Friday, June 19, 2009

ABA, and photo shoot

I'd say that DT was a disaster today. Bo came earlier today because she had a cancellation. That was fine with me. But minutes before she arrived, Nikko came to me and dragged me toward the brick blocks rubbermaid. I cringed because I didn't want him to be obsessed with them, and wondered if I refused to give them to him would he be obstinate for the entire session. I gave them to him and immediately he lined some up. When Bo came in I warned her that Nikko was into the blocks. He was kicking and crying while we tried to wrangle him into the circle and involve him in an activity. So, we were already in the red even before the session began. I'm not sure how long it took to calm him down, maybe 15-20 minutes, before he was too tired from wrestling and actually did a puzzle with Bo. I think the pegs and peg board were next, but he was still pushing them away and slapping her hand. Nikko pulled out her little clear backpack of dishes and plates and motioned that he wanted her to open it. We thought it might be productive play, but Bo remembered that Nikko always liked a plastic slice of watermelon in the backpack, but it wasn't there today. I felt kind of defeated that our last session with Bo for the next month was a bust. We haven't had a good session in almost a month, and this is not just with Bo but with Gloria too. Shelly still gets good gross motor out of Nikko, but we do have to settle down to get to the fine motor stuff.

Chinny showed up to help us go to OT. Nikko seemed eager to run around when we got there and Ronin stayed with us for 30 minutes running about. Then I felt like we should lessen the distractions and I asked Chinny to take Ronin into the second room; we'd just be left with Audrey, who was hanging out nearby on some mats playing with koosh balls. Shelly tried to slow Nikko down with scissors and paper, but he didn't want to be pinned down. She tried having him draw with chalk but he wouldn't sit in a chair. He started coming to me for fruit snacks and I really didn't want to get into giving him food during therapy, but since Shelly and I were talking about ABA therapy (Applied Behavioral Analysis - like the Pavlovian way to learn something) we decide to try rewarding his actions with fruit snacks. Using the stringing beads we had him string a few, then get a fruit snack, then a few more, fruit snack, and so on. That's the basis of ABA. Nikko is highly food motivated so he did well with it. Real ABA therapy is much more intense and also involves paperwork that keeps track of how many times he will attempt an action or get rewarded (called Trials). It sounds like a good kind of therapy, but the flipside to ABA is that it is perceived as mechanical and emotionless -- that a child learns to perform a command, initially gets rewarded with something, which then gets phased out, and finally the child performs an action because it was taught to him. "Robotic." The desired way for many to teach a child is to do it by self-motivation, because the child wants to perform the action, not because he learned it by rote. I have toyed with the idea of ABA therapy, but don't know if it's something to pursue. It can be expensive and I don't know if BCBS covers it. It's also a program that demands a strong commitment, and it's hard for me to do right now with Ronin and Audrey in the mix. I'm hoping that after a few months of preschool, perhaps someone like Kathy Winters could see his progress and make that kind of suggestion (or the OT, Jean Imbruglia).

We went to Costco after OT, and then Chinny went to class while I went to Atz's house where all the Alog grandchildren were going to meet to take a picture, per Mom's request. I imagined that the picture itself would be challenging, but let's just say the biggest drama was happening when I got all my kids unloaded. Since they had been in the car for so long, they had all fallen asleep after Costco. This is probably because I stopped to snack everyone at Costco since we went straight to OT in the afternoon and didn't stop for a snack. I forgot that Nikko ate an entire churro, so that should explain why he wasn't hungry at dinnertime despite my best efforts to encourage him to eat. Ronin had some Triscuts but still didn't finish his nuggets. When we got to Atz's house, the kids were still sleeping and she wasn't home yet so I let them sleep until 7p. Atz's Dennis came out to help unload the kids and Ronin had already woken up and was crying really hard. When Dennis came to carry him out, Ronin was soaking wet because he leaked all the juice he drank earlier. He also started screaming bloody murder because he had to wait inside until we were finished unloading all the kids. I took Nikko and Ronin upstairs to their hallway to change diapers, and asked Dennis to bring Audrey nearby so she could hang out and not be crying downstairs. When he brought her up to the landing she was also screaming bloody murder. Nikko, who was standing beside me with a hand on my shoulder as I was changing Ronin, started to cry because he was upset with waking up and being somewhere different, and probably didn't want to be left out in the crying game. My dear nieces arrived and were so helpful; they tried to distract Ronin and even carry Audrey, but no one would be placated. With Nikko crying and the little two screaming their tonsils out, I would normally have blown a few gaskets, the anxious bubble would have burst all over the place, and I would have felt stressed out to the ultimate max. The screaming was THAT loud and THAT BAD. But for some reason I felt calm on the inside, even laughed when Atz went into her room, closed the door, opened it to look back on us and the screaming, and closed it again. It seemed so comical. I can hardly believe I wasn't yelling or screaming back at the kids. In my mind I was telling myself to get Ronin changed, put Audrey sitting next to me to calm her (it didn't; she kept screaming), and get Nikko changed so we could get downstairs. I was determined and goal-driven. It's too bad that Audrey wasn't just crying. Her cries were deep screams, and Ronin's screams came and went as Dennis came and went, sorry to say. Nikko was incredibly clingy to me, of course, but I didn't get annoyed at him. I just hurried to get us downstairs where the girls could play with Ronin, I could settle on the floor with Audrey, and give Nikko some deep hugs that he probably needed very much from me. The actual photo shoot was ok. I had to use the fruit snacks as bait, but that was expected. I don't know how the picture turned out but I'm sure Atz will let us know. When I finally asked the time, it was 8:39pm. I was shocked, although I shouldn't have been. We started late anyway, but I got nervous because it was going to be another late night for the kiddies. Dinner was stressful because Nikko wouldn't eat (see notes above regarding Costco snacking), but I got us out of there as soon as I could. Things are just going to be late while my brother is in town, and we'll go with the flow as much as I can handle it.

On a side note, we have two Leap Frog alphabet magnetic toys on the fridge that play the alphabet song when you push a button, and say the name of a letter that you put into it. They are both on the fridge and Nikko has figured out that if you push the alphabet song button on each of them at the same time, they will sing the same song at the same speed. He started by pushing them randomly, arm's length apart, but then he'd push the buttons and the music was in sync with each other. I think he's started doing this on purpose. Very interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment