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MBean’s strengths, Goally and Temple Grandin

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  • MBean’s strengths, Goally and Temple Grandin

    Ever since my son, whom we’ve called “Bean” since before he was born, received his most recent diagnoses (and I received mine), I’ve been doing a lot a reading. I mean, a LOT. When something is important to me, I’ve always had the ability to focus on it to a crazy degree. Usually, this is helpful. In this case, it definitely was; it just took me a little while to transfer what I had read over to the Goally.

    The Goally has absolutely transformed our lives since we got it partway through this last July. At first, we used it to fix the major problems, the ones that were truly consuming our lives: mornings and bedtime. And what a fix it was! Not perfect, but so very much better than before. Then, we took a look at rewards that would motivate Bean. The next thing to tackle were behaviors: those that that needed to be added, those that needed to be improved, and those that needed to be phased out entirely. Wow, has Goally helped! Bean has become so much more independent with his routines and in control of his own behaviors. It’s absolutely wonderful for all of us!

    And this is where we’ve been since July with how we’ve been using the Goally. We know it will continue to help Bean with his success, and so we know we will continue to use it this way.

    But, I’ve been thinking.

    Since the new diagnoses, like I said, I’ve been reading a lot. My reading has included all kinds of books and periodicals. Out of all of them, my personal favorites are those involving Temple Grandin. Sometimes, they are interviews with her, but mostly the ones I love the best are the ones she herself has written. In pretty much all of her written works, she talks about the importance of identifying each individual’s personal strengths and helping that person develop them. I agree with her 100%.

    So, how does this relate to our Goally?

    Well, for about two months it didn’t. Then, I had a revelation of sorts, and it all clicked for me: I could use Goally to focus not just on those areas Bean needs to improve, but also to develop his personal strengths. Maybe a lot of other Goally users are already doing this. For us, it just clicked recently.

    This is how we’re doing it. We identify one of his strengths, put it under “desirable behaviors,” and give it a big bonus. Then, when Bean has done something notable with his areas of strength, we award him the special bonus and make a big deal out of it. For instance, right now we have identified the following strengths and labeled them in this way on Bean’s Goally: “Super Reader Bonus,” “Brilliant Builder Bonus,” and “Great German Bonus.” Soon, we added “Amazing Artist Bonus” because although Bean loves art and has a talent for it, some other people have discouraged him from doing it and we wanted to encourage him again.

    So, this post has multiple purposes. I wanted to share a new way we’ve personally started using the Goally in order to start focusing on our child’s strengths in addition to his areas of need. Then, I also was hoping to hear from other users if they’ve already started doing this with their Goallies and how they’re going about it. Finally, I wanted to reach out to one of the Goally’s therapists to see what their thoughts were about what we’ve started doing, and if they had any ideas about other ways we could encouage our child’s strengths with the help of our Goally.

    Thank you so much for reading this lengthy post, and I look forward to hearing from you!

  • #2
    I think that's a great idea! We use the behaviors to encourage behaviors we want to increase, but I hadn't though of using it to encourage and reinforce those things that are already strengths!!

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    • #3
      @FluteMomma I love how you're thinking outside of the box! If those reminders of his strengths are encouraging your son and you're seeing a positive impact from it, then that's fabulous.

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      • FluteMama
        FluteMama commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Rachel! So far, these reminders have had a very positive impact on my son. It’s just so easy to focus only on deficits, and our son is so much more than that. Once again, thank you so much, Goally, for everyhing.
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