After patience, time, the right approach, and a lot of hard work, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a child empowered by real progress.
All of the small victories accomplished along the way are pieces of the bigger puzzle, and that got us thinking, Why not celebrate and share those progress pieces too? So that’s exactly what we’re doing!
And it’s not just our kiddos who are empowered with progress – our team members feel the benefits personally & professionally!
1) He tries it, he likes it!
Since my client is nearing graduation, our parent training goal is that Mom would choose a behavior of the child she wanted to change and create (with my guidance and feedback) a plan for it. She chose to work on having her son try new foods, something we had not addressed in therapy before. She’s been using a basic shaping procedure with differential reinforcement and is up to having him try one bite of a new food before being given his plate of his normal preferred meal. Today during my observation he ate an entire ravioli (cut into four bites) with no challenging behavior!
When his sister asked me why he got a corn dog but she didn’t, I told her she was really good at eating lots of foods but her brother was still learning how to do this. The client heard and loved this explanation, smiling and repeating, “I’m going to learn to eat new foods!” He then asked his mom for a crouton off her plate to “learn to eat.” She gave it to him. He ate it slowly, then smiled and gave her a thumbs-up. She then asked if he wanted to learn to eat some of the breading off his corn dog which he had peeled off. He said yes and also ate a bite of that! Mom had chosen to work on this behavior because when she tried to insist he eat what the family was eating in the past, they would have a long battle of wills with a severe tantrum and she would eventually give in and then feel guilty about rewarding his challenging behavior. It was so rewarding to see trying new foods change from a power struggle with tears on both sides to a fun and celebrated experience!! -Aislin B.
2) Presto, progress!
Earlier this year my client started a feeding program because she needed to learn how to chew. Previously she only ate mashed avocado or hummus. She has done so well with the program of taking bites of different softer foods, we are now starting a ‘dinner’ program. In this new dinner program she has a plate full of familiar foods that she needs to take bites of and will then replace her mashed up food. She’s progressing through this so fast and it’s so awesome to see. -Nicole V.
**These statements (solicited from AHSS staff) represent a quick snapshot of a moment in time. Each child with autism is unique and on their own journey. Your child’s journey will be different than any other child’s, including those depicted here. If you would like more information on the progress possible for your child, please call 844-AHSS-ABA.
We love sharing progress pieces from our team! We invite you to share yours as well & embrace the positivity!