About Martha

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Chaos to Calm is about helping autism families get out of the house and enjoy life together.

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My name is Martha Gabler. I am the mother of an nonverbal teenage son with severe autism, and author of Chaos to Calm: Discovering Solutions to the Everyday Problems of Living with Autism.

I’m proud to be a contributing author to Autism Parenting magazine and a member of the TAGteach Faculty

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Raising a child with autism can be tough. If you’ve ever asked yourself:

…You’re in the right place.

I want to help you deal with the everyday problems of living with autism. I will show you, step-by-step, how you can easily, effectively and for almost no cost, teach your child the skills to improve family life and enjoy getting out into the community. I believe that:

Parents with the right information can take the right action to help their child.

Parents who take the right action can increase their child’s skills and the overall happiness of the family.

Parents with the right information can deal with new challenges as their child grows up.

Children with autism who learn new skills and more importantly, who learn how to learn, have many more options for taking part in community life than children without these skills.

I will share information and resources that will help you use positive reinforcement and an acoustical support to build skills in your child with autism. I will tell you the specific steps that I took to teach my child with severe autism the skills he needed to participate in family and community life. Parents are perfect for helping kids with autism because we know our kids very well, and – face it – we have a lot of time with them.

Finally, there is always a lot of talk about autism treatment, but very little actual therapy or parent training available to the typical autism family. We have to help ourselves, and I want to help you.

 

Here’s what parents say about Chaos to Calm:

“My now 12 son was diagnosed with Autism / Mental Retardation / Apraxia at the age of 3. Its has taken me all these years to know my child, to learn what his likes and dislikes are. I have googled a lot, spoken to his related service providers, Specialist, and how to deal with his outbursts, how to calm him down, when to not get too emotionally broken down when nothing seem to work for him. Finally, CHAOS TO CALM came across my desk and I must say it has been so inspiring for me to FINALLY START LEARNING MY CHILD. I can relate to this book because Doug has a lot of the same characteristics my son has, as do a lot of children with Autism. I have began to implement a lot of Martha’s how to in an emergency situation. This book in my opinion is a “HOW TO 101 deal with your Autistic child”. This book has begun to make a difference in my household. Thank you Martha job well done.”
Dionne – Autism Parent

“I completely enjoyed this book. It was an engaging and easy read with the appropriate amount of personal testimonial and practical generalization. I wish I could have read it years ago. Parents and practitioners alike will benefit from reading this book regardless if your child is high functioning or severe. After reading, you’ll know that all those other books you read on autism, sensory processing disorder, auditory processing disorder, apraxia, etc. were mostly a big waste of time and money. Don’t let your child’s doctor or other professional convince you that nothing can be done. It’s not true and this book proves it.”
Aimee Taylor – Autism Parent

My personal story

My name is Martha Gabler. My husband and I are the parents of two boys. The younger one, now 18 years old, was diagnosed at age 3 as having severe autism and being profoundly non-verbal. He had all the common difficult behaviors typical of children with autism, including self-injury and aggression.

By sheer chance, I learned about TAGteach and realized instantly that this method for positive behavior change could be a huge help for us. This turned out to be the case. My son is now a delightful, happy teen who loves life and loves going places. He still has autism, but life is much, much better for us all.

Here is a video that shows my son Doug going for a walk with his friend Anne and listening to his music. I had to teach him the skills for safe walking and sitting still to listen to music; now he can apply these and gain enjoyment from them independently.

When my son was younger, during the time I think of as the dreadful early years, his behavior consisted almost solely of running, screaming, making noises, hitting himself and sometimes others. I was desperate to do something as simple as go for a walk, go to the grocery store, or get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. By the time Douglas was eight we were physically isolated, exhausted and frustrated. As many autism families do, we met with massive bureaucratic and financial obstacles to get the scientifically-based, professional help that we required. I realized that we were on own and it was up to me to figure out a way to help Doug.

I discovered a method called TAGteach (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance) about 8 years ago. I found it to be a simple, inexpensive way for us to implement proven procedures to help Douglas be calm and confident and able to engage in normal family activities.

I created this blog so that you too can use TAGteach to work with your child at home during those times when a professional behavior therapist is not available. I worked hard, did a lot of research and eventually succeeded in my goal of improving our home life, being able to go out into the community, and enjoying life as a family. I know that regardless of the challenges you face with your child, that you can do it too, using the tools I share here.

“This will be a helpful tool for parents of children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum. I found many simple statements to be profoundly impactful and will certainly be recommending this book to parents overwhelmed by the big picture of changing behavior. It is one thing to hear how to break tasks down from a behavior analyst and, I believe, quite another to hear it from a parent that has overcome the obstacles of the daily struggles that autism involves. Thank you!”
Heather Griffin, MS, BCBA
Clinical Director of Northeast Florida Services
Behavior Management Consultants, Inc.

“I am on the Autism Spectrum. I’m both high and low functioning but have achieved a level of integration in ‘normal’ or neurotypical society because of my higher functioning attributes. It has been a difficult path to walk alone though. If TAGteach had been around when I was a kid I may have a had an even more successful, less frustrating, anxiety ridden childhood and been a higher achiever than I currently am.”
Katie Scott-Dyer