Wednesday, April 25, 2012

March of Dimes Walk 2012

Thanks to everyone who donated to Team Mikan Boy this year! This was our third March for Babies walk, and we were happy for your help to support an organization very close to us. Mikan begins his ABA therapy in the middle of May part-time and then full-time in June. From the research I've gathered there appears to be some competing philosophies about treatment for high-functioning Autism. Some advocate ABA therapy regardless of the severity, while others claim that high-functioning kids should be mainstreamed as early as possible and as often as possible. We can see the benefit to both scenarios; however, this is not a situation that can be generalized. Right now we feel it is best for Mikan to receive aggressive ABA therapy three days a week to help him gain social skills necessary for school (primarily, decreased perseveration on numbers; he talks about them all day). He will attend a general education preschool the other two days in addition to going to his other therapies (ST, PT, and OT). The goal of the ABA program is to help transition him to a full-time kindergarten class without assistance. While he appears to be doing reasonably well in a general education preschool now, he still gets notes sent home daily with bad marks for "playing with friends." We hope this intervention now will lead to more success in school and at home later. We also don't think the three days of "regular" school he is missing a week will be a detriment to him in the fall. He will most likely transition to more mainstreamed school days by winter or spring. Where he will attend kindergarten is still up in the air, but we don't plan that far ahead. We've learned it isn't that efficient.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

ABA Update

Mikan has been accepted into the BACA ABA program. The good news is that he is able to begin at the end of May. The really good news is that our insurance covers it. The bad news is that the center is a 50 minute commute each way for us. He will most likely be attending this ABA program three days a week for 8 hours each day. Pretty intense. Then he will resume his other cocktail of therapies (OT, PT, and ST) on the other two days of the week after which he will attend his developmental preschool. I think that's what the experts refer to as "aggressive early intervention." At least that is what our goal is. Thank God he has wonderful therapists who make him enjoy each session and want to go back to "play."

The ABA center is designed to help transition Mikan to a general education kindergarten program in which he succeeds and enjoys learning and socialization. We observed there last week, and Mikan seemed to like it. The schedule and driving will be a nightmare, but we are looking into getting some help to make it more tolerable on Anica especially.

I've been spending a lot of time recently trying to collect resources on Autism. Sometimes I think I should stop reading. Too much information out there. Too many conflicting opinions too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter 2012

Pictures from the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

This week I am taking Mikan to observe at an ABA school in Elkhart. He will soon be evaluated to determine how many hours a week they recommend for therapy. This will drive a lot of decisions we make over the next several months. Mikan also began another session of horseback riding therapy today. This is one of the therapies we will unfortunately probably have to cut in order to fit in an appropriate ABA regimen.

I feel like I get new information about another workshop or lecture on Autism that I could be attending each week. I often think, "If only I could clone myself..." I know most moms feel similarly.

Mikan's current fascination is his multiplication tables. I am sure he will know just as many as I know soon. He searches YouTube videos for songs that include all of the multiplication facts. I find myself singing them in my head throughout the day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Weekend Fun

This past weekend we spent in Ft. Wayne and Indy. John received his national award for integrating technology in his science classroom. Below is a video montage of our weekend including visits to Science Central in Ft. Wayne and the Indianapolis Zoo.

I'm slacking on my March of Dimes fundraising this year, so anyone who hasn't donated and is willing to help out, we appreciate it!