Well folks, after months of touring and interviewing with several locations, we have finally got Mason signed up and ready to go for ABA Therapy! His first day was yesterday, and he will be going five days a week 9-5pm so we can get an aggressive kickstart on possible getting him ready for Kindergarten.
When we began the search for a location, here are some things we looked for so that we felt comfortable leaving Mason in their care. I must admit the process was discouraging at times due to waitlists and facilities not having immediate availability, but God makes no mistakes. Where we landed is where he wanted us all along so I am thankful. Okay let’s jump into it!
Therapist to Student Ratio – We wanted a facility that was 1:1 so that Mason could get the absolute most out of his treatment. When he was in daycare, the teacher could not really give Mason the attention he needs due to the classroom being large. At this time, Mason needs one on one so that he can build on the skillset he needs to be functional in General Ed. Most facilities we toured had this.
Low number of children – While I appreciate facilities being able to accomodate several children, too many overwhelms me. I know it would overwhelm Mason as well. Some places had a lot of children and so much movement at a time with the ratio still being 1:1. I wanted a facility for Mason where he could get social time but not be in a play area with 15+ children at a time. I left two places with so much anxiety cause it was a lot to take in and seeing so many at one time added to that feeling.
Children’s reaction to dropoff/Interaction with staff – I know initially Mason may cry when it is time to go by himself without me or his familiar faces, but it gave me comfort to see children being dropped off and wanting to go with their Behavior Therapists. No tears and actually excited to start the day. I can’t wait to see what Mason does once he is adjusted. He is basically starting over so I expected a little of a transition cry timeframe lol. I also paid attention to the care the staff gives the children. No one gave me bad vibes or the impression I would not feel comfortable with them around my child. If you are not good with children, this line of work should not be in your ministry.
Credentials/Experience – Definitely don’t hesitate to ask how long these people have been doing their job and what areas are they all certified in. A lot of places have a program in place to get their behavior analysts certified and ready to work with children upon hiring. There are bonuses in place to encourage them to pass their exams and all. Also, feel free to ask as many questions as you feel the need to ask. They should be able to speak to the subject and provide pertinent information to make you feel comfortable with their care.
Quality/Upkeep of the facility – I understand some of these places have been around for a long time, but the upkeep is important for me. If things do not look right or things dont feel right, don’t ignore the feeling. I pay attention to detail. If the lockers looked like they havent been cleaned, is the kitchen kept clean outside of lunch hours, or are the classrooms tidy. These are all things I look at. I am not leaving my child somewhere that does not feel clean to me.
Mason’s first day was fantastic! The facility had nothing but great things to say about him and what he accomplished in his first day. They expected him to be shy and be more so adjusting but he hit the ground running and I could not be happier. He cried when I dropped him off yesterday, but this morning when I dropped him off he told me bye lol. I must say God has his way of bringing peace and comfort and I am so thankful he led us in navigating finding this location.