If you have been following, or know us personally, you know that Jonathan receives intensive one-on-one therapy every weekday. We chose therapy through WEAP, which is the Wisconsin Early Autism Project. It is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) approach to therapy. We have a team of four Line Therapist, one Senior Therapist, a Clinical Supervisor and a Clinical Doctor that works with us.
The Line Therapists work one-on-one with Jonathan at our house in the afternoons. One of them is here for about 2 or 3 hours, and then another person comes for another shift. Our Senior comes throughout the week and manages all the programs and therapists. We have weekly meetings with everyone. And then we meet with the Clinical Supervisor and Doctor every other month or so. I've likened this experience to project management, which is good, since that is what I do for a living.
And let me tell you, these people are amazing. They all have a desire to work with special needs kids. They are willing to make fools out of themselves and will doing anything for a laugh from Jonathan. They listen to whatever Jonathan is obsessed with....The Wiggles, Farmer Jason, Elmo. They star in video models, whether it be how to play with cars, or how to wash your hands. They play red light, green light and duck duck goose. And they even let Jonathan practice brushing their teeth and counted while we were prepping for the dentist. (Each one has their own, labeled tooth brush here just for this purpose).They share all his triumphs with us and feel compassion when we are faced with challenges.
They work hard. And Jonathan loves them. He calls them his friends. They manage his behavior and never take anything personally. We've had a few come and go (and one come back). He loves looking at their pictures when they are not here. We've even had a few who left the team ask (yes ASK) to babysit!
I feel lucky that we have such a good team working with our boy. We've been lucky with his therapists, his teachers at school and just about all who have worked with him. Makes me think that our boy really is special, not only in his needs, but how he touches others once they get to know him.
Thank you Stephanie, Ali, Katie, Jess, Tyler, Nell, Ashley, Allyson, Kori, Rachael, Keaghan, Maggie, Jaime, Andrea, Kelsey, Brady, Shannon, Katie, Victoria, Meagan, Kara, Linda and countless others. You've touched this family.