We're at the point now where my son does not receive "traditional" table-top ABA anymore. He has had an incredible two years in ABA, gaining wonderful skills and testing very well in them. Now our focus has switched to getting him to consistently use these skills in daily life. So, now we do a lot more play (games, pretend play), social groups (we invite a few models over a couple times a week and do snack, a game, some free play, etc.), and other more non-traditional approaches. At times it seems like the gains aren't quite as huge lately, but I personally believe that has a lot to do with the fact that the skills he is gaining now are HUGE steps (compared with learning individual rote tasks).
Feb 22, 2011
Advice & Tips
ABA therapy is very appropriately filed under "lifestyle modification". That's exactly what it is. It takes over your life. Privacy? A thing of the past. Your house is a revolving door. Social life? Largely gone—between school and ABA therapy, there's hardly any time left in the day. Financially? Well, there are more and more states forcing insurance companies to cover ABA, but there's still a long way to go. For now, we're spending $3,000 per month out of pocket. That, as you can imagine, is devastating.
But, it's working. My son started ABA about two weeks after his diagnosis and quickly ramped up to 25 hours. He's now getting 11 hours outside of school (along with 10 hours of direct instruction in school). I distinctly remember about 15 months ago, we were running trials to teach him to say "mommy" and "daddy". Now, he's working on prediction trials, three-step instructions, and reading. It has been amazing.
I attribute a ton of it to him. From day one, he has been an incredibly hard worker. There are times when the schedule exhausts him. But we just try to learn not to read too much into it. We all get tired. The truth is, he's making incredible gains. I would consider this a life-saving treatment.
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Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
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