We first met the underdog when he was only two years old. Non-verbal, aggressive, with few play skills, and comorbid diagnosis, this fella had his work cutout for him. His therapy took place within the home, clinic, and community settings. A major key to his success was family involvement. Momma underdog participated in every session, gave input on his treatment and facilitated cross-therapy cooperation.
Everyday, our underdog had to battle impulses, physical pain, and circumstances that were out of his control. Everyday, he worked hard and never lost sight of his goals.
Today, our underdog has graduated from ABA, is mainstreamed at school without the help of an aid, is the star player on his soccer team, and testing above grade-level at his school.
The Secret Talker
The Secret Talker, came to use with a diagnosis of selective mutism. During her initial assessment her parents were amazed at how she started talking to the assessor. That was the first time she's spoken to anyone outside of her family. During therapy, she worked hard on playing close to peers, playing along with peers, and eventually answering peer questions. Little by little her personality began to emerge, and our secret talker became the life of the party. She developed friendships, spoke to teachers at school and even became a peer model at the clinic. Today is is enjoying her friends at school and is a social butterfly.
The thinker came to us on his third birthday. He was barely verbal, had no play skills, had severe motor stereotypies, and was brilliant! With hard work, the thinker gained language, social skills, and even daily living skills.
It wasn't long before he tested out of every assessment available to him. Still, he was unable to graduate because of his behavior at school, and his behavior made it difficult to make friends.
With the thinkers help, we devised a contract and a system to help him control his behaviors with friends and at school. With his hard work, he was able to decrease his days of therapy, get nominated as student of the month, and is getting invited to playdates regularly.
At the initial assessment, our friend, had no language and no play skills, he pulled toys off the shelf and dumped them out all over the place. To say he made a mess is an understatement. He had no play skills, stuffing objects into containers or putting them in his mouth. Overtime and with hard work he slowly picked up functional communication skills. At first, he used baby signs to communicate, overtime he progressed to spontaneous vocal request. As our friend's language increased so did his social skills. He began to spontaneously approach peers, initiating toy play, as well as imitating them during play activities. He now enjoys playing with his friends and can always be found with a smile on his face.
Our feeding team, was called to the home of the eater, under dire circumstances. At 17, he was refusing foods and liquids and was being forced fed Ensures through a syringe. His parents feared the worst, and knew a feeding tube was not a good option for their child. It took several months, and countless hours, but slowly, his team was able to introduce liquids, then purees, then solids back into his diet. This treatment took around the clock dedication and work from his family, encouraging eating, using the skills they were taught, and monitoring calorie intake. By the time he turned 22, the eater ate over 50 foods, mastered over 25 drinks, and even knew how to prepare some of his favorite foods. To this day, the eater enjoys eating a variety of foods, and even finds them reinforcing!