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Chaos to Calm

Chaos to Calm describes how Martha Gabler discovered that effective solutions really did exist for the overwhelming behaviour problems of her own non-verbal son with severe autism. Here are some of the things Martha explains in this book:
  • How to observe your child
  • How to use positive reinforcement to shape simple behaviours
  • How to notice even tiny moments of desirable behaviour
  • How to break behaviours into tiny pieces
  • How to add simple behaviours together to build complex behaviours
  • How to communicate to your child “Yes!” without using words
  • How to organise the child’s environment to maximise success
  • How to arrange the day’s activities for maximum success
  • How to stop tantrums, aggressive, destructive and self-injurious behaviours
  • How to teach the child to go to bed, stay there and sleep
  • How to manage and teach without force, threats or coercion
When Doug turned five, Martha realised that she and her family were basically on their own. During the “dreadful early years,” Doug’s behaviour worsened and worsened. The family floundered. Daily, if not hourly or even more often, there were screaming, tantrums, self-stimulatory “verbal stimming,” running off, and even violent, self-injurious and destructive actions. The Gablers were exhausted beyond description by lack of community understanding, by lack of help that they could afford, and perhaps worst of all, by night after night of severe sleep deprivation. A chance reference in an email listserve lead Martha to TAGteach, a teaching system based on the structured delivery of positive reinforcement. TAGteach gave Martha the tools she needed to observe Doug’s behaviours, break them down into manageable pieces, and reinforce his previously-rare positive actions – in fact, positive actions that sometimes lasted only a few seconds in the beginning, but which gave Martha the precious key she needed to unlock major improvements. With a few basic rules and a commitment to practise them, Martha was able to apply step-by-step solutions to Doug’s disruptive behaviours. In TAGteach, Martha found a powerful supplement to other scientifically-based behavioural interventions, many of which required difficult-to-find behavioural experts whose costs would have taxed the family's financial resources in the extreme The result. A boy who was once wild and chaotic now has the skills that enable him to be a charming teenager who loves life and enjoys going places. This book explains, step-by-step, how Martha taught Doug to vocalise appropriately, go on walks, wait in line, go to the grocery store, ride a bike and many more skills that are normally taken for granted, but for a child with autism, they do not come easily if at all. Perhaps the most important skill was how to lie quietly in bed and go to sleep, so the other exhausted members of the Gabler family could themselves get some badly-needed sleep. Martha uses simple language and engaging prose to explain how she achieved all this. The book is in turn heartbreaking, humorous and brutally honest. Every autism family seeks the light in an ocean of despair. Every autism mom, every autism dad, in fact every person who loves another person with autism, can use TAGteach with ease. This book shows you how.
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About the Author

Martha Gabler lives in a suburb of Washington DC with her wonderful husband Eric and two sons. When the younger son was three years old, AUTISM entered their lives. The End. The Beginning.

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