Monday, April 29, 2013

Off and Away!

And so the week begins. Difficult to rise up this morning but excited that Monday is one step closer to Friday. Hallelujah!

Lazy butt me, tried to get up to run this morning considering the weather forecast this week is lookin like the hundos...or 90's, still too dang hot for April. Ya hear me? Anyways, the running didn't happen.

Today was the last day for a client I've been providing ABA to since November. ABA = Applied Behavioral Analysis. We go into homes and modify or shape behaviors in the given environment. The children I work with range from 1.5 to 5 years of age and all have Autism. We work on things that typically developing kids learn naturally. By doing so we create a very structured environment.

Throughout the session, structured and unstructured activities are addressed. Today we went for it and meandered out on a 30 minute walk, with bubbles of course! Safety skills, such as looking both ways before crossing the street and responding to commands take place while we walk. Half way through, my little friend needed some sensory time. We plopped down and went for it with the leaf droppings. It could not have been more exciting for him.

Working with some clients for a long period of time their language increases drastically. One might go from 1-2 words "want ball" to a 3-5 word phrase or sentence "I want ball,please". It's pretty exciting when this does happen. This lingo has changed the way I talk to my family and friends... oh, and even my dogs..."Want food?" "Ride, go?"

Repetition has been key in helping these kids learn new skills and behaviors. Not just for individuals with Autism but for all of us. There is a reason we have calendars and alerts on our smart phones. To keep us structured and organized.

It's a bittersweet day. While packing up my materials my client walked over to me, tapped my forearm, leaned his head over to make eye contact and said "Bye Sue-wah-wee"... or Natalie (Hey, it was close!). We have worked so hard on attention seeking and language. It was for sure there today. Thanks buddy. You rock!

Being an ABA teacher and working in the clients homes, I love these kids like they're my own. It's hard not to. We watch them grow and mature in just the few months we are with them. It's encouraging and a huge blessing for us and the families involved. It's always a nice feeling walking away knowing that you did good. A blog friend reminded me of the Dr. Seuss book Oh the Places You'll Go. It really connected today as I departed away.


1 comment:

  1. Natalie, you are absolutely incredible! I just read this post to Mike because I am so happy for you. To have a child with Autism look you in the eye and thank you speaks volumes about you & your work. Thank you for following your dreams and having a huge heart helping these kiddos.