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Rapid Prompting Method


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#1 happycc

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 06:38 PM

I would like to start a thread on those homeschooling using Rapid Prompting Method -RPM

 

 

I am using it for my son who has Apraxia and Autism. He is verbal but intelligibility is low due to Apraxia. 

He is four yrs old and starts TK in Sept. 

 

My goal is to increase concepts and vocabulary. Right now his main form of communication is potty humor. Sigh! That's his default topic when he can't say things further. 

 

I am interested in those using it: 

1) Age of child

2) how often

3) topics

4)lessons

5) your favorite blog, video and whether the website forum has been worth it or not (btw I do not have Facebook and will not have it). 

6)how things are going. 

 

We started on our first lesson yesterday based on a sample lesson in the green book I think. 

He did fine but I felt really unsure of myself.

He wanted to do it on the floor and that was fine. 

He had a hard time staying still and wanted to just roll the trike nearby so we talked about the wheels. Are you rolling the wheel or the seat? Technically he was pushing the pedal....hmmm. 

 

 



#2 Crimson Wife

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 02:11 PM

Have you read through the previous thread on RPM?

 

The method is controversial and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has come out against it.



#3 Daria

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:49 PM

Have you read through the previous thread on RPM?

The method is controversial and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has come out against it.


I have to second this. RPM is not evidence based, and is frighteningly similar to Facilitated Communication. I would be very wary.

#4 OhElizabeth

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:19 PM

Our SLP practice actually is bringing in people to teach more about RPM, so I'm not coming from a position of anti-RPM. However I'll note the irony that you're making the least important things (educational content) more important than the most important thing (language development, which drives his ability to self-advocate, develop socially, etc.). Academics are NOT what is important right now. If he is verbal but unintelligible, the problem is the therapy he's getting.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 05 May 2017 - 06:21 PM.

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#5 OhElizabeth

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:02 PM

LOL, yeah, because nobody wants to hear another Elizabeth diatribe on therapists who do things that aren't ever destined to work and don't bother to get completely trained on something that actually DOES work for apraxia. Oh no, Elizabeth wouldn't rant about that again... She would end PROMPTly. She would PROMPT herself to be quiet and use her best social thinking and PROMPT herself to bite her tongue.

 

:D

 

And yeah, things happen. I just bumped into an acquaintance who's been working for all the years I've known her (since my ds was 2) with her blessed ds. Sometimes things are just rough. But to have a teeny tiny dc and not prioritize getting an actual motor-planning driven methodology for intervening on a motor-planning speech problem? Dude, that could make a woman curse. I get REALLY UPSET that therapists do that! I get really upset that therapists buy crap kits off these sites and use methodologies that are convenient for the therapist and don't reflect the HARD WORK of actually being hands-on and addressing the problem. 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave


Edited by OhElizabeth, 05 May 2017 - 07:05 PM.

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#6 happycc

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:45 PM

Yeah been fighting with Kaiser. They won't give me Prompt or more than once a week speech therapy. School district speech therapy is ending so he will only have once a week speech therapy. I'm pretty frustrated. Even frustrated the school district that says he has Apraxia not Autism but they won't give us Prompt speech therapy. So not sure what else to do. We are only making $50,000 with 7 people in the family living in the Bay Area. So paying anything out of the pocket is limited. 

 

Academically he loves academics. He loves learning so I just want to keep increasing vocab and concepts. Hopefully eventually he will be able to speak intelligibly or he can write. 

 

So that's my best situation. 

You get what you can get. At least RPM is free and I can do at home. No extra training needed and no different than just reading him a book and asking him questions about it. But incorporating my writing and spelling words out. It's unfair to many people to say one is better than the other when finances and location may dictate what is available. 

 

 

I wouldn't doubt that SLP won't like RPM cause SLP won't make any money out of it. ABA people won't like it cause it takes the money from them too. Medical community won't like it cause parents can implement this without need a specialist. 

 

When we had ABA, our ABA therapists often argued with SLPs and vice versa. One says they are more important than the other. One says that ABA shouldn't do SLP work and vice versa. 

One year my son got no speech therapy because of the school district garbage and Kaiser so we only had ABA and my son made some good progress despite having now SLP help for a WHOLE year. Then you should hear what ABA people say about OTs and what OTS say about ABA people. 

 

 

I am beginning to think money has a lot to do with what people decide to be fake or not especially in the autism world. 


Edited by happycc, 05 May 2017 - 07:57 PM.


#7 OhElizabeth

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:57 PM

nt


Edited by OhElizabeth, 05 May 2017 - 08:21 PM.


#8 happycc

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:59 PM

Yes I called Prompt Organization drectly. Two years ago. No movement. We cannot move. We have children under court jurisdiction.


Edited by happycc, 05 May 2017 - 08:00 PM.


#9 OhElizabeth

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:00 PM

That's rough. 



#10 happycc

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:05 PM

My son had someone trained in Prompt from the California Dept of Ed to evaluate him for an IEE and even with that no PROMPT from the local school district themselves . We actually had an IEE. We had to get legal counsel just to get that far just to get the Apraxia diagnosis that Kaiser fought me for two years. Now we owe too much from legal counsel bills. 

 

He made some improvements from that evaluation of two days. 

 

She made her report and suggestions to the school district but nothing from the school district. 

 

I read from previous posts that OhElizabeth you were positive about RPM. What changed? 



#11 happycc

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:27 PM

Wow was looking for support and ideas but get blasted and insulted instead. This is a first on this list and I've been on this list before it even moved over to this new one. 



#12 OhElizabeth

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:27 PM

I didn't say I'm not cool with RPM. That's not the point. The point is that his language, his academics, his ability to self-advocate, the social thinking that develops as the language develops, ALL of this is flowing from language, from speech. 

 

My ds is 8 and I can look back and say ok this is where we focused on things and this is how it turned out. There are lots of things you can choose to focus on. Focusing on language and behavior are going to pay HUGE rewards. Those are the things to nail. Academics are the context where you work on the language and behavior.

 

Your dc has language. There are dc with autism where it is so severe that PROMPT is not going to bust through even with tons of it. Maybe they started late. Maybe it would just never have been their reality. I'm not trying to say it's like oh all, all, all kids will get it. But PROMPT is stinkin' amazing when it IS coming and when the language CAN come.

 

That's rough with the legal bills. 

 

The most important things right now are behavior and language. Remember, just in general, you could really just hang and live an enriched life (talk, read together, play games together) and a lot of the basic, necessary academics for the age would happen. 

 

Your cost of living is probably so high in CA. What a horrible situation. 



#13 happycc

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:30 PM

You know I looked up an SLP Prompt therapist  for Oakland closest city and guess what she works for Kaiser.

 

There is a head honcho at Kaiser Oakland speech dept that blocks people from getting the things they need.

 

 So all I can do is continue doing the speech therapy that I can get and find other things to enrich things. 



#14 Daria

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:50 PM

PROMPT and RPM are two totally different methodologies.

 

I don't think that PROMPT is as sure of a thing as some people believe, the evidence is shaky, but it's a solid program that makes logical sense.  Many of the best therapists I've worked with have sworn by it as one technique in their arsenal. The worst thing that can happen if you do PROMPT is that your child will not make as much progress as you had hoped, and of course that can also happen if you don't do PROMPT.  

 

RPM is like Facilitated Communication, in that there is strong evidence that the person who is learning and communicating is not the child, it's the adult holding the letter board.  FC lead to families being destroyed, when children made accusations of sexual abuse, that could not be verified by any other method.  FC has lead to sexual abuse when facilitators claimed (and possibly believed) that they received consent through facilitated language.  Even if a family avoids these kinds of horror stories, FC/RPM leads people to focus on typing that may or may not originate with the person with the disability, and in the process to overlook people's genuine forms of communication, whether that's sign, or AAC, or verbal approximations, or gestures.  That's a terrible thing to do to a child.

 

If I had a kid with apraxia of speech and PROMPT was free, of course I'd try it.  Maybe it wouldn't work, but it would be worth a shot.  If I could afford it, I'd pay for it, because I think it's more promising than other therapies for apraxia

 

You couldn't pay me a million dollars to let someone using FC or RPM touch my child, or one of my students.  

 

There are plenty of other methods that can be used at home for teaching academics to children with little or no intelligible spoken language, that allow one to also work on language and behavior in the context of instruction.  I'm a big fan of the techniques espoused by David Koppenhaver and Karen Erickson.    I'm happy to talk you through implementing them for free, and to provide links and resources if you're interested.


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#15 OhElizabeth

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 09:08 PM

I want to point this out again, but there are huge differences in audience. That would be a TRAVESTY to do RPM on a dc who is acquiring speech, has language. That's not the population it's even for.

 

The PROMPT people have been doing MRIs, etc., and can show brain changes. The changes are astonishing. I have years of video footage of my ds. The real issue is that it takes a lot of work, a lot of hours to learn PROMPT, and idiots go to one training level and say they learned it. Obviously those people aren't going to do good work. So there's just a huge, huge spread in what's being called PROMPT, how pure it actually is, whether the people have gone to the trouble of completing their training (like, hello, do all the training before you say you know something), and working to get certified.

 

In what other field do we look at someone who has hack level knowledge and say they represent what it is? I can find probably 30-50 or more people trained at that level 1 in my state. Do you know how many of those I would let touch my ds? I let ONE person at that level touch him ONE HOUR, and I kid you not she messed him up. She messed up tons of work we had done with just ONE HOUR of her arrogance and insistence that her methods were so hot.

 

Parents have very little objective way to evaluate what is happening in therapy. It's only years later when you see the fruit and you're like rats he got speech but he's unintelligible or he got speech but he talks superfast to cover up his lack of jaw stability and control or he got speech and is clear but rarely talks because it's so hard... The parent has no way to gauge what is happening.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 05 May 2017 - 09:12 PM.


#16 OhElizabeth

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 09:22 PM

Ok, I'm going to go back to RPM. I found the book very inspiring. I think it's very different to do things *yourself* vs. having someone else do it. I identified with the idea of communication by any means. I'm a kind of b&w, simple person, and that's what spoke to me from it. There was a stage with my ds, not now but years ago, where that was really where it was at. And I, as the parent, could be confident of what we were doing. It wasn't like paying someone else. I totally get how that would be a question.

 

But that's what it was for me and what resonated with *me* from the book, this idea of breaking down barriers of communication. And some of it was useful to me when things were fatiguing. Like I remember a stage where he was maybe 4-5, and we were working on sounds, phonemic awareness. To do so many things at one time (make the sounds, learn things, discriminate, etc.) was really complex. It was a pile up of disabilities for him, because he does have a lot of disabilities all at once! So in that context, reducing barriers to communication, saying ok right now our goal is phonological processing and maybe we're going to take down the difficulty on the verbal to let him funnel that brain energy to it, that really made sense, kwim? 

 

So that's something we did and it was a tool I had in my toolbox. But I'm not sure I ever see anything like anyone else, lol. And to me, I interpreted your question differently. I interpreted it as you saying you wanted to go gung ho with RPM. I've met someone who did that in her homeschool setting, doing it herself, as in SHE had the ability to discriminate and know what was going on in veracity and truth. Gifted IQ, totally, totally non-verbal dc. She did RPM with him with brilliant results. We had someone come on the board saying they had done something of their own variant too. And me, I just think that's brilliant, kwim? I don't have an issue with that. 

 

But we want speech. We WANT SPEECH. And if the kid is getting his speech and it's non-intelligible, I'm going to be back at hammering the speech therapy. Because when push comes to shove and that kid is 12 you're going to want him to have speech. We took a break and we're back at it again. Those 2+ hour drives are killer! Like totally killer. But at this point my ds has so much speech (and capability) that not finishing is a disability. I want him to have that and to finish. I don't want that to stand in the way.

 

But, you know, find your mix. We all live with consequences. I did speech really well. Like I seriously did! I was in there working with him every single day, carrying over skills to life. We worked hard! Now he has pretty good speech. But behavior? Did I nail behavior like some people do by 5 or 6? Nope. Like let's be honest, I didn't. And I can tell you that things that are foundational that you don't nail WILL come back to bite you in the butt. Will american history gaps come back to bite you in the butt? Nope. But behavior and language will.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 05 May 2017 - 09:25 PM.


#17 Crimson Wife

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 12:32 AM

You know I looked up an SLP Prompt therapist  for Oakland closest city and guess what she works for Kaiser.

 

There is a head honcho at Kaiser Oakland speech dept that blocks people from getting the things they need.

 

 So all I can do is continue doing the speech therapy that I can get and find other things to enrich things. 

 

That's the same office that caused me to file for state Independent Medical Review because they didn't want to transfer my daughter's referral to the specialty clinic for the deaf & hard-of-hearing THAT HAS A KAISER CONTRACT:cursing:   Kaiser did transfer the referral as a result of my filing for IMR but I never should have had to resort to it. They are AWFUL and you definitely have my sympathy that you're stuck dealing with them.

 

FTR, I'm all in favor of parents working with their kids, either in addition to sessions with a certified SLP or if they aren't able to access services. There's a lot you can do with materials from Linguisystems, Super Duper, Gander Publishing, Hanen, TeachersPayTeachers, etc. $99/year will purchase unlimited continuing education lectures on Speechpathology.com that you can watch to learn more about all sorts of topics.

 

But RPM is not something that I can in good conscience endorse.



#18 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 04:38 AM

Wow was looking for support and ideas but get blasted and insulted instead. This is a first on this list and I've been on this list before it even moved over to this new one.

I found it difficult to read through some of the posts as well! I'm sorry! :grouphug:

I have looked at RPM when my 8 yr old was younger. I first read about Tito and his mom in Temple Grandin's book *The Way I See It*. You can see reference here from Google books:

https://books.google...grandin&f=false

I did not end up buying any of her books because they did not fit our situation. I just want to say, from a mom that has used what felt right to me regardless of other people's opinions, follow your *gut* and what makes sense to *you* for *your child*.

Wishing you all the best,

Marie

Edited by Canadian Mom of 2, 06 May 2017 - 04:39 AM.


#19 OhElizabeth

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 05:33 AM

nt 

 


Edited by OhElizabeth, 06 May 2017 - 05:37 AM.


#20 happycc

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 02:04 PM

Yes we parents have to be careful not to judge other parents if we suddenly won't move to get our kids a certain type of treatment or sell everything to accommodate for the treatment. 

Everyone's circumstances is different. Smaller families may be able to pick up and leave larger families maybe hard and kids under court jurisdiction--no.  Moving is not always easy and can make things worse especially losing local support network. 

Our family has moved 7 times in 8 years and lived through some tough financial times such as living in a hotel and in a trailer in a back of yard. We finally have some roots. 

 

My husband and his ex did move to another state years ago because they thought their kids asthma would be better. It ended up being a bomb and ended their marriage and losing lots of money and my husband did not get a job that was comparable to what he had established here. Even worse the kids asthma didn't improve but worsened leading to hospitalization. Moving is extremely costly and worse when you got to come back to the Bay Area. 

 

Telling me I need to have PROMPT is like dangling a chocolate muffin in front of me and saying you know you need it and you got to have it and but wait you can't...sorry....that's tough. I know that he needs Prompt. I know that but what do you do when when you have tried everything. It doesn't mean I will give up. I will  try but in the meantime, I gotta do something. 

 

 Ive even filled out the grant application form for small steps  but they required infor about an actual therapist in the area and how many hours they suggested. I can't even get in to see one therapist because apparently two PROMPT therapist locally are with Kaiser. 

 

If you drive further...in the Bay Area 10 mins of driving distance wise equates to an hour or more due to traffic.

I am quite aware we are living poverty level in Bay Area but my kids have a roof over their heads, clothes on their body, have basic general medical care, vehicles to transport them, involved in extracurricular activities paid for by our local independent study charter school and go to bed with a full belly. So I just manage the best I can daily and keep my chin and head up and carry on never letting my kids feel we can't care for their basic needs. 

 

 If anyone seriously have some ways that they KNOW I can get Kaiser Oakland to budge, please let me know.

 

Many of us on the list, are homeschooling our kids on a single income and doing the best we can do for our kids. The pressures to be amazing moms is so great already, lets try to be easy on each other especially when we have special needs kids. We all need pampering and encouragement. 

 

OhElizabeth: many of your posts over the years have been very helpful and encouraging. You just caught me at a very rough moment when I was yet shot down again by kaiser oakland just that day and needed something to give me hope that I can do something for my son. That I haven't completely failed him. 



#21 happycc

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 02:09 PM

I wanted to say that Kaiser and school district says my son has both APRAXIA and Phonological articulation issues. Kaiser therapist at first wanted to state you can't have both and that's why they won't diagnose him with apraxia.

 

 

Beyond frustrating. Crimson:

I am taking him back to Kaiser ASD clinic and maybe that will count as Independent Medical Review?

Did you have to get legal counsel to file that IMR? 

 

The problem is Apraxia they say can't be diagnosed by a MD. It has be diagnosed by SLP. 
Anyone know anything about this? 



#22 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 02:23 PM

Over the years I have seen you post about the challenges you and your family face and you have always found ways to do what you have to to help all your kids and step kids. You have not failed your son! We may all have different ways of approaching things, based on our own situation, circumstances, and personal nature, but we all do the best that we can for our kids. You are already doing that for your boy by trying to find solutions, educating yourself, while fighting against a difficult situation. Many kudos and hugs to you. :grouphug:

You are in my thoughts,

Marie
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#23 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

I found some resources for you. Not sure if you have seen them already so I'll just link them for you to look into.

https://www.autismsp...children-autism

https://www.speechan...anguage-delays/

http://www.nwoapraxi....org/books.html

#24 Crimson Wife

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 06:15 PM

I wanted to say that Kaiser and school district says my son has both APRAXIA and Phonological articulation issues. Kaiser therapist at first wanted to state you can't have both and that's why they won't diagnose him with apraxia.

 

 

Beyond frustrating. Crimson:

I am taking him back to Kaiser ASD clinic and maybe that will count as Independent Medical Review?

Did you have to get legal counsel to file that IMR?

 

Independent Medical Review is a process through the state where a truly independent medical team outside of Kaiser reviews the patient's files and then Kaiser (or whichever insurance company) has to do whatever the recommendation is. So if the IMR says that your son needs speech therapy 5x per week with a PROMPT certified therapist, then Kaiser has to pay for it.

 

No legal counsel or cost to the family to file for IMR.



#25 happycc

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:41 PM

Thank you Marie for your support. Off to do more research and file IMR.

 

Why does it always require such a fight for anything for our kids?

 

We have to find the inlaws, families, friends, doctors, professionals, legal process. Its exhausting. 

 

I just met a man who has a son with a tracheotomy and fighting the school district to teach him signs. And he is a single dad because his wife died during child birth which complications led to his son having tracheotomy. He is dealing with major cover up from the hospitals and not telling him the truth about things. It's been five years of fighting for him. Just when I get down about my situation, I always hear about someone else who has it way worse. 


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#26 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:22 PM

Thank you Marie for your support. Off to do more research and file IMR.


You're welcome, my dear :)
 

Why does it always require such a fight for anything for our kids?
 
We have to find the inlaws, families, friends, doctors, professionals, legal process. Its exhausting.


:grouphug: I know! We haven't had anyone's help. So I just keep doing what I have to for my kids and fight to the best of my ability. There comes a time I think when we all realize that at the end of the day, we the parents are the ones that make the biggest difference in our children's lives. We are the ones with the greatest vested interest in their happiness and well-being, now and in the future. You have put a lot of hard work into all your kids, and you have more to deal with than I. Pat yourself on the back for that :)  
 


I just met a man who has a son with a tracheotomy and fighting the school district to teach him signs. And he is a single dad because his wife died during child birth which complications led to his son having tracheotomy. He is dealing with major cover up from the hospitals and not telling him the truth about things. It's been five years of fighting for him. Just when I get down about my situation, I always hear about someone else who has it way worse.


Yes, stories like this are what remind me how blessed we are, regardless of our struggles. I try to remember that and be grateful for every day that I have with my boys. I will keep the dad and his boy in my prayers.

Edited by Canadian Mom of 2, 19 May 2017 - 06:24 PM.


#27 Crimson Wife

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:00 PM

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

I look at how hard it is for me to get the services my SN child needs when I'm coming from a relatively privileged position (upper middle class English-speaking married SAHM with a degree in a healthcare field, reliable transportation, and good private insurance coverage) and it just makes me so furious on behalf of all the less privileged moms (ETA and dads/grandparents/guardians) who care just as much about their SN kids but aren't in a position to be the "squeaky wheel" that I am. :cursing:


Edited by Crimson Wife, 19 May 2017 - 08:02 PM.


#28 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:03 PM

That is where the Canadian medical system differs. We all wait on the same wait lists, regardless of class.
ETA: There are differences in some services from province/ territory to province/ territory though.

Edited by Canadian Mom of 2, 19 May 2017 - 11:05 PM.


#29 nixpix5

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:53 AM

I found it difficult to read through some of the posts as well! I'm sorry! :grouphug:

I have looked at RPM when my 8 yr old was younger. I first read about Tito and his mom in Temple Grandin's book *The Way I See It*. You can see reference here from Google books:

https://books.google...grandin&f=false

I did not end up buying any of her books because they did not fit our situation. I just want to say, from a mom that has used what felt right to me regardless of other people's opinions, follow your *gut* and what makes sense to *you* for *your child*.

Wishing you all the best,

Marie


This is wonderful advice. A mom's gut is a powerful tool. My ASD buddy (who is also suspected as being apraxic but the verdict is still out) was non verbal and behaviorally challenged for quite a while. We were worried for him and told we needed x,y and z to make progress. All expensive, all time consuming and when I dug through the research I wasn't entirely convinced.

Having worked for so long in mental health along side many seasoned SLPs when push comes to shove we all doubt the true power of these therapies. Sure, results happen but there are many ways to make them happen. We tried speech for a bit (play based, PROMPT) and we tried ABA for about 7 months before I realized it was actually making things worse. I finally pulled the plug on them. I read through stacks of research and came to some conclusions about why certain things were probably effective and I put my own program in place. I can say now at 6 years old he is completely verbal (he was just telling me last night about a crush he has on a girl in his co-op class haha!) and the behaviors are soooo much better. He is calm, way more flexible, and has zero problem transitioning unless he hasn't had enough sleep and eats too much sugar. Not to say he doesn't have struggles, it is an uphill sludge but as long as we are making good progress I feel comfortable. He does get speech through the co-op once a week.

Being tuned in to your child can help alot. For example, my guy used to meltdown when we were in new places or when routines changed. It was perplexing. I read all about how it was due to overstimulation, anxiety etc. However, after taking data on my observations for a while I noticed that my guy was actually picturing how he thought something would be. I think he has alot of pictures in his head at all times and I believe he was creating such a vivid expectation that when the experience didn't match his thoughts he did develop anxiousness and frustration. So I started getting out the white board and sketching what I thought something would be like and his siblings would also do it too. This helped him to see that everyone had different ideas and we probably were all wrong or it was bits of each. Now he says "this experience could be anything! It is an adventure!" We have tried to give him social flexibility scripts to use when he feels overwhelmed.

Anyway, I guess my long winded diatribe is really about not panicking that if you cannot afford or do something your child is doomed. I can honestly say many of the people I went through toddler programs with and knew in ABA who had children on par with my son have stayed with various programs and our kids are doing similar (and in many ways my guy has surpassed). Tune into your kiddo and read alot. Get well informed and never hesitate to ask therapists what you can be doing at home if you cannot attend therapy. Use the home exercises. Just keep working hard with him each day *hug*
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#30 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 05:33 PM

Nixpix5, there's so much in your post that I could have written myself. Things I have been saying for years. Advocating for therapies is good but at the end of the day, spending time and effort there and little time trying to figure out what we as parents can do to help, is not doing our child any favors in the meantime.

I don't want to get into specific therapies; we all use what we feel is best for our child. One thing I will say though is, when I read Barry Prizant's book *Uniquely Human* it validated my way of thinking.

Barry Prizant is called in by schools to observe kids that have certain challenges the school has been unable to address. First thing he does is observe the child. He also places a lot of weight on the observations from the parents on what seems to work for the child at home, the circumstances under which they have observed certain behaviors, their views on what may be triggering them. Sometimes the parents know what will work best for their child but can't seem to get the school system to proceed with the supports the child may need.

Another thing that struck me from his book is what he shares about those supporting these kids (whether they be therapists, aides, whatever). I'll just quote his words on that:

"Being a person who “gets It” is not about having a particular graduate degree or a certain number of years of training or experience in the field. I have met individuals with impressive résumés and stellar credentials who nevertheless lack the basic human qualities that enable others to connect with children with autism and their families. "Many others, like Paul, lack advanced training but forge real human connections, intuitively sense the needs of children, and help support meaningful progress."- Uniquely Human by Barry M. Prizant.

We are and should be the first and most important "gets It" people in our children's lives. I also feel that this is what we should be looking for in the people that treat or mentor our kids. When it came to language, I went completely the other way than most on this board. My research took an entirely different direction and I found the book of an SLP that seemed to be a "gets It" person for people with aphasia. Now, my son does not have aphasia but my research led me to see the similarities in what I was seeing my son was struggling with when it came to language to what some people with aphasia struggle with. I watched videos of this SLP using his approach and catering it to the specific person he was working with using what was important to that specific person, teaching him/ her how to express what he/ she wanted to say, instead of scripting the person on what they should or are expected to say. Note, he was working with people with aphasia after a stroke, mostly the elderly and here I was buying his book and using it on my autistic child. I think it raised many eyebrows :lol: . It worked wonders for my son though. He now expresses what he wants to say; his own opinions. He can even make jokes now and get jokes. His expressive language is not age level and we still have work, but he is using language to express *himself* and that was my goal all along. It is wonderful to hear his arguments when he disagrees with something or to hear him advocate for himself. He knows what he wants and he doesn't hesitate to tell you what that is. We have also worked on expressing ourselves respectfully.

I think your story about expectations vs. overstimulation might be useful to the mom in the other thread, too :) In our case, some scenarios are overstimulation. The expectations I have always tried to work on in similar ways as you. Having a clearer picture on what to expect in a situation was always a big deal for me growing up (being prepared for the unexpected) that I started playing out scenarios and talking to my kids (preparing them) before certain events. As for the unexpected, I teach them to think solutions, to problem solve. For my 8 yr old that comes more naturally. I have had to work on that more with my 13 yr old who tends to freeze up. I have frustrated him on numerous occasions, pressing him to get passed that stage, and getting him to focus on the solution instead of how impossible a situation may feel to him. I guide him to stay calm to keep a clear mind, I lead him to observe and guide him to a process of going step by step to solve a situation himself, instead of giving him the solution. It has helped him a great deal. I have used the same thing to teach him perspective taking. It is still a work in progress.

One thing I do steer away from when it comes to therapies and programs though, is those that teach that the NT way of thinking is the right way of thinking and that if you want to succeed in life, this is how you should think and behave. I choose resources that teach my kids that others may have a different perspective and that they need to respect that just like they want others to respect their own perspective. I take offense when an autistic person's perspective is considered flawed. It is just different, and autistic people can learn to accept that NT people have a different perspective and learn to respect the perspective of others. They *do* have a perspective though. They just experience and therefore view things differently.

And, yes, my sons have also not made any less progress with my home grown therapies than other kids that have had formal therapies :)

Edited by Canadian Mom of 2, 20 May 2017 - 05:43 PM.