Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Perceived Lack of Understanding

To do ABA, they begin by working you at a table and putting two choices in front of you. I could see to know something was in front of me, and I understood to know I was to match, but i could not focus my eyes to see any detail. Mom says if she touched my neck or shoulder I responded to match correctly. It is because that is when my vision cleared.

I was a floppy baby, you call it. My perseveration included kicking so on bottom I was also "as strong as a kangaroo" Mom used to say. Only my top was weak. To sit was always hard for me unsupported. I know from Mom it had to do with holding up my neck and shoulders but I just remember the coming and going of vision with outside touch.

You as OT's fixed it. I used to have to pull myself across the room lying on my back on a scooter. It was a game to me. They hung a string overhead for me to pull. What motivated me is they would pull me to go fast at the end. I loved lying on the scooter being pulled around. The game worked to strengthen my neck muscles.

In telling you, my point is this - sometimes the lack of understanding we demonstrate is not related to our cognitive ability at all. My mom and my OT keyed to neck cocontraction, what you call it, when she saw her grounding me changed my responses. All the ABA experts saw was what they wanted to. For them it was just easier to explain it away as prompting. Take a double look at what you see because multiple explanations are often possible. In my case it was literally a difference of sight at the start. My matching preference,what I matched to; it is another and very separate issue.

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