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School Talk


1 Month Intensive Treatment Beneficiaries 2019-08-02

“I want to play!”

Some time ago, we always heard a child crying. It was Sun. He did not want to return toys to our therapist and therefore lost his temper. Sun’s language skill was also weak, so our therapist taught him to stay calm and trained his verbal imitation first. For example, the therapist taught Sun to say “I want to play”. We also used a token economy and positive reinforcement to motivate Sun. He gradually learnt to control his emotions. He is now able to put down the toys and return to his seat when our therapist pats his shoulder. Sun’s mother has also noticed that Sun had more spontaneous communication and could say “help me” to ask for help. He is less likely to have tantrums as well.

“Word recognition”

One day, our therapist wrote the letter “G” on a white board and asked Jim what letter it was. Jim tried hard to pronounce the letter and said, “Chu!”

Jim is a boy with language delay. His mother told us that he was weak at sentence structure and word recognition when compared with his peers. Our therapist then tried to raise Jim’s sensitivity to words through different games and also taught him subject-verb-object (SVO) sentences. During the training, our therapist also observed that Jim lacked eye contact with others while playing. After a period of time, Jim’s word recognition skills were enhanced. He understood the SVO structure and also showed improvement in making eye contact with others.

 “Don’t touch”

One day, Sum was practicing walking in the corridor. Our therapist reminded Sum not to touch anything while walking. Sum touched a cabinet door while he was walking, so he had to practice again.

Sum was weak at controlling himself and always touched things while walking. Therefore, the therapist trained Sum intensively for not touching anything while walking. At first, the therapist held hands with Sum and walked for a short distance. The difficulty of the task was gradually increased to walking to the end of the corridor independently without touching anything, and Sum eventually did it! Sum’s mother praised her son for his better self-control.

 “Learn how to express needs by words”

Ka Ming was good at comprehension but did not know how to express his needs by words. At the beginning of his training, our therapist observed that Ka Ming did unfavourable things intentionally, such as kicking a chair, and he would then observe people’s reactions. Our therapist trained Ka Ming’s compliance by using different reinforcements. When Ka Ming has become more obedient, our therapist taught him different pronunciations. When Ka Ming wanted something, he was required to say “give (me)”. After a month of training, Ka Ming was more motivated to speak and has started to express his needs by words!

 “The power of treasure hunts”

One day, Ho was looking at his therapist and speaking clearly, “Please take the yellow airplane for me.” The therapist immediately praised Ho for making a clear request and helped him take the airplane down. Ho could only speak single words very softly with a strange tone before the training, and he also seldom made eye contact with people. In order to increase Ho’s spontaneous communication and train his language skills, the therapist played treasure hunts with him. The therapist also taught Ho the correct tone of voice and volume. Ho’s mother was happy to see her son’s progress in pronunciation and expression.

Sun, Jim, Sum, Ka Ming and Ho were invited to present their experience in receiving ABA services with Autism Partnership Foundation (operating in Hong Kong) (APF, HK). Sun, Jim, Sum, Ka Ming and Ho are past beneficiaries of APF, HK.