Therapy and ABA...worth anything?
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Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:12 am
Some skills that emerge from therapy are trackable, in the sense that they were worked on, and acquired, like if your child goes to first grade math and then knows how to add numbers.

Other skills, obviously less so. This isn't a concept unfamiliar to speech pathologists.... My favorite professor in grad school used to say that with some kids, maybe they needed a year of therapy, or maybe they just needed a year.

But if a child is struggling in a noticeable way, and there is an intervention that is available and financially feasible, why wouldn't a family try? You evaluate as you go along.
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Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:49 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
What do you mean by emotional regulation? That in itself is a very broad goal. And how can you see success?

Yes its the umbrella goal under which I have many little goals. I cannot work on anything if he isnt regulated. I help him become regulated by tuning into his sensory needs. I put up swings and trapezes right in my kitchen and dining room among many other things I’ve done. As soon as I started learning and accepting and understanding his sensory differences and needs he was much happier and calmer. When he does some strange stimming behavior I dont dismiss it. I either try to understand what its telling me and help him from there or turn it into a game with meaning. In any case- When he is more regulated his stims decrease.
As far as smaller goals: we are working with dir floortime. He is at level four which is shared motor planning. I am seeing glimpses of five which is symbolic play. It made me cry to see him put a mentchie into a cliks structure for the first time at age seven! He never understood that it symbolizes a person. or that play food stmbolizes real food. Something that my two year old does naturally. He cannot play pretend games. With these higher levels come empathy. Understanding other peoples feelings, emotions, reading emotion.
So for me- since I am working with floortime- I understand where he is, where the journey is heading. How I see his regulation is a whole megillah. Suffice it to say- he was being kicked out of school and now with a bit of support he can sit calmly and happily through the day. My family was falling apart from his anger and aggressiveness and now he’s (mostly) happy and calm.
Of course- please dont challenge what I say. I dont understand much at all about this. I am not a therapist. I am only a mom. A mom who was so confused and helpless watching her sons suffering until some wonderful therapists helped guide her.
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Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 12:10 pm
Its a tough thread for me to read because it reminds me of my tough journey. With well meaning friends and my pediatrician telling me “he’s normal” he’ll “outgrow” it or “you can help him on your own” only I couldnt. And by the time I got him the help he needed he was such a sad little boy.
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Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 12:23 pm
And one last:
I had mentioned previously that I went to Star Sensory Center inColorado- premier senory center with much of the sensory research and knowledge today coming from there.
After being there a week with my son I had a parents only session. I received a paper with different sensory profiles and goals etc- it was a pyramid of sorts- the apex of the pyramid was “joie de vivre” because isnt that ultimately what we want to see when we look at our children- joy of life?
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Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 12:49 pm
So I lied!
Heres one more-
You asked if therapy will make the child feel different-
For many of these children - they feel different already. They know theyre not the same but they cant pinpoint why they feel that way.
My son would go out to play and come in crying to me-
I want friends but I dont know how. I want to play but I dont know how.
Poor thing.
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Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 12:50 pm
Aricelli, I just have to say that you're one of the coolest people I've (never) met. Cool
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Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 12:59 pm
amother [ Fuchsia ] wrote:
Aricelli, I just have to say that you're one of the coolest people I've (never) met. Cool

And guess who made me that way?
It was my son.
I did a 180 by loving him.
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Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 2:51 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:

Also, perhaps doing all this therapy, just calls attention to the child's differences, and can even set him back?

Look, OP, I'm not sure what you're really asking here.

Are you bragging that your child didn't need therapy? Um, okay? I mean, it's a bit mean-spirited, but okay. I'm happy for you.

Are you telling other parents not to bother spending the money for professional ABA services? Do you know their children personally to do such a thing? You do realize that every child is different, and that while your child responds to you, many children don't?

Are you asking whether you should spend the money now for your child? Without telling us whether he has any lingering issues?

I have a child on the severe end of the spectrum, and I've used a lot of different agencies and therapists. With rare exceptions, I've found that frum therapists (Fox, I can't attest to your daughter) are terrible. I don't know why this is. As another commenter mentioned, maybe it's because they're "mixing ABA with floortime", which is like diluting your morphine with jojoba oil (thanks, Frantic Frummie). Maybe it's because they just don't keep themselves read on the scientific literature. Maybe it's because they didn't want to go to college, and their Jewish mother told them it would let them work part time and make a decent living, rather than finding their real passion.

In your area, people review agencies. I use agencies that have been vetted and given parental approval. I have paid out of pocket more than feasibly normal. I know people who literally spent their entire life savings on their child and (I use this word again:) saw miracles - not a cure, but miracles that pertained to their child and their lives, such as toilet training or being able to speak a few words or countless things that a grown teenager wasn't able to do at the time. I don't know if I could have gone to that extreme, but I'm in awe of those who have, because they will go to the ends of the earth with their child.

I also have seen high functioning ASD children do great until they hit middle school, and abstract concepts start to slow their educational progress down. Keep an eye out and don't be afraid to get them help.

I want to conclude that I was the most involved parent you could find. I do my therapy alongside the ABA agency, and I can absolutely say that it's been a lifesaver. There's data - heaps of data - that it works, and that most autistic children do not "come out of it" on their own. So please don't advocate that approach.
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