Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Clinic Notes: God and ABA
In almost 40 years of clinic work with children I thought I'd seen every problem imaginable and successfully dealt with most. But then a dedicated mother of a child with Asperger's, who was working hard to mainstream him, told me about her child's struggle with the power of prayer. "School is getting harder and harder for me," her child had told her. "Why won't God help me? I pray and pray but He won't help me. Why won't God help me? Mom tried to explain that maybe God was helping by leading the family to my clinic where he received speech and ABA. But I don't think her child bought that. I live and practice in a small southern town and most of the children that I see attend Church regularly. They learn in Sunday School that God answers prayers and Asperger's kids tend to take everything literally. He was praying for help in school, but school wasn't getting any easier. In fact it was getting harder and harder and he couldn't keep up. What could I say? What could I do? I kept up the ABA drills, offered tangible reinforcers and praise. But this child wanted more than I could offer. Tonight, when this child comes for his appointment, I am going to do something I have never done. We are going to say a little prayer before we start.