Our little guy went from an outgoing boy, to a child who could not communicate at all. In the video you will see me trying to interact with him, as well as trying to get his attention by clapping and yelling his name. All of these things he once had were gone. I knew he could hear because after I yelled his name, he became very agitated and tried to cover his ears with the blocks. This was a very mild scene. He was never aggressive towards anyone, but he did a lot of “swiping” things off of the table and floor. He would also scream because he was frustrated by the fact that he could not communicate.
The next video is taken just three weeks after the diagnosis. This is when I researched and used many resources to teach myself how to reach our son. He was sitting, looking at a book, interacting, and pointing at pictures! I couldn’t be more proud of this little gift we were given.
The strategies and tools that I have used are:
1. Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) … I personally LOVE this one because I am a research and science nerd!
2. Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
I have not received any certification in training at all, but I have amazing friends who are professionals in this field, and have taken the time to train me enough to where I can teach him on my own. I don’t plan to be his only teacher, but I am here to say that parents CAN work with their children. The information is out there, you just have to look and ask for help! My husband and I are still waiting for waivers to be accepted so that we can provide him with in-home ABA therapy- the only scientifically proven treatment for autism. ABA is also the most expensive treatment, usually costing $60 an hour, and the suggested weekly hours of ABA are 15-30 hours a week. That adds up quickly! So until we are able to get insurance on board and the waiver approved, I will continue to work with him, and continue to learn. I just love our little guy!