It's been a while since I've posted about Boog's therapy/school situation and how it's going.
We recently made the decision to remove him from his previous school for children with language disorders to an Autism program based on ABA. I could just tell that he had reached a plateau at his previous school. It made me very nervous and I knew I needed to yet again explore the options and make the choice of where we go now. My parents and hubby are very supportive and give me great feedback, but ultimately the decision is up to me. I'm the one that reads the books, tours the schools and all of that. Basically, I'm a Mommy Advocate 24/7 . It's my (more than) full time job. I know the more intense therapy he receives while he's young, the better the chance that he will become verbal and able to do many more things that help him to become independent.
I wasn't seeing any new skills and became worried so we started out-patient ABA therapy twice a week at the beginning of this year. I started seeing progress right away and this was from just two hours, twice a week.
Also, I started hearing more negative comments about him than positive ones from his teacher. This puzzled me because his ABA therapist couldn't have been more complimentary! After doing some thinking and asking his therapist some questions I figured out what was going on. The method they were using at his old school wasn't developed for children with Autism. It works great for other children with language disorders, but Autism is in a whole category of its own. Basically Boog didn't like the work the teacher asked him to do (it didn't make sense to him) so he figured out that if he didn't do it,meh went to time-out. Well, enough times in time-out and sooner or later it's time for lunch, recess, snack, etc. This is what I tried to tell his teacher. Boog has A LOT of his Mommy in him :) If he doesn't want to do something and the person doesn't have any experience with Autism or behavioral training he thinks of a way, outsmarts them and gets his way. It started when he was very little and learned if someone asked him to do something he didn't want to, he could bat his big eyes and give them a hug or smooch and get out of it. I'm serious. This is why I often call him my "little stink" with so many of the sneaky qualities I had at his age.
So, after much research and thought he is now getting ABA for three hours a day, five days a week. What's great is that he's happy to go to school again. Happy Boog means more willing to work Boog. And these therapists recognize every time he tries to pull a trick on them to get out of something :)
In this short period of time, he can now:
Clap his hands
Ride a scooter by himself
Wave with one hand
Give a high five with one hand
Give a high five with two hands
He also is trying harder to talk, following commands better, and just generally in a fantastic mood. This is a total relief to me because I'm the one that decided to change our plan. Big decisions like this make me so nervous, but I really think I made the right choice.
Anyway, the whole point of this overly wordy post is: If you're not seeing results you think you should be, question it. Reevaluate. Check out other options. Ask around. Trust your instincts when it comes to your child. After all, you know that little one better than anyone else in the world.
P.S. Please take just a second and click the link to vote for us! It's good karma :)