May 4, 2016

ABA Therapy

The day Kase was diagnosed with autism was a complete whirlwind.  The doctor gave us an overwhelming amount of information, packets and advice.  To be honest, I don't even remember much of what he said about the papers.  I was trying so hard not to start crying (which didn't last long) that I couldn't focus on what he was saying.  He must have been able to tell I was having a hard time (the tears in my eyes must have given it away) because he stopped what he was saying, came over to me, and took my hands.  He told me it was ok to be upset.  It was ok to go home and have a good cry.  But then it was time to fight for my son.  The process of getting him help is going to be long and hard, but I have to fight for him because nobody else will.

As hard as that day was, Tyler and I both had the same mindset - we would do anything and everything we had to do to help him.  The next day I started making phone calls.  I felt so lost in those moments.  I had no idea what I was doing.  But I knew what the research said - the earlier the intervention, the better.  I was determined to get him started with therapy as soon as possible.

I won't go into detail about the headaches I went through, but the phone calls, the paperwork, the worry about insurance coverage and costs - It. Was. Insane.  The doctor was right.  We finally decided on a therapy program that we felt was best for Kase.  It seemed like for us that the process of getting him started took forever.  To them, everything was moving so fast.

In December 2015, we started ABA therapy in our home.  Like everything else, there are people on both sides of the ABA debate.  I did a lot of research, listened to advice from others, and in the end, went off my gut instinct.  If you want to read more about ABA, there is plenty of it out there.  My biggest concern was obviously having strangers in our home every day, for several hours.  My other concern was how "strict" the therapy would be.  Would they be flexible with Kase's needs or would they have a set way of doing things, regardless of the child and their needs?

We are now on month six of therapy and I am really happy.  We have had some staffing issues as of late, but I love his senior lead therapist and we are actually lucky enough to have another one who is training to be a senior.  We will eventually lose her from our team when she is done training, which is sad because she's amazing.  They are SO incredible with Kase.  They believe that they are here to be positive play partners with him and I truly believe that's how he sees them.  They want him to be having fun and not see it as "work".  They have been so flexible and understanding.  Everything negative I have read about ABA is completely opposite of what we have experienced.

The best part?  Kase has made a ton of progress in these six months!  I can't wait to see what another six months will bring!

Here is a quick look into our therapy room down in our basement.  It has two windows so it doesn't feel like a basement bedroom.  It's nice that it is away from the daily distractions upstairs with his sisters and everything else.

He snuck in while I was cleaning, grabbed a toy from the closet and sat down to play.  He enjoys it in there :)

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this! I love that he has his own designated space and that he loves it so much! Mason has been doing ABA therapy since August 2015 and he has improved SO MUCH. Leaps and bounds. I can't even tell you. We are so, so, SO sad to be losing his AMAZING therapist at the end of this week since she got a new job. I am so worried about the new person, I hope he/she is as great as our current one, but Mason is so much more flexible than I am and I know he will do great. SO happy to hear how well Kase is doing!