I can see I am going to be on this web site alot. This is my 3rd question already. My son is behind on speech, only says dada and sometimes byebye. He regressed at around 14 months. Had been saying 5 words then nothing for 2 months. He is behind on cognitive skills, and emotional development, along with other things. He stims on all small objects. Wont sit still for 5 seconds. Has an awful temper which is getting worse. Wont point, or look at anything you point to, wont follow any directions… read more
I read the Greenspan book and also the Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) book and can tell that my daughter's ABA case manager is familiar with those approaches as well because elements from them have been incorporated into the ABA program. ABA has moved beyond its origins in Discrete Trial Training sitting at a table with flashcards. It is a lot more naturalistic than it was a decade ago. My point is that the developmental pediatrician may have an outdated view of ABA that bears little resemblance to how it's practiced today.
If we knew then what we know now, I would have started with a really good OT first.
Think of it like this...on a day when you are massively stressed, have way too much to do, and can't think straight. You know you have yo get everything done, and done right, or there is going to be trouble. Then the migraine starts and the neighbor kid won't stop playing the drums and your kids won't stop crying. Then someone really well meaning person comes in, tells you you have to relax, sit still, and talk to them for the next three hours about something you have no interest in. You would explode. That's what it is like to an autistic child with sensory needs. If you don't get the sensory straightened out first nothing else matters.
Now don't get me wrong, sensory can be dealt with in lots of ways. Diet, biomedical, reduced distractions, etc. but a good OT will help you navigate the thinks the can help with and the things you need to go elsewhere for. Then once you see that first beg improvement you'll be able to institute ABA successfully.
We also found speech, music, and horseback riding very helpful. Along with our DAN doc and our natural healthcare provider.
Hope this helps. Good luck :)
My son just turned 5. He is in kindergarten this year and reads at a 2nd grade reading level. I gone through a lot with him. Depending on the difficulties your child has in different areas there are a lot of things as a parent you might not realize will help him. As far as speech he did a lot of mimicking singing with cartoons, repeating things they said (even when I wish he would talk to me directly) and even repeating commercials. Really watch him the things you notice his mind grab on to GIVE HIM MORE OF!! My son loved Flash Cards, Word World, Baby first and Super Why. I would constantly buy him flash cards he would look at the word and the pics, I would tell him what they said, even though he didn't say the word he carried them every where he would sit in front of the tv as word world was on and listen to them build a word and sound them out. Then one day it started he could read the word, say the word and even spell the word!! By age 3 he could read and sound out ANYTHING!! Give him the tools and his mind Will put it together. Sit down with him and cut paper, draw pics, read books. I got my little one in a daycare so that he could be around children and believe me he will learn things from them too. obviously you want a good daycare and observe to make sure staff has great attitudes at ALL times and the children are well behaved you don't want him to mimic bad behaviors. Social group therapy, Play groups will teach him a lot and his mind will open up and perhaps he will begin to speak more.
A really great idea is to get him into a daycare that does Reggio Emilia approach. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:
Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
The best thing you could do for your child Is look into getting SSI or state aid just for him.
Financial burden takes a toll and limits therapy and help he may receive cause as a parent it can get expensive. Get yourself a advocate/advisor so you can know every option out there for him.
I had them slowly introduce ABA to see how my son responded. We discovered he responded well to non ABA methods. My best advice it to always remember that you can switch his services anytime as you see the need. An agency that isn't willing to trial ABA or any other method won't be what your child needs. Autism is all about the child and how they best learn. I would suggest speech, special instruction and OT (who can help with the stemming and sensory issues).
My grandson goes to an ABA school. He started as an out patient student until he had a formal diagnosis. He was completely non-verbal, non-social and had begun to have major sensory issues. He receives 25 hours a week of therapy integrated with his academics. For the first two years he was in the the intense clinical program and then moved to the academic program! He is now very verbal, expresses himself very well, reads at a 7th grade level, attends birthday parties and successfully visited Disney World this summer. Not only does Jacob receive his therapy but the school also does family training so therapies can continue at home! We love ABA because if he attended public school, he would only have gotten 6 hours a week of combined speech, occupational and a watered down version of ABA. His classroom would have consisted of 12 children, 50% of children more severe than Jacob and 50% of similar ability and he would have stayed n this group until 3rd grade where he would be put in an inclusion classroom to sink or swim. And then having to manage the nightmare of IEP's. And working with the school system
Do your homework, research your school systems approach to autism therapy, educate yourself on special needs education. Sign up for Wrightslaw newsletters so you know what to expect when it comes to getting what your child needs.
Good luck and don't let anyone tell you not to do something. Learn about different therapies and fine out what works for your son!