Sunday, April 27, 2014

Scrolling (An ABA terms lesson)

In scrolling the student emits a correctly formed topography, in other words, the student uses a well formed vocal word or sign, but the topography emitted is not the one that would usually control the specific reinforcer. The error pattern is one in which the child says words or uses signs that in the past have resulted in the delivery of reinforcers but are not the correct word for the particular item they want at the time. Most often in scrolling, multiple error responses are emitted in a sequential fashion which may include the correct topography. It is almost as if the student is fishing for the correct response. 
- Mand Training - Pennsylvania Dept. of Education 

And now in English -
Scrolling is when a child uses the wrong word or multiple extra words when trying to ask for something. This usually happens part way into therapy, when the child starts to get the basic concept that you expect them to do something (sign, speak, tap dance??) in order to get what they want but before they have enough practice to be able to recall the correct word/sign when they want it. So they pull up the word or words that have gotten them the most success in the past. It's not the best case scenario, but it's a step in the right direction. It can also be cute as heck.

At the moment we're focusing more on PECs with Alexander and moving directly from PECs to vocals but for a while he was using a handful of signs pretty consistently. His main ones were candy, show, car and drink. And just about any time he wanted a drink, he'd start at the beginning of that list, with the intent to work his way through. Our protocol was to stop him and help him get it right but his little hand jive was pretty adorable. (And it was the best feeling to see him trying.)

When Jacob first started saying "goodnight" he started off by just saying "t" and then, later, "night, night." We were so happy about it, though, that he started saying "t" for everything, because he thought it was the magic sound to get our attention (which, let's be honest, it pretty much was - what sound is sweeter than your child asking to go to bed?) It was fairly amusing teaching him to differentiate the request for "night, night" from the requests for candy, milk, etc. One or two experiences of being lead to his room instead of handed an m&m and he figured it out quick.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Itty Bitty Olympians

Alexander's special education class took part in our county's special olympics last Friday. Alexander was an "athlete in training", I volunteered to run a station, and Kevin, Jacob, and "Beepaw" (Kevin's dad) came to play, too. All the athletes and ait's were assigned a buddy from the high school to help them participate in the events (and Alexander's was great!), and Alexander had our full entourage following him around most of the time. The ait's got their very own "Itty Bitty Olympics" to do and here are our boys at a couple of the stations.
Alexander thought we were thoroughly inefficient to stand back and try to throw the balls at the target. He demonstrated the practical approach by walking up to the bullseye to place his "dart."

Later we took the boys to the bounce houses, which of course they would have stayed at forever if we let them.

Then I insisted on attempting to get the boys' faces painted. I had the girl do a heart on my cheek while the boys watched and Alexander thought it was so cool, he sat perfectly still while she painted his sun.
Jacob reached up and smeared his before it dried but he sat still while it was going on, too.
Such a great day! We love our itty bitty boys!