So, this might not seem like a big deal to most, but Oliver and I went in the grocery store today. I typically have to have my mom pick up our food for us because of the bright lights, loud noises, people everywhere, not being able to run free, etc. If we do go ourselves, he has had to be in a soft carrier on my back while going as fast as I can. Today I thought I’d give it a go since we needed a few things and he held my hand from the car until we got inside, allowed me to set him in the front of the cart, and stayed there fuss free for probably 20 minutes. He signed at everything he saw and pointed and smiled. It was awesome! He’s making so much improvement in every area of development.
As you may have noticed, my posting has been extremely rare over the past few months and will most likely continue to be a bit sparse in the coming months. I don’t think that I have mentioned my education much, if ever, on here, but I am in my third year of college. I am studying English with an emphasis on professional and creative writing and have spent every waking second of my minimal “free time” in online discussions, completing assignments, and writing lengthy papers. I will soon be posting an Oliver update, so in the meantime, just know that he is doing great.
Today is Oliver’s last day at the Bellevue location of his early intervention center. I quickly became comfortable and came to absolutely love and adore the other children, parents, and staff. Because they’re opening the same program that Oliver attends at their closer location in Bothell, we have to transfer. I will deeply miss the Special Educators, TA’s, his OT, and every other staff member that I have ever met in that building. That place is absolutely magical and, while I’m sure I will soon have these same feelings for our new place, I have a very heavy heart today.
Today Oliver imitated pretend play! His therapist modeled having his animal figurines drink and eat from “troughs”, which were actually blocks. He imitated beautifully, which was a first for him. These seemingly minor achievements are major for his development.
Have any of your children experienced issues surrounding pretend play?
Something that stopped quite a while ago was Oliver’s fixation on lining his toys up. It has, in the past two weeks, started reappearing here and there. He has been lining his toys up again every so often and screaming when they aren’t perfectly in line. If he is playing with his toy trains and they are blue train-red train-blue train-red train, he will scream. However, if the colors are matching (blue train-blue train-red train-red train) then all is well. It worries me to see this behavior show itself again.
While Oliver is still doing wonderful, I would say that he is overall kind of plateauing.
While this may not sound positive, to not be losing any learned skills is outstanding. Individuals with autism sometimes experience regressions where words, signs, eye contact, play habits, and other skills disappear. Oliver’s first signs of autism were a regression of most all of his newly acquired 15-month skills and he has since gained and lost words. For example, he hasn’t said, “mama”, “nana” (my mom), “Paco” (our dog), and dog for many, many months. He has lost and regained words, in addition to signs, clapping, waving “bye bye”, and dancing, so I see hope for his currently lost words. His other words, signs, and actions are still going strong, but there aren’t too many new ones.
What regressions have your children experienced? Have they gone through a “plateau” period?
Last week I took Oliver to the KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue. The first Wednesday of every month, from 5:30-7:30, they offer a FREE Low Sensory night. Oliver had one of the happiest two-hour stretches of his life thus far. Here are some of the photos that I snapped! The lights were dim, there was a limited population (you have to sign up in advance), and the music was off. Sign up here for March: http://www.kidsquestmuseum.org/activities.php?sid=13605
After watching this video, I felt extremely grateful to have had Oliver diagnosed so quickly. My first concerns had begun at 15 months and I was officially worried at 18 months; I had him evaluated for Early Intervention services at 18 months and had him diagnosed with ASD right before he hit 21 months. It was a very fast process because I was very persistent and made contacts with people who had the power to make changes so that he would receive an early diagnosis. While this worked out in my case, I don’t think that is always the way it works.
How long did it take to have your child diagnosed? When did you first have concerns and what steps did you take from there? I’d love to hear my followers’ timelines.
Watch the video here: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35470703
Read about these toys and tools here: http://www.thesensoryspectrum.com/vestibular-toys-tools/