I was at a meeting today in our county and it was full of FASD interested people. There was an expert panel on the topic, there were probably 30ish people there and 4-5 parents. The experts were talking about reward charts, putting marbles in a jar and you get an ice cream cone was an example.
One parent shared her experience with reward charts and the fact that they are not very effective in the homes, but work better in schools or programs. She went on for a little bit. The other parents and I were vehemently shaking our heads. I agreed and said that I want to throw up when a provider mentions doing a reward chart.
I also shared that when Akila was in 1st, 2nd, even 3rd grade, we had more success with the reward chart, but now it is not at all effective. All of the parents totally agreed, it was an interesting moment, one that felt good. Not because we were telling the experts off. Not because we are right and they are wrong. Not because I think the experts ideas are dumb or invaluable. But because we ALL agreed and had the same experience.
So many times, you wonder if you are the only one feeling a certain way, or if you are the only one willing to at least vocalize something. It was affirming to hear from other parents, who I have never met or spoken with before, that they have had the same experience. Sometimes I wonder if I am just being lazy. Truth is, reward charts take time, especially some of them. But, I do know that if they worked, I would take the time and do them!
It is like a friend I have who swears that when she gets calcium/magnesium tablets into her challenging son, he behaves perfectly. But she can't seem to remember to get it into him throughout the day (she says she needs to give it to him every 4 hrs or so). Well I can guarantee, if these tablets improved Akila's behavior, I would have a digital watch set every 4 hours and she would get those tablets. It is like the meds that she is on. I know they help her behaviors, and we are militant about getting them into her.
There is great relief when hanging out with other parents with the same experiences, or even similar experiences. It was great to be on the same page with them regarding reward charts!
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