Today was our first visit to a behavioral psychologist for the Monster.
So far, we’ve been really unable to find an ABA practice that is covered by our insurance (as mentioned previously – ABA is not required to be covered by law here in Maryland), and we’ve been working with Kennedy Krieger for a number of studies and for developmental pediatrician visits. As part of the battery of these services, we finally got the Monster in to see someone on the psychological side of the house to start working on the other issues.
I really don’t know precisely what I expected for coming into this today – I have some basic grasp on what ABA is, and therefore by extension what I had thought that this meeting would cover. A lot of today was discussing some background to the entire matter of the behavioral side, the things we need to address, the big pain points when we’re trying to work with what’s already in his IEP.
After about an hour of talking, we narrowed it down to worrying about his toilet training and his wanting to run off. (I suppose that this is the bane of a lot of parents of children with Autism, dealing with toilet training, especially with how frequently it comes up in the blog.) These are what we’re going to work on for a bit, it seems, to see if we can’t give a boost to what’s going on at school.
Toileting is going to be a bit of a pain, as one might imagine – we’re shifting to incorporate more negative reminders as well, immediate chastisements when he has an accident to see if we can’t get him to speak up more on his own about when he’s ready to go to the bathroom on his own. (There’s also been a good suggestion to stop calling it the ‘potty’, lest he still calls it that when he’s a teenager.) We’ll see, though, if that makes a difference in the short term.
The other issue, though, is the elopement issue. We’re working on trying to make sure that he does not run away, starting with ensuring that he’s holding someone’s hand in a public place. I can imagine coming up with other mechanisms to ensure that he can handle it when there are no hands free – such as when the wife is out with him and the baby alone – but that’s the starting point on that behavior.
It looks like we’ll be doing this every two or three weeks going forward, so I’m hoping between the work at school and this, we’ll see some progress on a few fronts…