Jamie’s ABA Training Progress – 7 Months Training 【Part 2 – Picking up Language from Natural Environment 】
Children with ASD may have difficulty understanding words and non-verbal messages in facial expressions and gestures. These difficulties can affect their ability to interact with others, especially with their peers.
For some younger children with ASD, improving speech and language skills is a functional goal of treatment. Hence, a main goal for Jamie’s 7th-month ABA Therapy is to develop his language and communication skills. Although Jamie was good with picking up 1 word and very short phrases, we had to improve his listening in his natural environment and remembering what he hears from people daily.
This is done through a “Verbal Imitation” (VI) program, where Jamie learns to imitate sentences with a 3-5 and then, 5-6 syllabus. One strategy our therapists taught him was to look at them so that he can copy them more accurately.
As Jamie sometimes engages in inappropriate behaviors such as shouting, kicking, and flopping on the floor. In Jamie’s 1-1 7th month ABA therapy update, we worked on developing his awareness around appropriate versus inappropriate behaviors.
To work on this, we used the “Cool” (appropriate behaviors) versus “Not Cool” / “Silly” (inappropriate behaviors) strategy. In this video, Jamie’s therapists roleplayed certain “Cool” or “Not Cool” / “Silly” behaviors and Jamie has to identify them.
Mealtime for children with autism can be challenging for parents and caregivers. Many children may limit themselves to eating only their favorite food. For Jamie, his parents shared with us that he has always been eating rice, bread and pasta but never any meats and vegetables. In this new program, we hope to expose him to different kinds of meats and vegetables, so that he can have more healthy food options to choose from as he grows up.
We introduced the new food (chicken meat) to Jamie by starting with a very small piece of meat, then reward with a preferred snack/video. We gradually increased the portion size and reduce the frequency of reward.