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My DS who is 2 is on the communication pathway. I understand this is a long process & it may be some time until we get a diagnosis. I don’t know if this is the right terminology but currently he doesn’t appear to be an extreme case, not rigid, will communicate using gestures/noises ( not speech) when he wants something, will sit & play with me if I initiate it.
I’m worried I might be missing an early intervention option while we wait for a diagnosis. Should I just get going and if so how? We have a SALT and are beginning to look at PECS. I think she is also using floortime techniques. I’ve bought a copy of ‘Time to Talk’ but find it a bit overwhelming at times. Also have portage team involved.
I currently work part time & DS happy at nursery but should I give up work? The nursery is good and have involved their inclusion team. A lot of the therapies recommend more than 30 hours per week which I cannot sustain and then, if there is no diagnosis will I have wasted my time or, even worse, done some damage?
I just have this feeling I need to step it up a bit & was wondering if anyone else who’d been in this position had done/ not done & if they were glad or had regrets.
We started ABA at around 4 and a half and I personally wish we'd had been in a position to start earlier.
I don't disagree with zzzz that autistic children grow into autistic adults and I don't know any ABA professionals who would disagree either. The question is what teaching methodology will be best to teach your child the skills to be able to enjoy life as a child and an adult. Ds had many self destructive behaviours which meant he kept sabotaging his own fun and he didn't have the skills to access other sources of enjoyment. ABA made a huge difference for him.
But whatever you decide, you need to be quite involved. Ds has made such great progress because the people that have worked with him are great. He could have had the same intervention with not so good people and the results would be not so good or even detrimental. You can tell quite quickly just by sitting in on sessions whether the effect is positive or not.
I currently work part time & DS happy at nursery but should I give up work? The nursery is good and have involved their inclusion team. A lot of the therapies recommend more than 30 hours per week which I cannot sustain and then...
I will be hesitant about giving up work. You would, very most likely, will be helping your DS through childhood, teenagehood and adulthood. His needs may change through the course of his life. Unless your thinking of never having to work again so you can be there helping your DS. Then you can do that. But the road to Autism is a looooooooooong journey. We Mum’s also need time for ourselves !
On another note and I’m sorry to say. Children like ours are very very vulnerable. It’s easy to say, well leave them, they grow into Autistic adults and blah. I, on the other hand, believe in early intervention, I also believe that every child, disability or not should reach their full potiental and if that means doing all those therapies above and more. Then so be it. If my son didn’t receive speech therapy, didn’t receive all the necessary intervention. I would be dealing with a child who will be hugely frustrated in their lack or communication, not reaching any sort of academic potential, not happy, higher rate of low self esteem etc etc.
OP, it is overwhelming and I would suggest you don’t stress yourself out. Take one step at a time. PECS would be a fantastic thing to explore... floor time and all the rest of it, uses very similar techniques to a speech and language therapist does. Maybe in a year or so, look into a specialist nursery setting (this would be my regret, not putting DS into a specialist nursery ?). I’m currently working in one and it’s fantastic.
Just take a deep breath, take one step at a time. You are doing great so far.
You have to try your own way - every child/parent is different.
We tried ABA but apart from the fact it nearly crippled us financially it didn't help a lot (sorry, passionate ABA supporters, and yes I did read the research - based on lower functioning kids, and only proved to work if it was used 35 hours + a week 1:1).
We also tried RDI for a bit, which was promising, but again very expensive, we had to travel a long way to get to the nearest consultant, the programme was mired in US psychobabble, and we could only get any info/help if we paid more.
The thing that helped the most was play dates. Lots of them. We had kids over after school, invited the neighbours over, had cousins over etc. Taught the kids some things to start conversations, bought things that other kids would like to play with so they could play together etc etc.
I'm not saying they're massively good at social stuff even now, but they're not afraid to hang out and talk to others, and even have a couple of good friends here and there (and I've made friends with the Mums too!).
Another thing that helped my DS tremendously was that I took him out with me everywhere (realistically I had no choice). I would take him to museums, parks, farms, jungle gyms, when we went out shopping, I drew up a visual list of the items we should get in the store (this helped him learn what the names were).
It was hard though and DS would have tantrums, but I assumed back then, when I wasn’t too sure if he had any special needs, that the more I expose DS to new environments, new surroundings he would learn to enjoy them, pick up different types of language.
However, the only types of therapies we’ve done were speech and Occupational therapy. Though he did this quite intensively and is still doing this now.
Aba for dd was v effective and has helped her acquire skills. It doesn't have to be yhirty five hours to be effective. We started off with five three hour session. She also went to nursery and I worked part time as well as doing some of the tutoring.
Thanks everyone. I don’t have time to respond in more detail but wanted you to know I have been checking in and reading your responses.
I definitely feel the urge to do something which is why I’m trying to get feedback on some of the therapies available.
Both Portage & the SALT have been to the nursery & think it’s well run & a good place for him so I won’t rush to give up work just yet.
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