Doing What We Do

I've had to opportunity to share Colin's story with several new people recently.  I've noticed a pattern in how the conversation goes.  Each time I explain that he goes to a "special school" or "intensive ABA therapy," I almost always get several questions:

1.  What is that?
2.  Do you see improvements? 
3.  Is it worth it?

Yes and yes!

What is ABA?

It is kind of mind-boggling to me that people don't know what ABA is, but I guess they've never had  reason to, so I get it.  I explain to them that he isn't really going to "school," but rather "intensive one-on-one therapy."  We just call it school because he goes every day, he's learning all the time, and to him, it's "school."

Here's what Autism Speaks says about it:

Behavior analysis is a scientifically validated approach to understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment. In this context, “behavior" refers to actions and skills. "Environment" includes any influence – physical or social – that might change or be changed by one's behavior.
On a practical level, the principles and methods of behavior analysis have helped many different kinds of learners acquire many different skills – from healthier lifestyles to the mastery of a new language. Since the 1960s, therapists have been applying behavior analysis to help children with autism and related developmental disorders.

Do we see improvements?

YES, absolutely! 

He can do so many things that he couldn't do before.  He's learning new life skills like waiting, sitting and working, daily life tasks like washing his hands, etc.  He's also learning "school-related" things like matching, identifying pictures, following directions, etc.   He's learned to imitate, which has drastically improved his communication.  He's always learning new and exciting things, so I think "improvement" is an understatement!

Is it worth it?

Absolutely!  Getting Colin the help that he needs is priceless. 

At least five different people have followed up with, "That is awesome that you guys are doing that, lots of people wouldn't do that."

I like to think that most parents would do this for their kids.  If they had the resources available, and the means to access it, I would hope that all parents would strive to do anything for their kids.  I was given the huge blessing of being Colin's Mommy.  Being his mommy requires that I do a "little extra," so that's what I do. 

I see so many parents every day doing the exact same thing that we're doing:  juggling schedules, balancing budgets, and doing whatever it takes to help their children.  We aren't special, we are just special needs parents.

Our kids deserve the best, and that's why we do what we do. 


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