A family's story

Decisions, Decisions…

As any parent with a special needs child knows, we are always planning ahead. Currently, Hubz and I are trying to figure out our summer schedule, even though the boys have 8.5 weeks left of school.

Originally Tate was going to do ESY (Extended School Year). Cuz, well, that’s what you do with your child when s/he is in special ed and is in danger of regression and of an anxiety attack because routine has changed.

We were discussing Tate’s schedule with his ABA team. I wanted to do double ABA sessions after ESY was over because we have 5.5 weeks of absolutely nothing provided by the school district. (Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.)

The director of our ABA group contacted me. She had a different idea. She recommended pulling Tate out of ESY this year (oh yay, another team meeting). Instead, we’ll do 11.5 weeks of double sessions of ABA. That would be 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. He’d get a lunch break, of course.

To address his social needs, she recommends enrollment in park district classes, and his therapist will act as his one-on-one aide. She said they have never encountered push-back from a program yet.

We will continue private OT, PT, and speech. So, he’ll have 4 days a week with double ABA, and then Fridays with a.m. ABA and then his other therapists in the afternoon. Whew!

Hubz and I know that insurance will only cover one more year of ABA for Tate (they only cover through a child’s 7th birthday). We know that he is making big gains with the therapy. We have to decide, soon, what we want to pursue. As of this moment, we are leaning heavily towards the double ABA sessions, park district classes for social interaction, and the private therapy. Why not maximize our resources, right??

Aaaannd, while we are at the whole scheduling thing, we need to figure out what to do for Tate for next school year. He will be a first grader. That means full days. I need to look into the options available for alternative schedules…because as long as insurance will cover his ABA, we want to take advantage of it…but we worry that a full school day, followed by a few hours of ABA will be too much.

Our school district has one, yes ONE BCBA on staff. That’s it. She advises teachers, but doesn’t do any full-time ABA support in the classroom. So Tate will not receive ABA at school. He will receive speech, OT & social work. He will be in “instructional” aka “self-contained” first grade, with mainstreaming into the “specials”: art, music, library & PE. So, um, yeah, we need to continue with ABA privately.

Long story short, we need to make some big decisions concerning our little man’s education and support. Cue my anxiety now.

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Comments on: "Decisions, Decisions…" (6)

  1. This sounds like a dilemma that many parents I know would love to have – which program to choose! Personally, I would go with the double session ABA and private OT, PT and speech. That seems to have been max success for my little guy too. But if you really, re-read your post, I think you will see that you already have your decision… Do you see it? 😉

  2. Brooke Graphia said:

    That made my head HURT! I think you have decided too 🙂
    when would he do the park classes? in between the therapy or will the therapy concur?? sorry I got confused

    • He’ll do classes during his time with an ABA therapist…they will act like a 1:1 aide for him to facilitate the social aspects of the class.

  3. Wow that’s a lot! Our little guys work sooo hard. It’s awesome you do have some good choices though and yes, I agree with both above it does sound like you are leaning in one direction already.

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