Thursday, January 14, 2010

ABA Group meeting

It was a lot of work for me to get the house in some kind of order before the 4:30pm meeting with MGB Services and Linda Hoeck. Vacuuming took up time before Nikko came home from school, and getting to the bathroom was tricky with Audrey poking her head in at all times. I had started purging the kitchen the night before so you could actually see the countertop in parts that were always covered by something. The living room was a rotating door of a nightmare. I'd start picking up plastic food, cars, balls, blocks and dinosaurs, just to turn around and see someone else dumped more little things. It was nearly impossible to keep that room clean the entire day. I should have just left it in chaos, then start picking up around 3:30p, but I wasn't sure I could accomplish straightening up in a small timeframe.

They all actually arrived before 4:30p: Linda Hoeck, Maria Bellantuono the presidente of MGB Services, one senior line person named Jenna and a line person named Melissa. Linda led the meeting at first, going over supplies we'd need and the protocol that would be followed in the binder. They have goals set up concurrent with goals at school, because Linda coordinated this with Kathy Winters. Maria kept assuring me, and I wholeheartedly agree, that we are SO INCREDIBLY LUCKY to have Linda Hoeck working with us for FREE because she works through District 57 and the school. Otherwise, she costs around $160 PER HOUR. She is the NSSEO Autism Coordinator and has a ton of knowledge about autism, as well as being a direct consultant to District 57. Plus we get to work with Kathy for free. And now we'll be getting services through MGB Services. I don't have the binder with me upstairs, but I'm going to bring it up over the weekend so I can look it over and maybe write down what kind of trials and activities they'll be doing. Denis and I are both scared that Nikko won't take kindly to ABA, but his reactions today while everyone was here were very positive. He was doing the Nikko dance in the middle of the carpet, and was giving good eye contact to everyone right before he'd spin by them. He wasn't too terribly clingy to me either. I need for Nikko to get over the hump of the first few sessions where we'll be leaving him alone in the basement with a stranger, and I expect there to be lots of crying, shrieking and protesting. I did ask Linda how her people would handle Nikko's initial reluctance, and she said that rewarding for good behavior would be important. There will also be some wrangling Nikko to his feet, as demonstrated by Linda when she attempted to go over a matching game and Nikko went all noodleman on her. We'll be strong for Nikko; he really needs something like ABA in his life. So, it looks like we will be starting ABA on Monday of next week. Our tentative schedule of sessions is as follows:

Monday - 2:00p, Melissa (Maria's line person)
Tuesday - 4:30p, Jenna
Thursday - 1:00p, Maria

I am already disappointed that I won't be able to sit in on any of Nikko's sessions. During our EI days I was able to sit in on sessions and I was able to learn a lot from the therapists. One thing that concerns me is that I've been told many, many parents see this akin to babysitting. That's not nice. It's to benefit Nikko so that he can learn the skills he'll need to get into kindergarten and beyond.

1 comment:

  1. Melissa,

    I would also be devastated to be told I was not welcome in my child's therapy sessions. It's something I totally disagree with in ABA.


    You've said it yourself heaps, he needs the start, to open up the doorways to learning and to picking up the skills that are in there, but unable to come out.

    I honestly wish you guys a lot of courage over the next little while, but you know your boy the best. And you will know how to get him over this bridge.

    I can't wait to read about his progress.