Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Little More on ABA

Well I promised to blog soon, and it took me a week to recover?! I'm thinking I need to join a gym! Enough about me let's talk more about the ABA and older people on the spectrum.

As usual the Glassers cut straight to the a key point of Peter Gerhart's presentation which is this:

Success in school and even college does not automatically translate to success in real life.
It's easy to drill academic information over and over again and "show" that a person is making "progress." However, if a person can add and even balance a checkbook, but they can't go shopping, how does this help in real life?

The truth is its harder working with individuals to help them gain independence and make meaningful connections in society.

For example, when teaching an individual how to make their bed, why drill over and over again until they make a perfect hospital style bed? In real life do any of us really do that? What a waste of time and resources. Teach them to get out in the community independently. Raise the bar! Many people on the spectrum are capable of far more than they are allowed to experience.

Point two I appreciated, which isn't reflected in the slides was this:

Treat people on the spectrum as people, not tasks!

They have likes, dislikes, interests, listen to them and help them to achieve THEIR goals. There were many examples of this in Peter's talk. For example, he talked about helping people find jobs. One autistic man had asked to quit his restaurant job 22 TIMES! The case worker would not let him quit because she had "placed" him in a job. How would you feel if that were you? Finally, the man was allowed to quit when he had a melt down in the restaurant.
Peter asked the man what kind of job he wanted. In a nutshell he replied:
  • lots of money (don't we all).
  • not too many hours (don't we all).
  • not to sweat.

He was in a kitchen sweating, it was loud and over stimulating. Peter worked with him to find another job that matched what he was good at, and guess what: no tantrums, a happy employer, and a happy employee. Wow, treat people as people and watch what can happen!!!

I have lots more to blog on this subject, but I want to get some feedback from you. Unfortunately, they took down Peter's slides, so we can't access them anymore. Grrrrrr....

Let me know what you think. Come on you lurking readers. Just post a comment and choose to have it posted as anonymous I want your feedback!!!

Life - Liberty - and the Pursuit of Happiness for all!!!


Casdok said...

Now my son has become an adult i am seeing this more that people see his autism and not that he is a person first.

A Bishops Wife said...

I know a couple of HFA people who are night time security gards and it seems to be an ideal job as it is very routien and quiet.

I think about these things occasionaly as they pertain to my Junior, but he is only 7.

farmwifetwo said...

Anyone who thinks ABA is not unending, until perfection, hour after hour rote pet dog training.... does not have their child in an ABA program. Just one with an ABA name to get funding.


S - who still shakes when she thinks of the difficulties they had in the ABA program (8mths worth) and thanks her FSW every day... for getting them out of it.