Want to know what the BIP stands for in our house?
Behaviour Intervention Plan.
As in, Liam’s doing something crazy and it’s time for an intervention. As always, the ladies who put the BIP in all of our Bippity-boppity-boos are Liam’s patient, incredible ABA therapists.
This team, of women (really, the most organized, put-together pack of bad-ass brainiacs I’ve ever seen) have spent the last year teaching him, training him, playing with him, laughing with him, putting up with me, and helping him learn and grow so much. They’ve figured out how to keep him at the working table (a cute blue one from Ikea) long enough to do several sets of exercises (he started only being able to sit for 2 seconds at the table a year ago, to calmly going to the table and sitting for at least 10 minutes 4 times in a 2 hour session). They’ve taught him signs, potty-trained him, they go with him to preschool 5 mornings a week, and they are constantly taking data, modifying programming, and celebrating his progress.
I have learned a lot from them– about how to relate to and work with my own child, about how to see the positive among all the other things our long days bring. I’ve also learned to see some of L’s more aberrant behaviors– biting, screaming, scratching, hair pulling– not as things that make him a bad kid, but rather as problem behaviors that have a root cause that we can modify and address.
It’s awesome. F*n magical, in fact. I know many parents worry that ABA will make their children into robots or that aversives (negatively associated training plans) will get out of control, but that’s not the case. You can read more here about our therapists’ philosophy on helping ASD kids:
but, in a nutshell, Liam’s fairy godmothers want him to like them. They want him to play, follow directions, and be his best little self. They have helped him reduce his reckless, shrill screaming from 60 times an hour to a mere 4 in a 4 hour school day (much to his teacher, classmates and the school’s relief).
At first it was really hard for me to admit that I was not enough for Liam. I was not really a “it takes a village” kind of mommy. I thought that if I stayed home with him, and read to him, played with him, and had a generally great time, it would be enough. But, that was not true with Liam. He needed lots more help and people, and we’re so luck to have no just a village, but a magical team of experts to guide him and steer us too. (Also, I must add, that since I have beautiful, put-together women in my home all the time, it’s inspired me to get out of the postpartum sweat pants rut I had fallen into and declare that makeup is a daily non-negotiable, not matter how little sleep I go the night before– ha!). : )
So, thank you magical ABA therapists.
You do great work and, I know I’ve told you this before, but I’ll say it again: “we couldn’t do this without you!”
(And thanks to JD for reminding me that it has indeed been a long time since I last posted…and for all her hard work with Liam today and every week!) : )