A Little Therapy…

It’s been a few months now of ABA for the Monster.

I’ll admit that… well, we came into it without my having a very good idea of what we’d get out of it, to be honest.  I’ve heard about ABA – applied behavior analysis – before, and we’d not availed ourselves of it because we didn’t know how to fit it into our lives.  That my insurance through work happens to pay for a lot of it was the kicker to get us to rearrange our lives to fit it in, and we’ve gone with the theory of ‘that which is not harmful and might work is worth trying’, so…

Basically, we found out at some point during the summer that my insurance through my job would cover quite a bit of ABA, including sessions where the therapist works with my wife and myself as well, so we can figure out how to apply what they do during their sessions.  So sometime during the summer, the Monster started having four sessions a week, three hours a day… which is a lot.  We’d seen some minor successes by the time High Holidays rolled around, in terms of his playing with other children, but… that’s not what I really want necessarily out of the sessions.

Basically, the therapist comes over after the Monster’s home from school, and they do various activities, mostly play-based, to work on other skills like verbalizing wants or integrating with other children (mostly R).  As part of this, he’s coached through how to handle certain things, and hopefully he moves from concrete applications to abstract.  The Monster’s relatively easy to maneuver into some of those, since the play tends to use his favorite things – the rice box, Jenga, the marble roller coaster, et cetera…

But honestly, we are seeing positive results (aside from the aforementioned playing with other children at the High Holidays).  My major concern over the summer – that I was getting hit a lot – has largely been abated through the introduction of a couple of papers with pictograms on it, which he can communicate his wants through better.  (Ironically, his talker would serve the same purpose, but he’s more happy with using the papers.  Hmm.)  We’ve already figured out that ninety percent of his getting frustrated has to do with being hangry, so that makes it easier for him to basically tell us that he’s constantly hungry and what he’s wanting at any given moment.  The therapist also moved further into ‘get it yourself’, so for some foods – cheese sticks or pretzels – he just checks with us for permission first before going to get it from where he knows they are.

This includes getting his homework done – he’s getting into a decent routine, as part of therapy, of doing his homework before he gets too engrossed in other things, and so it’s only when someone forgets to check his folder that he’s not getting it done.  (Now, if we could teach him to check it himself and prompt us, it’d be nice, but…)

I’d call ABA a moderate success so far.  I’ll give another update at the end of the year, when we’re moving on to different skills…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.