I had the priviledge of watching my boy at ABA last Monday. His therapist was amazing with him.
Two months later, he is learning to fold his hands and wait. He is imitating lots of motor movements on demand and beginning to give pictures when asked for them. Even better, he is beginning to transition from one activity to the next and use his words to request things, even when he is upset.
Most recognizable of all.....he's sitting while working at a table for long periods of time. The reinforcer is beginning to be spaced out as well.
One of the things they use there is a favorite movie. They turn the movie off and ask him to do several things. He is then rewarded with a few more minutes of movie. He is beginning to allow the movie to be turned off without a huge tantrum - a sure bet before ABA.
At home, we are continuing to use favored toys as reinforcers along with some of his favorite popcorn. My goal is to continue to lengthen the time between me taking a toy (turn taking) and giving it back to him. We cue him with "3-2-1, my turn" and then take the toy. We're also working on waiting with folded hands, and some unpopular activities like cutting and gluing.
At the dinner table, we have been able to ask him to take a bite of an unfavored food (a green veggie) in return for a bite of a favored food. After a couple of bites of the veggie, he no longer needs the favored food each time.
It looks like he will be able to attend the ABA school full time - 5 half days per week - beginning in January. For the first time in his school life, he was called a "quick learner" by his ABA therapist. One has no idea what those words mean to a parent of a child like mine, but I can tell you....they mean everything. I can't wait to see what January brings.