David and Robert, our twin boys who had been diagnosed within the autism spectrum, were just 3 years old when we began a 20-hour-per-week home-based applied verbal behavior program in June 2005.
David was completely non-verbal and would bite himself when we talked to him. Robert said a few words, but there was no real communication. He, too, had behavioral issues. We had to have certain things on the television, we could not sing, certain phrases sent them into tantrums. Our family lived in a prison-like atmosphere, and none of us were happy.
Our team attended a 3-day training with Partington Behavior Analysts. We followed The ABLLS®-R and worked closely with our BCBA. Within one month, David stopped biting his teachers and was requesting with 3 adapted signs. Robert was using language for his requests.
A few months later, David had 7 adapted signs, and Robert was using about 50 words with purpose. They entered an all-day preschool.
Over the next 18 months, we followed the ABLLS-R. Dr. Partington consulted in our home on 3 occasions and we all attended his workshops in Albany. The boys were progressing at such a rapid rate is was difficult to come up with new targets for them!
Robert completed the 240 word list within 6 months. David's signing progressed to verbal approximations, then actual words by December 2005 – just seven months after we first began. After those first few words – eat, up, puzzle – he just took off and had well over 50 words by January.
In the 2007-2008 school year, they entered a typical integrated kindergarten. They learned to read, spell, write, make up stories, play games, and most importantly, they made real connections with children in their class. What a joy it was for us when they were invited to other children's birthday parties!
Dr. Partington saved my children, and showed us that walking on eggshells didn’t serve any of us. His invaluable tools, the ABLLS-R, and the teaching books brought my children out of darkness. Once, our family was just surviving. Now, we live and thrive - as evidenced by the photo of David and Robert in their baseball uniforms.
Julia & John Stiles