Photo credit here
Parent training II
Well, you will be glad to know that it got better!
She tends to get angsty to me. Always has. I think that is pretty typical for most kids (even “normal” ones). They always seem to have a short fuse when it comes to their parents.
Our behavior plan is AMAZING!
Right from the start Issy’s aggression has gone down. And by down, I mean nearly disappeared!
Well, we saw a spike in behavior when I started working with her. 14 years of her having a short fuse with me is bound to affect her. However, our behavior plan is so kick-ass that even with me implementing it, her aggressions have gone down!
We’re on the right track!
When our insurance company saw the data, and the behavior spike, they determined that the behavior treatment wasn’t working anymore and that they were pulling funding.
Of course, it was explained to them. They didn’t care, they were done.
No problem! We’re ready for her to come home. And most importantly, SO IS SHE!
So I explained the behavior plan in this post here.
It’s intensive, meaning that when you’re on duty, you’re busy! But her behavior plan isn’t rocket science.
To put it simply, she gets tokens. She turns in her tokens to get things she wants.
Sort of reminds me of something…
Oh yea, life.
Well, she earns token much faster than most of us earn money. And we give her tokens constantly for doing the right things.
When I am working with her I have to carry a boatload of things:
Token board (with Velcro so it all attaches)
Obviously, I need to carry tokens. The token board has to be close for Issy to actually put the tokens she earns on it. We time many activities so it really helps to have TWO timers. The counter is when I need to count something. For example: if she starts to get aggressive, I need to count how many times she hits me, herself, or property. The counter is the easiest way to do this.
And if she does get angsty, it’s best if I get this mop of hair into a ponytail and put a hat on.
I found this belt on Amazon. I took off the chains but I love all the loops for hooking things onto it.
Matt calls it my batman belt.
I love that man!
Here is a video of Issy trading in tokens for ipad time!
Some personal thoughts on my training:
What my instincts are, as a mother, to do with Issy are almost always wrong.
Here are some examples:
If she is sad about something I should NOT go and try to comfort her. She gets no comfort from it and I’ll likely get hit.
If she wants something I should not give it to her. She has to earn everything.
If she is sitting quietly for long periods of time I should not try to talk to her. She’ll get mad and hit me. I remember feeling that way about my mom and I’m NOT a child with autism! Hahaha! Soooooo totally normal?
If I have to tell her “no” and I feel badly about it. It does no good to explain. Once we wanted to go to the fair. We got there and it was closed. I said how sorry I was and it was a bummer. I used my (sincere) but sad voice and got hit. Just saying “no” and moving on is better.
It’s generally better to avoid her. I need to step in when I know I’m going to be successful and not get hit. We have 14 years to re-shape.
Going up to her at any given time and hugging her and telling her I love her. Yea, that doesn’t thrill her. So am I doing it for me? Or her? I don’t want to spark an aggression so I’ll just love her from afar! Or wait for her to initiate a big ‘ol hug for me!
There are a million more examples.
But to sum it up. My parenting with her is nearly the opposite of what I have to do with my ‘neruro typical’ children. For about .05 seconds a day I feel very sorry for myself. The rest of the day, I’m so grateful that I’ve figured it out. Because clearly, I wasn’t doing a great job for the last 14 years (well, I did fine. The best I could under the circumstances, but it will be better now.)
So the next chapter in our saga is her transition home!
Thank you for reading!