Monday, December 14, 2009

Spin / ABA ? answered

10:20a - This morning during breakfast I was chanting some lines from Nemo (during the part when the sting ray, Mr. Ray, sings and bellows) and Nikko chimed in at the appropriate place with an "Ooooooooh!" Funny thing was that Audrey and Ronin also chimed in at the same times. A fun Nemo morning! Also, I sometimes take Nikko's hand and spin him around like during a dance. I wind his arm around his body and spin him like a top. Today I said, "Spin! Spin!" and then Nikko said, "Pin. Spin." He tried to repeat what I said, and then I prompted him to say Spin in order to get a spin. Yea!

I wrote an email last night to the preschool teacher:
Hi Kathy,
We're hoping to get back to Maria from MGB Services regarding ABA Therapy with Nikko, but in our recent meeting she talked about something that has me a little confused. Perhaps we already covered it in our meeting at school with Linda Hoeck, but I couldn't take proper notes at the time and didn't know how to explain it to my husband.

Maria had mentioned that the style of ABA therapy they used was probably similar to the ABA used at school. This is where I got confused. Nikko receives ST and OT, but not ABA according to his IEP, from my understanding. Then again, after our PTA meeting and reviewing his benchmarks based on the goals, I had already noted that the goals were structured to be accomplished within a number of trials (respond to name after 4/5 trials, etc). Is that the kind of ABA that Maria was referring to? It was my understanding that ABA Therapy wasn't offered at Westbrook, but am I incorrect? Or is this a question better suited for Linda?

Linda wrote back:
The drills that will be developed will be directly related to his IEP goals. The format will be different in that it will be in the 1:1 at home.
The process would be that I would first meet with school to develop the drills, then share at the home. Since this is something new for Nikko, if you decide I would start with no more than 3 times a week.
Hope this clarifies.

That made sense in that the home program would be reflective of what they are teaching at school through Nikko's IEP. She also indicates that 3x/wk is the number of sessions she'd recommend for starters.

Kathy took the time to call me directly. She explained to me that yes, Westbrook offers ABA. Some kids have it, some kids don't. From her standpoint regarding Nikko, she thinks that he would benefit from the classroom setting, peer interaction and instruction vs. 1:1 ABA at school. The other problem is that sometimes there doesn't seem to be enough time with only 2.5 hours of preschool. Nikko would be pulled out of class for ABA and again, wouldn't get to be around his classmates. She said that the ABA offered by the school was taken mostly by the older kids. They would want Nikko to complete at least one semester before putting him in ABA. I agreed with Kathy's perspective, that losing exposure to his peers wouldn't be good for him, and his peers like him. I think Denis and I will be able to wrap up our decision on ABA by tomorrow, so we can get back to Maria by Wednesday and see what our timeline would be to put a plan into action.

After the kids had their naps, except for Nikko, I got us out of the house and headed to Costco. I had a big list, putting diapers at the bottom of the cart so that Ronin could sit in the big basket and the other two in the seats. Ronin was antsy and I allowed him to walk around, but not very far since he's so small that he could get run over by other carts and people. When we were leaving and the cashiers said good bye, I saw Nikko cup his hand and start waving good bye. It lasted as far as the food court, because then he started getting agitated and wanted to get out of the shopping cart. I think the Churros memories came back. We left, and Denis was already home so it was continuous for dinner, bathtime and nighttime.

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