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Archive for March, 2012

We are sure you are thinking, “Missy and Rebecca are posting on a Saturday?!?!”. Well, that is when we have the most time to read and write. Plus, we are so new to this blogging thing! We just started the whole process in September. We will be honest, we cyber stalked some folks first to try to figure out the rules and make new friends. It seems as if we make new friends each week!

This week, we were able to meet Sue from Cookie Chronicles in her monthly link-up called the Best of The Blogosphere.  A link-up that celebrates everyone’s favorite blog reads for the month.
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Here are a few of our favorites for February. We will do them in reverse order, much like David Letterman does his top 10 and much like we summarized our top 10 blogs when we celebrated 100 posts. While there are far more than 10 great blogs to share, we picked our top 7.

7. My Reward for Being a Mother

We met Bruna a few weeks ago and we’ve been “beeing friends” as often as we can on Fridays. There are many things we like about Bruna and her blog but this post will warm your heart. Check out what her beautiful daughter had to say!

6. The Small Things that Add up to Love

Tawna Fenske is the most hilarious writer on the planet. Her blog will keep you in stitches and if you can squeeze in time for her books, you will not be able to put them down. This post that we are highlighting is not particularly funny but we like it for the gushy side of Tawna that it shows. Readers beware, Tawna is a romance author. If you don’t know, romance authors write about everything. Check out her blog photo! You may even notice something referenced in Ado’s show and tell story!

5. Skyar’s Regression

We met JuJu back in October. We had been “tweeting” with her (her tweet name is Julie) so we didn’t realize that the two were the same. JuJu has a child on the spectrum and she shares success stories as well as sad ones. This regression story is horrible to read but we must encourage others to read it and be aware to recognize the signs of autism as soon as possible. Early intervention is critical. We hope you will enjoy her blog as much as we do.

4. Show and Tell

We first met Ado back in October and started following her blog right away. She is a parent and fabulous author. Plus, she has beautiful children. She writes with her heart which keeps us coming back for more. Plus, she is Miss Congeniality! She knows everyone in the blogging world. Her post about show and tell will bring tears to your eyes. Adult eyes only for this post–unless you want to do some “splaining” to your kids!

3. Special Needs Ryan Gosling

This was a total hit from the moment we first laid eyes on it. Take the hottie, Ryan Gosling, and pair it with your favorite special needs issues. Some of you parents who are not familiar with our jargon, may need a little help relating. Don’t be afraid to ask! We love to share about our children with special needs. Sunday writes an excellent blog called Adventures in Extreme Parenting. We are sure you will love her as much as we do!

2. 14 iPad Cases for your Children

This month we met a group of bloggers over at the Friendship Circle. We have enjoyed following their posts. While they focus on children with special needs, we have learned that what works for children with special needs, almost always for children without special needs. Enjoy their review of iPad cases. You will need it for our favorite February post!

1. Updated iPad Applications

And our favorite blog for February, is actually one of our own. It has turned out to be quite popular this month. Our updated iPad application list. We hope you will enjoy it as much as other parents have this month.

Thanks for having us Sue! It was great to meet you and explore your awesome blog!

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Problem behavior often lies in the eye of the beholder. Don’t you think?

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Here at Applied Behavioral Strategies, our mission is to improve the quality of life through effective intervention. One way we hope to do that is by reviewing research articles for our readers. Today’s article is titled “How and Why Parents Choose Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention” and it appears in the latest issue of Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities (Volume 47, Number 1) a peer reviewed research journal. Several researchers authored the study, including Richard Hastings, one of our favorite research scientists. The full citation for the authors is Tzanakaki, P., Grindle, C., Hastings, R. P., Hughes, J. C., Kovshoff, H., and Remington, B. (2012).

Study Purpose

The authors stated that the study had several purposes.

  1. What intervention options were available to parents when their child was diagnosed with autism?
  2. What other interventions did parents try before trying early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI)? (NOTE: ABA is the intervention that is used during EIBI)
  3. How did parents first hear about EIBI and what were their initial impressions?
  4. What were the main reasons parents chose EIBI for their child’s intervention?
  5. What did parents understand about EIBI?
  6. How did parents access and fund EIBI?

Participants

Twenty-three mothers participated in the study. It is important to note that they had all participated in a previous study about EIBI. Sixteen of the mothers received free EIBI for their children through a university program while 14 received services from private providers. The mothers did not receive any compensation for participating in the study. At the time of the study, their children ranged in age from 49 months to 82 months and they all lived at home. Twenty-six of the mothers had additional children in the home. For five families, the fathers lived in a different home. At the time of the study, children had been receiving EIBI on average for 25 months.

Interviews

Each mother came in for a private interview with a researcher. Prior to coming in for the interview, the mothers were informed about the study purpose and they consented to participate. The researcher asked a series of planned, open-ended questions and recorded the entire interview. Later researchers transcribed the interviews and coded transcripts for themes and categories. A second person separately coded 25% of the transcripts to check for agreement (88% overall across all categories) and to demonstrate study integrity.

Results-At Diagnosis

  • 15 mothers (50% of the sample) reported that they were given no information or advice at the time of diagnosis.
  • 4 mothers were told that “nothing can be done” for their child.
  • For the mothers who were given treatment recommendations, only 16% were informed about ABA.
  • 8 mothers were already aware of ABA at the time of diagnosis and were seeking enrollment in a program.

Results-Interventions Before EIBI

  • 21 mothers (70% of the sample) tried at least one other intervention before starting EIBI (speech and language therapy was the most common).
  • 23 mothers (76% of the sample) implemented a dietary intervention for their child and 10 mothers (30% of the sample) reported trying nutritional supplements. Half of each group reported positive outcomes.

Results- How Did Mothers Learn About EIBI?

  • 11 mothers learned about EIBI from another parent of a child with autism.
  • 5 mothers reported learning about it from books.
  • 5 mothers reported learning about it from the internet.

Results-First Impression of EIBI

  • 20 mothers reported that their first impression of EIBI was a positive one.
  • 5 mothers reported an initial negative reaction to it.

Results-How to Learn More about EIBI

  • Once the mothers learned about EIBI, to learn more about it, 21 mothers turned to the internet.
  • Many of the mothers also read a popular book called “Let Me Hear Your Voice” by Catherine Maurice.

Results-Why Choose EIBI

  • Most of the mothers reported that the empirical data and anecdotal evidence served as the main reason for choosing EIBI.
  • EIBI is a logical intervention.
  • EIBI is available so let’s try it.

Results-Anticipated Benefits of EIBI

  • Language improvement (56% of mothers)
  • Child learning new skills (43% of mothers)
  • Child being cured (40% of mothers)
  • Child attending mainstream school (36% of mothers)

Results-Anticipated Pitfalls of EIBI

  • Intrusion on family life (56% of mothers)
  • Siblings receiving less attention (23% of mothers)
  • High cost (23% of mothers)
  • Difficult to organize (16% of mothers)

We found this study to be informative but clearly, more work is needed. How do parents want to be involved? Do parents want to participate in therapy or do they want to just be the caregiver? Readers who are parents and who are doing or who have done EIBI/ABA, what are your thoughts on this?

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