– Happy new year, almost. Almost, the year’s almost over. Assumptions about ABA therapy. Do you have any? If so, go! So, Brandy, I asked for
assumptions on ABA therapy, on Instagram and Facebook. We got some zingers, we got
some good ones, you know, from all ends. So, I kinda wanna go over this
and talk a few things through as Abigail’s going through ABA therapy. So we’ll be cutting back and forth ’cause we don’t wanna take
up her therapy time either. Brandy and I had to discuss,
we’re gonna discuss a lot of these ahead of time because
just trying to understand what you guys are saying really. So, gavi114 said it takes
out the emotional aspect and just trains people. And what were you saying,
that your assumption is on that one? – Maybe ’cause there’s a lot
of talk about ABA creates like robotic children, which
certainly, in the past, that may have been a mistake that was made before there was a lot
of application of ABA. I think there’s even been,
that we talked before about how somebody
liked that we told Abbie like hands waiting not, I don’t know… – [Asa] Quiet hands.
– [Brandy] Quiet hands, yeah. Because quiet hands isn’t
something that you typically would say to any human
being, so hands waiting is a little bit more of a
natural, less robotic response. So I think maybe along those lines, so, that you keep emotions in perspective when you’re teaching kids
to recognize emotions, when you’re thinking
about (Abbie clapping) how they’re emotionally
reacting to things, you know. – Well and we’ve talked
before too about how we wanna show value in how Abigail’s feeling. Like, you know, how’s she feeling about just doing therapy today? And allowing her to be part of the process and like choosing what activities she does and stuff like that. – Yeah, and that’s definitely
something important. So we’ve talked about like
oh, this would be a good goal for her as she grows and
becomes an independent woman. But as we start to work
on it, if we see that it, every time we’re practicing it with her, that she’s getting
frustrated, then we kinda say, “Maybe this isn’t the
time to work on this.” So we take into account her opinion on it. – Yay. (clapping) – I hope that’s not about
your behavior analyst. Like, if your behavior analyst
doesn’t respond emotionally, isn’t excited when your kid does something and has a big accomplishment,
or if your behavior analyst is unresponsive completely
to your kid being upset and distre– not like she
should be crying or that they should be giving attention
to it, but if it’s not a concern of the behavior
analyst, that what they continue to do causes the kid to be
happy or upset, like they should recognize and kind of
respond appropriately. If the kid does something
cool and the kid’s excited, the behavior analyst should
also be excited with the kid and be in that moment. – Well I think like you
have to professionally like remove yourself a
certain level of emotion from the situation, you know. I’ve never seen you
get angry with Abigail. I’ve never seen you look
disappointed in Abigail. I’ve never seen, I’ve never
seen any negative emotions and it’s obvious when your
like emotions of affirmation towards Abigail, you
know, and pride in her, you can tell that it’s stifled
some because you’re still trying to, you know, but
it’s still obvious, you know, she knows. You know, and you’ll say,
smiling and, you know, a higher octave and a
louder voice and everything of how proud you are of her, so it’s… I think, you know, in both
instances, whether it be from the therapist or from the client, emotions are definitely
valued in modern ABA therapy. And that’s something that’s
important to consider too is, ABA therapy is changed with time, just like everything else has. A lot of preconceived
notions about ABA therapy, well and they weren’t
far off from the truth, the institutionalized abuse
aspect of it, that kinda thing, because it is behavioral
therapy, and behavioral therapy can be used for anything. It’s just the application that matters. ’cause that was one of the assumptions, that ABA therapy is
institutionalized abuse, as an assumption about ABA therapy. And I don’t, you know, I honestly
don’t know if alex_carter_ believes that or if that’s
obviously, I think as parents like we’ve all heard that. You know, we’ve all
heard that ABA’s abusive. – I’ve met some of the new
families that I’ve started working with, they were
very hesitant to start ABA because they’ve heard
such bad things about it and that the kids are miserable in therapy and the kids were crying and
all this kinda stuff so… I always tell parents that
your kid, at some point probably will cry, but
that’s not the goal. We try to set them up for
success and avoid getting upset as much as possible, but
certainly the kids that aren’t in ABA therapy also cry. So, we try to… (Abbie clapping
and growling) just like… It will be tough sometimes, but
hopefully the good outweighs the bad, so we do our best
to find what’s gonna help be most impactful and
most beneficial to the kid starting with ABA so that
you can kinda see like look it is good stuff and it is
designed, should be designed to help your child succeed
and be more independent and be able to communicate
and that kinda stuff, so and decrease frustration. – And I think, you know,
we have been alex_carter_ also asked why we use ABA therapy. And then also like why do we
promote it would be a question that I would ask. Why do we promote it so much? Like we don’t necessarily
promote ABA therapy just as like a blanket statement, like
everyone should use ABA therapy, like ABA therapy’s where it’s at. Because it’s not a one size fits all. It’s different for every person. It’s more effective for some
people than it is for others. But then also like the reason
we share so much of it, is not to say, “You need
to be doing ABA therapy,” it’s to say, “This is
what your ABA therapy “should look like.” And that’s an important part
of it, because there are still today, therapists that
are just doing it wrong. Or if you’re a therapist
watching this and, you know, we wanna show you like
this is how your sessions should look. If you’re working on life skills
like Abbie is with Brandy, this is how they should look. I want it to be a good example
of what ABA therapy should be not just a, you know, an overall
ABA is good type of thing. – [Brandy] And eat? You wanna go in the car and eat? – [Abbie] Mmm.
– [Brandy] You do! We’ll have to ask Crazy
Nanny when she gets here. She’s like, “Finally,
you got it!” (laughter). – [Asa] Crazy Nanny’ll
be here in a bit Ab. – [Brandy] Yip, we’ll ask her. – All right, I’ll take this one Brandy. All right, question is,
or the assumption is, it’s impossible to keep up with at home. You know, as a parent, in all
honesty, like, it is hard, often times. You’re not gonna have, don’t
expect of yourself, to have like therapy level
persistence with ABA therapy. That’s, you’re just gonna fail at it. You know, Brandy’s here for
an hour, hour and a half, two hours, however long
Abbie’s session is at a time, and it’s her job, and she goes
home at the end of the day, and then she’s done. You know, you have a full
life to live with your child, and you don’t wanna be their
therapist, you wanna be their mom or their dad. You should follow through
on all the things, you know, your therapist will work with
you on the things that you should be following through on. It’s certainly not a
requirement as an autism parent, to become an ABA therapist. Like you have to be mom
and dad at some point. But follow through? 100% important. You’re gonna see the
best results if everybody that interacts with your
child, the most amount of people possible, I know
grandparents are very hard to get onboard, but the most
amount of people possible, you know, implementing these principles. – So I think with that one
too, if you think about like an early learner getting
30 to 40 hours of ABA a week, if you talk about can you
keep up with that as a parent? Certainly not, we’re not
expecting you to sit down at the table and do
picture cards and puzzles and stuff constantly. But yeah, basic stuff like if
they tantrum, here’s how you should respond, you need to
respond every time that way. But no, it would be impossible
to keep up with sitting and doing one on one direct therapy all the time.
– And I’m glad you brought that up, ’cause
that whole early learner thing, like I forget about that part. – [Brandy] Yeah I know, I was just gonna say the same thing.
– You know when we had like… Because early on ABA therapy,
like a lot of you guys might see like, okay well
that’s not what my therapy looks like. Like, our kid goes to a clinic
and sits down and like… – That’s where I just came from. – So big part that I notice
with ABA therapy, and I might be wrong here, but I feel
like it’s almost like, at first they have to learn how to learn. – Yes. – It’s like, you know, they
have to learn the process and everything, to where
they get to a point, where Abigail is, where, you
know, this is what’s expected, and we’re gonna work on
getting these results, and teaching you these
new activities and stuff. But she has to first
learn the process of it. And I feel like that’s what
a lot of clinical time does, that like, you know, doing
these activities and stuff… So, I don’t know, I guess
I’m contradicting myself, because when you’ve been
doing this for years with your child, you kinda, it
just kinda happens naturally. So you get to a pace where
you’re comfortable with it. Don’t freak out I guess
is my biggest thing, don’t freak out about it and think, “Oh there’s no way I could,
you know, do that every day.” It just comes natural. – It does yeah.
– So. Did you just initiate
bathroom on your own? Good job! – Want some hand? – [Asa] She’s been waiting for you. – [Brandy] She has. – I’ve been waiting to see you. – [Brandy] She’s signing right now. – You did so well yesterday. – She said to me, “Go, car, eat.” I said, “Do you wanna go
in the car and get food.” And she like jumped up for like yes, that’s what I’m talking about! – We had such a good
time yesterday did we? We went for a long walk
on the river walk and (Abbie vocalizing) I took
her to meet one of my friends and she went out to eat with
us and we had, she did awesome. Her favorite employee was
there so it all went so well. – Very cool. – So debbieann’s assumption
is that it doesn’t develop any internal motivation for
kiddos with less severe needs than Abbie. Less severe needs so, needing
less support than Abigail. So I’ve seen, and Brandy and
I were talking about this, we think it has to do with
external reinforcers like, whether it be edible reinforcer
or screen time on iPad or something like that
for a desired behavior. But, watching a kid like
Abigail, especially, transition out of those reinforcers into almost, you know, I would call it pride,
pride in what she’s done. You know, when she does
something and she’s proud of herself, you can see it on
her face, just her behavior. – Smiling and looking at you.
– Yeah. The reason for the reinforcers
is not for an end goal. And that’s what’s important. It’s to motivate learning of new skills. – That are very difficult
for somebody to like. We don’t use edibles for
everything, but things that are particularly
difficult and frustrating. – Well let’s use toileting
for example, right like, the whole process of
toileting like, you know, most of us do it every
single day, on our own, it’s not a particularly
difficult thing to do, but just tearing toilet paper
off of the toilet paper roll requires two hands. It requires one hand to
hold, one hand to pull, just to tear it. That’s not counting that you’re
pulling off a certain amount of squares, you know and the
way Abigail’s brain it thinks, it’s not like, “Okay,
that’s about enough,” it would have to be like,
“I need six squares, “so I’m gonna get exactly
this many squares. “And then that’s when I
put my other hand up there “to stop it from
unrolling, and then I tear, “and I tear in this direction,
because I can’t tear “in the other direction.” Or, you know, all these
little bitty details for every single process,
imagine how frustrating that would be if there was
no return value in that. The lack of value there is
what’s frustrating for her and then once she finally
gets each one of these steps we can put them together,
and then it becomes she went to the bathroom on her own
and she’s so stinkin’ proud of herself when she does it. So I think it, if
anything, I think it builds internal reinforcers, and motivators.
– That’s always the goal is to pair unnatural reinforcement with social praise and with smiling and, you
know, seeing that they’re reinforcing that they smile
when they do something and they’re proud and
like I mean, I don’t know, behaviorally I can’t define
that she’s proud but like if she does something and
smiles and looks at me like yeah, I’m gonna have a big
reaction, ’cause that’s the goal is for her to feel like completing
that task is reinforcing enough because I did it right
and I’ve been practicing this forever. Also, as a side note,
people don’t do things, the general population
of people without autism, don’t do things just because,
just how they’re gonna set their heart like, we go
to work to get a paycheck, we just follow the speed limit to avoid getting a speeding ticket. Like there are other things than internal drive for everyone. – [Asa] I’d say most things.
– The majority of things yeah. – [Asa] The majority of things
have an internal motivator. Fulltimemomma says, “Do you
think abby will ever graduate “from ABA?” And, yes, I kind of do. Again, this is gonna
be like contradictory, because the way that people
learn, is by the methods that ABA teaches. Even if you don’t realize it. Like, people think of
it as like, you know, witch doctor thing, like it’s just… It’s actually like
normal human interaction. If I, as a husband, wipe down the counter, which as a husband I never
do, but I go to wipe down the counter, Priscilla comes
up here and she’s like, “Who wiped down the counter?” I’ll be like, “I did.” She’ll be like, “Wow, thank you!” She just reinforced that behavior
and increased the chances that I’m gonna wipe
down the counter again. It’s normal human interaction. That is ABA therapy in it’s essence. – You also avoided the nagging of – I did avoid it.
– “Why isn’t the counter “wiped down?” – I avoided her undesirable behavior. Yes, it’s gonna continue
for the rest of her life, but not at this level. I mean it’s even changed
recently, we rolled back to one day a week, so… Where she used to do, you know, some kids are getting 40 hours a week. It just depends on the child’s
needs, or adult’s needs. But, kinda, yeah, she kinda
will graduate from ABA, eventually. – And that’s the goal, I
mean, it’ll be a very sad day, but that is the goal is to
get the child or the adult far enough along that they
don’t need weekly therapy and that the caregivers have
learned the background behind why we do what we do in ABA,
not just do what I tell you to do, but here’s why,
because we’re trying to reinforce this and
not reinforce that so… – Right. So this is a reoccurring
one that we hear often times about stim suppression. Self stimulatory behavior,
that’s Abigail’s flapping or her vocal stims, where she’s
yelling, that sort of stuff. If it suppresses those
stims, that’s what ABA, one of the goals of ABA therapy is. Basicgray said, “Does it
teach her to stop stimming?” We haven’t done anything
except for extinction to stop her from stimming, right? – Yeah so, and different behavior analysts have different feelings on that. With her, and with most of my clients, unless it’s completely
interfering with daily activities, like if you can’t feed
yourself because your stimming is so intense, we don’t
typically do a lot about it. But, like with Abbie, I use
it to help motivate her. If she’s motivated, ’cause
sometimes we’ll start a task and she’s not stimming, and
then midway through the task she loses focus because
she starts stimming. I know, we’re waiting on… You’re talking about going
in the car to get food. We’ll ask Nanny okay. If she starts stimming during
a task, I just let her know and I kinda prompt gently,
“Hey, put your hands down “and hey, finish this, then you can stim.” ’cause if that’s what you’re
motivated to do right now and you’re no longer motivated
for whatever I was offering praise or an edible, you’re
motivated to stim it’s like, “That’s cool, just finish
this real quick and then “you can go stim.” – Even as intense as
like her yelling stim is, and her deep pressure
stims, like her squeezing and stuff like that, you know,
the yelling stim is really the only one that interferes
with other people intensely, and we don’t even suppress that. You know, I mean as parents
some times we’re just like, “Girl, please stop, you know, I just, “I can’t even hear myself think.” Or you can’t make a phone
call in the car, you can’t, you know, you can’t do
anything that requires audio because she’s stimming. But we still don’t suppress
it because it’s something that she needs. So we wouldn’t want that done in therapy. And I am of the belief that
if you have a therapist that is suppressing stims
or you, as a parent, are asking your therapist
to suppress stims, I think the best question to ask is why, what’s the intention? It certainly shouldn’t be
because it’s not normal. Because that’s, I mean, who’s normal? That doesn’t make any sense. Well, the only extinction we’ve done is with the gagging stim,
with Abigail, because that is self injurious, it could hurt her. That’s the only extinction we’ve done. There was no way to
therapize that out, you know, to get that to go away. We had to essentially get
her to forget about it. – You can say stop. Stop. – [Asa] Leave me alone,
stop tickling my feet! – Good job, yeah! Go in the car. We’re waiting for Nanny. – Now if I didn’t get to your
assumption, or if you have any other questions about
ABA therapy, make sure you leave them down in
the comments down below. We’re gonna do more of these videos. I really wanna educate
people on the topic. See ya next time, thanks
for watching, bye. (sine tone) – Sorry, I made you bump your elbow. (dishes clattering) Awesome! – [Asa] See how she’s managing. – That happened when I was
(plate knocking on table). – [Asa] Hey hey hey.
– Gentle. Very good Ab! Let’s try to do it a little more gently. Ready? (plate clattering) Awesome.