Why we chose ABA for our son
I recognize that not everyone is affected the same way by Autism. But for us, we had a child who banged his head so hard at three years old we had emergency room visits. He bit, he cried, he did not talk, he did not sleep well or eat well. Name something to work on and it was a part of our journey. The gift in that was that we didn’t have time to mess around. If something didn’t work we got rid of it. ABA is the reason my son talks. It’s the reason he sleeps all night, is independent in toileting, and eats a balanced diet. He does not bang his head and he talks in sentences. We did not win every battle. He still has aggressive behaviors to work on. But he reads, brushes his teeth and lives a meaningful life. In the end, this is what it’s about for our family. I want to give my son the best quality life that I can.
ABA allows for a data collection strategy that tells us when things are working and when they are not. It’s Joey’s “Autism Report Card”. When I think about my kids in school, I cannot imagine not having information on how they are doing in Math, English, History etc. That academic report card tells me where they are doing well and where we need to invest more time. The purpose is to increase their chance of success with information. My son Joey needs this same approach for his social skills, communication, problem behaviors, and daily living skills. This is what I refer to as his Autism Report Card. I know where he is learning and where he is struggling. I can’t imagine my life without this. It keeps us from wasting time on strategies that do not work. It allows us to invest time in the things that do. We focus our energies on the things we need to work on.
Like other parents, I want my son to be his authentic self. I don’t want him to be anything other than exactly who he is meant to be. But he needs skills to do that. Without skills he will need to depend on others. He deserves better. Whether your child is affected by Autism in a way that means you have lots to work on, or if your child is primarily working on social skills, there needs to be a plan to teach those things. We have to take our kids seriously enough not to waste their time. If someone doesn’t have a plan chances are they are wasting our time. As Joey’s parent ABA means freedom. It is the freedom that comes with independence. Independence in the bathroom means privacy and dignity. Independent communication means he speaks for himself. Independence socially means he decides who his friends are and how deep that friendship goes.
The bottom line is that I want my son to have more than just a “happy” life. I want him to know what it feels like to be excited about something, mad enough to speak his mind, and to understand what pride feels like. I want him to have the skills to navigate those experiences on is own and in his own way. I don’t want it to be my way. I want it to be his. I want this for your child too. I don’t want the world to speak for him. I don’t want the world deciding what his day entails. He is good enough to do all these things for himself. He is not only good enough to do them but he is the best person, the perfect person, the right person to do these things for himself. So we will work together to do these things. We are a team.
I know that Zombies are trendy right now but I really don’t look like this on purpose. I need sleep. Did you say something? Oh I am sorry I fell asleep for a moment. You need me to what? Follow Through? Shoot I missed that ...
My son is extraordinary. My son is smart and kissable. My son is fun and funny. My son has Autism. My son likes donuts, lots of them. My son gets ABA because he deserves the best there is. He deserves to read like his sister. He deserves to play ball like his brother.