Archives for "Tribunal"
Recently I took the little autistic boy that I work with to his office based ABA session. He was so excited to get there that he was up the stairs before I had worked out how to close the door. He ran into the room and immediately started playing with toys that were on the floor. The session was very structured and he worked very hard. One of the activities he found particularly hard was placing objects on, in, or beside other objects. For example putting the brick in the box or putting the brick on the bridge. I was surprised how hard he found it. These sorts of instructions are given all day at school or nursery. “Can you put your books away and line up at the door” would have been an instruction I would have regularly given as a teacher. The ABA sessions are fantastic at preparing him for integration into mainstream school. Every activity is broken down to tiny sections for him to practice and achieve.
One of his ABA tutors regularly goes into his nursery to work with him with other children. This is helping his social skills and encouraging him to use his peers as role models. The nursery had been worried that the sessions would be too structured however they have said that everybody is benefiting from having a tutor in nursery. Although his tutor works with him, helping him with the activities and to focus and sit still at story time the other children also benefit from having an extra adult at nursery. One of the nursery nurses said, ”Oh, ABA is just playing!”
I have been very impressed with the progress he has made doing the ABA program. He’s working with autism partnership which happens to have to an office not far from where he lives. And I feel very privileged to see the incredible progress he has made. For example when I first met him he would not use both hands to build or do puzzles. Also he would not look at what he was doing. He liked to use his peripheral vision. Yet now he can build complicated 3-D puzzles including a build my pickup truck puzzle, for this he needs to use two hands and to look very carefully.
It has been huge battle for his parents to get him on an ABA program. For nearly a year they had to fund it themselves and had to actually deliver the programme themselves for much of the time. This meant one parent had to give up work and their other children miss out on many activities. However just before Christmas they won their tribunal and their local education authority is now funding the ABA program. There is always the worry that the education authority will change its mind and withdraw the funding. It does seem very short-sighted and that hopefully when he has finished the program he will be able to access mainstream education with limited support. Surely in the long run this is cheaper than putting children like him in a special school.
The autism partnership website is a very good one and an explains things clearly and concisely