This is what Ellie has been doing during her Applied Behavior Analysis [ABA] therapy:
ABA therapy is commonly used in working with children who have Autism and has more recently been implemented with children who have sensory integration issues and developmental disabilities. This type of therapy works on behaviors, social cues & interactions, as well as communication. Surprisingly, Wikipedia has a really in-depth and accurate outline of ABA therapy.
The Bear attends ABA therapy twice a week and I have to say it has been by far the most beneficial type of therapy for her.
First off, Ellie loves her therapist Miss L. The Chunky Chicken is so excited that when we arrive that she often drops her lunchbox, claps her hands and says "yay". She is so excited she can barely get inside the door.
Secondly, I have seen huge gains in both communication and behavior. Ellie has most recently started pointing. She imitates sounds and hand gestures. She no longer throws her plate or cup. She can match objects. She can walk through a room filled with toys and be minimally distracted. She will actually sit in a chair to complete a task.
Here are a few of Ellie's goals:
1. Improved speech--making sounds, mimicking sounds
2. Learn to point to express desires
3. Increase attention span
4. Decrease distractibility
5. Improve social interaction such as increased eye contact and motor imitation
6. Sensory Integration
7. Decrease mouthing behaviors
Our therapist provides me with a very detailed outline on how to achieve the above goals. One of the tools we use to help Ellie practice vocalizing sounds is the above video. Ellie (and many other kids) LOVE watching themselves-whether it be in a mirror or in a video. Ellie watches the above video and actually mimics what she hears. It is fabulous and wonderful and makes Mama Bear proud.