So Jack is playing AYSO soccer this year on a typical team. The decision was made based on our big picture goal for Jack...that he is able to function in socially appropriate ways in the real world...that he is more alike than different...well...soccer...hmmmmm. It became apparent that Jack was not digging soccer...he cried the first game and refused to walk over the white line onto the field. I could not convince him otherwise. The only thing he did love was the team cheer at the end of the game, giving the other team five, and running through the parent tunnel, LOL. I was frustrated. After two games of no playing and no interaction with his teammates, I brought ABA strategies to his game...and holy smokes, it actually worked! One strategy that is working like a dream is the motivational system, premack principle, and Toy Story Stickers...I came armed with tons and tons of Toy Story stickers (his motivation)...he is obssessed....he loves them. We made a deal...ABA is about a lot of deal making...not bribing, but definite deal making. We use what is called the Premack principle. It goes like this: First, do an unpreferred behavior, then you get the preferred behavior or item. So soccer went like this: first go run on the field, then you get a sticker OR first stand and guard the goal for 10 seconds, then you get a sticker OR first kick the ball, then you get a sticker...you get the idea. This kid had a uniform FULL of stickers. It worked like a charm...who knew?!
Here's the other strategy that I am loving right now...social stories. What the heck are social stories??????
Social Stories are a tool for teaching social skills to children with developmental disabilities as a part of behavior therapy (ABA). Social stories provide an individual with accurate information about those situations that he may find difficult or confusing. The situation is described in detail and focus is given to a few key points: the important social cues, the events and reactions the individual might expect to occur in the situation, the actions and reactions that might be expected of him, and why. The goal of the story is to increase the individual’s understanding of, make him more comfortable in, and possibly suggest some appropriate responses for the situation in question.
Here is Jack's social story that we read to him during the week and before his games...his case supervisor created this with my guidance. I am so proud of this...it is amazing to me how well it works...take a peek. :)