Holden has done so, SO many new things this week.
Wed, 9/5 - During ABA therapy, I interrupted his stimming (on plastic perfection pieces) and joined in with him. He hesitated at first, but then let me. We played. He played, instead of stimmed. Or, as least, he let me join him in his stimming. We worked on the sigh for "please" and he did it, only needing a verbal prompt after the 2nd attempt. His speech therapist came right after ABA and commented on what a good mood he was in. How much more verbal he was, and engaging.
Wed, 9/5 - After dinner, he was stimming on a book - flipping the pages over and over, like he does sometimes. His back was to me. I stood in the playroom (which is next to the stairs) and said "Holden, come to mommy, time for bath". He didn't respond. I said it a 2nd time and he put the book down, got up, walked over to me, took my hand, and led me to the stairs.
Thurs, 9/6 - Lunchtime, I gave him a banana. I always says "ba-nana" when I feed him a banana. He said "nana".
Thurs, 9/6 - After picking up Zoe from school, we stopped at the park. I put him in the swing and he LOVED it. He's always liked swinging, but, before, we had to fight for eye contact twice in a 30 minute session. (We learned to do this from his OT). This time, he gave me eye contact for 90% of the time and smiled and laughed, and it was as if I could see him in there ... it's the first glimmer of really seeing that he's still "there". Also, before when we went to the park, he would shuffle his feet through the mulch, instead of being interested in any of the equipment. This time, he walked over to the equipment, climbed up, and wanted to slide. Then, when leaving the park, I was prepared for a full-on tantrum because he hates leaving. He smiled at me, I explained we had to go, and he got in his carseat with no trouble - no whining, no crying, no screaming.
Fri, 9/7 - Leaving to go pick up Zoe from school. I said "Holden, let's go bye-bye, we have to pick up sissy". He didn't even hesitate - he got up, walked to the TV, turned it off,
and came to me with arms up in the air.
Sun, 9/9 - Again, when told we were going "bye-bye", he put down his paper (he was stimming on shreading paper), went to the TV, turned it off, and came to me.
Mon, 9/10 - While in ABA therapy, the therapist stopped him from stimming and redirected him to another activity. He was "easily" redirected after only a very brief whine.
Mon, 9/10 - Dietrich came home from being gone for 3-4 days. In the evening, he was playing with a toy and when daddy called him, he turned and looked at him. He only does this maybe 50% of the time, if that.
Mon, 9/10 - Dietrich found his Big Bird we made at Build-a-Bear about 5 months ago in the garage. He would make the "ahhhhh" sound and open big birds mouth (almost like using a puppet). Holden would open up big bird's mouth with his hands and then say "ahhhhhh!" Imitating!
Tues, 9/11 - During OT, he noticed other noises going on in the room. When his OT hit a button on a electronic toy, he turned and looked. He also followed directions well. Engaged with the therapist, and made GREAT eye contact while in the swing (and out of the swing, actually).
Tues, 9/11 - During the evening, I went into another room to change Jackson's diaper and Holden walked in with Big Bird under his arm. A binkie in the other. He had his back to me and I walked over to see what he was doing - he was putting the binkie in Big Bird's mouth. Pretend play!! I said "let's go, honey", to direct him out of the room and he followed me. Then, he wanted to be rocked in the rocking chair, but while having big bird under his arms. He slept with him.
Wed, 9/12 - a.m., we woke up, and I asked if I could give big bird a kiss - he put big bird in my face to give me a kiss. We came down stairs - with big bird. We sat on the couch and I pretended to give big bird a drink from his sippy cup. He imitated me ... tried to give big bird a drink from the sippy, too.
Wed, 9/12 - During ABA, his therapist made the comment that in the past few sessions, she's noticed much less stimming.
Wed, 9/12 - When his speech therapist left, on the 2nd attempt, he picked up his hand to wave to her!!! We've worked on this for a while now, but he's never attempted to raise his hand to wave. He did it twice, unprompted. The 1st time, I did hand-over-hand and waved bye-bye. Then she waved at him again, and he lifted his hand in the air - all the while - making eye contact with her. Then, she did it again, and he followed her lead. So, TWICE, unassisted!
He's also been VERY verbal over the past week. Loud sounds, too. New sounds, or at least, sounds we haven't heard in a long time - "Ga-Ga-Ga", "Ba-ba-ba", and more. He's also imitating more sounds at night after bathtime (seems to be the best time to get him to imitate). He's also turned off the TV during the daytime hours - and has gone to find something else to entertain himself with ... toys.
I don't know what to think, or how to feel. I haven't seen this much NEW 'stuff' from him ... in this amount of time ... in the past 6-8 months. I'm happy. Thrilled. Cautious. Scared. But most of all, he just seems "happy", and THAT makes me happy. It just reaffirms my faith that one day, I'll have my baby back. It's going to take a lot of work over the next few years, but I see him in there ... and we're going to help him come back to us.
Posted by -Rhonda