Mateo has started track with his sister this year and it has been so great for him. Not only is he out getting the exercise his body needs so much, he is participating in a sport, making friends and having a great time. Did I mention making friends? He is coming so far socially. We just had his IPP (Individual Program Plan) that we have each quarter as well as his annual review, and at the end of this quarter is almost to age level at many of his benchmarks. Each quarter I am always amazed at where he began and where he is today.
We discuss his development as well as concerns during the IPP. And as we are talking about transitions and how well he is doing I heard the dreaded words- FADE PROGRAM. I knew it was coming. Mateo is now 7 and has been receiving ABA for 4 years. For four years he has been working 40 hours a week in school and therapy and I know he’s ready to end ABA. But am I ready? I know once it’s gone, it’s gone. We won’t get it back. And if he regresses or stops progressing, what will we do?
So I put my fear aside and I take a good look at Mateo, and I see his growth, his intelligence, his independence and I know in my heart that it’s time for him to graduate from ABA. I am very proud of all he has accomplished. He can do more activities now, he will have more time to focus on school work, he will have time to play with his friends from school, to go to the pool, and to just be a kid.
Since the age of 2 he has had a packed schedule, we have had people in and out of our house more than three days a week- usually closer to 5. Mateo has never really known any different, but it’s been far from what most kids his age experience each day. Most kids can have time for T-Ball, watching TV, playing video games, but not Mateo his schedule was always too packed. I can see the frustration in his face when he’s tired of ABA questions. Some days he is just not in the mood, after being at school from 8-3, who can blame him. Some days he loves it and is right on target, but I honestly don’t think he will be sad to see ABA go.
ABA will be faded and gone by August. Reuben and I will be filling the role and working with our consultant to handle any behaviors or issues that come up. We will also have to fill his time with social activities so he doesn’t become bored or regress.
ABA has been the most amazing thing for Mateo. It brought him from the developmental age of a 12-18 month old when he was almost 3, to where he is today, practically at age level across the board. We have met some amazing friends, people that made such a huge difference in his life and ours and I am excited to throw him a big graduation party! This is a huge step in his life, one of the biggest and I couldn’t be more proud of him.