We recently switched Maddy’s ABA therapy from centre-based to home-based. Hands down, it’s the best decision we’ve made. It is like heaven being in the house while Maddy’s in the loft with one of her two therapists. We can actually clean. Or cook. Or read. Or catch up on missed work. Or a number of other activities that can only be done when Maddy is not around. We get 4.5 hours of that time each week now. It’s my favourite part of the week.
Maddy loves when her “special friends” come and play. She asks about them all week, and knows that when they come over, their attention is focused on her. They always arrive with a bag full of goodies, and Maddy loves seeing what’s new.
The other thing I love about home-based therapy, is that our relationship with our therapists is different. They come into our house (often when it’s super messy), they know more about our personal life, and we have moments where we chat. I can understand the families that have told us that the therapists become a part of the family.
Today after 1.5 hours of blissful dinner making, kitchen cleaning, and couch sitting, Maddy and her therapist “Cole” as Maddy lovingly refers to her came downstairs. Nicole gave me some interesting insights into Maddy.
First, she told us that she spends half of her session negotiating with Maddy (first do not preferred activity, then we can do preferred activity). This is something she sees a lot with the 10 year olds she works with, but not often in kids Maddy’s age. I quote, “Maddy has a really strong personality. She has the personality of a 10-year-old.”
I couldn’t restrain my laughter. Other evidence that Maddy is 2 going on 12:
- She regularly tells Eric and I to either “leave” or “go away” (my personal favourite was the time she kicked me out of the car and told Eric, “No pick mommy up” after I fake left)
- The words, “No like mommy” have been heard in our house more than once
Nicole also told us that Maddy is a rule kid. She has noticed that once Maddy hears a rule, she never forgets it. Apparently all through therapy she repeats, “No Loki eat it,” “No Loki on couch,” etc. I think Nicole might have left out some of the cringe-worthy rules 😉
This was a huge eye opener for us, because we were thinking of these as demands. But, Nicole is seeing them as Maddy repeating something she views as a rule. It makes a lot of sense why she can become so upset if she thinks it’s a rule that’s not being followed. It also goes along with the daycare report that Maddy is the only child who remembers exactly where everything goes in the room. During clean-up time, Maddy spends as much time cleaning up as she does moving the things the other kids put away in the “wrong” place. They’ve told me on more than one occasion that Maddy is really good at and really enjoys cleaning.
Nicole had a few other insights that will help us as we move forward with goal setting. Our decision to move to home-based therapy is already paying off.