Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Parent's Experience with Play-Based, Naturalistic ABA Therapy

Photo shared by parents and permission given to publish.

When our son was suspected of being on the spectrum, we decided to move to Kuala Lumpur, where better access to therapy was available. Since the move, we have tried different types of therapy for speech and also other skills, and we were happy to see steady improvements.

After about a year in Malaysia, we came to know of Intan and play-based, naturalistic, ABA* therapy. We decided to try ABA  therapy to see how our son would respond to it. It was one of the best decisions we have made regarding his therapy. In just one month, we already started to see amazing results. His conversational skills really improved, and we started to notice how he became more and more aware of his surroundings. He started interacting more with us and his brother. He became more conversational - we started to see more impromptu short conversations between him and his brother. He communicated a lot better his wants, this also helped with the decrease of his tantrums. At school, his teacher also mentioned how he started to join in during the activities at school.

Over the course of the next few months of therapy, we have seen him just take in whatever was being thrown at him. Some things came easily, other things he needed practice. But the good thing was how he started using the skills he learned during therapy in his every day life.

We are forever thankful to Intan, who designed and supervised his programme, and the 2 wonderful therapists who worked with our son. He loved his sessions with his teachers and always looked forward to it.


* Applied Behaviour Analysis

Friday, May 23, 2014

ASD Behaviour Workshop #2: Increasing Flexibility, Improving the Capacity to Deal with Changes & Managing Self-Stimulatory Behaviour

Children on the autism spectrum often prefer routines over novelty, and changes to their routines frequently cause much distress.

Through description, discussion, video clips, and role play, the trainer will explain strategies which have been shown to improve the capacity of children with ASD to process changes. In addition, strategies for managing self-stimulatory behaviour will be covered.

This workshop is limited to 25 participants, so kindly register as soon as possible, The registration details are listed in the flyer.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Behaviour Workshop #1: Strategies to Manage Task-Avoidance and Attention-Getting Behaviour

This workshop is for educators and caregivers/parents of young children on the autism spectrum.

I will build an understanding on the various functions (reasons) for behavior, describe that I've selected 2 functions for this workshop (task avoidance / escape and attention-seeking), go through each one using a combination verbal description, visuals including video clips, and discussion (audience-trainer and audience-audience) in order to introduce some strategies which have been known to be effective (either from published research and/or from my own field experience). We would also be breaking into groups to practice some of the strategies. 

To register, please use the directions on the attached flyer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Travelling by Airplane with a Young Child on the Autism Spectrum": Presentation

Audience Feedback: 

I really liked that you broke down every step from that time that you leave your house to the actual in flight travel.  I think a lot of times, one doesn't really realize how many steps it takes to travel by air (especially over seas travelling) with children, but especially with  children who do take every step very literally.  I've had the topic of travelling by plane come up a few times from a couple of different families;  as a person who works closely with the autism community and doesn't travel by plane often,  it can be difficult to remember all the steps you have to go through to even get on board.

Your presentation was very insightful --
I think you were exactly right when you said that being prepared before you even leave the house is the best advice to give anyone who is travelling with a child with Autism.

- H.F., Senior Therapist, De Pere, Wisconsin

Originally, this talk was presented in the USA at the ASW Conference in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin in April 2013. 

Due to interest locally, ANDI Initiative will be giving this presentation again, this time here in Malaysia. Kindly register your interest in the comments or email us at

Friday, April 11, 2014

Promoting Success for Children with Special Needs in Inclusive Environments through Mindful Shadowing - Workshop

This workshop for shadow aides and teachers was a full house this past January. ANDI Initiative intends to conduct a similar workshop in the next few months. If you are interested to attend, please email us.


Thursday, April 10, 2014


Shared with express permission of the parent

Client confidentiality is VERY important to ANDI Initiative, that's why you won't typically see videos or photos of children we work with. Nor do we ever share out personal communication and information. However, occasionally, a parent gives express permission to share. For that, we thank them, because this is very valuable. These glimpses give other struggling parents MOTIVATION and HOPE, for their own children.

A few days ago, this parent sent me this and gave express permission to share the SMS as well as permission to leave her son's name is the SMS. Dharman's mother always downplays her effort and dedication. However, in the last 2 years, she has been a good student herself, learning everything she could, asking a lot of questions, and then taking the advice and implementing tirelessly with her son after work and on the weekends, and coming back to me with problems to troubleshoot. She also learned to take my advice about relaxing :-)

Parents, does this sound familiar? If so, can you see that you are not alone? Keep up your good work.