Sunday, January 2, 2011

A HF Nikko

Today is Sunday. If I don't blog about something within a day, and if I don't write it down to remember, then I'll most likely forget it and that defeats the purpose of the success of the blog. Luckily I jotted some things down from Wednesday so that should keep me updated. The ABA Team met on Wednesday afternoon to get on the same page about doing the drills and handling Nikko. I took some notes and realized that it helped to outline some things we should work on with Nikko now:

1.) Work on YES or NO. Try offering Nikko things he doesn't like to encourage a NO. They have to be super, super dull because he seems to show an interest in almost everything in the ABA object bag, even a paper clip.
2.) PRETEND ACTIONS. Drink from the cup. Comb the hair. Nikko needs help in showing how to do these things.

On Thursday morning, Jenna came over to observe Sarah's session since Sarah wasn't able to come to the meeting the day before. At the end, they both found it was really helpful because Sarah could get Jenna's input regarding a mystery behavior, and Jenna could silently observe to see if Nikko would do something different with each therapist. That was exactly what was happening. Jenna surprised me by saying that she was impressed with how high-functioning Nikko was. I blinked with an "Excuse me? Please explain." Jenna said Nikko can process who he can manipulate. Knowingly refuses to work, walks away in defiance but looks back over his shoulder to see if you will follow him. That shows he is thinking in complex ways, and that's pretty high functioning. I was interested in her explanation because I have never considered Nikko high functioning, but I based that on his lack of language. The high/moderate/low functioning debate is interesting and varied because a child can be HF but still have severe sensory issues that hamper him from being social, or LF and be able to talk and express himself. That's where people throw out the labels and say it doesn't matter whether one is HF or LF. I would still sit and think Nikko is LF, but truly when I consider how Jenna described Nikko's complex thinking, I am apt to not want to call him LF ever again.

On Friday, we went to meet/work with Karen, the ST we haven't had a chance to meet yet. She told me she never read Nikko's file and likes to get a feel for a child by working with them first. Karen asked me what I wanted to accomplish through speech therapy and I told her he needed progress in both receptive and expressive language. When it was time for Nikko to go work, he took Karen's hand and they started walking away. Karen said, "Bye, Mom!" and that made Nikko wrench his hand out of hers. He looked at me expectantly. I told him to go play and he still looked anxious. I said to Nikko, "Kiss me good bye," and then he went running away with Karen.

Even before the session started, Nikko was getting antsy in the waiting area. He saw my backpack and was eyeing the front pocket. We both knew what was in it so I put it in my lap to keep him from going for the zipper. He leaned in expectantly so I said, "First speech, then......" He replied, "Lollipop!" I was really happy that he was able to finish my sentence without me prompting him or telling him the right word. At the end of the session I had to make good on my promise and give him a lollipop.

On Saturday, New Year's Day, we went to my cousin's house in Elgin. It was a big house with carpeting and stairs, and a lot of kids ran about. It warmed me to watch Ronin and Audrey run off with their older and younger cousins and play hide and seek. Nikko was also in the mix, although he opted to drop out and bother me for cake with icing or something else bad for him. He found a Winnie The Pooh bear and ran along with it for a time. During the gift opening he was trying to open everyone's gift and was antsy in the enclosed space. He got attached to Sabrina's mini-figurine Tinkerbell and she kept an eagle eye on him so that it would find its way back to her. I assured Sabrina that when we left, I would pry it from him and return it to her, even though he would be crying. Minutes before we left I noticed Nikko left Tinkerbell on a table while turning his attention to a toy figurine of Kai-Lan that was in a box. When it was time to leave, Nikko didn't want to part with Kai-Lan, which belonged to Jovy, so I had to pry the box away from him as he cried and screamed for it while going out the door. Other than that, it was a pretty good day for Nikko. I can never tell what toy he will become attached to. I can't guarantee that he will want to carry around a certain car, and there was even a new birthday cake toy that I was certain Nikko would claim as his own and want to bring home. But Nikko didn't get attached to it and preferred the figurines over bulkier toys. I look forward to when the holidays and gifts are completely over so that the kids' expectations are no longer centered around getting presents.

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