I am a wife, a mom of 3 children, and a follower of Jesus Christ. While my life is filled with many adventures, this blog is only about my family's journey through autism. I hope that it can be an encouragement to other special needs parents.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Jacob has made some real progress lately and I wanted to share with everyone. In the past few weeks he has learned how to clap. This may sound simple to some, but its a huge accomplishment. He is a year a half and has just now realized he can clap his OWN hands. Woo hoo! He is also making excellent eye contact and responding when we call his name. He seems to be engaging with other kids to play. I am so excited about how far he has come lately. I can hardly wait to hear him say his first word. He has babbled dadada, but does not relate it to his daddy yet. That will be such an awesome day when he does! He doesn't wave bye bye but it seems like he is trying. He is still stimming by hand flapping or spinning around in circles. He can't eat real food yet, although he puts peas in his mouth and then spits them out, which is the first step! He isn't communicating much although he has begun to shake his head "no" when he doesn't want to eat, which happens to be every single time I try to feed him. We are working with an occupational therapist to help with the feeding. I have started some simple sign language since he can use his hands now, but he hasn't caught on yet. Hopefully we can get him communicating soon. He has learned how to distinguish a train from a cup. I don't know if he actually knows it is a train though. We teach him by holding the train and the cup out and asking where the train is and putting it closer to him so he chooses it and then clap and praise him. He loves the praising so much that eventually we can keep the cup and train side by side and ask where the train is and he chooses it. Its so strange to be teaching something so simple, but it seems to be working. We are now moving on to the next item. Its one item at a time and we have to change the distractor. Meaning I can't use the train and a ball and say where is the ball because then he will choose the train because that's what made him receive praise. That tells me he doesn't quite understand that the train is a train. But with autism like his (where language is the biggest problem) this is the only way we can teach him....Or at the least the most successful way so far. He has to memorize. I think that's how therapists teach behavior issues with kids with autism and aspergers. They role play and let the kids learn and memorize how to respond correctly or appropriately. We also work on simple 3 piece puzzles where the pieces fit inside a wooden puzzle. We take the pieces out and just give him just one piece. We show him how to put it in and clap and praise him and then let him try again with the same piece. I would say he puts it in maybe 20% of the time, but we are working on that. Anyways I just wanted to give an update. I have started watching a newborn to help with the costs of therapy so that we can get our own house so please say a prayer that I can balance all the responsibilities of Jacob, homeschool and Jordan, Tyler and the new baby. I will post more updates as we go.