Now it was time for some social interaction. Gracie was 2 and my husband and I wanted her to be with other kids so I searched a few different private schools. We settled on one and off we sent her. Then after about a month of school the director pulled me into her office.
The director explained she felt that Gracie needed more than what they were able to provide her. She cried a lot and wasn’t using words to communicate her wants and needs. They were unable to determine if she was learning anything. Gracie’s preferred activity was to play alone. She did not like to interact with other children.
Gracie’s preferred activity was to play alone.
The director advised me to contact my school district and seek out a neurologist to determine weather Gracie needed special services. So with this information i made an appointment with a neurologist and set off to navigate the very tricky and confusing school system.
My husband and I took different cars to the neurologist. After the appointment I got in my car with Gracie in the back and he got in his car. The car ride home was quiet, about 15 minutes in I received a call from husband “Are you ok?” “Yes.” I replied.
November 10, 2010 Gracie was diagnosed with Autism. From that day on I went into “go” mode. Who did I need to know?, What do I need to learn?, How do I fix this? My main goal was to do whatever I needed to do to help Gracie. So, the first thing I did was follow the advice of the neurologist and the director of the school Gracie attended. I made appointments for all the specialized services the Neurologist recommended and contacted the public school system with a letter requesting an evaluation for services.
November 10, 2010 Gracie was diagnosed with Autism. From that day on I went into “go” mode.
From the Desk of Ricky Teichman, BCBA
Daycare and Preschool
The daycare and preschool years are the most formidable years of a child’s development. A professional and individualized preschool experience can push a child beyond his parent’s dreams, while a generic, or even, not so great (I hate saying that because of all the amazing and devoted teachers out there. Hurrah for you!) preschools can set a child back and stunt his growth. As a parent of a child with Autism, what are you supposed to look for in a daycare of preschool for your child?
First of all, see if the school is providing ABA therapy. ABA therapy is the only research based method for teaching children with Autism. Staff should be trained in ABA, and supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) on a consistent basis.
How often do they take data? Is data sent home? Who is tracking the progress and ensuring that change is occurring? These are just some of the important questions that you should be asking of a potential placement.
ABA therapy is the only research based method for teaching children with Autism.
For more information of how to evaluate a quality ABA program: