posted by | No comments

We’re really sorry that we haven’t been updating the diary page for ages.  We have now have some software which means it is easier for me to update the page on my own (although i have managed to delete the last 2 I’ve written so I’m hoping this one does manage to appear!)

At the end of April we had Henry’s annual review with the LEA and the great news is that they are going to continue to fund Henry’s program for the next 12 months which is a fantastic relief and really does help us.  We have also arranged a fund-raising night on July 24th  which will go towards Henry’s bio-medical therapy and allow us flexibility to do extra things on the son-rise programme and buy resources that the LEA funding doesn’t allow for.

The bio-medical therapy, after a very difficult first 6 months, seems to be settling down now and Henry is taking all of the current vitamins and supplements so that we able now to carry on to the next set of recommendations by our nutritional therapist. 

Henry is always improving but over the last month he seems to have leapt up another level in his speech and his flexibility which is where his main challenges lie.  We really believe that the added component of bio-med in conjunction with the Son-Rise Program has made this possible.  Each time we’ve made any changes to his diet ourselves  we’ve seen a little of the fog lift and now, with professional advice,  it is just amazing.  It has to be said it was a very, very difficult time in the beginning and at one point we could not get Henry to have any of the supplements and if that hadn’t improved then we couldn’t of continued with bi-med.  But luckily we were able to get over that (fingers crossed!) and like i say the results are amazing.  Bio-Med and Son-Rise together seem even more powerful thatn Son-Rise on its own, which already felt like a miracle.  If anyone is reading this with a child affected by autism, we kept delaying the decision to start bio-med, and our advice would be to definitely start it if you can, and son-rise of course!!!!

As you can imagine quite alot has happened.  This week Henry played a board game out of a diego annual with Bridget and he played it beautifully.  The only thing that was different was that he wanted them to move their peices together, which was actually really sweet!  He took turns, listened and did the instructions on the spaces and threw the dice and was able to read the dots on it.  Brilliant, well done Bridget!

I thought that the review i did for the LEA sums up the changes quite well (although copying and pasting it is how i lost my 2other entries!!).  Hope you enjoy reading about his progress and you WILL hear from me soon!  Is that a groan i hear….!

The Four Social Fundamentals and Henry’s Progress

Eye Contact

 We now believe, as do the facilitators who work with Henry and the Son-Rise teachers who visit, that Henry’s eye contact is neuro-typical.  He looks at you when he speaks and when you speak to him and will now look at unfamiliar people eg friends/family and even strangers in public areas.  His eye contact is natural and appropriate.

Communication

Henry’s language and communication is amazing!  He does of course still have challenges with his language but he is able to be understood 80%+ of the time and although he does have difficulty with some pronunciations and letter formation he is generally always able to make him self understood and will use different words and language to explain himself.

He can now have up to 6/7 loops in one conversation and will answer questions directed at him.  He does ask questions too.  He asks what and where questions with ease and we are working on  which and who questions at the moment.

He has also started to answer questions from people he is unfamiliar with which is a massive step forward as he would always hide or tell them to go away before!  On Saturday he answered a mom in a park whose little boy he was playing with when she asked him his name and he said ‘Henry’.  To our knowledge this is the first time he has done this.

Henry’s use of language is natural and excited and appropriate.  He uses please and thank you and will say sorry without prompting.  He uses intonation and appropriate gestures.  He has also started to speak to his grandparents on the telephone and say hello, again something else he has never done or wanted to!

His sentence length is increasing daily, as is the complexity of the sentences and how he is putting his speech structure together.  He continues to use ‘I’ and ‘me’ correctly and more recently ‘your’.  He uses past and future tense in his language and recounts experiences.  He has also started using his language to express his opinions and feelings not just to express his wants.

Interactive Attention Span

Henry has acquired all of the components in stage 3 for this fundamental and acquired 6 out of 7 in stage 4 in August 2009.  This final component has now been acquired and the 2 components for stage 5 are now emerging.

Henry now very rarely isms (stims) in the playroom and if he does it is for an extremely short period of time.  This means that he is fully interactive for nearly all of the time he is with the facilitators.  Henry’s still loves his repetitious games and the intensity of these during sessions vary depending on his mood however in the last few months he has been consistently interested and intrigued by the activities and games we are taking in which is fantastic.

His average attention span now is between 20 and 30 minutes but he can also concentrate up to 1 and 1.5 hours in one go.  His imagination is fantastic and he will now naturally add his own peripheral changes and additional ideas without any prompting.  He is normally one step ahead of me!

Flexibility

Henry’s flexibility along with his language are still his biggest challenges however it has still improved drastically. He is becoming more and more open to changes within games and activities especially with his repetitious games.

He is much more able to move from different types of activities and is now able to leave his major motivations and move onto something different.  He is also able to sit still a lot longer and often chooses to sit at his table to carry out activities.

He still accepts limits and boundaries much more readily and often comes up with the resolution himself eg ‘we will do it later’.

His turn taking is constantly improving and he now almost always give you a similar thing that he has so that you can join in and he initiates turn taking himself, eg ‘you do one’.  In the last month he has also started to swap roles for a short time eg in shopping role play and in games like ‘charades’ which is a major step forward.

He is also able to follow games with simple rules and steps and will correct himself if he misses one out.

Henry can still be controlling however it is amazing how much easier he is to talk to and negotiate with.  His anger and tantrums have also diminished greatly and he comes out of difficult moments much quicker than he used to.

Academic Progress

For your information here is a summary of the progress we feel Henry has made academically since we last met:

  •  Henry’s colouring and painting has really developed and he can colour familiar characters from memory and will mix the correct colour paint and knows how orange, green and grey are made.
  • Henry can now draw a cross for a kiss and to make into a scarecrow.  He has also painted simple pictures like apple trees and flowers and rabbits by copying the instructions in a book.  He has also drawn a simple picture of a cartoon character to explain who he was talking about.  Henry will also cross off and try to tick items off a list.
  • He still seems to recognise certain words that you haven’t said which makes us think that he definitely understands that the written word has specific meaning.  He has picked out the letters l, m and h when asked to without any help.
  • He has successfully sorted pictures according to the s, a , t, p, i & n sounds.  He has also completed simple booklets and can identify and circle the specific letters amongst other letters.
  • Henry has started to fill in the last word of sentences from books that he is familiar with.
  • Henry is able to recognise up to 4 objects without physically counting them out. 
  • Henry is now interested in the written word when reading and will look and use his finger to point at the words as he or we speak.  He will also copy your speech as you point to the words in a book
  • In the last 2 months he has also discovered the v-tech computer system and plays games on the lap top.  He has fantastic dexterity with the joystick and controls and navigates the system himself and plays the games which have a strong academic focus and he is able to follow the rules and structure of the games easily.

 

Henry Himself!

Henry is still amazing us!  Friends and family cannot believe the changes in him.  He is loving and helpful and sweet and shows excitement and immense understanding.

His social skills are just fantastic.  Since the August update he has been to a family wedding and not only coped with the event but danced on the dance floor and had a great time!  He now always finds friends at parks and play areas and the way he plays with the children has changed so that he now participates and contributes to the games and talks and answers the children.  In these situations it is only his language and clarity that makes him stand out.

He has started to sit at the dinner table with us in the last few weeks and is much more open to negotiation and also when we have to say to ‘no’ to him, although like most children he doesn’t necessarily like it!

We still have challenges and he still gets upset but now he seeks comfort and cuddles rather than lashing out and isolating himself.

He is also fully toilet trained except for night times but this is slowly improving (woo hoo!) and is able to dress himself although not perfectly!  He is extremely independent and likes to do most things himself even if it can be frustrating for him.  He is also great outdoors and listens and follows instructions. He is brilliant at walking on the road and no longer runs or bolts and puts himself into dangerous situations.  In fact we joke he is like a health and safety officer as he is so sensible!

We are absolutely thrilled by the little boy he has become and our family life now bears some normality which is fantastic for us all.


Leave a Reply

*

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

what is 2 plus 7?