All the therapy and long hours were worth it
Applied behavioral analysis, and a great team, made all the difference in Carter's development over six years
My Time Hop app reminded me that Carter “graduated” from ABA therapy a year ago.
ABA – applied behavior analysis – therapy is used with individuals on the autism spectrum to help establish and strengthen skills.
I remember when Carter’s therapists approached me about graduating him out of their program in preparation for his transition to kindergarten, I was astounded. Upon diagnosis there are so many uncertainties that accompany the diagnosis itself.
As parents we always wonder what our kids will be capable of, but as a special needs parent that need and void is much deeper. I can speak to both sides of this having one neurotypical child and one on the spectrum.
I worried so much about Carter’s abilities and what his “normals” would look like. It was thrilling to watch him learn skills that come easier to others, like brushing teeth, washing hands and getting dressed. Sometimes during therapy – often at home – Carter would get upset and it would break my heart to not intervene, to not “save” him. It took me a while to grow thick skin and right up until the end, his hard sessions were still hard for me.
We both spent time crying over these years of developing and growing. There were exhausting hours of driving him back and forth between ABA, occupational therapy, speech therapy and preschool, the final year with a nursling in tow. Every single second was and is worth it.
I am thankful for the time we spent in the therapy. Carter is now smart, self-sufficient, determined, often self-confident and tries to be a social butterfly. I will forever be grateful for his team that helped him develop to where he is today.
Lauren Martone is a blogger for ParentingNH from southern New Hampshire. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lauren and her family’s story were featured in the July 2015 issue of ParentingNH and in the July 2018 issue.