Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Expect the worst, but hope for the best....

....That is often my philosophy. And not just in the context of things having to do with autism, but in general. Disappointment can be hard to take, but if you don't expect anything, then you won't be disappointed when things don't work out as anticipated.

It's so nice when things work out though.....

Yesterday, Rachel had her initial clinic visit with CSAAC. During this visit, they called her to the table several times and tested her with the trials. She responded really well, and didn't cause too much of a fuss. She liked her motivators/reinforcers that the team had pulled together for her. And she genuinely seemed to enjoy the positive accolades she was receiving for correctly doing the tasks. The purpose of this exercize was multi-fold -- this visit allowed her to be introduced to the members of her team. All of the techs as well as the teacher worked with her at the table while observed by the psychologist. Determinations were made as to her current level and abilities and likes and dislikes were glimpsed. Additionally, it allowed me to see what these trials are really about and how they work, something that I have observed through a 1-way window at the preschool she had been attending, but couldn't really see or hear what was going on, so it was educational for me too.

Today, 2 of the techs came to the house to begin in-home ABA. I have been dreading this for a VERY long time -- again, with the philosphy of expect the worst (and wasn't even really hoping for the best, given how things had been going along these lines). I had taken the time to set up her room as soon as Simon was awoken from his nap and, as soon as the techs arrived, I took Rachel upstairs, changed her diaper and left her in their capable hands. I was expecting to hear screaming for the next hour. Those screams rarely came. During the 2 hour session, every once in a while, I would hear a negative sound -- a scream or a determined cry. But more often then not, every time I could hear her, she was laughing or giving a delighted shriek, or being somewhat talkative.

Now, will this continue? I don't know. This may just be a "honeymoon" period. But the teacher who had been administering the ABA in the program she had been attending told me that she felt Rachel would take to this relatively quickly since she was used to the idea of being called to the table -- she really does like the reinforcement. I hope she's right and that all of my worry was pointless.

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