Sunday, March 20, 2011

Intake Assessment (and a General Update)

I met with a psychologist from the Autism Center at Children's Hospital for an "intake assessment," which apparently was just me talking with her, going over all the information about his current treatments and evaluations while he played with their toys and made a mess (and towards the end of the meeting, escaped out the door and down the hall).

The gist of this meeting is, the next step in Joseph's treatment is to get an Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI) program started (which for the sake of simplicity, I will henceforth refer to inaccurately as ABA). This will probably involve about 20 hours of one-on-one work with trained ABA aides after school. My niece is going to be one of the aides, but the doctor said we need to have at least one more aide from outside the home, so that Joseph doesn't think that Celia is the only person he needs to "work" for.

Once we find a second aide, they, Celia, and Kristy will attend a three part aide training program in May (offered every 2 months) and a doctor from the Autism Center will come out to observe Joseph and put together his treatment plan and train us and the aides on how to implement it.

We apparently can use a program called HealthChek to have Medicaid pay for the aides even, so we should be able to do all this with little or no out-of-pocket expense.

The iPad continues to be an invaluable tool. Joseph is playing games that help develop fine motor and language skills. Until we get the ABA program going, I think we will probably have Celia sit in on some of Joseph's speech therapy sessions so she can work with him at our home on his speech. I expect that the iPad will also be very helpful as a formal part of Joseph's ABA program, since it can be both a learning tool and a reward at the same time.

We're also preparing to shuffle bedrooms so that Maria and the new baby (coming in August) will have a bedroom and Joseph will have his own room. When we do that, we should be able to get a small table and chairs that can be stored in his closet and brought out then it's time to do work at home. There are too many distractions everywhere else in our home to expect him to be able to focus. Plus, Maria will be able to have STUFF in her room, which will be nice for her.

Spring break is this week. Celia is going to spend the week here to help out, but pray for my sanity anyway. :) We're going to COSI and do all kinds of cool stuff, hopefully. As well as do spring cleaning and move the bedrooms.

Oh, and Joseph is taking a break for Occupational Therapy, which will resume in 6 weeks or so. I talked to his OT and in the next session we're going to try Therapeutic Listening, which I've heard great things about from a couple other parents.

Gary at A4CWSN who gave Joseph his iPad wants to give iPads to other kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Please consider making a donation to this project to help other kids the way Joseph has been helped. Also, he's still taking applications for other families to receive iPads, so it wouldn't hurt to add your name to the list!


  1. I might know someone who could be an aide for you! She was an aide for us, but then we joined a clinical ABA program with Nationwide, so they provide all of our aides now, which means we had to say goodbye to two of ours, which broke my heart because they were AMAZING girls! They have already been trained in ABA and worked with Aden for a few months. I can ask them if they are interested and give them your email address if you want (you will have to send it to me though). Its a very long process to get an ABA program started, just beware -- but congrats on making the first steps! :)

  2. We also used our Healthcheck hours to pay for our aides. Unfortunately it doesn't pay them very well -- but at least they get paid weekly. We went through Maxim, and both of my aides are already set up to work through Maxim (the agency also takes a ridiculous amount of time to get them ready to work, btw).

  3. I work through an agency already, and I'll probably use them. I'll let you know if I change my mind though, and get Maxim's info from you. To get certified by them as a Home Health Aide, I just had to watch 6 hours of DVD's and then take some written tests about the material.

    We've got a month or so, to find another aide. I really really want it to be someone we already know, if at all possible.

  4. Good luck with all of this, I enjoy your updates. I also appreciate you following my blog, which soon will be going away. But fear not, my wife and I combined our 2 blogs to create a giant super mega-blog at I'll still be doing my silly drivel on it, but it adds good stuff from my wife. Hope you make the jump.