This is a late post, I meant to have finished it a while ago but better late than never.
We had been really struggling with Faye’s behaviour during the last few weeks of summer term. I was called in several times about an escalation in inappropriate behaviour.
We had several appointments with CAMHS over June and July and despite initial reluctance due to age they have referred her to the Neuro team for assessment for ADHD and possibly ASD as well.
Whilst we are waiting for the appointment and in light of the escalation in challenging behaviour we wanted to make sure we had all bases covered in managing Faye’s behaviour and encouraging her to make better choices.
Faye is extremely demand avoidant, even when what shes being asked to do is something she enjoys, which makes parenting very difficult. Asking her to put on her shoes can end in her screaming for 20 mins like she is being physically hurt.
With George we use a small A5 ringbinder to keep laminated copies of lots of social stories, reminders of rules and consequences, copies of 1-5 scale and activities to help calm down. There is a small notepad at the back also so he can write down anything that’s on his mind that he doesn’t feel comfortable speaking about face to face. We made Faye up a similar folder and tailored the content to her. We put in the train tracks red and green choice visual used at school and some breathing and yoga exercises, along with reminders of our rules and reward system.
I had been meaning to try out Happy Tokens for a while as stickers and other similar reward systems haven’t worked for Faye in the past as she puts them in her mouth.
I mentioned our need for a resuable visual timetable to Michelle at Happy Tokens and she designed a fabulous token based visual timetable for us to try out. It was really exciting being the first to try a new product. We set it up for the morning routine and again in the evening. By making the demand via the timetable and not directly from us it takes off some of the pressure that Faye reacts to and allows her to feel in control of her routine. As Faye ticks off each item she removes the appropriate token to see what she has left to do with no nagging from me.
We also purchased a set of the original Happy tokens. They come in a personalised tube with 10 happy tokens and 10 sad tokens in your choice of colours. We chose green and red to reinforce the green choice / red choice visual we use. We also purchased 5 gold tokens although you do get one included in the set.
So far we have been very impressed it’s easy to see how Faye is doing and she can see if she is going off track by the number or red vs green tokens in the tube, we take the tokens out with us and Faye enjoys putting them in the tube when she gets home.
There is something a little more grown up about the tokens compared to sticker charts that Faye likes and we don’t have the problem of Faye trying to eat the tokens.
For more info please see www.happytokens.co.uk it is a small family run business and they are happy to answer any questions, give support in using the tokens and even design something a little different if you don’t see what you need. I will definitely be buying more tokens as so far we are seeing a slight improvement.