Two things that always strike me about Leelo are 1) how much he can change in such a short period of time and 2) How many people are involved with and care deeply about our boy's education and welfare. Witness the embedded photo of Leelo in session with Therapist L, and being observed by Supervisors M and Andil. Eight other people who regularly work with Leelo are not in this picture.
Supervisors M and Andil both did evaluations of Leelo and his program at the beginning of this month. Most of what they reported is still accurate, but in fewer than three weeks some of their observations have become outdated because Leelo has moved on. Sometimes he is just cycling (hitting his head less when frustrated, that will wax and wane), but other times it is genuine progress (going to the potty willingly and without tantrums, with verbal prompts only).
Our boy is doing really well in class and in his home sessions, but he really needs help practicing his skills at home and with non-therapists. Seymour and I are doing our best, and those of you who see Leelo IRL should feel free to help out, too. Supervisor M recently sent us an update of current tasks and skill levels for Leelo in his ABA program, emphasizing real-world skill usage (generalization) and some specific, helpful tasks. She wrote:
A critical piece is [Leelo's] generalization and use of these skills in non-ABA settings (with family, at school, during play dates, with speech and OT's, etc)
For example, Leelo should be using eye contact with EVERYONE, especially for simple interactions like requests and greetings. Also, any time anyone is giving Leelo a reinforcer, eye contact should be made BEFORE it is given. Let's all try to maintain this criteria. (If necessary, initially bring the reinforcer close to your face to encourage Leelo to look at you).
Also, Leelo is now an expert at social questions. Please, everyone--be sure to ask Leelo (or prompt school mates to ask) such questions as:
- "What's your name?"
- "How are you?"
- "Where do you live?"
- "What's your favorite toy/movie?"
- "What's your mommy's/daddy's/big sister's/little sister's name?" (Please ask these one per day, they are too similar to ask one after the other...)
- mommy = Squid
- daddy = Seymour
- big sister= Iz
- little sister = Mali
- "When is your birthday?" (Nov 9)
This will take less than 1 minute to ask a few of these, but the benefits will be enormous...
For more detailed information on Leelo's progress and other skills he's working on, consult Supervisor M's program update from the beginning of this month. I think Leelo's in a good spot at the moment; I think that if we can remember to help him use his skills outside the classroom and therapy zones he'll be in an even better one.