Tomorrow will be Jake's first day of in-home ABA therapy. I am nervous and excited at the same time. I am eager for him to begin, as I am hopeful that he will respond well to the structure. At the same time it is the structure I am also afraid of. Up until now all of Jake's therapists have been DIR/Floortime trained. Floortime is very much child-led, and Jakob has pretty much been running the show as far as how his sessions go. I am afraid his little world is going to be rocked when he is suddenly forced to follow someone else's agenda. New therapy also means another new teacher. This will be his 6th teacher since he started with EI back in April. (I will get into the ins and outs of how the teacher changes came to pass in another post.) So far he has done an excellent job with the changes he has been faced with. He has managed to build a relationship with each of them, and I think they each fell a little in love with him. (Let's be honest, how could you not? ;) I have been amazed and impressed with his flexibility and his ability to go with the flow. I know that one of the challenges of ASD can be inflexibility and a need for routine. So far Jake hasn't shown a problem with change, but I guess it remains to be seen if that will continue to be the case.
On a typical morning Jake will greet his teachers at the door with a big smile, close the door behind them after they walk in, grab their hand, and drag them into the living room to "play". Tomorrow he will go to the door and not recognize the face he sees when we open it. I am curious to see how he will respond, and a bit anxious about it also. Will he be able to develop a relationship with her as he has with his other teachers? How surprised and/or resistant will he be when she tries to change things up? From what I understand, his new teacher should be spending a few days getting to know him and helping him get comfortable with her before jumping into his program. I hope this will be the case. My boy is such a sweet and loving little guy. He always seems eager to please and is very easy going. I am hoping that this change doesn't bring on too much anxiety for him. I went to a support group a few weeks ago and had the opportunity to speak with some parents who had their child start this program around the same age as Jake. One thing they all warned me about is to expect some tears. This is going to be a big shift in things for my little guy. They told me to be prepared for some crying, possible tantrums, and general protesting once the program gets going. This is one thing I am going to find extremely difficult to handle. I, like every mom out there, can't stand to see my baby cry. I always immediately do whatever I can to ease his pain/worry/etc as soon as possible. I don't know how/if I will be able to keep myself from stepping in if he has a meltdown. I don't yet know how involved I am going to be able to be when the program initially gets going. I am not sure if it will be easier for him to have me in the room or if I will be too much of a distraction. I am sure it is going to take some trial and error to figure out the best set up.
I guess I have a bit more anxiety about this than I realized. I know (or hope) that in the end this will be what's best for him. I just hope the journey isn't to painful. Tomorrow we will let yet another "stranger" into our home to work with our precious boy. I only hope she is up to the task, because I hold nothing but high expectations. He is a little boy above and anything else. A little boy that I love more than anything in this world, and will fight for with all I have. Here's hoping his new teacher is ready, willing, and able to care for my little man.