was it a vaccine that caused it? Was it an illness or an injury that could have been prevented. They lie awake at night trying not to blame themselves for their child's problems, wondering if someday their child can have friends or at least conversations with their own family.
There is nothing I can offer in way of whom to blame for these distraught parents. There is nothing conclusive about vaccinations causing Autism or environmental factors, or even genetic links. All I can encourage is for parents to accept that their child is unique and love them for that uniqueness. A child with autism can bring things to your life that no typical child can. You find yourself tapping into creativity that you never knew existed in yourself when you are exploring ways to relate and communicate with your child. When you take a few minutes and put yourself in your child's world and try to understand why they call things the weird things they call them and you find yourself speaking not French or German or Spanish but "Johnny" (or whatever your child may be named). It always makes me feel proud when I can have conversations with children then realize someone from outside of their world is listening in and they ask me puzzled, "How on Earth do you know what he is talking about?!" I can smile and explain that we have a special connection.
If you feel frustrated with the things that your child can not do and find yourself agonizing over the obstacles your child is facing or will face in the future, you need to take sometime and think about all the things your child has accomplished and what is special about them. I like to keep a notebook with my clients in which I write only positive things about the child, so when they are having a hard time they can page through it and smile about the good things. Some notes are as small and quick as "Today, Johnny said Girl is brooming, when he saw a picture of a girl sweeping." This is a great antecdote for this child because it is rare that he comments on anything independently. Other notes are long and describe successful social interactions such as eye contact or a smile, or a time when another child went out of his way to include Johnny in their play.

Daryl Hannah has Autism

Famous People with Autism and Videos on Autism
 You are not alone in dealing with Autism.  There are many people in this world who have Autism or live live with someone who has Autism. Some famous people with Autism Spectrum Disorders include:
  • Daryl Hannah, an American actress best known for her roles in Splash, Blade Runner and Kill Bill was diagnosed as a child as being 'borderline autistic'
  • Matthew Laborteaux, actor on Little House on the Prairie
  • Robert Gagno, actor from Vancouver
  • Dan Aykroyd, comedian and actor: Aykroyd stated he has Asperger's

  • Craig Nicholls, frontman of the band The Vines
  • Dawn Prince-Hughes, PhD, primate anthropologist, ethologist, and author of Songs for the Gorilla Nation
  • Vernon L. Smith, Nobel Laureate in Economics
  • Satoshi Tajiri, creator of Pok√©mon

  • Michelle Dawson, autism researcher and autism rights activist who has made ethical challenges to Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman and world's third richest man (2008)
  • Albert Einstein possibly had an Autism Spectrum disorder, watch the video below for more information.