Monday, February 25, 2008

Break in the Action

Sorry, haven't posted in a while, not for lack of material, just lack of a cohesive subject or passion to write it down in a personal post. Anyway, here are just a few of the issues going on:

We recently went to Pittsburg to attend a workshop on apraxia and autism. Fantastic speakers, Tamara Kasper and Nancy Kaufman. They were awe inspiring in their techniques using Verbal Behavior ABA for Speech issues in apraxia and particularly autistics with apraxia. It's fascinating how they broke down what sounds are easy to make (M, B, T, P, D and short vowels A and E) and how to simplify more complex sounds into word approximations that these kids can make until they can work their way up to the full word.
The lightbulb moment for Speech Language Pathologist is that they can use this autism Verbal Behavior approach to pair with reinforcement (Using things they reaally like to get children to use sound to communitate) to help kids learn and want to communicate verbally.
These women are cutting edge in their approach and they are seeing some great results and smaller studies are backing their findings. Tamara is only one of of a few doen in the country who are Board Certified Behavioral Analysts AND SLP's. It seems like a natural match made in heaven to me, but hey, I'm biased. Anyway, HERE is the organization that put on the conference. We had a great time by the way...first time in 7 YEARS we'd been away from the kids! I didn't call her 'mom' once!

Grace got out twice more while we were away. Much less serious since she was going out the door when someone was already out there. We're getting better at listening for the jingle bells (we still have a candy cane made of jingle bells on the door) and we rarely forget to lock the door. I just have to get to Home Depot to get the chain or the deadbolt, because it's only a matter of time before she learns, adapts and escapes again.

Our neighbors dog got out the other day and went after the kids in the backyard. Linda went off on the woman, since this dog has already bitten both Aly and Grace on separate occasions. The woman swore she was going to get rid of the dog a year ago when she bit Grace, then reniged and wound up putting up one of those doggie electronic fences. It would help if she kept the collar on him 24/7. I'm really a dog lover but this one's days are numbered...


NJ is in committee as we speak for more autism legislation including one to require insurance to cover ABA therapies. Hope we can get that one through.
Fighting to get Grace into the autistic program with Sept definitely, but we hope it's earlier because her teacher has pretty much stopped caring about her behaviors.
Laundry, taxes, dishes, snow, car repairs...just basic life otherwise...

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