Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Four years on

So the last post was February 2014, and it's now February 2018 as I type this.

A lot has happened in the space of four years. Shortly after we discovered the joys of ABA, we started a home program - at great cost. Sue left her job around April 2014 (due to her role being relocated to Birmingham) and she was able to become Emily's full time ABA tutor. We still needed a consultant to create a program and let us know if we were doing it correctly. That's the costly bit.

After a year or so of doing an ABA program, we were able to collect enough data to demonstrate that Emily was making progress and, in her case, ABA worked. We then went to local authority to get them to change Emily's school from a general Austism school, to an ABA-specific one. We found a great school called Rainbow in Wandsworth and they had a place they could offer her.

Unfortunately, the local authority said no (assuming due to cost) so we took them to tribunal. We plead our case, with a raft of experts pleading our case, and the local authority and Emily's existing school plead their case. You can't argue with science (which is what ABA is backed by).

Emily eventually started at Rainbow and it was all good. She's still there and getting on very well. I believe ABA has really helped her. She's still a quiet, reserved child and you can tell she is "different", but I believe the change in both school and teaching methods have been very beneficial to her.

We've accepted, quite begrudgingly, over the last 9 years that Emily is who and what she is. There's no magic cure. You deal with the cards you are dealt and find the silver lining in the cloud. Emily is a lovely, loving child who loves her hobbies -books, puzzles, etc. She can ask for motivators like rice cakes and she can alert you to problems (like needing the toilet, or the fact that she has a bloody nose).

I do wish I could snap my fingers and have an actual conversation with her, but I need to focus on the good things, not the "wish I could haves".

Emily turns 10 next month and it's been quite the decade of ups and downs.

As I write this, Sue if trying to finalise Emily's EHCP (Educational and Health Care Plan). As usual the local authority are trying to downplay the effect that ABA has had on Emily in the last couple of years. Something we have fought so hard for. It's a shame that we still have to fight.

Oh well, nothing worth doing ever happened easily did it.

Over and out!