I thought I was prepared to be a Mom. As a special education instructor for over 7 years, a 3rd generation teacher (Grandma, Mom and several cousins are all teachers) and the oldest of 5 siblings, I was a highly educated and trained professional. In fact, I would boast that I could be successful with any child. There was nothing I couldn't handle. Then came Ben.
Let me be very clear – Ben is a blessing. He is a delight in our life and my love for him knows no limits. He is also an extremely challenging child. Like many of you, we have already gone through a litany of diagnoses, several medications, one hospitalization and more therapies than I can count. I have read tons of books, spent hours on the internet, contacted “experts” and taken every ‘staff development training’ on behavior and autism offered. Until recently, everything I did was hit or miss. Improvement was sporadic at best. Life was a roller coaster and there were days I just wanted to get off! I had no way to measure success, relying only on my own, somewhat biased observation. Then I was introduced to A Deeper View.
I was introduced to ADV through my position as an RtI Coach. Michael Darden, owner of A Deeper View, did this wonderful presentation for all of the RtI coaches. He showed us how easy and portable it was to take data using his HP TouchSmart PC. I had never seen anything like it before. It was the perfect blend of function and form. I immediately saw huge possibilities for both my profession and my family. While this is an amazing tool that will greatly improve student achievement, I needed this for my child. I immediately contacted Michael to ask for help.
Michael has created a unique and versatile system. Like most solutions, it is both simple and elegant. After some brief training and a few “Go-To” meetings, I was ready. The first behavior we decide to tackle was our night time routine. I dreaded every night around 8:00, because that when “it” would start – the screaming, the yelling, the complaining, the back and forth. In my mind this seemed to last for HOURS, but when I started using ADV, I realized that even on the worst nights, it really only took about 20 minutes. I was not until I really analyzed what I was doing, how I was reinforcing (or in my case “not”) that I finally started to see improvement. In fact, we only had to spend about two weeks consistently before we saw lasting results. After another week or so, we didn't even need to take data. Our night time routines were quiet, calm and less than 15 minutes. Now whenever a new “behavior” appears, I simply put in a new target and starting getting to work. What I am amazed at his how quickly this method works. When you can clearly see the situation for what it truly is – the solution presents itself like magic.
I am a firm believer that the power to help our children lies with responding to what the data is depicting. Even though I know all about charts and such, I was in no mood to do this at home as well. ADV made collecting the data so easy, that I could spend my time doing more things that would help my son. I thought I was prepared to be a Mom. Now that I have the right tools, I am! I look forward to sharing more success stories with you.