123TokenMe Photorials are Launched

Photorial #1- Why it works- SoloExciting news! We’ve launched a series of 123TokenMe photorials. For those that live or work with ‪#‎Autism‬ and other ‪#‎SpecialNeeds‬, 123TokenMe is a powerful positive reinforcement tool. Yet, it’s simple to use. The one child version, 123TokenMe Solo, is just a 99¢ download from the Apple App Store. Both 123TokenMe (Works with unlimited students) and 123TokenMe Solo work on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod. See for yourself if it can assist you.

 

Photorial 1: Why it works. Three words are highlighted in this photorial- fun, simple, and powerful. In a nutshell, that is why 123TokenMe is so effective.

Autism success: Devastated to Inspired.

Kathy with Starbuck's card from RobKathy’s work as an SLP/BCBA in our local high school provides nightly stories. Sharing vicariously in the triumphs she celebrates with her students each and every day is a treat. The successes range from tiny steps to huge breakthroughs. What they have in common, though, is making a difference.

 

Hopefully sharing these stories with a wider audience will inspire…

 

“Rob” is a young man on the ASD spectrum. The roots of this story are familiar to anyone who lives and works with individuals with autism: Melt downs, anxiety, frustration, empathy, difficulty finding friends, etc. Rob’s team has dealt with all of these issues over the years.

 

 

This particular story starts a month ago, after many hours of coordinated team work and coaching. Rob stands in line with a five dollar bill clenched tightly in his fist. He has made the giant step of asking two friends to go with him to the high school football game that upcoming Friday. This is no ordinary game, however. It is “The Game.” It pits Rob’s high school against their biggest rival, includes several days of activities, and is circled months in advance on everyone’s calendar. 

 

You know what’s coming, don’t you? The student directly in front of Rob buys her ticket. As she walks away, the ticket vendor looks up at Rob and says, “Sorry, Buddy, she just bought the last one- we’re sold out.” Rob somehow manages to hold it together, by falling back on hours of role playing. As his aide told Kathy soon afterwards, though, Rob was clearly devastated.

 

And that’s when Kathy and Rob’s aide decided to turn this into a life lesson. Kathy pulled some strings (no surprise to anyone that knows her) by explaining the situation to the admin team, and was able to purchase a ticket.

 

The next day Rob was in a group session with several of his peers. Kathy steered the conversation: How do we deal with disappointment? What strategies can we use to get what we want? How could you help a friend with a problem? Towards the end of the session, Rob was thanked for sharing his story from the previous day. Rob’s aide reminded him to check Miss Kathy’s calendar for the date of their next session.

 

Rob was startled, because there was an envelope with his name taped to the calendar. “What’s this?,” he asked. “Open it up and see,” was the response. Inside, of course, was the ticket. The ticket to not only the game, but to a night of promise. 

 

The very first thing Rob did, was pull yesterday’s five dollar bill out of his pocket. As he passed it to Kathy, Rob’s aide said his smile was the biggest he’d seen. You know the kind- that surprised smile from something unexpected. And here is where the story gets interesting, because Rob’s two fans weren’t finished yet.

 

Kathy thanked Rob for paying her back. She told him the reason for the ticket was because of how well he had handled himself yesterday, and how he had shared about his disappointment today. Kathy then added that she had something else. She asked Rob to remember what they’d talked about over the previous hour, especially about helping others.

 

Kathy handed Rob a five dollar Starbuck’s gift card, and told him that she had an assignment for him. She asked Rob to give the card to someone he knew. But not randomly, she explained. Kathy wanted Rob to give the card to someone in return for doing something nice. And lastly, to make sure that his gift was as unexpected as the ticket that he had received.

 

Fast forward to five weeks later- yesterday. Kathy has just finished a group session that rocked. Four students were interacting with each other in ways she would not have believed possible when the school year started. As one of those students, Rob, was walking out the door, he turned back into her classroom. “Miss Kathy, I want to tell you something. I want you to know how much you’ve helped me, and how you really help lots of people. I like coming to your classes.” And then, as Rob left, he handed his gift card to Miss Kathy. 

A token board app is an easy road to success?

Develop an app- comic stripAn easy road to success? According to this comic strip, simply develop an app. Hahaha. When we came up with our idea for a token board replacement app three years ago, we never guessed how much would be involved.

Fortunately, our vision for 123TokenMe was to help those that lived and worked with autism and other special needs. And it does. Here is an email we just received:  

“123TokenMe is phenomenal in it’s simplicity and effectiveness. It changed one of my twins’ frustration with mainstream kindergarten to determination, then ultimately satisfaction in his ability. It was a great and marvelous thing to witness. I even used it for another child’s behavioral issues. I was stunned at how well it worked.” 

Does that make 123TokenMe worth $16 billion, as in the comic strip? No, of course not. It makes it worth far more in the eyes of every parent or teacher who has used it with this kind of success.

Valentine’s Day- a time to teach empathy

Kathy and her Three C's prepare for Valentine's DayValentine’s Day is not quite here, but Kathy has been working towards it for several weeks. Why? Because Valentine’s Day is a natural tie-in to empathy, a skill that many with autism have difficulty grasping. Kathy stresses to her students that what they learn is not just for one day, but all year round.

 

Empathetic words show that you care. She creates opportunities for her students to practice empathy with words using her “Three C’s.” Here are some examples that Kathy elicits by modeling, role playing, observing, and practicing:

 

Compliment: I like your shirt. You sure read well. Your smile makes me happy.

 

Comfort: Are you OK? Do you need help? Would you like a hug? Let’s do something together.

 

Cheer: Hey, you can do it. Keep going- yay! That looks great- can I join in?

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! A good excuse to share the ideas behind the Three C’s- Compliment, Comfort & Cheer- with others.

Can 123TokenMe assist me?

Can 123TokenMe assist me? Absolutely. Especially if you live or work with challenging behaviors, special needs, or autism.

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123TokenMe replaces token boards and token economy systems. In addition, compared to old-fashioned token boards, it stores unlimited students, tracks infinite behaviors & goals, tokens up to six students at once, and collects data!

 

Want to try it out for Free? Just download 123TokenMe Solo, which works with one child, from the App Store.

 

Photo 1: 123TokenMe is being used for Calm Hands. The teacher has decided on five tokens. To increase motivation she let her student choose token type (soccer ball), background color, and reward.

 

Little Miss Calm Hands almost ready to celebrate success!Photo 2: Little Miss Someone looks as if she is well on her way to earning all her tokens and celebrating success!

Autism: In the news

Ava's Law under consideration in GeorgiaToday’s news includes an article detailing an attempt to insure autism treatment in Georgia. The most important point? That early intervention can make a difference in the lives of those with autism. In fact, it may be the best chance for improvement. 

 

Another aspect? That passionate fighters for causes are usually those directly affected. With autism now diagnosed in 1 in 88 children, the number of families, schools, and social settings directly affected is also rapidly expanding.

 

Note: Credit for the photo goes to Jaime Lee.

Learning from 9 to 9

Dr.-Shabani-at-LA-FEAT-meeting-11-11-13-300x300Yesterday was a day off school. However, not a day off learning…

 

9 AM- 6 PM- A class on supervising BCBA candidates in Marina del Rey.

 

7 PM- 9 PM- A presentation on “Addressing Maladaptive Behaviors” by Dr. Daniel Shabani at LA FEAT (Los Angeles Families for Effective Autism Treatment) in Hermosa Beach. Two takeaways: 1) “Be a detective” and discover the reasons behind these behaviors. Figuring out the cause is often not easy, but is critical to the goal of replacing a challenging behavior with an acceptable one. 2) Reinforcement. Reinforcement. Reinforcement. Yes, it is that important.

Autism in Photographs: Echolilia

Elijah-Archibald-from-Echolilia-book-300x300This link to Timothy Archibald’s site was shared with us by a 123TokenMe user. In Archibald’s own words, he is the photographer that “agencies call to make empathetic photographs of things that are a little bit different, a little bit curious.”

 

So, his book, Echolilia, should be no surprise. Archibald started photographing his son, Elijah, when he was five years old. The project resulted in more than a book: A deeper understanding and appreciation for his son and his autism diagnosis.