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Step #5: Start a Log

Logging your child's progress is an essential part of your mission, especially during therapy and treatment. Recording observations are the ONLY way to accurately evaluate the effectiveness of any treatment and to track overall progress. Your notes regarding behavior changes can also reveal the affects of food, therapy, or circumstances that may otherwise be overlooked. Logging your child's progress will also serve as a rewarding record of achievement! Videos are another excellent way to track your child's progress. Get into the habit of recording your child during play and therapy for a few minutes every month. NOTE: Videotaping should be used as an enhancement to your records, not as a substitute for written logs.

What to log:

    General behavior, use of speech (words, number of words used in sentence, etc.).
    Physical and occupational skills.
    Therapy and treatment start and stop dates, effects, and progress.
    Specific problems or challenges related to learning new concepts, behavior issues, etc.
    Use of medication or vitamin therapies (that is, start and stop dates, dosage levels, noted effects, etc.).

How often to log:

Recommended: daily
    Minimum: weekly
    Otherwise: As often as possible

How to log:

Keep it simple! Use short, specific sentences within three or more categories.

                                                            Example log entries:
July 15, 1996

- Started B6 vitamin therapy on July 8.
- Stop giving Brendan candy and cut back on the junk food.

- Started ABA therapy on June 15, 1996. Started with 4 hrs per week (1 hr 4x per week). Increased to 8 hrs per week (2 hr sessions) as of today. First two weeks were ugly, screamed & cried the majority of each session. Starting to respond today, responded to the command sit down without prompts or enforcers!!!

General observations:
- Having trouble transitioning, especially from the backyard (play) to inside the house. Screams and cries for about 30 min's after
forcing him inside.
- Seems to be fixating or stemming on favorite video, tantrums when we turn it off.
- Currently capable of labeling (verbalizing) about 6 items including; Mommy, Daddy, doggie, car, cookie. Often calls his toys cookies as well.
- Still very poor eye contact.

July 16, 1996

- No changes...

- Had another great day with ABA session today. Brendan is starting to respond to the prompts and verbal praises. Will sit or stand at command with 50% accuracy! Introduce the concept of "give me" today using a toy.

General observations:
- Recently learned the word/expression "Hi". Says it repeatedly at times, almost if stemming on it. Decided to start ignoring him when it gets excessive for the time being.

July 17, 1996

- No changes...

- Brendan had a terrible time in ABA therapy today, wouldn't cooperate with the therapist at all. Think he may have been too tired. Started to hit the therapist, hope this doesn't continue.
- Started speech therapy today. Starting with 1 hr sessions once a week. Going to start with expressive language (yes/no) and labeling new objects. Bought a set of picture cards today, going to start teaching Brendan 10 of the pictured items.

General observations:
- Noticed improvements in eye contact today. Our therapist made the same observation!!! We think the vitamins are helping.
- Discovered that Brendan has an easier time coming back into the house during play outside if we entice with his favorite toy, the remote control car.

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