How much do we change as parents?
I remember having community speech and language coming to the house when Z was little. Oh put all his toys up on shelves so he has to ask for them. This didn’t sit right with me then, I’d often say why? They are his toys, why should he have to ask me can he play with them? Of course if he needs help I’ll help. I never put those toys up on high shelves, if he really wanted them regardless of how high they were he would have gotten them by climbing anyways. Put his fave foods out of sight so he has to ask, I’m no he won’t ask and he wouldn’t eat? It’s his house I don’t ask my husband every time I want something to eat. He has his own box, full of all his foods he’ll eat, his safe foods, the foods that give him the energy to keep going till goodness knows what time!
Off he went to school where pecs were encouraged. That’s great if he can show a picture for what he wants that will really help. We covered it in the early bird course and ABA was mentioned. My frost thoughts were that’s dog training . When an ABA teacher came to school I’d often say that it was dog training. But it was used for behaviours and wasn’t affecting Z.
Three teachers later he was still on level 2, ok pecs isn’t working, he went to a new teacher and after a few weeks he would read aloud for her, he loved her and he jumped to stage 5 of pecs. He was happy, he was babbling away and would say the odd word. As his parent did I want him to talk of course I did. But was it the end of the world of he didn’t. No.
He played with his letters, spelling lots of words, at points sentences and lots of times in other languages. He started at three by spelling words like shadow, alligator and xylophone, at first backwards as in starring with the w and finished with the s but still read it correctly shadow. Now I get he was exploring, like toddlers explore with sounds and words he was spelling.
Last year something changed, I didn’t know what, we had behaviors, from bed wetting to no sleep, and school refusal, I know behaviour is communication. This is the only way he could tell me he wasn’t happy. After putting it out there someone said check the very small changes. I didn’t know what else to check, I’d asked every staff member who brought him out, I blamed other children, I blamed myself. I asked what small changes, any changes at all because I’m lost. Z isn’t happy, and that’s not Z. It was the same class teacher so it couldn’t have been her, she had him reading and running into class. The words, oh pyramid is a little more intense this year. Pyramid, is just pecs right? Yea.
Twitter is a great place for info, because the pyramid approach isn’t out there. Read the site, it states a functional approach to ABA, and it takes you to YouTube etc. As I said Twitter is great, when you know what your looking for. A school in London is the only other school. Being a blogger, at this point i was lucky, in a group someone knew exactly what it was, ABA and how it works. You know that way when something clicks and you have all your answers in one place. That’s it. That’s what Z has been trying to tell me. For a few weeks I googled, I read peer reviewed journal articles, I’m sure I gained half a stone in stress, but I knew that was the reason, honestly I cried, I felt I’d let him down.
I don’t know why professionals insist on changing children, I get it’s hard, the struggles are real, but he’s young, let him learn by playing, he didn’t learn to read and spell by me teaching him, he learnt it by playing.
Behaviour modification, I understand there are things he can’t do, call him spoilt but from a young age he hated the word no, what the point In stressing him out by saying no? I changed the word no to I don’t think so, or ahem, or don’t, sometimes it would cause a little strop but come on toddlers are known for temper tantrums! But tantrums are different to meltdown, why would I start a meltdown by saying no when I don’t think so would catarrh a tantrum. He gets over tantrums.
In March and a few meetings at school about his behaviour and ABA in general we entered lockdown and that was it. Those first few weeks Z was like. Different kid, more sleep, happier and eating a little more. Of course lockdown went on a little longer and that had other effects. We got no ABA and not pyramid approach into his statement, so he entered a new class come September and so far he seems to be finding himself again. He seems to be happier at home, school are saying there’s no behaviours at school so that sounds promising, I have to start trusting them again, it is hard, but I’m sure I’ll get there. I’ve already said the moment I see issues like last year that’s it I’m pulling him.
He’s singing away, he’s happier, he’s said his teachers name a Few times and seems like he’s back to his old self.
Will he ever have a conversation with me in spoken language? I don’t know, what we’re working on now are ACC, we’ve downloaded grid player and Speak4Me. Again we’re learning, we’re experimenting with sounds, with words with sentences. If he types I want chips from kfc we go get chips from kfc even if I know he’s not hungry. Again call him spoilt but isn’t that the same as when babies babble and you babble back? Ok it’s reinforcing the behaviour but it’s also teaching him he can ask for things, he can use any words he wants, where as I thought pecs were quite limiting in what words he could use. Long the it’s not practical I didn’t think. He could only use a set amount of words, who am I to tell my child he can only use a few words, when he’s hungry and he wants to use famished instead he can, he can type that in or show me the word, pecs won’t have the word famished on! The way pyramid was using them his spoken words or any other means of communication was ignored. How is this fair on him?
You’ll be a detective is what I got told. That’s true, you get so in tune to your child a grab the hand you know what it means. Just because he doesn’t use his Spoken words to communicate then I have to find a way that I can communicate with him too. I don’t really have the room to spell it all out with magnetic numbers! I often text his phone, how are you, or what are you doing? Does he read them I don’t know!
But for now he’s happy, back then I didn’t realise put all his toys up high was ABA, ABA is eveywhere, why make him do things he doesn’t want to if it’s not the end of the world? I remember funny thing the same lady who told me look for the small change saying about washing his hair. Does he need it washed every bath? No, just because it’s a socially accepted thing to do I don’t have too. So now I don’t I only ever wash it if it has to be washed, I don’t stress him out by putting water over his head when he doesn’t want too, we work on it, we’re up to shower water on his shoulders , will it ever get to his head? Who knows but the chlorine from the hot tub kills anything right!