Monday, April 22, 2013

Autism Understanding & Acceptance 2013, Day 18

Now that I knew that ABA worked, I had to figure out how to get it for him. Currently in Indiana there are multiple full-time ABA clinics around the state, especially focused in the Indianapolis area. But in 2006, in Bloomington? Nope. I was going to have to find our own staff…and then there was that little matter of training them AND myself! Oh yeah – that.

I tend to pay attention when something falls out of the sky into my lap. Sometimes it is to test me (is this what you really want?), but most of the time it is to say “YO! Here!!! Do I have your ATTENTION yet?” And ABA fell into my lap. I first was enamored with the idea of Floortime, but it was not readily available. And then came Elena, and then Natalie.
She fell into our combined lap: mine, Rob’s & Thomas’. One day on a field trip with Thomas’ preschool, a college student came along as a substitute (undoubtedly as an extra pair of hands for the field trip). Ms. Barb took me aside, and quietly said to me “Hey, that Natalie girl does that ABA thing.” I believe I said “Oh!” before I turned tail and nearly ran across the playground to talk with her. I don’t think I actually left a trail of dust in my wake, but you never know – I wasn’t looking back.

She was already doing ABA with another family in town. She had time for us. She was available.

I have come to believe over these past years that miracles don’t just happen. They usually are preceded by lots of intention, hard work, research & dedication. My boy needed help. I did what I could to find it. And in walked Natalie.

We started with 3 hours a week. He made so much progress in those 3 hours that we upped it to 10 quickly. Our boy was learning how to learn.

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