How TAGteach, BF Skinner and Facebook friends are helping Tink overcome her barriers

seany-and-tink-june-2014-225x300Yesterday whilst going through the things for panel for a SEN nursery place with our portage worker, we looked at what levels Tink was last September at the last time we put in for panel and the last Caf meeting. Lots showed 2 – 3 month improvements some showed no improvement. I would also myself put them at a couple of months improvements but this helps Tink’s case going to panel so I’m not really bothered by that at the moment. But when I read her social abilities and cognitive abilities they were up from 0 months to 8 months. This is the period we only had a little portage and physio and nothing actually from the services that could point to this dramatic increase in that time. The only thing it can point to is the TAGteach. That is all the evidence I need to just keep going. In social and cognitive, three-year old Tink has caught up 6 and 8 whopping months did you hear that ISCAN and those who raised concerns because you failed? I’ll say it again “6 and 8 WHOPPING MONTHS “! BELIEVE IN MAGIC YOU MUGGLES!

These were her two lowest scores that have increased dramatically. Her social stands at 18 months yet this is one of her biggest barriers. That weakness is now a strength to a little girl who has various processing problems and hard time dealing with her environment yet improves with positive reinforcement. This period is were each one of you watched her progress in these areas. You all saw her start to engage, focus, pull to stand, walk holding on to the sofa, start to use words. Use words in context, points of reference and slowly start to work things out herself with no force, no physical guiding, no hand over hand and what’s more you reinforced that, you encouraged that and you cheered each one of those successes. We did this, team Tink. To those who think that Skinner’s behaviourism is dead, my ass! Its more powerful than anyone of us could possibly imagine. So to BF Skinner and those who have developed and helped this science progress, here’s your legacy: a little girl overcoming her barriers.

Beau has to learn too – toddler and dog safety lessons

beau-on-bed-tink-in-playpen-225x300I’m starting see Beau who could go from 0 – 100 mph whirlwind in a flash of an eye be able to calm from 100 mph whirlwind to 0 and hit the deck and calm right down when he’s in the proximity of Tink. Yesterday he did it whilst Tink started off with a meltdown in her playpen. He hit the deck and remained there right at the side of the playpen no barking, no apprehension, he chose to drop there and pushed his back against the netted front so Tink could stroke him. Having a special needs daughter and a dog that could react to each other or set each other off hasn’t been easy. We owe a lot of thanks to Family Paws for showing me how to build strong foundations. Beau is slowly becoming a reinforcer for Tink.

I have to say I feel like we have had a continuity of care from people like Family Paws and Doggone Safe that has really benefited our family.

Tink rocks her audiology test

tink-feb-26-2015-169x300Fewer services but more progress

I’m finding it rather interesting that whilst we have actually fewer services and professionals at the moment we have less meltdowns, less avoiding, less reaction, less stimming, more engagement, more progress and a happier daughter.

It’s because they don’t understand processing problems they don’t understand sensory problems. They can’t break tasks down and can’t mark or use positive reinforcement effectively if at all. They don’t look at or asses the functions of behaviour, they can’t read body language or when they do they ignore it so then they are blind to the fact that what they do may cause harm. Its like a scaffolder setting the base of the scaffolding up wrong or with a missing piece and then they unintentionally condition the fight, flight or shut down. To be fair, it’s because the haven’t been taught.

I know what I’m doing. I proved this today when I used the TAGteach to shape her with the transition from waiting room to therapist and for the audiology test.

Audiology test went well

The audiology test went very well. Tink was focused on the therapist in front of her, she engaged with the therapist. Detected most of the sounds with no shutting down or meltdowns and even said words in context to the therapist and even complied on cue when asked for quiet. I did a bit of TAGteach in the waiting room to prepare her and transition her into the treatment room. We have done lots of work on “look at me” and tagging for eye contact etc and practicing looking in her ears with Tink’s toy Doc Mcstuffin medical bag. Yep we rocked it!

The audiologist “Eirinn you’re making lots of nice sounds but you will only hear the noises if you’re quiet “.  Tink responds in context “shut it !” and remains quiet for rest of test.

Magic with plastic cups, learning to stand and a new hairdo

tink-standing-mar-12-2015-225x300Another meltdown averted

Tink’s just started crying “dinoo” “dinoo” she was telling me she was hungry. This often would be a meltdown. I modeled the word back to her and she stopped crying and repeated “dinoo” so I tagged the dinoo and went and got her something to eat.

Magic with plastic cups

He he he I did magic today. Whilst the portage worker was here helping us fill out the forms for Sen nursery panel. I got out the plastic cups. I held up a blue one and a green one and asked Tink “where’s the blue cup Tink “? Tink straight away reached forward and took the blue cup off me. I tagged her as soon as she touched it and reinforced with a crisp. This time I changed the blue cup for a purple cup and asked her “where’s the green cup Tink “? Tink picked the green cup, I tagged and reinforced again. Here’s were the magic comes into it. This time I got a bit cocky. I put all the cups in the line 8 cups in all. There were two of the same colours in the line (blue). I asked Tink “where’s yellow cup Tink “? Tink picked the yellow cup. I had never asked her to pick a yellow cup before and she nailed it. I shuffled the cups about and then asked for purple cup again this was a new colour I was asking for and again she nailed it. I looked up at the portage worker and she was just pointing with her mouth open wondering did she just really see that!?

This portage worker was the one who spoke up for me I think and said that Tink’s making progress. She runs the portage group once a month so got the chance to sit back. She also understands some of the basic principles. So I feel comfortable using the TAGteach in her presence. I think if it wasn’t for this portage worker we wouldn’t have any portage at all. So I’m going to keep using the TAGteach as much as I can. When we are in the car we often aske Tink about the traffic lights so she knows green and yellow.

Tink is learning to stand

tink-with-braids-feb-2015-225x300Tink has been waiting since September for a new standing frame and it doesn’t look like one will materialize anytime soon along with her paedro boots. Apparently she is on the waiting list to be assessed for them to decide if she needs them. The last local authority provided them because she actually needs them. So we have been using our initiative and practising standing with me stood behind her acting as her frame to support her.

A new hairdo

One little girl that didn’t even like her hair touched because of sensory problems. Sat with plaits in her hair. She sat very well as mummy did it. She had her programs on and holding her brush.