Sorry, I don’t know and I don’t have an answer. What I do know is that being a parent and choosing is hard, but a huge step worth taking. I just wanted to help my son and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is what we went with. Kyson has been in ABA therapy for 8 months now and therapy takes place in our home.
We met the Clinic Lead and Senior Staff first in our home. Kyson was not happy and wanted them out immediately. He doesn’t do well with new faces in his safe-place, our home. He cried the entire time, running off to the bedroom, but would slowly creep back to see if they left. Imagine trying to have a conversation and every 30 seconds being interrupted. That’s how it felt when we were going through schedule set-up, introductions, and how ABA Therapy will run in the home. I seriously cannot recall most of what was said, but one sentence I do remember was from the Clinic Lead while introducing the Senior Staff. She stated,
“You two will become friends”
She was right! We have become friends. Not only with just the Senior Staff, but with the Behavior Technicians (BT) that have joined the team in the process.
My husband and I work different shifts to make it work. Between the both of us working full time, we switch days of who will be home during therapy sessions. We have a very understanding teenage daughter that is going through this journey with us. Kyson loves her! She has been amazing with being able to do respite care so my husband and I could try to get a date night out once a month.
In-home ABA therapy may not be for you and your child. Like many, it’s hard to have strangers in your home. They are in your home with your child. If one BT happens to leave and a new one comes in, reintroducing will have to take place all over. Making sure your child is comfortable before proceeding.
These strangers though, we have become good friends. Trust me there are days when all I do is sit in pajamas and should not be seen, but they get it! It’s my home and if I have nowhere to go, I’m not dressing up just yet. During session breaks we talk about weekend plans, current world issues or just about our family. The Senior Staff especially, I have a soft spot for her. She is really, really, I mean really good at her job! I know that sounds bias, but until you see it in action you will understand. She continues to not only help Kyson, but teaches us how to work with him too. At the end of the day we have one common goal and that is to help build Kyson’s strengths and grow the areas that he struggles with.
I was made aware early on that I would be seeing some teaching skills that may seem funny or foolish, but there’s reason behind it. I didn’t question it. All I know is whatever they’re doing, it’s helping Kyson. He was nailing every single task or work given to him.
For the last 8 months of starting therapy, most days my only adult interaction, besides the ones I have behind the scene from my phone or computer screen, has been with my amazing Therapy Team. Kyson is in 4K (preschool) in the mornings for 3 hours. At school, he receives Occupational and Speech Therapy at about 40 minutes each week. He then comes home to therapy, I would say a good 20 hours a week with the only day off being Sunday. Once school’s done for the year we will be starting at 30 hours a week.
We only strive for one goal and that goal is Kyson. I can only do so much for him so he can learn to cope and adjust when he has a bad day. The amount of progress that he has gained in the last 8 months gives me real hope. He no longer escapes or runs away from me when we go to the store. His one-word ask or mandings are now a prompt full question. Being able to have this small communication with him melts my heart every time.
Kyson – “Chips?”
Me – “You need to ask Buddy”
Kyson – “Can I have chips please?”
He smiles whenever he sees the Therapy Team pull up to the house. He watches them walk to the door excited for them to come in. He knows how to greet them and by name. I don’t even get that from him when I come home. Some days he can have a full 2-minute conversation telling BTs what he wants to do next or what he wants to play with. The best thing, he knows how to call me Mommy and dad, Daddy! To me, ABA is for us.
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