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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Using videos as reinforcers, is there no other option?

Posted by on Aug. 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM
  • 24 Replies

My son's aba therapists have started to use videos(songs) as reinforcers. Now its been 2 years my son gets 0 screen time. We have been managing him in public and at home without using any distractions. The reason we stopped ipad and all gadgets was cause he would spend lot of time on it. Once we stopped it he started interacting with us more, he developed a strong interest in books(spends hours with books) and his behavior improved. He does his work at preschool without any screen time. However his artwork at school is fun and the aba programs are no fun. The therapist says its impossible to get him to color inside a shape, so she uses videos. Its impossible to get him to eat, so videos again. I have already had so many issues with the aba therapy and am writing an email almost every week to the supervisor. Should I let this one go (we have struggled very hard to get to 0 screen time)?

They did try spin stops, flying helicopters , etc but they work for one ot two sessions, after that my son won't be interested in it. He looses interest in toys pretty fast. For coloring, writting they say toys don't work and he needs highest reinforcer I.e videos 

by on Aug. 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM
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Replies (1-10):
ineedcoffeemom
by Brittaney on Aug. 17, 2014 at 2:45 PM
1 mom liked this
I see both sides to this .... You not wanting screen time and them wanting it. For aba to work the child has to be motivated, i.e. doing something for a reward. That's why I know aba wouldn't work for my daughter ... There is no activity that would motivate her over and over again. If knowing he'd get to watch a video motivates him to complete a task, then it would "work" in that sense. Honestly this is just why I'm not a big fan of aba .... Its too reward based for me.
MamaLauri
by Bronze Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 4:53 PM

I second not being a fan of ABA, and seeing both sides. ABA has its place in stabilizing extreme behavior and teaching discreet behavior like potty training. But it limted in the ability to teach generalizable skills and understanding.

Screen time activities that run at child determined time (not super-human speeds contributing to sensory overload and mini-seizures) can be very beneficial, but most screen time is not. It does not sound like they are using these or attempting to connect with him which is essential for teaching critical relationship skills.


Quoting ineedcoffeemom: I see both sides to this .... You not wanting screen time and them wanting it. For aba to work the child has to be motivated, i.e. doing something for a reward. That's why I know aba wouldn't work for my daughter ... There is no activity that would motivate her over and over again. If knowing he'd get to watch a video motivates him to complete a task, then it would "work" in that sense. Honestly this is just why I'm not a big fan of aba .... Its too reward based for me.


Macphee
by Bronze Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 7:52 PM
I understand your position and it is important for Aba therapist to follow your rules. They can use flash cards or music instead. I would find another provider if you as mom is not being included.

Playing devil's advocate, if you eliminated screen time to increase your kid being engaging; it's working, so is what ABA is using interfering? Maybe a plan to switch out the videos for other aids or an agreed upon plan to fade them?

Bottom line, mom is in charge of kid. You should get another provider, he or she not respecting your rule rubs me wrong.
Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 9:34 PM

I think ABA works very differently for different children.  My two have only been doing it about a month, but it is the most effective therapy/technique they have ever participated in, and their progress is much more substantial than other means we have tried prior.  The therapist uses a variety of reinforcers and changes them up daily so they do not get bored.  She always asks me what we use, and if we choose any video or IPAD it is only for one of the 5 minute breaks and for a very difficult task.  But, she also will not use anything with the kids that I am not ok with, and if I said no IPAD, videos, etc she would be fine with that and find something else.  I guess I question the therapist.  Not only should she be respecting and working with your wishes, but she needs to keep working to find something else motivating and keep the therapy moving forward.  It is her job after all.  I hope it works out for you.  I'd be frustrated too.  

lucasmadre
by Kari on Aug. 17, 2014 at 10:52 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree that for kids who already tend to retreat into their own world using technology is a slippery slope. I know my son is more combative and distant after gaming or even watching tv. I try to limit any screen time including it's use for educational purposes. Follow your instincts. You know your child better than anyone, sure videos "work" but at what cost?  xo

Simran81
by Bronze Member on Aug. 18, 2014 at 3:43 AM

Hi, my son had aba last year through ei and videos were never used. I never mentioned it to the supervisor that my son gets 0 screen time. The therapist just started using videos on her iPhone. This therapist is good otherwise, so I kept quiet at that point. Now I see her using it more frequently and m not happy with that. From my experience I know fading videos is very tough, at one point we needed iPad for everything - eating, dressing up, stopping tantrums in public, etc. We have come a long way and I feel the use of videos is taking us back. 

Quoting Macphee: I understand your position and it is important for Aba therapist to follow your rules. They can use flash cards or music instead. I would find another provider if you as mom is not being included. Playing devil's advocate, if you eliminated screen time to increase your kid being engaging; it's working, so is what ABA is using interfering? Maybe a plan to switch out the videos for other aids or an agreed upon plan to fade them? Bottom line, mom is in charge of kid. You should get another provider, he or she not respecting your rule rubs me wrong.


Simran81
by Bronze Member on Aug. 18, 2014 at 3:47 AM

Yes, I think I will speak to her again. I told her my son gets zero screen time and the reasons for it. However I didn't tell her not to use it, I thought she will herself understand. I will tell her clearly tomorrow. 

Quoting Momof4AEMW:

I think ABA works very differently for different children.  My two have only been doing it about a month, but it is the most effective therapy/technique they have ever participated in, and their progress is much more substantial than other means we have tried prior.  The therapist uses a variety of reinforcers and changes them up daily so they do not get bored.  She always asks me what we use, and if we choose any video or IPAD it is only for one of the 5 minute breaks and for a very difficult task.  But, she also will not use anything with the kids that I am not ok with, and if I said no IPAD, videos, etc she would be fine with that and find something else.  I guess I question the therapist.  Not only should she be respecting and working with your wishes, but she needs to keep working to find something else motivating and keep the therapy moving forward.  It is her job after all.  I hope it works out for you.  I'd be frustrated too.  


Simran81
by Bronze Member on Aug. 18, 2014 at 3:53 AM

Yes, my son used to watch videos in repeat. Then he would get over stimulated, scream, have trouble sleeping. I would want him to watch occasionally but that's so hard, he will keep asking for more. Yes exactly, the damage is far more! 

Quoting lucasmadre:

I agree that for kids who already tend to retreat into their own world using technology is a slippery slope. I know my son is more combative and distant after gaming or even watching tv. I try to limit any screen time including it's use for educational purposes. Follow your instincts. You know your child better than anyone, sure videos "work" but at what cost?  xo


TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Aug. 18, 2014 at 8:40 AM

 I agree with this!

Quoting ineedcoffeemom: I see both sides to this .... You not wanting screen time and them wanting it. For aba to work the child has to be motivated, i.e. doing something for a reward. That's why I know aba wouldn't work for my daughter ... There is no activity that would motivate her over and over again. If knowing he'd get to watch a video motivates him to complete a task, then it would "work" in that sense. Honestly this is just why I'm not a big fan of aba .... Its too reward based for me.

 


darbyakeep45
by Darby on Aug. 18, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Although I am a fan of ABA as it works well for my son, I do agree here.  There has to be a motivator for the child.  There are certain things/toys my son only gets during ABA sessions so they are better reinforcers for him.  I understand both sides.  Hugs!

Quoting ineedcoffeemom: I see both sides to this .... You not wanting screen time and them wanting it. For aba to work the child has to be motivated, i.e. doing something for a reward. That's why I know aba wouldn't work for my daughter ... There is no activity that would motivate her over and over again. If knowing he'd get to watch a video motivates him to complete a task, then it would "work" in that sense. Honestly this is just why I'm not a big fan of aba .... Its too reward based for me.


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