Monday, July 2, 2012

The Hook

In May Luke was approved, through our insurance company, for ABA therapy.  This is an intensive behavioral therapy that addresses pretty much any trouble behavior.  For Luke, we are targeting several things-- particularly his tantrums and fixations.  He works with 2 different therapists, each for about 5 hours a week, and through the sessions he has made a lot of progress in many areas.  It's great to bounce ideas of each other and get tips on how to implement the ideas.  Also, Jessica can pinpoint behaviors that are a big deal.  One day Jessica and I took the boys to Yankee Candle, the point being to make him pee in a new public restroom.  Luke LOVES Yankee Candle, and he kept darting off.  Jessica would chase him down while I stayed with Micah, and in the car on the way home Jessica said she thought we needed to target the darting/wandering behavior FAST.

She had the great idea of getting two carabiners and some rope and making a leash that can easily be clipped on or off.  This would teach Luke an appropriate distance so that he could understand what "Stay close to Mama" means.  Jared and I let Luke pick the color of carabiner that he wanted (He picked red because there wasn't a green) and the color of rope that he wanted (there was green.)  We wanted something light, skinny, and not too long, so we ended up getting green shoe laces instead of rope.  Plus, after Jared read the review of these laces, he just HAD TO GET THEM.  Check this out:

"aswome": im an OG from Chi-Town & these are top notch gangsta. I love these Fat Gangsta laces & pimp em out in my Old school kicks.  -- t7Eaton

I wouldn't say that Luke pimps em out, but he does look pretty cute wearing his hook.  The first time I used the carabiners, Luke was hooked to his therapist, Carrie.  He took off running and snapped back so fast he almost knocked himself and Carrie off their feet.  The look of surprise on his face was priceless.  He figured out what "stay close" means really fast, and he started remembering to ask permission to go ahead and look at things.  We've used it several times now, and Luke is so good that I usually only have to clip him on for a few minutes to remind him of an appropriate distance.  Then I can undo the hook and just use it as a threat.  He knows that if he runs ahead without asking, "Mama will get the hook."  Sometimes I can just remind him of the rules before we go into a store and that is enough to keep him close.  When he is very excited about the place we are going, he forgets and runs ahead.  These pictures are from a trip to Lowe's.  We went there specifically to practice staying close because he gets so excited in Lowes that he tends to dart off without thinking.  This time, though, he did great.  He was pretty much only on the "leash" long enough for me to take some pictures.

Luke and Jessica checking out A FAN

People's reaction to the leash is pretty funny.  Usually we get a lot of dirty looks.  I mean, really dirty looks.  

The strange thing is that today the boys and I went to Wal-mart.  Luke kept walking too far ahead or else right in front of the cart and not fast enough.  So I got the hook, clipped it to the cart near the handle and went to clip Luke to the other end.  Except that he was wearing pants with an elastic waist, so I couldn't clip it to him.  I told him that he just had to hold onto his hook.  And with Luke holding it, people would look at us and smile, like, "Isn't that just the cutest thing?" and SEVERAL people told me what a genius idea that was.  

So what's the difference?  A belt loop.  That's it.  


Keegan said...

I totally used an actual kid leash with Caleb at the airport one time when we went and I foresee it being used with Eli in the future. It's silly because you should be getting praise for keeping your child safe. Ah well, I think you're awesome and Luke too!

a.jones said...

What a great idea for any kid young or old - I might have to make one for Mike when we go to Bass Pro Shops. He is always wondering off then blaming me for getting lost! I really am impressed with what a great parent you are and how smart Luke is. Ya'll are a great team.