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mamashark

Social skills hierarchy (perspective taking)

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An SLP that works with my husband in the public school system sent home a box of her social skills books for me to look through over the Christmas break. One was on teaching kids perspective taking. Looking through the book I can see 2 things - first, this is a skill that my son doesn't have, and second, that the book, which starts with different points of view based on physical conditions as described in a story and picture, are too abstract for where we are right now.

So obviously interospection will be a prerequisite to taking someone's perspective when it comes to "how do you think she feels" type questions, but what are the prerequisites, or groundwork, for even the most basic perspective taking? The concept that another person has a different experience of the world than I do.  Or a more concrete way to teach that first step of points of view based on physical conditions (a tall person would experience reaching for things or sitting at a small table differently than a short person, for example.)

And where does that concept fit into the hierarchy of social skills? I realize that it is likely one of those things that "by age thus and such" you start to develop it, but what skills were in place prior to that development in order to allow for the development of perspective to begin to develop, apart from question of developmental age? Anyone know?

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This is just another thought:

The VB-MAPP has a section about social behavior and play.  I think I have seen skill lists from it on the Internet?  I'm not sure.

This link is about the VB-MAPP but doesn't actually show a list.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbal_Behavior_Milestones_Assessment_and_Placement_Program

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7 minutes ago, Lecka said:

This is just another thought:

The VB-MAPP has a section about social behavior and play.  I think I have seen skill lists from it on the Internet?  I'm not sure.

This link is about the VB-MAPP but doesn't actually show a list.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbal_Behavior_Milestones_Assessment_and_Placement_Program

Interesting. I wonder if buying the VB-MAPP on Amazon would be beneficial to show me specifically what else we need to work on.

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It is wonderful but it is also extremely confusing.  

We own it and it was the basis of my son's ABA program for probably 3 years.  Not that all of his goals came from it, but most of them did.

It's like a lot of lists, and it uses a lot of jargon.  It doesn't say anything about how to reach the goals.  

But -------- it is wonderful for what it is.  It does really break down skills.  

I will go pull it out of the closet.....

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Okay -- I don't think I am going to share too much to be appropriate.....

Here are a few items from Level 3 of social behavior and social play:

11. Spontaneously cooperates with a peer to accomplish a specific outcome 5 times (e.g., one child holds a bucket while the other pours in water)

12.  Spontaneously mands to a peer with a WH question 5 times (e.g. Where are you going? What is that? Who are you being?)

13.  Intraverbally responds to 5 different questions or statements from peers (e.g. verbally responds to What do you want to play?)

 

So ------ to some extent it is just lists like this, it is about 15 pages of lists like this.   

And then there are some picky things that it won't tell you within the book ----- like when they say peers, they do not count siblings.  My son frequently would have a skill with siblings a year or even two years before he had it with other kids.  

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3 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Okay -- I don't think I am going to share too much to be appropriate.....

Here are a few items from Level 3 of social behavior and social play:

11. Spontaneously cooperates with a peer to accomplish a specific outcome 5 times (e.g., one child holds a bucket while the other pours in water)

 12.  Spontaneously mands to a peer with a WH question 5 times (e.g. Where are you going? What is that? Who are you being?)

13.  Intraverbally responds to 5 different questions or statements from peers (e.g. verbally responds to What do you want to play?)

 

So ------ to some extent it is just lists like this, it is about 15 pages of lists like this.   

And then there are some picky things that it won't tell you within the book ----- like when they say peers, they do not count siblings.  My son frequently would have a skill with siblings a year or even two years before he had it with other kids.  

 

Great thanks, that's very helpful! And it sounds like someone trained in how to use it would be helpful too 🙂  But can see the point about peers not being siblings. One thing we had to realize over the past couple years was that "social play" at home and at the playground with other kids was different and that difference WAS actually an issue. I'm also seeing the skill set difference between comprehension and ability in our living room, and in any other location; or even in our living room with guests. 

But honestly a book of lists like that is a good starting point for me, since the wait lists are insane for behaviorists here. November turned into December, which turned into January and I'm not convinced January is going to happen, lol. At the very least it will give me some ideas as to what skills we need to even consider looking at!

 

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0890796831/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

This is something similar but older.  I have never seen this book myself.  But I have seen xeroxes of certain pages.  This is the book my son's (edit:  before we moved) school used to help them make IEP goals.  

I have an impression that it is easier to use but more old-fashioned.  

But it's my understanding that it also has skill progressions.  

My impression is that it is more usable by parents, though.  

 

Edited by Lecka
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 https://www.amazon.com/Relationship-Development-Intervention-Young-Children/dp/1843107147/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1546009278&sr=1-2&keywords=relationship+development+intervention

This book has an idea of a skills progression and games/activities to go along.  

I think...... it's worthwhile but I would not say "take your name off the waiting list for a behaviorist, all you need is this book."  

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https://www.amazon.com/Early-Start-Your-Child-Autism/dp/160918470X/ref=pd_sim_14_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=160918470X&pd_rd_r=7528fb89-0ab1-11e9-84bf-671441283cd1&pd_rd_w=036FY&pd_rd_wg=OfiR7&pf_rd_p=18bb0b78-4200-49b9-ac91-f141d61a1780&pf_rd_r=RYDEXPM7KWDWTPSRQE2W&psc=1&refRID=RYDEXPM7KWDWTPSRQE2W

This book is the best I have ever seen for giving a clear explanation of joint attention.  It's kind of sad because it is basic, important information, and it should be clearly explained in a lot of other books.  

Really -- I think this book is really worthwhile.  

My son was way out of the recommended age range when I read it, and then at times I had to laugh because it made some of the suggested activities sound so *easy.*

Edited by Lecka
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Okay -- if you are on a waiting list for behavior therapy, I would not buy the VB-MAPP assessment.

One, if they use it and choose to use it with your son, they very likely have the version that is on a tablet.  If they have that anyway -- there would be no point in you paying for it right now.  Honestly.  

Two, they might use something else, or they might choose something else for your son.  

But this is something you can ask about.  You can ask them if they use the VB-MAPP in their practice, and if they would expect to assess your son with it.

To me -- this would be a factor if there were a choice between someone who used the VB-MAPP and someone who didn't.  It wouldn't be the only thing to look at, but it would be a factor.  

Edited by Lecka

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Practical Theory of Mind Games  

I'm going to agree with Lecka that if you're letting your SLP drive social instead of getting a behaviorist who uses the VBMAPP, you're going to kick yourself later. The SLP is a car salesman, peddling you all the books she's bought. I mean that's literally what she just did, handing you a box and offering to do any of it with him for $100. What utter chicanery. You could buy those books and do that too.

The whole point of a BCBA or a behaviorist is that they're trained enough on AUTISM (not the broader medical world of speech) that they can be an expert on AUTISM. And the SLPs get all pissy (I see this online) about how it's horrific that BCBAs are doing language. Well sorry but the BCBAs and their RBTs are the ones with the hours. The SLPs literally aren't even TRAINED on anything sequential and developmental for autism. So you say VBMAPP and they have no clue. You say Verbal Behavior, and they're like oh no that's bad. I'm over-generalizing here, because there are SLPs who have gone to the Dark Side and become BCBAs. But it's STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.

So yeah, you can either piecemeal based on whatever random stinking books your SLP finds, or you can get a BCBA and get a systematic evaluation of where he's at and start filling in holes.

Also, and this is WHY it pisses me off so, so much, your dc only has so much energy to give. So if someone comes along trying to do social and they STRESS HIM OUT, either by working on skills that are not foundational or by not knowing how to work with autism and keep his body calm, then you lose ANOTHER day and have a stressed, tired dc AND have goals that aren't sticking and aren't generalizing.

You don't need piecemeal, random skills. Even our behaviorist, not a BCBA, did not do the VBMAPP with ds. We were cash pay at the time, and honestly his needs were so high (dangerous behaviors) that doing the VBMAPP was not the most important thing. But that's what we've had to do, going back and identifying those holes. The holes will be there and pretending they aren't or hoping they aren't because he's so wicked gifted doesn't make them go away.

There's a reason I've given up and been doing all of ds' language therapy myself. I couldn't find an SLP who was willing to be thorough and systematic. The VBMAPP is thorough and systematic. That's how you fill in holes on a 2E kid, not wishfully hoping the issues aren't there. 

As far as social, sigh, it starts with joint attention and SLPs aren't trained on it. You want RDI for that. So once you do RDI or use joint attention goals from your VBMAPP or what have you, then you bring alongside your interoception work and get that to stage three. You can run the theory of mind games I linked parallel to all that. They're adorable, crazy fun. My ds is older so he can do 2-3 lessons a day of them. They really make him THINK and they find funky crunchy holes for him.

10 minutes ago, Lecka said:

I think...... it's worthwhile but I would not say "take your name off the waiting list for a behaviorist, all you need is this book."  

Yup. If anyone is telling you not to get a behaviorist, they're cracked in the head. Well I say that, and my behaviorist said I probably wouldn't like ANY of the BCBAs in our major city. It's not like doing this work with a really unusual 2E kid is so common. BCBAs, unfortunately, are becoming kind of dime a dozen. They have no kids, just this masters and boom, and I'm hearing lots of horror stories of bad advice, dangerous advice. Like if you've got a really high IQ kid on the spectrum, bad advice can make things a LOT WORSE. 

So I'm not saying anyone or that just having the label is enough. But if you find a gem, someone who gets him, someone who works in a naturalistic way and works WITH him, not against him, it could be really valuable on a lot of levels.

I don't find any one professional or person I hire knows everything. I start off trusting and then I give up and get books and wrap my brain around it myself. It's ok to start somewhere, see what happens. A lot of this is not about "fixable" but journey and taking steps. It's not like they'll do something in an office and it will generalize to life. Not if it's autism, sorry. What they do in the office will be a skill he has in the office. If you want it in real life, you have to stay really in the loop and work on generalizing it. 

It's ok to like your people and say they're not perfect. It almost sounds like your person is admitting she doesn't know what she's doing. The thing that pisses me off the most is when they don't know what they're doing so they just make it up. Like the whole "look at me" mess. 

So what was in her pile? What are your GOALS right now? It almost sounds like curriculum is driving goals instead of the other way around. What changes are you trying to make happen? What would make the biggest difference in his life and be pivotal?

I don't think it hurts to work on theory of mind, and I like that games book. Really, narrative language is SO HUGE. If he has ANY issues there, they should be working on that. If he has ANY issues with self-advocacy (saying he needs a break, saying what he wants, collaborating, suggesting alternatives), they should be working on that. You want the most pivotal things, because the list they could work on is endless.

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How long is your wait for a behaviorist? You might not even like them and time is wasting. If you have the money floating around and the wait is 6 months, buy it now and get started. If the wait is one month, do something else till then, sure.

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1 hour ago, mamashark said:

The concept that another person has a different experience of the world than I do.  Or a more concrete way to teach that first step of points of view based on physical conditions (a tall person would experience reaching for things or sitting at a small table differently than a short person, for example.)

Why is this important right now? The theory of mind games book I linked you has really concrete ways of approaching theory of mind and you'll find it's directly applicable to life, stuff you'll start repeating. But what you're talking about is leading into inferences, reading comprehension. He's 6. Right now you need behavior, compliance, self-advocacy, narrative language. Inferences are not the most important thing. 

Has he been through We Thinkers? If he hasn't, I would have her do that. If he has, I would work on narrative language.

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Nobody is saying op shouldn't get a behaviorist.

I was just meaning ------ especially in some slightly older materials, a lot of things are presented in an "either/or" way that are not "either/or" now.  RDI used to be, to some extent, for people who didn't want to do ABA.  I can't remember if that book says anything like that or not, but some older books will say things like that.  

I could have been more clear!  

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I would also encourage you to "check in" with the places where you are on a waiting list.  I think it is just a good thing to do every month or so.

Also, you might be able to cast your net wider.  

Sometimes behaviorists from a city will supervise into rural areas, so there may be more providers than it seems like.  

A way to look at this is to look at the list for RBTs and see if there are more RBTs for your area.  This is hard to explain and my husband's insurance requires us to have services from people who have these certifications (BCBA, RBT, etc).  Not all insurances (or "funding sources") require this, but ours does.  

Anyway -- it can be hard to figure out who actually will cover an area, when some do cover areas that are pretty far away from their office location.  

I will try to link a website for this.

We moved fairly recently and it was hard for me to figure out what service providers were actually working in this area...... that our insurance would cover...... it is surprisingly hard to figure this out I think, and when a lot of providers have long waiting lists they seem not to be aware that they are hard to find.... 

It is also hard because many in this field do not have office staff and so there is never anyone to answer a phone.  

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https://www.bacb.com/services/o.php?page=101127

Okay -- I searched this (find an RBT) for my zip code.  It shows their name, and then it shows their "responsible certificant."  

Any of these "responsible certificants" might cover your area, but they might not show up in your geographical area if you search for BCBA.  

So -- this is home addresses for RBTs.  Some of them might turn out to be college students and this is their home address.  Some of them may turn out to drive an hour away for work.  I saw one name when I looked at mine, and I happen to know she moved about 6 months ago -- so I assume her "responsible certificant" is in her new location.  But still -- this can be a way to find more names to get on more waiting lists.  

I have to have someone from this website, though, because of insurance.  

There is something about ABA sometimes...... some kids are in it a long time.  This means sometimes new spots open up very rarely.  If an agency happens to have a lot of 8-year-olds who are probably going to stay with ABA for another several years, there isn't the turnover that a lot of therapies have, where they may tend to work with kids for less than two years.  

At the ABA agency we left, by the time we moved, they had enough kids who were going to stay with ABA through middle school and high school, that they really only had spots open up when someone moved.  It was a military town so people did move, but while they did have kids who would be in ABA 2 years or less, when I started, they just kind-of lost those slots as slots filled up with kids who would be in it longer term.

There would be day-time slots though, that would tend to be for pre-school aged kids, and those would turnover naturally, and have new spots open up.  

So ----- if you have a school-aged child, but you are available during any time of day, make sure they know that.

Also ask about the length of the waiting list, you may need to really look for more waiting lists to get on, instead of thinking you are on a list and your name will come up.  

I'm sorry to be depressing on this but it is worth asking if possible, or just casting a wide net.  

I think my son was on a waiting list for 6-7 months when we moved, and that is good.  He was #4 for a long time, and then several people moved at the same time (since it is military).  I was able to get on the list 3-4 months before we got here, but I had a lot of issues with trying to call/e-mail different places and getting no response, or finding out that they didn't cover this area, etc.  It is pretty frustrating.  

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27 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I mean that's literally what she just did, handing you a box and offering to do any of it with him for $100. What utter chicanery. You could buy those books and do that too.

Sorry I wasn't clear - this is not an SLP that is working with him - we are not using an SLP right now. This is an SLP that is working at the same school as my husband and she sent the books home because she thought I'd be interested in looking at them because my husband has chatted with her. She can't actually work with my son and gets no benefit financially from my looking at her books.  

I've got a list of goals that I'm working on at home, and I was thinking that the concept of perspective will follow along and boost many of our other goals at the same time, it just wasn't something I'd thought of before, and yet it fits nicely. So no, I'm not letting curriculum drive my goals; even the professionals even have the resources to tell them what to do, they don't think it up on their own, so it's not unreasonable for me to want a resource to help me set goals. 

Regarding the behaviorist: I've called several places, the ones without the wait lists don't have good reviews and DO have turnover, because they are looking at ABA like short term OT goals and often meet with kids once a week for an hour. I'm not interested in wasting my time with them. I've got other goals being hit in other ways and like I said, there are only so many hours in a day and I am doing what I can. We already have over 6 hours of therapy a week scheduled starting next week. And that doesn't include the goals I'm working on myself since I'm not using an SLP right now. 

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45 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Nobody is saying op shouldn't get a behaviorist.

I didn't actually read everything you posted. I was saying if she's telling *herself* she doesn't need a behaviorist or if she has someone around her saying that, that it's not sound advice. I got that advice, and they base it on IQ. They're like this kid is gifted, don't do ABA. And it holds you back from getting the VBMAPP and more thorough assessments that catch glitches and holes, because people make these assumptions or have these issues with considering ABA horrible, blah blah blah. We had psychs telling us that, telling us not to get ABA because he was gifted.

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Just now, mamashark said:

Sorry I wasn't clear - this is not an SLP that is working with him - we are not using an SLP right now. This is an SLP that is working at the same school as my husband and she sent the books home because she thought I'd be interested in looking at them because my husband has chatted with her. She can't actually work with my son and gets no benefit financially from my looking at her books.  

That's really sweet of her! And just so you know, the school SLPs seem SO stuck on social skills. I think it's because it's low-hanging fruit, something they can make an IEP goal for and say they did. Seems like every stinking SLP wants to do social, and you're like dang but my kid can't tell what happened to him today which means he's not SAFE and all you care about is your stupid social skills and exterior compliance and how he looks and fits in.

Do you have the list of books? You could book club it for us and tell us what you like about each book! They might be things we haven't seen, so you can share the love! :biggrin:

6 minutes ago, mamashark said:

Regarding the behaviorist: I've called several places, the ones without the wait lists don't have good reviews and DO have turnover, because they are looking at ABA like short term OT goals and often meet with kids once a week for an hour.

With whomever you use, are you going to have insurance coverage for RBT hours, or will you be paying for this yourself? When we started, I was paying for the behaviorist myself. I also paid for worker hours. So we would set up plans and she would supervise and the workers would implement x number of hours a week. I haven't had workers like that in a while, so our behaviorist works with ds one hour (which I'm with you is sort of a slow drip drip, not a wow bang), and then talks with me for another 30-45 minutes. THAT is where we get golden, because we sort out things, talk through problems. She's also available by text/email, which lets her help problem solve. And sometimes it's simple stuff but she knows ds well now and is just outside of it enough to be big picture and notice patterns I miss. She's a SAFE PERSON for me to talk with. 

So it's not necessarily about the hours and what they do for him as what they help you sort out and help you do for him. It can be them running RBTs and bringing in workers, but there are other ways of working together. And when you know what you want, then that can help you discriminate. I think your plan is really on to wait for the right person, so that's just another thing to look for, whether they're helpful to *you*. 

So what sometimes happens with interventions is you just try something, see how it goes. You're going to have a learning curve. How long do you have to return things? Maybe try a couple lessons and see how it goes. That will give you data on what a good next step is, what supports he needs to be able to do it calmly, etc. For my ds that theory of mind book is really concrete. It starts with really simple stuff, like playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey and spinning and realizing who can see what. (what the person with their eyes covered can see, what the person spinning them can see, etc.) It's really fun, very concrete. And you might say oh he doesn't need that, fine, I don't know him. I was just surprised how much my ds engaged with it. It's marked through gr 7.

I'd definitely be interested to see the list of what she sent you! :smile:

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I hope your therapy next week works out great!

I think for a lot of things, there are a lot of different ways to reach the same place.  There’s not only one right way.   

I also think, anything you are working on now will have a cumulative effect and help whatever you do in the future.  Sometimes you just have to start somewhere!

 

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19 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Do you have the list of books? You could book club it for us and tell us what you like about each book! They might be things we haven't seen, so you can share the love! :biggrin:

sure! I don't know that I'll have time today, it depends on how the morning goes, but I'll give you a little something about each book before I send them back in 🙂 

I am thinking, regarding a "curriculum" for perspective-taking, that I am going to do MindWings autism collection starting next year - that gives me some time to focus on some other things in the meantime, meet some basic narration goals, work on interospection, etc. I like the look of mindwings stuff better than linguisystems at the moment. I don't find Braidy to be quite as user friendly as I might have liked, but with time lesson planning it is working really well - I love the hands-on nature of it, (I made a laminated Braidy doll, which was more budget friendly!!) And I feel pretty confident that the Autism collection will be just as effective. I have had him go through We Thinkers 1 with the old OT, although it was poorly implemented - the lessons were geared towards the one other boy in the group. But I was thinking that if I buy the next volume myself I can more carefully direct the lessons to my son's needs and it would be more beneficial. My goal is to have that in place over the summer, I need to save some before I buy it.

We've had a tumultuous week and I'm looking forward to getting back into our routine.  Just getting back into play therapy yesterday made a big impact on regulation and behavior. I've just got to get through today's last family Christmas get-together and then we can breathe again. 

 

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The play therapy sounds like it is going great!  

I’m a little off on a tangent, but I did find an article talking about how some people think joint attention and imitation skills are building blocks for theory of mind.  

https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/profiles/andrew-meltzoff-patricia-kuhl-joint-attention-to-mind/

My son had a ton of goals for imitation, I think from the VB-MAPP.  But his imitation was extremely poor.  He could not clap his hands for “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.”  

I wish I could find something actually good about joint attention on the Internet.  I am not having any luck.  The book I thought was so good about it was a library check-out in my old town, and it is not in my book budget to get it!  

https://www.amazon.com/Early-Start-Your-Child-Autism/dp/160918470X

It’s this book and I think a lot of larger libraries would have it.  

I think it’s very likely this kind of thing is being targeted in play therapy anyway.  

 

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You already own the MW Autism set or you're going to buy it? I have it, but I went ahead and got SKILL. I needed idiot-proof, open and go, and SKILL gives me that. I weave in some of the MW ASD pages.

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On the theory of mind stuff, there's really concrete (we know it because we can see it or hear it, we don't know that because we couldn't hear or see it) and there's more abstract that relies on inferencing and prior knowledge (we know that person is sick because we know how we feel when that happens, we know the person must have been tall because we've tried to reach and know how high that is, etc.). 

 

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On 12/29/2018 at 1:32 PM, PeterPan said:

You already own the MW Autism set or you're going to buy it? I have it, but I went ahead and got SKILL. I needed idiot-proof, open and go, and SKILL gives me that. I weave in some of the MW ASD pages.

I would like to buy it. I own Braidy and like it, so I assume the other stuff they have would be good too. I've got SKIL on my list to look at but thought the kit from MW would be a better use of money... what do you think? You own both, could you give me a rundown/comparison of the two?

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On 12/29/2018 at 1:19 PM, PeterPan said:

You could take a picture of the pile of books such that we could see the spines or covers. :biggrin:

Ok here's your picture...I'm starting a new thread for you with my thoughts on the books 🙂

IMG_2943.jpg.6fc284c108bb5ef1fcda1e5e8e9ed88f.jpg

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On 12/29/2018 at 9:57 AM, Lecka said:

I’m a little off on a tangent, but I did find an article talking about how some people think joint attention and imitation skills are building blocks for theory of mind.  

https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/profiles/andrew-meltzoff-patricia-kuhl-joint-attention-to-mind/

This is interesting, thanks for the link! 

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8 hours ago, mamashark said:

I would like to buy it. I own Braidy and like it, so I assume the other stuff they have would be good too. I've got SKIL on my list to look at but thought the kit from MW would be a better use of money... what do you think? You own both, could you give me a rundown/comparison of the two?

I own both and am using them together. Story Champs is even more $$ but also highly efficient, with predone stories/books to go with it. 

I'm not a good one to ask on what is needed, because I've been to at least 3 multi-day Social Thinking training workshops, own tons of stuff, and read everything I could find for free on their site. I was pretty much wondering why I bothered when I got the set. I haven't read most of it and find almost nothing in it useful as far as content. I like their organizers explaining the narrative development and expectations, and I blend them into SKILL. SKILL for me is idiot-proof, and I really need that. I'm also famous for missing great content in things. 

SKILL has a charming story with scripted lessons and pre-done pictures. That's what it adds, and that's not so particularly brilliant either. It's just that it's DONE and for me open and go, already done, is more likely to get done. I haven't gotten through enough of SKILL to know where it will get us to. It definitely is going to drop short on things MW does well, like converting from narrative to expository. SKILL has really great rubrics, but I like the MW rubrics for each narrative stage as well. 

My two cents would be read everything you can for free on their site and then decide.It won't be a WRONG decision either way. If you want cohesion in your instruction between narrative and expository, you might wanna stick with MW.

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My son did a different Fold-and-Say book a few years ago.  I thought it was nice for him.  He did it with ABA.  

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So I emailed the SLP who loaned me the books with my question on perspective as well, and I can't figure out if I just disagree fundamentally with her or if I'm missing something in what she's saying.

she said "I am of the belief that dissecting skills for children with ASD does not help them develop those skills and that every child despite his diagnosis has different innate skills." Am I missing something here? Because I'm of the opinion that if you have missing skills/holes in development, you need to fill those in. Or am I mis-reading what she said?

She also said in response to my comments about using Mahlers work on interoception, "When working with children with ASD it is actually helpful to have them talk about perspective because it often helps them identify or label their own feelings and point of view." She also advised using social stories for this, and to get him reading and talking about stories to help identify emotions and how he's feeling. 

Finally, she told me "Keep in mind that similar to the development of other skills you do not stop exposing a child to a concept just because they're have not reached that level of development quite yet." She gave an example of this by telling me that when he's throwing a fit about leaving the house, to acknowledge his feelings, tell him how I feel (sorry or upset) and then to give him my perspective: that I'm worried that if we don't leave the house now, we will be late. Sorry, but in that situation, talk like that will do nothing for my son. Especially if it's something he doesn't want to go to. Late? Sounds good to him! Is there a chance to miss it entirely? I'll start fighting harder! And I don't often expose my kids to developmentally inappropriate things just because it's an important concept... I don't expose them to math concepts that they aren't ready to learn, books they are not ready to begin reading, or tools (scissors, knives, needles, etc.) that they do not have the beginning ability to properly use...That said I do expose them to advanced vocabulary in speaking, but I do so with definitions a lot of the time to help them understand what I mean, which would put it on a developmentally appropriate level... I don't know, maybe I'm missing the point here, but the entire point of the zone of proximal development is to not give kids concepts they aren't ready to work on with help, but to find that ideal level that will allow them to be stretched but not to the point of frustration.

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Ok, my head's a little blurring with the fonts and the opinions and the restatement of her opinions. Here's what I'll say, and this is as someone whose ds has an IEP and who has been in this world talking with these people, getting therapy from, seeing how they decide goals and roll with goals. 

3 hours ago, mamashark said:

she said "I am of the belief that dissecting skills for children with ASD does not help them develop those skills and that every child despite his diagnosis has different innate skills." 

For this, I think she has some kind of context, some kind of EXPERIENCE speaking there that you're missing. So I *think* I know what she means, but what I'm thinking doesn't match what you said. These therapists sometimes have context, back stories that the comments reflect. To me it sounds like she's had experiences where she tried some approaches and they didn't work. And that's pretty healthy and normal to say tried that, didn't work, now I do it a different way that DOES seem to work. The last part about innate skills, I don't know that's more of that positive mess they do. I saw some SLPs talking about it today in fact, how SLPs should write strengths in the reports. I'm like man, I already know his strengths, could you PLEASE FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGE the deficits??? So me, I'm not keen on that voodoo because I'm trying to find the glitches and I find the system is not strong on identifying glitches and IS strong on talking about strengths. The ps can tell you my ds' strengths but that's because they weren't bothering to notice what wasn't working.

3 hours ago, mamashark said:

about using Mahlers work on interoception, "When working with children with ASD it is actually helpful to have them talk about perspective because it often helps them identify or label their own feelings and point of view."

In other words she doesn't know anything about Mahler's work and interoception and doesn't care and is putting it right back to what she does know. This is par for the course. They have what they do, the gig they've set up, and they're gonna do it with every kid that walks through the door. Yes I'm cynical, but for a reason. No matter how smart they are, they're overworked and not in a position to be custom or to do innovative new work. So hang it up on that. She has a formula for what she does and that's what she does.

3 hours ago, mamashark said:

She also advised using social stories for this, and to get him reading and talking about stories to help identify emotions and how he's feeling. 

At this point you politely thank her for the reply and then go study yourself, because social stories are not an evidence-based practice for gifted with autism. Are they? Check it out. Find the evidence for yourself. I think what you'll find is the *trend* that the higher IQ kids tend not to do as well with social stories and that there's evidence (research data) that's the case. But again, she does everything the same, across the board. She gets paid to do stuff and she does it, even if her intervention was not the most necessary or well-targeted or even if it overlapped with 3 other providers. Nope, she wants to do social stories so she does social stories.

3 hours ago, mamashark said:

she told me "Keep in mind that similar to the development of other skills you do not stop exposing a child to a concept just because they're have not reached that level of development quite yet." 

This is where therapy is such a great field, because she gets paid even if she doesn't get results and in fact gets paid more (ensures continued client base) by NOT getting results. Oh they won't say it this way, and these are nice people. I'm just saying stop and think about what this is predicated on. Keep on doing the same thing, irrespective of results or whether it's an EBP (evidence-based practice) for this particular group because maybe it will eventually stick. Don't look at new research, don't change, and certainly DON'T EXPECT RESULTS.

Sorry, that's absurd. That's ps therapy and how a lot of therapy is right now. You have people with 2 years of grad school trying to handle a WIDE RANGE of SHOCKINGLY COMPLICATED issues, everything from people losing speech after stroke to now being told they should be diagnosing ASD and Dyslexia. I kid you not. It's absurd.

3 hours ago, mamashark said:

She gave an example of this by telling me that when he's throwing a fit about leaving the house, to acknowledge his feelings, tell him how I feel (sorry or upset) and then to give him my perspective: that I'm worried that if we don't leave the house now, we will be late.

And again we go back to the SLPs in the ps being asked to do too much. Wouldn't that be SO much better being handled by a behaviorist? Nope, on my ds' IEP team EVERYONE feels entitled to have an opinion. They're experts, they work with kids, they know. Snort. They know something and the have experiences. But reality is home is going to be different from school. Your higher functioning kids are going to hold it together at school and come home and melt. What you're getting is his most familiar, no honeymoon, no masking, just raw behavior. He's going to treat you most like crap of anyone on the planet. And the ps system never has to deal with that. It's part of the dynamic of homeschooling, that he's very familiar with you and comfortable and going to let it all out.

So ok, let's go back to this. She said her wise parenting, works at school opinion. How about some evidence-based strategies for what people say? I'm reading through                                  Stuck! Strategies                             finally, and it's good stuff! I'm learning more than I anticipated. She has some specific things in the book, ways of explaining time and helping people to get moving. People who know autism and work with it more will have more strategies for you. I don't ask my SLP to be a behaviorist. It does no one any good to ask them to practice out of their fields. My behaviorist handles behavior and my SLP handles language and speech. I don't mix them up. Well that's not true, the behaviorist can have opinions on language as it relates to autism and development. But seriously, the SLPs are being pushed to do so much and it's really easy to get pragmatic.

3 hours ago, mamashark said:

Sorry, but in that situation, talk like that will do nothing for my son. Especially if it's something he doesn't want to go to. Late? Sounds good to him! Is there a chance to miss it entirely? I'll start fighting harder!

Imagine that, responding like it's a TDK instead of a person with social thinking deficits backfires and reinforces the behavior and the value/power of the behavior. Imagine that. That's what you ask a behaviorist those questions, not an SLP.

3 hours ago, mamashark said:

And I don't often expose my kids to developmentally inappropriate things just because it's an important concept...

To be fair, I don't think you're quite realizing what she means. She means they're gonna take something the kid is not understanding and they're gonna keep doing it year after year hoping he eventually gets it. Which really just means he memorized it, but still it will get the goal ticked for the IEP and get it done.

You have the audacity to want something different, a child who actually UNDERSTANDS how he would arrive at the answer. And he won't get that by memorizing. You'll have to build a foundation where he inductively figures it out for himself. It will take years of effort on your part and it will reflect the merging of all the cutting edge things you can bring in.

If you want the foundation, don't focus on the fruit. The school system is about IEP goals and quickly getting fruit, and that's how their intervention rolls. And really, I LIKED almost everything she sent you. But it was all on the fruit and leaves of the tree, not the root stuff. If you want root stuff, go get the fertilizer and compost and do the slow work and make it happen. Ironically, the kids with the most severe presentations DO get that thorough composting (via the VBMAPP, etc.). It's our kids who miss ABA in the early intervention years who don't get that. 

My advice is thank her for what she let you see and then ponder it out for yourself. That's great that that's how she rolls, but you're free to do what you want. 

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