Ok, I've tried this time and time again with no success. Finally, we have an incentive/reward plan that works!!!
In all fairness, it wasn't my idea. My friend, Jessica, over at You Are What You Eat , gave me the idea. And to be honest, it's not really a new idea. It's the motivator that was important and it worked for her boys.
They say to find something super motivating. Ya know like a reinforcer as in ABA. Drew's only form of motivation for years was food. That was a problem. But, I'm not talking about a reinforcer for ABA. Then again, on a bigger scale, I guess maybe this is ABAish.
With Drew's love of numbers, I tried once to do an allowance program. Guess what, that won't work with a child who gets what they want all the time...especially when it comes to buying things. So that program lasted all of one week.
But, I got him! I found his motivator! And, I can get him to do things for it. Wow, that kind of sounds like a dog.
I needed Drew to be doing things that I knew he could do but got quite a bit of resistance over. He wants to do things by himself (without help); but he would get frustrated and simple things could take an hour. For example, he's 5 and I'm still dressing him. He knows how to dress himself but in the mornings before school, I don't have time to wait for him to get frustrated and take forever. So, I do it for him. Then there were other things that, through the help of RDI, he has learned to try; but would probably not do everyday.
And he is a PANDAS kid so he needs to be in control...which is why this particular method is working.
Ok, ok.. Here it is...
I have chosen things for Drew to do that are just at his ability level and not completely necessary everyday. They are above what is expected. (Homework is expected, brushing teeth is expected, they do not count.)
So it is up to him to do these things. I do not remind him. If they don't get done, no big deal just no reward either.
For each task completed, he gets a smiley face. Each smiley face equals 5 minutes of Wii time. Smiley faces are only redeemable after at least 3 have been collected. Folks, so far, this is working out beautifully. Because Drew loves math and control, it really caters to him; and as a bonus, I get him to do things. He loves figuring out how many minutes he has! But he LOVES playing the Wii even more! In fact, he'd play it all day. Of course, I cannot allow him to do that. But Drew also will cling to my leg all day if not entertained; so it's easy to give in. This way, he and I are both keeping this Wii thing in check.
Here's the super funny thing. After I explained all of it to him. He said, "Mommy, what do I have to do to have a smiley face taken away?" I hadn't even thought about that; however, I answered..., "Well, since you asked..." I'm going to try hard to not make it about taking them away. I want him to be rewarded because I feel it's a better motivational tactic.
So how does he earn a smiley face? Well obviously this would vary per child. But this is what works for us...
1. Getting dressed all by himself (must be done within timeframe, if I have to help or hurry him, he doesn't get one).
2. Make bed
3. Unpack backpack and lunch bag. Including opening all lunch containers and putting them in the sink (huge help to me)
4. Unload silverware from dishwasher (learning the other dishes)
5. Read two stories from his school reader.
6. Wake himself up to go potty at night (I wake him around 10:30; but every now and then, he's getting himself up).
I think that's it for now. These things may not seem like a big deal to you. For us, it is. At least, it's a start in a very good direction. He loves being in control and I love getting help. The cool thing is that he understands that it might be a good idea to save them. He usually holds out until he has around 30 minutes or more. And, that's fine by me! Whenever, I come up with new things, I'll add them to the list. Eventually, I'll remove some things because they will become "expected."
Hooray. It only took until he was 5 1/2 years old....