Reason #587 to love RPM!

On Tuesday, Ben and I had a few minutes left in our session. I asked if he had anything he wanted to share.This was his message!

I WANT TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH THAT RPM HAS CHANGED MY LIFE.  I AM NOW ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH MY FAMILY LIKE NEVER BEFORE. IT HAS CHANGED MY RELATIONSHIP WITH EVERYONE. I AM NOW READING AND TALKING WITH BETH ABOUT MUSIC.  I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE THIS SIMPLE JOY WITH MY SISTER. I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH MOM ON TEXT. THAT IS SOMETHING I NEVER DREAMED WAS POSSIBLE. IS AS IF ALL MY DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE BUT IT KEEPS GETTING BETTER EVERY TIME WE WORK TOGETHER. I AM SO GRATEFUL. I CAN NEVER EXPRESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU AND WHAT YOU HAVE GIVEN TO ME.

Celebration selfie!

Celebration selfie!

Joint effort selfie – I held the camera while Ben snapped the picture!

Sometimes during our sessions, Ben has conversations with family members via text. He spells what he wants to say on the letter board and I type it into my phone. This has been a beautiful experience! Through RPM, Ben is now having fantastic conversations with his mom and big sister. As a result of conversations about books and music, Ben’s sister has created several play lists for him (his request was, “I WOULD LIKE AS MUCH EXPOSURE TO AS MANY GENRES AS POSSIBLE THAT WILL INFORM MY TASTES”) and after discovering a shared love of mysteries and history, she is reading The DaVinci Code to him every night. Ben reports that he loves the history in the book but the best part is hanging out with his sister!

YES, yes I do have the best job in the world!!! Ben and I took these selfies to celebrate this moment! I hope your day is filled with great communication, love and plenty to celebrate! ~Elizabeth

 

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8 thoughts on “Reason #587 to love RPM!

  1. any chance you could post what exactly this therapy looks like? I have purchased the book, but I would love to see it in action. I have worries about it being too prompted, as some therapies in the past have been. I also see reviews pertaining to this therapy method indicating there is not valid research to back it up… any help, videos, or additional resources would be greatly appreciated. Dana Unaitis, MA CCC-SLP

    >>> growingkidstherapy 05/22/14 7:41 AM >>> growingkidstherapy posted: “On Tuesday, Ben and I had a few minutes left in our session. I asked if he had anything he wanted to share.This was his message! I WANT TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH THAT RPM HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. I AM NOW ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH MY FAMILY LIKE NEVER BEFORE. IT “

    • Hi Dana. It is nice to hear from another speech language pathologist who is interested in RPM. Here are some brief videos from the HALO website http://www.halo-soma.org/learning_videos.php?sess_id=5849109a4c7112c31314fa8c6b259f94. In RPM we do not physically support the student. The prompting is verbal only, to encourage the motor initiation and sustained movement when pointing to the letters. As the students become more fluent on the boards and the motor learning patterns are established, the verbal prompting decreases.

      As with any approach, there is always an abundance of criticism. I was skeptical as well, see my post about how I became a believer in RPM. As an SLP I am sure that you know that clinical efficacy studies are rarely impressive or convincing! Truly, the only statistically meaningful clinical research only shows that early intervention results in better long term outcomes. In a population like autism, it is very hard to match subjects and almost impossible to control the variables – families are not going to agree, nor is it ethical, to withhold services to determine whether improved results can be attributed to any particular methodology. Arguments over the validity of clinical efficacy studies have been a long time speech-language issue.

      For me, the proof that I needed to pursue this methodology for nonverbal kids with autism was to see it in person. Once you witness a person who cannot communicate verbally communicate meaningfully, using perfect language skills, making absolutely appropriate social connections it is difficult to consider anything else! Once you successfully experience communication using the letter board with a nonspeaking individual, I think it is impossible to consider any other methodology! I highly encourage you to learn more! I am happy to help you and guide you to connect with others using RPM as much as I possibly can. Please feel free to contact me via message on my Growing Kids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Growing-Kids-Therapy-Center/164091744173. ~Elizabeth

    • Hi Dana,
      I do RPM with my son at home and have videos of what it has looked like at different stages in his progress. I would agree that RPM is life changing for our son and our entire family! It has been the breakthrough that allowed us to finally know our son’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Since starting RPM, my son has been able to attend public school where he learns more age appropriate curriculum using his letterboard to show his comprehension. He has also been included more in our everyday lives since he can participate more meaningfully now. The link to the videos is http://faithhopeloveautism.blogspot.com/p/videos.html?m=0
      Philip’s writings and my own thoughts about our RPM journey are also chronicled in the blog. http://Www.faithhopeloveautism.blogspot.com

      • Lisa, thank you so much for sharing your video link! Your videos, your story and blog are an invaluable resource to ANYONE who is interested in RPM! I love our RPM community! You are a great example of the many people who are so willing to support families and professionals in their RPM journey! My heart is full!

  2. Elizabeth, Words are inadequate to thank you. You have new and enthusiastic fans in Central PA who share our joy in our grandson Luke’s new found ability to communicate. We are thrilled and look forward to the time when Luke can talk with his family via RPM. Eleanor (Luke’s grandmother)

    • Hi Eleanor. Thank you so much for your very kind words! I love knowing that my kids have a listening and supportive ear in Central PA! I love working with Luke and eagerly look forward to the day when we are able to have a text or email conversation with you! When you are in Virginia, make sure that you come by and observe a session – you have a very smart grandson! ~Elizabeth

  3. I love Benny from the Blog! Many thanks to Ben and his family for allowing you to share his journey. I really appreciate that he wants exposure to many genres of music to “inform his tastes.” He can now be an active participant in what he is exposed to and what he pursues in the future – how cool! Music means so much to me personally… I am thrilled that music is something that can be unlocked and more personal and meaningful to Ben now!

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