We have two kids with high functioning autism, and they have each been getting 25 hours a week of ABA therapy for nine and eight months, respectively. For one of our children, ABA has helped a bit, but it hasn’t helped as much as we would have liked. However, the other child, within the last month or six weeks, has just begun to flourish!
I feel so much joy when I see how far this child has come in eight short months, and I look forward to how this child will continue to grow.
Life a Year Ago
One year ago, both of my children’s behavior was out of control. I was miserable and desperate. My mom flew out to stay with us for most of the summer (thank you, thank you, thank you, mom), so she could help watch the kids and I could get this child diagnosed and into ABA therapy. (We were already pretty sure that this child had autism in addition to our first one diagnosed because many of the symptoms were the same. However, we couldn’t get help until we got a diagnosis.)
The diagnosis came in early July, and by late August, I had this child in ABA therapy. Every day with this child was a challenge. If the child was awakened, either on purpose or just due to household noises, the child would get up and rage and scream and rip up papers. If the child was frustrated, the same thing would happen, and unfortunately, the child got frustrated frequently.
This child would not do any chores, and refused to do most school work. Asking that either of these things be done would lead to a huge meltdown. The child scratched me and tried to bite me nearly every single day.
The First Six Months of ABA
The first six months of ABA, I saw some improvement. The tantrums stopped; I was no longer being scratched and bitten. Things weren’t being destroyed. That in itself was a huge improvement, but progress was very uneven. This child would make a stride, and then would revert back to old behaviors. It was frustrating.
The Last Two Months of ABA
However, recently, my husband and I have both witnessed a sustained improvement. This child created a chore chart, listing the daily chores to do and doing them without any prompting from us. This child even started changing the cat litter without prompting! When this child starts to feel upset, I’m asked if I’ll sit with the child, which I happily do. After a minute or two, this child is fine and goes about the day.
Schoolwork is getting done regularly now. Teaching the child is once again a joy.
I’m so excited to finally see sustained progress, and I can’t wait to see what is to come.
Some critics call ABA abusive therapy, and that’s a post for another day. I see it as giving me my child back.
I’m participating in Blogging through the Alphabet. You can find more blogging through the alphabet posts at A Mom’s Quest to Teach.
My Blogging Through the Alphabet Special Learners edition posts:
C – Change
D – Dyslexia
E – Exhaustion
F – Fellowship
G – The Good Doctor
H – Homeschool