Around this time, two years ago I saw an ad on Facebook for a position as a Behavioral Technician with an ABA company.
Around the same time we were starting conversations and considering taking David in to be evaluated. He already had an “educational” diagnosis and was receiving some services through school.
I decided that it couldn’t hurt to apply and go through the training to see what I could learn. Drew and I decided we would then make a decision on whether or not we felt a medical evaluation was appropriate.
I applied and was hired.
After completing my training and working with the kiddo I was assigned to for a few months, I quickly realized a medical evaluation was needed for David.
We began going through the evaluation process and received the official diagnosis. The words were spoken. “Your son meets all diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder”
As she explained what that meant and what the next steps were for helping David in a world not built for him, I took many notes.
ABA, Speech, Occupational Therapy, Specialized Education services through school and the list went on. She even went so far as to recommend not only services through school but also all of those services privately as well because she felt that’s what was needed to assist David.
So, I went down the list and started to call places. I was met with “we’ll add you to the waitlist and call you if there’s an opening”
Until, I found one right up the road from us.
They had immediate opening.
I rushed to get things moving.
Paperwork was filled out and submitted.
We were so close to starting ABA services for David.
Then one day Drew got a call at work. “I’m sorry we can no longer provide services for your son.” The BCBA that was going to work with David was suddenly no longer with the company.
We were devastated.
Back to square one.
Just when I thought all hope was lost for starting services anytime soon, we received a call. There was availability at another company we reached had contacted.
I was so excited and terrified all at the same time.
We were making progress.
But I had so many concerns.
How will David react?
Will his team be a good fit?
I had spoken with the Mom of the kiddo I was providing services to about us starting services. She told me how much turnover there can be in this line of work. She has even had to let members of her child’s team go as they weren’t a good fit.
I was so nervous.
That’s where the beautiful soul next to David in this picture comes in.
She was assigned to our case as David’s BCBA.
She showed up to our house to do the initial assessment.
She went over everything.
Explained the next steps and timeline.
She has been with us literally since day one of our ABA journey.
She has been nothing but amazing both with and for David.
She has led a great team to work with David and he has come so far from where he was when we started. She has always worked with me on programming for David. Always ensured I had input every step of the way.
We are truly blessed with amazing staff working with David.
I can’t say enough good things about Shaina and the rest of David’s team.
Sadly, today was Shaina’s last day as David’s BCBA.
It was an emotional day.
As much as this is supposed to be a “professional relationship” and it was. This type of team spends a lot of time with your child. They are in your home daily and you put an enormous amount of trust in this team.
Even though she was leaving the company she still gave her all until the very last minute of her very last session with David.
The ABA company I worked for sadly closed its doors when the pandemic hit and I lost my job as a BT Tech. I knew that the company we were with for David had hired some of those that previously worked for the same company I did.
So, when Shaina told us she was leaving, I asked if she would help put in a request for someone I knew from the company I used to work for to be David’s new BCBA. It was someone I knew, trusted and frankly looked up to. She did just that. She put in the request and followed through to the end to ensure a smooth transition. She came today with the new BCBA to introduce David to her etc.
We sure are going to miss her but am very thankful for the time we had with her. She has touched our lives more than she knows.
My worry filled mama heart can rest easy knowing we have an equally amazing person stepping in to complete David’s team.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything, Shaina!