It’s been over a week since we started Griffin’s new behavior plan. For the most part, Griffin has been adjusting really well to the changes that have been in place.
To help with the repeating/scripting, each day he is given a certain amount of pieces of paper that have a dot on them. He gives me a dot each time he wants to repeat and wants me to respond back. We started out with giving him 75 dots at the beginning of each day. He had so many left over at the end of each day, that we have now reduced the amount of dots to 50! This is amazing because on average he was repeating certain phrases up to 100 times a day. This is a behavior that we do not treat in the same way we would cursing. He does not loose the chance to have a desired reward if he repeats. We are targeting this behavior because we want him to be able to self sooth himself and not be demanding or expecting someone else (me for the most part) to fill this role.
Connect The Dots!
Even with the plan being printed and posted where we all could see it, it was still easy to forget every detail. So we were both let down when we realized he had to go 21 days without certain behaviors which included no cursing. “What the *$@!” I thought to myself.
On the night I had to tell Griffin about the 21 days rule, Tom was not home. I was so stressed out. I knew a meltdown would be the main event of the night, most likely for both of us.
Griffin’s response when I told him was “I hate them (his ABA Therapists)! Why are they trying to ruin my life? Why are you letting them? I’m not perfect. I can’t go three weeks without having any behaviors!!!”
In the back of my mind I knew this moment was coming. There’s always a transition period whenever there is a change in Griffin’s behavior plan. We feel overwhelmed, then hopeful that the new plan will work but then reality sets. He, like most kids tries to test the limits and find any loopholes. I didn’t give him the nickname “Loophole Mcgee” for nothing. 😉
I explained to him that no one expects him to be perfect. I reminded him that because cursing is still a real challenge for him, we had to make a rule where he could not curse for 21 days, no exceptions. His therapists’ told him that is usually how long it takes to break a habit. We tried allowing him some leeway in the past but the cursing got out of hand. The other behaviors that fall into this category are respecting mom and dad, keeping hands to self, and respecting property (no slamming doors or banging on walls). He’s a teenager now, so hormones are playing a big part in the increase of these behaviors. Ah, to be a teenager again!
I was trying so hard to support him and figure out a way I could encourage him. I told him I would not curse for 21 days, don’t tell him but I’ve already blown it. My new countdown starts tomorrow 😉 I then made this very sad looking advent inspired calendar count down. It’s taken a few days but today he’s gone a whole day without any targeted behaviors!