Joshwa and The ABA

When Joshwa was  diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. We went through the whole nine yards of therapy. He had the Occupational Therapy and he had his early intervention and he also had school. Our routine evolved around that until such time that Joshwa became a bit older and he was done with Occupational Therapy so I asked myself what therapy  will he do next.

 We went to the states and we thought we would be staying there for good.  But we had to come back and I’m thinking to myself now what? what do I do? Joshwa regressed and I was panicking. Then I remembered to put him back into ABA because that really helped him a lot. I also realized that  Joshwa’s is growing up his entire world is changing. He now has challenges in engaging  in social situations. Like has difficulty falling in line, will grab his classmates food, has difficulty waiting for his turn.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This therapy is really  is very commonly recommended for children with autism, severe mental retardation and other severe disabilities. What is really great about ABA is that it identifies a specific behavior we want the child to learn, breaks it down into small steps and reinforces each step. For example, if we want the child to sit down longer we might start with giving the child with a reinforcement depends on what your child likes for Joshwa it’s Lemon Square cupcake. The teacher will set the timer and make him sit for one minute give him a reinforcement and set  the timer for 3 minutes and sometimes a maximum of 10 minutes.

It’s not easy to find an ABA teacher you really had to find the perfect match. Because if not it’ll be like a bad marriage you’ll eventually have to get a Divorce. Here’s how I started my matchmaking Initially, I contacted this group that does ABA and they were going to start ASAP except that there were a lot of things that happened that we just had to put the ABA on hold. I lost touch with the group and they didn’t call me back. I was also shocked when they charged me 2,500 when they told me on the phone that they were going to charge me 1,500 for the assesment and they never gave me the assesment report.

So after a few months I was ready for to search for another group and I found another one that was even better BUT the problem was we couldn’t afford their therapy it was at 15,000+++ a month.  

So I had to search again and this time I got lucky because  I found out that Joshwa’s last teacher was already doing ABA as a freelancer. I talked to him and asked if he could squeeze us in and he said he could. I took my leap of faith and Joshwa started his ABA. Initially, I was really apprehensive where we will get the funding. God is good we were able to ask for a donation to start the ball rolling so to speak. With the help of ABA Joshwa is now starting to be verbal and express what he wants. I’m still so blown away because 3 months ago he was having a hard time expressing what he wants and now it was as if the door has been opened. The boy who everyone thought couldn’t say much apparently really had a lot to say.I am teary eyed the first time Joshwa bluntly told me TURN KO! (to use the computer) or when I heard him say Lemon Square Cheesecake. These are a Mom’s simple joy hearing your child speak for the first time.

The principles of ABA have been around for quite some time, and have myriad uses outside the scope of teaching children with autism. ABA can be the basis of programs addressing a broad spectrum of human behavior, from increasing the productivity of the workplace, to precisely training military personnel, to, indeed, teaching children.

ABA is a highly successful method of teaching children with autism spectrum disorders, and when applied intensively and early can help put many children on the same learning level as their peers.