By Margaret Hatteberg on Apr 23, 2020 11:30:02 AM
I first met Emily in July 2019. At the time, she was receiving services through the school system after hours a few days a week. This placement was due to her inability to tolerate being around more than one caregiver or peer at time. It was determined that our initial meeting would take place in two different settings, her home and the clinic.
When I arrived at her home for the first time, Emily was very excited to see a new person and led me straight to her bedroom and into her closet. Her caregivers had previously told me that she spent all of her time in her bedroom closet and would only come out during the day to bathe. She tolerated me in her room for about 20 minutes before grabbing my hand and leading me to the door. The second time I met her was in the lobby of the clinic. I wanted to see how she would react in this setting. She did not make it out of the lobby before engaging in maladaptive behavior and requesting to leave.
We began providing services in the home for a total of 30 minutes a couple days a week. Our sessions slowly grew to three hours in length as she became more comfortable with the (Registered Behavior Technician) RBT and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). We worked on daily living tasks and following directions in the home setting. We worked on increasing her leisure skills and tolerating being around multiple family members at a time. During this time, we made use of video conferencing so the client could see both the BCBA and RBT at the same time but only be with one caregiver. She had been doing so well at home that we knew it was time to revisit her being in the clinic.
November 2019 was her first session in the clinic. We opened the building early so the client would have time in the new environment alone with the RBT and BCBA before others started to arrive. We started our sessions at two hours in length and slowly increased the time and the amount of days that she was in the clinic. We worked on exploring her new environment, following directions, and completing tasks in the clinic setting.
During this time, she also started completing more of the sessions at home in the kitchen and out of the closet and bedroom! She was able to spend more time in the living room with her family watching TV and being together. At the clinic, the client was able to wait around multiple peers and be in spaces that had several others in it. We worked on the client requesting when she wanted others to leave and encouraged her to communicate this without pushing others and engaging in maladaptive behavior.
In March of 2020, the client began receiving services 5 days a week in the clinic! She is currently in this environment for 4 hours each day. Last week, she even tolerated eating a snack in our cafeteria while surrounded by peers. We are so proud of Emily and all the progress she has made! It wouldn’t have been possible without all the hard work from her family and wonderful Registered Behavior Technician. We are excited to continue working with Emily and hope work towards attending full days at the center sometime in the near future!