Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ABA Therapy

Deacon has been going to ABA therapy; today was his 7th day! We found a place accepted by our insurance, that is Christian-based, and about 30 minutes from our home. Deacon goes from 9:00 am- 3:00pm Monday-Thursday and 9:00 am- 1:00pm on Friday. The first half of the day is spent in a preschool setting with about five other kids in his class, then is one-on-one after lunch.

This was Deacon after his first day:
Each afternoon we are given two thorough reports about his day, one looks like this (I know it is kind of hard to read):
We also get his artwork, and although it is done hand-over-hand, it is much better than the artwork he brought home from daycare that you could tell the teacher completed all by herself.

To say these first few days have been amazing would be an understatement. They are miracle workers and worth every penny we are paying!

The most obvious change we have noticed is at mealtime. Example: The week before Deacon started therapy we ate dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. He takes a chips, eats one little nibble, then crushes the rest while throwing the crumbs below, along with his drink, silverware, etc. By the end of the meal we have learned to have clean up time under Deacon's high chair. Two and a half days into therapy we went out to eat again and were blown away by the drastic changes in his eating habits! He would take a bite of his food and hold it to his chest until he was ready for another bite, careful not to drop anything. When he was done eating or didn't like something he has tried he placed it nicely back on the plate or table! As we were leaving we looked under his highchair to find a half of a chip. That's it! Our carpet and car already look so much better without "Deacon droppings" all over!

The therapist has also been working on getting him to stay seated in a chair during class and lunch. He is now able to stay in his seat for meals and snacks at school! This is huge, because he is already tall for his age he will quickly look ridiculous squeezing in a highchair.

Another huge accomplishment is with mouthing objects. I don't know if I have mentioned his obsession with putting his mouth on everything... I could post a whole blog with pictures of him and his mouth where it shouldn't be. I think he started because of his vision problems; the mouth is more sensitive than hands, so allowed him to identify things easier. It has now turned into a "stem" where he is obsessive about it. His therapists are working hard on breaking the habit and although he hasn't completely stopped, it has decreased considerably.

Speaking of stems, he just started walking on his toes. His therapists said that once it becomes a habit it is very hard to break and suggested for us to buy him heavier tennis shoes instead of his sandals, so that it would be more difficult to walk that way. I told her that shoes have been an issue in the past, because of his vision he only likes wearing light shoes, but that we would give it a try. Deacon is now a sneaker-wearing kiddo and the toe-walking has stopped!

They are working on so many other goals with him as well, here are a few:
-language: receptive and expressive
-playing with a variety of toys appropriately
-interacting with peers
-increased eye contact

We can't wait to see what new "trick" he will come home with next!

*Thank you to everyone who has donated to help pay for his therapy, we will be forever indebted to you! I promise to post updates as often as possible so that you can see that your money went to great use.

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