Sunday, February 7, 2010

iTouch, YouTube, WeWin

We have discovered an entirely unexpected benefit from the iTouch we bought for Bob.

His Bobness has discovered the delights of YouTube, and has learned to type "Bob the Builder" with impressive speed.  It is a perefct size for his little hands, and he can whizz around it like a pro.

We have been having trouble finding a reinforcer that would hold his attention.  At school his Teacher would often have to switch reinforcers several times in just one day, as he quickly bored of popcorn or computer tokens.

Meanwhile at home, toilet training for the Dreaded No.2's  has been going on for over 18 months and we have variously used star charts, chocolate buttons and Bob stickers as reinforcers for a direct hit in the jacks...but nothing weathered the storm of his inattention.

We are getting kinda tired of PIK's (poo in knickies, for the newbies) and short of painting the entire house brown (with matching brown accessories and brown accents) we arrived at a point where Something had To Be Done.

The Doing Something area is usually the forte of Bob's Dad (I usually stick to what I'm good at, which is crying and drinking some pretty damn good merlot, while he mends wiring and puts up shelves), and this time was no different. 

A few months ago (on the autie grapevine) we were alerted to the iTouch revolution and we thought "hey, Bob would LOVE that!".

So we gave it to him...allowed him to LOVE it...and then Bob's Dad  suggested we take it away again, with the promise that it would be returned when poo was deposited in the correct account.

At the risk of being perceived as being vile, nasty parents (sometimes we're not bad, honest ), check out this lady's blog before casting judgement.

I swear, nursing was so the wrong career for me and I would have made a kick-ass banker (so to speak)...I may have had some interesting questions to answer re sweeteners for my unorthadox deposit accounts though...

Sir Bob, Lover of iTouch, Defender of the Faith (btw, I've set up a new church called Autism Rocks...not as much sex and wine as the church I'm used to, but a LOT more soulful) discovered that illegal brown envelopes do not collect interest (in any sense), but that  waste in the right receptacle should be photograhed, framed and celebrated....or at least awarded  an hour on the iTouch.


Today is deserving of champagne.
In fact, I may insist on it.
After a few false dawns, of Bob sitting on His Throne insisting  he had produced the goods when he hadn't (the Chancer....shudda called him Bertie)...he finally came good and announced "poo in toilet...I want iTouch".

I don't imagine I will feel much prouder when I cradle my first grandchild in my arms (not that any cradling went on....that would be weird).

The point is, that Bob knew he had to do to get what he wanted.  He made a demand and he was rewarded.

The carrot and stick works, lords and laydeeze.

Try it.


  1. Well done Sir Bob! And don't forget you can film short clips from another source (laptop/tv) and save them for those times there is no wifi.
    Oh, and get a car charger.
    Recent power cut caused usual hell in chez Hammie, but moving to car with 2 x iPhones restored peace. In The apocolypse we will be The Inés driving round stealing cans of canola From The back of the chipper in order to power our vehicle and its iEntertsinment.
    Hmmm - better get a diesel engine converter now.

    ps. Not uncommon to switch reinforcers several times a day in our school. Garden, ball room, videos (so retro) computer, and Shower are common enough replacements for edibles. One kid even works for the main computer on the front desk- better than his. You just follow the learner.

  2. excellent post Jean, that sounds really tough on you, toilet training is and always was the one thing that i could tear my hair out over. your all making me jeolous with your iphones, i so want one! my lad would be on youtube night and day if he could, he watches lego superhero clips on it all the time, its really funny but great to learn how to use technology so early. well done to you and Bob xx

  3. This is the kind of info I need, I will print it out and go to battle!! Ah, my fella is just not old enough for one yet, but 6 months will go a long way. I have heard such great things about it being a reinforcer that we will just have to get one, Taz would agree with you on that score, Petunia too I think. Delighted to hear he loves it and every bit as delighted to hear that the poo missiles are getting a wet landing!! Jen

  4. I have PIN (pooh in nappy) rather than PIK problems, and that is obviously with Smiley - it's funny how so much stuff seems to relate more to her than himself with aspergers? My issue is that she will let me know when she wants to go urgently (very expressive sad face) but there may not always be a suitable toilet around - even disabled toilets are often too small to get her giant-sized buggy into. Glad the toilet training is going well for you now - once they do it in the right place it's a big relief for outings - I've even taken Smiley and the others to public swimming pools once she's 'been' for the day.

  5. We love Apple in our house!! yesterday we went kitchen shopping - the last time we were in Uncle Taz's showroom Button had a major meltdown (mainly boredom and "don't touch" induced) This time we sat him in a chair, handed him the itouch and managed to sort out everything we needed to! It's the only reinforcer that he has been really enthusiastic about and in school he gets to use one of the SNA's iphone!
    On you tube there's an option to download the video to an ipod - works like a dream! happy days!!

  6. Fanfeckintastic!! Well done Sir Bob! Withholding reinforcers for using to train etc may seem cruel to some but I don't think so. If you let them have free access to them, they will quickly satiate and it loses its "power" so you are right to use it wisely. The iTouch has made situtations that would normally be fraught with tension, tantrums etc so much more controllable. I only wish I had one when I was buying my car last summer (the salesman actually grimaced when I walked back in with Munchkin the second time lol) I didn't know you could download the video to an ipod Jen, thanks! Will fill the iTouch with such gems as "The Duck Song"... (quirky little song that made it possible to cut Munchkins hair as she watched it over and over!) xxx

  7. Great post and well done Sir Bob, major achievement for you. We use the computer as reinforcer here especially when it comes to doing homework, Kyle knows its homework first or else no computer and he sits his little ass on the chair as if his life depended on it:) Fortunately for us he was trained by the age of three and a half during the day but nighttime is a different story and we are still in pull ups!!

  8. Brillant post and I am so thrilled for you all!! Champagne is so deserved!! I found the star chart plus jelly babies/stickers works for me, the key is to find what they really care about it and "leverage" that knowledge. It is so great when they "get it", two accidents today but they are decreasing all the time. Also the "big boy" praise works. Well done Sir Bob, well done family :-D

    I would love an itouch, when I get a 'real' job I might just treat myself. Maybe by then they will come down in price?

  9. Oh well done Sir Bob! Clever boy! And well done you too. Perseverance, eh?? And Merlot. I guess the carrot and stick approach works with us too!!

    Great post! You made Poo fun!xx Jazzy

  10. Thanks everyone for all your comments. It's still a work in progress. We had a good couple of days, but this evening I had to play "Hunt The Poo" in his bedroom using my sense of smell and a pair of marigolds.
    The iTouch is still a great reinforcer, and when we read his social stories (a photo album with the whole toilet process) he says "iTouch" so it's made a connection.
    It's a slow process, but there is gradual improvement XXX

  11. Jean, I have given you a Sunshine Award over at my blog. Drop by to collect it if/when you get a moment, post title is 'Sunshine Awards'. Jen.