6.18.2004

Hard Data on How Leelo Is Doing

Now that my parents are gone, I've been dragged back from West Marin, and my lungs are being somewhat cooperative, here is Leelo's latest program update. (All reports and updates come from the amazingly talented and productive Supervisor M.) Oh yes, he's kicking butt, as is his incredibly dedicated therapy team.

Two weeks ago, Seymour and I sat down with Supervisors M and Andil for an overall program review. The results were cheering, even though we know our boy continues to be dramatically, and increasingly, different from his peers.

Overall, we are pleased that Leelo mastered 133 tasks between 9/03 and 4/04. Supervisor Andil told us that a baseline for success, for determining whether or not ABA is an appropriate therapy for a child, is a mastery of 22 tasks within one calendar year. Our data has spoken: we are doing the right thing.

Our boy has some good generalization skills. He is imitating four word phrases during NLP (where others model phrases for him in a natural play setting). Supervisor Andil says this verges on unusual, and that three word phrases are a huge accomplishment for these kids at this age.

Not so good: Still lots of banging his head on couches and beds, and smacking himself when he gets frustrated. We're going to work on giving him words to use instead, and take data on these behaviors to see if there's anything underlying them besides pissiness at being denied. Again, Supervisor Andil piped in with words of encouragement, letting us know that one out of five young children use head banging as a form of self-calming. (That means that twenty percent of your kids are freaks, too. Ha!)

During the summer his team is going to conduct a series of standardized tests to determine if we're overlooking any specific areas of needed skills development. What the hell, at least they'll be doing the testing at our house.

Conclusion: He's still a loopy boy, but, with the herculean assistance of his team, he is starting to figure out how to coexist in both his and our worlds. No small task, that.

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Iz coda of two quotes, since I record such things nowhere else and her formality made me laugh outright.

"Well, Mommy, as I told you yesterday..."
"I drank a fair amount already, thank you..."

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