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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Update on the Bear

The Bear is having Speech Therapy as we speak.  His lovely therapist took one look at me this morning and said "Would you like me to take him by myself and you can have half an hour to yourself?"  ("Um, yes!")  That would have to be the best offer I've had all month!  He had a hissy fit when I left the room, and has had another couple of tantrums, and come out of the room a couple of times, but it's not going too badly, I don't think.

So how is he going, in general?

His speech is very slowly coming along.  He still greatly prefers to use non-verbal communication, such as taking my hand and leading me to what he wants, but is slowly starting to use a few words.  I feel that he has not only a speech delay but also a speech impairment *, meaning that the words he does use spontaneously are quite difficult to understand.  Funnily enough, his echolalic words are much easier to understand, but I guess that could be because I've just either said or heard them, so I know what he's saying.

He understands some signs, but is only using one, and that one only sparingly.  It's the sign for "GO!", and it's a fun one, because it often means that the "Wait" is over and it's his turn on the slide. 

The Bear's behaviour is, shall we say, trying right now.  One of his stims is taking off screw caps, which means that if he can get his hands on anything at all, it's usually all over the floor in about three seconds.  He is also still climbing onto the kitchen bench at any opportunity, usually to try and get the phone, but if there's anything else up there he'll explore that too.  He has started hitting again, when he's frustrated, and I've noticed that he's starting to bite his own hands a fair bit.  Scratching is still very much part of his repertoire as well.  Another new trick is to tip all of his toys out on the floor, then walk away.  There is no desire whatsoever to play with anything; it's all about the noise.  He also likes to brush anything that's on a surface onto the floor.

Right, well, I've had my whinge, so here's some of the good stuff.  He has started talking on a pretend phone.  He says, "Eh-oo, Bobba, ya-ya-ba-ba, Byeeeee!", which translates as "Hello, Bob the Builder, (mysterious builder-speak), Bye".  It's the same scenario every time, which I understand is typical of ASD kids, but it's a fantastic start.

And yesterday at his special needs playgroup, Twinkle Twinkle came on.  He gave an enormous smile, then started running around the room in a giant circle, singing along (perfectly in tune...I think we may have a bit of a musician on our hands), and clapped madly at the end.  It was a magic moment, and I really wished I'd had my video camera (except that I don't own one!) with me.

Anyway, speech is nearly over, and I can hear him screaming, so I'm off for now!

*His speech therapist has just told me that he does have elements of verbal dyspraxia as well as PDD-NOS.


  1. Lucas bites his hands too when he is overwhelmed, upset, frustrated, etc. It happens when he is mad and crying or sad and crying, and it even happens when Tom is tickling him and he is on sensory overload. It's nice to see that he isn't the only one. The "twinkle twinkle" song moment seems sooo precious and cute! Go Bear!

  2. Wow, another great moment you wish you'd had a camera, right? And keep plugging through the bad behavior! It's so hard, but it does get better with hard work, which I know you're doing.

  3. Oh, can I relate! If it's any encouragement, we've had great success, eventually, with the hitting as well as the speech. It really does sound like the Bear is doing great, all around. Hooray for a sympathetic therapist who gave you 30 minutes of alone time!!

  4. Alone time AND a sing-along? Sounds like a great day to me!

    I'm glad things are coming along so well!

  5. Take those breaks when you can! There is no shame in it at all. You are doing such a great job :)

  6. Therapists can be so wonderful, can't they!