I Love ABA

I love ABA.

There, I said it.

Really, if ABA were a person, I'd be talking Curtis into the whole "sister-wife" thing...that maybe just got a little weird, but really.  I'd marry ABA.

In just six months, ABA has changed Colin's life.  It has taught him how to learn.  When you teach a kid how to learn, you open up the world to them.

I am so proud of his new skills:  sitting and working, waiting, matching, sorting, imitating, attending to task, using his AAC device, gaining verbal words....the list goes on and on.  Seeing how much progress he has made in six months (with just two hours of therapy a day) is unbelievable.

But do you know what else ABA has given Colin?

Confidence.

I watched him today while we attended a birthday party for some friends.  Their house was full of people that he (mostly) didn't know.  He sat at the table as we sang "Happy Birthday."  He watched them open their gifts.  He played with their new toys.  He interacted with other adults.  He was happy.  We stayed for two hours - this would never have been possible before ABA.

With ABA therapy, he has learned that he can try new things.  He used to enter a new situation and immediately try to flee.  Meltdowns happened almost immediately.  When he didn't know what was expected of him, or didn't know what to do, he wanted out of there.  When he did come around to trying something new or hard, he wanted to be alone.  When he first became interested in puzzles, he only tried them when he was alone.  If I approached him, he immediately stopped.  It was almost like he was uncomfortable in his own skin and was afraid to even try.

Today, I watched him.  He sat.  He observed.  He saw what everyone else was doing, and he joined in and did it too.  He was comfortable and happy.

He wanted to play with their new NERF gun.  He took it to another adult.  He tried to load the dart, but couldn't figure it out.  The adult helped  him do it the first time.  The second time, Colin was able to do it himself.  He had the confidence in himself to try something new.  He never did that before ABA.

As my Mawmaw would say, you can see the wheels turning.  He is watching and learning.  This is such an important skill, and we have his amazing ABA therapists to thank for that.

This time last year, I worried about him so much.  Would he ever talk?  Would he ever follow directions? Would he ever progress beyond where he was?   Could he learn new things?

Now, I still worry about him.  I wonder if he will ever have functional speech.  But now, I know that he will continue to make progress.  He is learning new things everyday.  He has developed a self-confidence that gives him the ability to try new things.  ABA therapy isn't just teaching him how to "do this" or "do that," it is teaching him how to learn and giving him confidence in his ability to learn along the way.  Seeing how confident he has become in learning makes my heart happy.

(And, Hey, ABA - if you're out there and reading this, the sister-wife offer still stands.  Full disclosure here: you're on laundry duty.  It's my least favorite chore.  I hope that's not a deal breaker.)

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