One Month Into ABA Therapy

March 29, 2013

Sam the Anti-Preemie and his bubbles
Wow. I mean W.O.W. We are one month into Sam's ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Therapy and what a month it has been.

We are truly blessed to have selected the ABA company we did (Milestones), had the good fortune to have two of the most amazing therapists assigned to Sam's case (Ilona and Cammie), and been matched with the perfect case manager (Becky). I can not say enough good things about our experience with ABA therapy and Milestones. Yes, it is exhausting and a total time suck, but as I watch Sam's confidence grow and his developmental leaps I know it is all worth it.

Here are just a few highlights of the things Sam has mastered in just one short month:

  • Sam now will tell you his name every time you ask him.
  • Sam knows the names of all his family members (mom, dad, sissy and the two kitties). While I always prefer to hear him say "mama", it melts my heart to hear him say "Melissa".
  • Sam has a large collection of 3-5 word sentences. Most of them are "I want..." or "Let's do...". This is a huge leap from the simple two word sentences of the past few months.
  • Sam's eye contact has gone from milliseconds to up to one minute if he is totally engaged.
  • When new people come in the house, Sam will come over, and if it is someone he knows, he will say Hi.
  • Sam is willing to listen to new books and songs as opposed to limiting us to the same limited selection we had been allowed to read/sing.
  • He is learning that screaming when he doesn't get his way doesn't get him attention or what he wants. That is the good news. The bad news is he has moved on to biting, pinching, scratching or a combination of all three. Becky assures me this is a good thing and, just as he moved on from screaming, he will move on from these tricks.

I am so hopeful that the next five months will just continue to bring us improvements on par with what we have seen already. All I can say is thank you for early intervention!

Of course, being one to hedge my bets, I have made sure that Sam is getting every possible ounce of help I can give him. So, aside from ABA therapy, Sam is still in speech therapy once a week, Occupational Therapy once a week, sees an herbalist and acupuncturist once a week and goes to a chiropractor once a week.

Sam the Anti-Preemie and his OT

Sam and Susan, his Occupational Therapist

All of this running around is slowly driving me into the ground (hence the long time between posts) but again... it is all worth it.

And just for fun - here are two quick videos of Sam that make me smile:



Tagged: ABA Therpay
Thank you for your post. It helped me get an additional idea. An autistic child may throw tantrum or behave aggressively when he is disappointed or frustrated as other children do. But he is not doing it intentionally, because as an autistic child, he is unable to understand that other people have thoughts and feelings. Punishment must fit the crime. Whenever possible, the only punishment should be experiencing the natural and logical consequences of an undesirable action. If an undesirable behavior happens repeatedly, and neither incentives nor disincentives seem to curb it, you should look closer for hidden causes. Behavior analysis techniques can be very useful in this regard.

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