Autism Reality

Autism Quotes # 1

“If a child cannot learn in the way we teach … we must teach in a way the child can learn.”

Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas

“When Jack was diagnosed we were devastated at that thought of what life might be like for him. Now he can talk. ABA is hard work, but it has opened up a whole range of opportunities for him. Life just keeps getting better.”

Charmaine Fraser, Mother of Autistic Son, Australia

So we’re choosing to tell our daughter’s story now, after being quiet about it for the last 16 months: to emphasize how important it is that this bill pass in its original form. If it seems opportunistic or self-serving, well…there’s not much I can say about that, except that things like ABA and other therapy programs would seem to be the point of insurance: to insure the well-being of these kids who otherwise would be without hope for a future.

Finally, the only thing that really gave me pause about posting this was something that was said to me about the possibility SWSNBN might read this later on in her life and be mortified. My only response to that is this: I’m not a religious person, so prayer is out of the question, but I hope beyond anything I have ever hoped in my miserable life that my daughter, at some point in the future, is able to read this blog and yell at her father about it. I want that so badly it physically hurts.”

Pete, A Perfectly Cromulent Blog, Father of Autistic Daughter, Texas

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May 17, 2007 Posted by | aba, Applied Behavior Analysis, autism awareness, autism disorder, autism education, autism therapy, Lovaas | Leave a comment

Conor, Autism and ABA from Apple to Seuss

Conor was 2 1/2 years old and had NO effective speech; as in NO words at all with which to communicate. When he wanted something he would simply scream until we figured out what he wanted and provided it. An apple, one of his favorite foods, was always a good guess. Then I attended a lecture by Paul McDonnell, a clinical psychologist working with autistic children and professor emeritus (psychology). Paul described ABA and showed data charts and strategies for extinguishing problem behavior, teaching positive behaviors and elements of speech. That evening at home I tried ABA with Conor for the first time. When he screamed I showed him an apple but did not give it to him right away. I held the apple and kept repeating the first syllable until Conor, some 45 minutes later, finally said “ap”. After an hour and a half Conor was able to say apple.

Since then Conor has received ABA intervention from a number of therapists, but not the 40 hours a week, between the ages of 2 and 5. Nonetheless his vocabulary and understanding of language today while still limited compared to others his age is light years ahead of where it was when we first worked with that apple. Above is a picture of Conor, with his mother, at the edge of the picture listening, while Conor reads aloud from the Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss. (Dr. Seuss is his favorite writer by far).

Conor’s diagnosis is Autism Disorder. His pediatrician’s commentary describes him as profoundly autistic which he is. But ABA has helped him,and me, immeasurably. It has opened the world for him as language and reading does for all once acquired to any extent. And it has allowed me to communicate with my buddy. Both are priceless gifts. I thank Paul McDonnell for his many efforts on educating parents of autistic children in New Brunswick, the therapists that have worked with Conor and Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas for his incredible gift to autistic children and their parents.

February 5, 2007 Posted by | aba, autism, Conor, Dr. Seuss, Lovaas, speech, therapy | 1 Comment