Sunday, February 06, 2011

Our Public Life

We love Sundays around here. It's the only day we get any privacy at our house.  Every other day, the house is full of therapists.

I'm not resentful.  I see the benefits. I don't have to drag the boys here, there, and yonder every day, through wind, snow, rain, freezing temps and icy roads, to get to their therapy. They get to stay right here in the comfort of their own home, while therapists come to them.

I'm just really, really grateful for the one day a week that none of them come over.

It's home is not my castle.  Well, unless by castle, you mean a place where I can't run around in my ratty old bathrobe, and I have to be aware and on top of things at all times.  Which I guess, most castles are probably like that.  A lot of the areas of a modern day castle are probably full of servants, assistants and random castle-workers, making them public places.  But in a castle I'd have a whole wing of rooms to myself, where I could lounge in my jewel-encrusted bathrobe to my heart's content.  And I'd have hand-maidens to handle all my business, including dealing with the therapists when I just couldn't get out of my bathrobe to go do it myself.  And I'd have court jesters to entertain me.

But I digress.

I would compare our level of privacy here to when you spend a few days in a hotel room, and you leave it for the day, knowing the maid will be in there to clean up after you.  You might be careful not to leave your underwear laying on the floor.  You might take care not to leave snotty kleenex on the counter.  You might rinse your toothpaste out of the sink.

What?  Am I the only one conscious of those things when I stay in a hotel?

We definitely don't leave underwear laying around the house.  Not even in our bedrooms.  Those boys cover every inch of this house, dragging therapists behind them.

It didn't start out this way.  We started having therapists come into our home to work with the boys in April of 2008, and we began at only about 45 minutes a day, a couple of days a week.  We gradually increased the time until we were at our current rate of around 6 hours a day for each of them.  Two three-hour shifts.

At least two therapists are in the house all afternoon, sometimes more.  Some days the lead therapists come in to supervise and shadow the others.  Some days trainers and/or trainees are here to get experience.  There's a family therapy specialist who comes in once in awhile to help with special problems like the sippy cup situation, and potty training.  Three times a year the lead psychologist comes in to review all the boys' progress and determine whether the path we are currently pursuing is appropriate.  That's the one who says the words "mental retardation" to me too many times.

Naturally, we are overjoyed at the great progress they've made in fine and gross motor skills and student skills, and of course most noticably in speech. It's all due to the hours and hours of ABA they've received. Their behavior and communication strides have been instrumental in our ability to be a much more normal, happy family.

Which we totally plan on being today - Sunday - our only therapist-free day.


fragilemom said...

Enjoy you're therapist-free day!!!!!

Cortney said...

Happy Sunday to you!

Karen said...

What do you do while the therapists are there?

Bonnie@TheFragileXFiles said...

I used to basically have tons of free time while they were here keeping the kids busy, but now it involves me quite a bit. There's a lot of family training that includes me, as well as the potty training. I still have free time (which allows me to do this blog, actually....) but I get interrupted about every 15 minutes, so by the end of the day it feels like I started a dozen projects and finished none of them. But I know I'm lucky to be in this situation, too!


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