Susan's Blog

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sprint Happens

Wait ’till they get a load of me [us]…
–The Joker, in Tim Burton’s “Batman”

My long-legged thoroughbred has made my heart sing again! The Director of Residences at Nat’s school has been running with Nat and another kid for weeks now, working them up to three miles. No surprise, right?

Well, today Nat was signed up for a 5K race, on November 22. My Sweet Guy is going to run to raise money for a wonderful cause, Best Buddies. Nat, knock wood, is growing in leaps and bounds, literally and without Early Intervention, way beyond the alleged closing of that tiny, cruel window known as Birth – 3, or the period of The Elasticity of the Brain.

Folks, Atypical Development means just what it says. Any doctor or professional that begins a sentence about any of your children with the words: “He will never…” Tell them to see me. Better yet, I will introduce them to Nat.


Don’t ya just love how our kids keep proving the experts wrong! Way to go Nat! I would love to get Casey to run, but he’s a bit lumbering in his gait so I’m not real sure it’s an option. Now swimming on the other hand……

— added by Bonnie on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Oh man- did I need to read this today!!! Go Nat!!!

— added by Suzette on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Let me see…. my daughter would never learn to be potty-trained, learn to read, learn to hug us… the list goes on and on. My daughter is now 11, just transitioned to the 6th grade, is fully included in her neighborhood Middle School and reads on a 5th grade level. She is doing pre-algebra. Congrats to Nat for proving them wrong once again and for you Susan, for not believing that bunch of you-know-what that we get handed time and time again. Rn, Nat, run! Penny

— added by Penny on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 6:44 am

Another huge “GO NAT” from the Alabama Gulf Coast. Can’t wait to read about it.

— added by Sharon L. on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 10:24 am

Yay Nat! I LOVR your Nat updates.


— added by Anonymous on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 10:32 am

Susan, you rock and so does Nat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never say never, never say never.

— added by gretchen on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 11:35 am

What wonderful news, I am so delighted to hear each of these triumphs! It pumps me up.

Jared (age 9) had never shown any interest in coloring or art projects, and in one year has blossomed into a boy who thrills at drawing trucks and birds and bridges and cement trucks……..Growth like that just gives a warm, fuzzy feeling. Hooty hoo – yay Nat Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm

YAY Nat!! I simply LOVE proving professionals wrong!! Good Luck Nat!!

— added by Amy on Friday, October 24, 2008 at 12:06 pm

I have 2 more you can introduce them to as well.

The ABA therapists also told me that if I didn’t do what they told me to do my little one would be a failure… he’ll be 7 shortly… smartest thing I did was get rid of them.


— added by farmwifetwo on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Farmwife-It sounds like you had low quality and poorly trained ABA therpapists which is not uncommon. If you have ever experienced high quality ABA you would know this is not how they act. Many children do very well with ABA.

— added by Anonymous on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm

The thing is, Anon, is that you and FarmWifeTwo are both right. Good quality in ABA is a good strategy. But only if it is accompanied by a humane, empathic, and hopeful attitude. The most “qualified,” and “highly-certified” therapist ain’t nothing without trying to connect with the child and hopefully also the parent, and as a team of three they can bring out the best in the kid’s education. I have experienced that in Nat’s current school, but certainly there have been ABA therapists and many other non-ABA therapists and doctors who just had it plain wrong, man.

— added by Susan Senator on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm

I do agree. I have met a number of PhD, BCBA’s who were absolutely horrid with the kids (and to the parents!!) and and I have met therapists who didn’t “technically” have the years of experience but were great with understanding programming and the kids. I think Farmwife just had a bad Team.

— added by Anonymous on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 4:34 pm

I don’t think sitting at a table for unending hours – 6/day – is called “good” anything.

Best thing we did was get rid of them, and yes… they were crappy in general… and he’s been integrated – full time support, full integrated education, properly written IEP, full… everything – into a regular classroom.

Child is thriving. Spelling, reading and math all age appropriate – early Gr 2 and he won’t be 7 for 6 more weeks.. language is delayed, his dx is still severe, non-verbal (speaks for mands and demands only) PDD (my guess is we’re heading into moderate, b/c for the first time he attempted to make friends in the playground at Thxgiving a couple of weeks ago.. didn’t know how and needed help in the end – Mom introduce him to the other children and have them understand that he was mimicking them b/c he wished to play with them – but he did the intiating, he didn’t ignore them.)… He takes piano lessons on Sat mornings with an amazing woman who was my elder son’s tutor and is in an integrated (small groups – no support required) gymnastics program Sat afternoon.

And he LOVES it… and they love having him as one of his classmates. They actually take responsibility for helping him, transitioning him btwn classes and play with him (EA helps him make friends) in the playground.

He’s not MR, he’s not ‘weird’, he doesn’t require “training”… he requires and is getting an education.

ABA IMO… is training. Alone.

Children need to laugh, learn and play. And have friends.

Autism, doesn’t change that.


— added by farmwifetwo on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Sitting at a table 6 hours a day is not correct ABA Farmwife. That is one piece of ABA called discrete trial training and if that’s all they did then you DID have a bad team and bad ABA. Good ABA consists of good generaliztion of skills by using many techniques that fall under ABA, not just discrete trial.

— added by Anonymous on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm

It was an Ont gov’t, children’s hospital, OHIP funded program… just ask Harold Doherty… (Autism in NB) he thinks we need more of them.

They’d claimed to change – more flexible, more fun, parent concerns met – Yeah right!!! – when they came to see us the 2nd time (eldest hadn’t qualified – Mild, not severe) and I told them “no” with him. But I was desperate to go through the wall with the little one b/c he was right “there”.. you know.. right “there” trying to mand/demand and not knowing how to verbally.

They had.. instead of locked in a room, they were at my living room or kitchen tables…

Still weren’t family first. And if it wasn’t for my Family Support Worker from Community Living… I’m not certain I could have gotten rid of them… I’d heard rumours during and since of them calling FACS when you tried to leave.

I did agree to their transition to school program to help with that transition. His K teacher (wonderful teacher) called me the night of day 3 to tell me she was taking away his book (to keep him quiet) during carpet time (they weren’t there day 4) and 6 weeks later, they were asked to leave.

They were brought back to help with PEC’s… I don’t know entirely what happened.. except they did try to take over once more.. and were asked to leave in 3days per the 6mth letter I got. Transition to school is 12mths.

Every time they emailed after they were asked to go from my home, I sent it to EVERYONE… CYA’d everywhere.. they weren’t happy… but I nearly framed the “we’re done” letter I got.

I finally got the hint, when my happy, go lucky, never hurt anyone, everyone loves him, social child… assaulted the male T… Should have dealt with it sooner… but hindsight is always 20/20. And the coulda, woulda, shoulda list.. get’s longer every day πŸ™‚

Ain’t parental guilt wonderful πŸ™‚


— added by farmwifetwo on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 6:12 pm

To be honest Farmwife it is very difficult to follow what you say. Quite confusing. Anyway, again, sounds like you had bad ABA. There are many good providers such as CARD, Autism Parntership, etc. It’s unfortunate you had a bad experience.

— added by Anonymous on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 7:43 pm

I had ABA anyone who doesn’t have what we had… doesn’t get ABA, more of a variation of ABA and Floortime and other methods someone’s made up along the way.

Ours came directly from the local Children’s Hospital. Ours was gov’t funded programming – since we couldn’t afford private.

So… I also ::eye-roll:: when other’s claim how WONDERFUL.. ABA/IBI was…

B/c they… never got true ABA. They just called it that to get the Ont gov’t to fund it.

— added by farmwifetwo on Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 8:09 am