About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Friday, October 3, 2008


We're going to Vermont this weekend, to take in the foliage and chill out. I leave you with autism on Supernanny. It includes a demo of ABA, for the curious/uninitiated. For the child featured, you will note two things about ABA: (i) it appeared to work in the short-term, to some degree; and (ii) it takes a lot of resolve. You don't dabble in ABA; you commit to it. As I have blogged, we don't believe that one size fits all when it comes to treatment. We didn't use ABA, and we are happy with our decision. But each parent should assess all of their options independently, including ABA.

Have a nice weekend, everyone.

Added: Just to clarify, I'm not anti-ABA. If I'm anti-anything, it's the idea Patience alluded to in comments - that ABA is a panacea, without which all children on the spectrum are doomed to a life of low IQ. That having been said, I believe that ABA can make a significant difference in quality of life for many. Treatment decisions are highly personal, and they reflect clinical evidence, as well as the family's norms. And for that reason, I'm not doing anything other than saying "this is what worked for Brad."


Jeneil said...

I attended a seminar on Pivotal Response Therapy (modified ABA) by Drs. Koegel, and Lynn Koegel is the therapist in this video clip. She said that during the taping of the Supernanny show that some of the camera crewmembers and volunteers were actually in tears and high-fiving each other when the little boy finally spoke a word. It was very touching.


Patience said...

The problem I have with ABA is that it's adherents talk about it like a religion or something. "ABA is the only thing that will save your child" etc.
ABA is expensive and doesn't allow the child to have time for much else.
While some ABA might be helpful for a profoundly retarded child to train them to not self injure or to toilet train; I can't see it's value in a child of normal intelligence with a communication disorder. Floortime is much more concerned with building developmental stages and if done by parents is cheap and available to everyone.
The whole idea of gently drawing the child out through play and closing circles of communication is hard work but results in more natural communication skills.

Patience said...

I also wanted to add that now that I have watched all the Supernanny episodes that I wouldn't see that as traditional ABA. Trad ABA to me is hiring someone to spend 6-8 hours a day with a child doing discrete trial prompts to get them to master a skill or speech.
What they were doing in Supernanny was much more relational and not that intense. (I can say that as a veteran floortimer) Rewarding a child to encourage speech was one of the techniques encouraged by the SLP's that I consulted with for my dd so many years ago.

Maddy said...

Yes it's a question of finding something that works for each individual child and the family that surrounds them. Hope you had a great weekend.
Best wishes

Laura said...

Jeneil - I believe it. I was truly moved.

Patience - veteren floortimer? LOL where were when I was agonizing over this decision. As for who can benefit from which therapy, that's an intriguing question, and one which I hope developmental pediatrics does a better job at addressing in the future. Cause right now, there's not a lot of guidance.

Maddy - thanks for the well wishes...the foliage was beautiful!

rainbowmummy said...

OH thank you for the link, I missed this when it was on (NO I DIDN'T MISS IT I TAPED IT, ON A TAPE AFTER SOMETING ELSE TO DO WITH AUTISM, THAT I WAS KEEPING, PARTNER TAPED OVER IT. Not that I am still angry, lol).

I don't like ABA, but I won't go into that...

Thanks again, I look forward to watching this!!

Patience said...


Where was I in 1999? In a deep dark hole with no internet, no floortime providers etc.with a child who'd been kicked out of two preschools.
The only advice we got was to read The Child with Special Needs by Stanley Greenspan. It just made sense so we took his ideas and went with it along with some SLP consult and going by the rule; "if there's no improvement after three months; try something else"
We were also totally broke so we couldn't have provided ABA even if we thought it was the way to go.
BTW; we're not doing floortime anymore; things are fine and we've gone on with our lives.

Judith U. said...

Yup. It truly is about what works!