ABA Therapy. This is yet another of those polarizing issues in the special needs community. People either love it or hate it. (if you are not familiar with ABA Therapy, those that hate it equate it to dog training).
When I first heard about ABA Therapy almost 10 years ago, I was not very interested in it. I didn’t look closely at their methods nor did I do any research into it. I chose other avenues with my first son and they worked out quite well.
Fast forward 7 years and I ran into the idea again. This time, it was suggested to me by a very well meaning administrator of my 2nd kiddos day school. Mr. Toe’s was all of 2 and they were suggesting I get him one of those “mean, no fun, cranky ABA Therapists”; Well that’s what I was thinking anyway.That’s what I thought of them.
Being a rational mommy, I knew making a sweeping judgment like that was wrong. I needed to do my homework. So I looked into it more, and decided to not go that route…. yet. I wanted to try some alternative avenues first.
Fast forward again 3 years and Mr. Toes is now 5 and starting Kindergarten. He is not potty trained and has the culinary acumen of a dust bunny in a frat guys couch (meaning he eats only potato chips and chocolate chip cookies). No I am not kidding, nor am I exaggerating. That’s it. Oh and water. Really. That’s it folks. So dog training or not, I signed us up. And not to be one who does things half assed, I went to the top and got the head of the Pediatric Psych Department at the area’s premier Children’s Hospital. (you can insert an image of Spongebob doing his I’m ready dance here).
Oh glory be, we are going to get you fixed Mr. Toes. Mama is on it!
Fast forward 8 months, and Mr. Toes still won’t eat anything else, but now I have even more problems. Let’s start with the fact that he will no longer watch Pocoyo because he associates it with the Dr. and the food therapy we were doing. Every day since, he checks with me to make sure we are not going back to “that place“. Once when I was headed in that direction for a completely different purpose, he freaked out! I mean just an anxiety ridden, panic attack, tear-your-face off kind of freak out! The only thing ABA Therapy managed to do for us was to get my kid to a freak out level in 0.4 seconds. That’s it. Nothing else was accomplished.
Needless to say after 7 months, I gave up. Yes folks, 7 months of screaming and torture to get my kid to eat one goldfish in a one hour session; I gave up. I am not proud of this, however between his deterioration and my depleting bank account, I could not in good conscience continue this route at this time.
Now, understand, I have two kids who both require therapy and tutors. It gets expensive, especially when you are paying out of pocket (because my insurance pays for nothing). So I cannot realistically afford those lovely people who come to your home for 8-10 hours a day, 7 days a week. I just can’t. One session per week is what we could afford. So that’s what we did. It just didn’t work for us.
But….you knew that was coming….but, if I did have the resources for a proper ABA trained therapist to work with Mr. Toes in school and at home on a more consistent, less dramatic basis…..I probably would.
Doesn’t matter. Currently we are waiting to get an evaluation done through the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland. They have an in house feeding program that
Dr. Torture I mean well meaning doctor who tried, suggested for us to try to get into.
So that’s where we are with ABA Therapy. How has your experience been with ABA Therapy?
Stay Safe & Stay Informed!