Some people say it's "crazy", and there's no "evidence" that supplements help a child with autism. And, any parent who's pursuing biomedical intervention will tell you that those people are the one's who are crazy. We've seen the ups and downs that directly corelate to supplements & yeast medications. The past 5 days have shown me just how dependent Holden is on his supplements and medications. He came down with the flu on Saturday, and hasn't been able to tolerate his many vitamins, supplements, and anti-yeast meds for 5 days. In those 5 days alone, he has regressed to not responding when his name is called, complete echolalia (no spontaneous language), and living in his own little world. I wasn't able to chelate this past weekend, either, because of the sick he's had going on. I see such a big difference in him; there's no doubt in my mind that he's very dependent on these supplements/vitamins/meds.

That being said, he's still the same loving and most gorgeous child on the planet. He's just "with us" much less that he normally is.

Today, I hope to get him back on track with his daily doses. And, I hope it takes less time for him to return to us, than it did for us to lose him, again (5 days). Cross your fingers!


Well, it's been a while ....

I haven't updated much lately. Holden started a new school exactly 2 weeks ago today. The first 5 days or so were used for assessments. I met with his lead therapist last week to go over the results. And, not surprisingly - he exceled in some areas, and was deficient in others. Hello, Autism. He scored high in Play Skills - which is great, actually. He also scored high in Immitation Skills - which is another great one to have. He was low in Manding (requests), Labeling, and of course, Conversational Communication. Again, hello Autism.

So, his treatment plan is written. Here's a snapshot:

- Requests for various items and activities using verbs varied 2-3 word phrases.
- Follows 1 step instructions within functional contexts (ex: get your lunch, stand up, clean up, etc.) to increase receptive understanding of language
- Receptively identifies actions, both in pictures and real-time
- Matches non-identical objects or non-identical pictures in a messy array of 5-8
- Receptively identifies items based on single feature, function, class, then moving on to 2-3 component FFC's (ex: Which one is the red food?)
- Increase overall vocal output through verbal imitation of a set of functional words that are frequently used in daily routines (ex: open, go, yes, no)
- Receptively identifies various attributes of different items (ex: big/little, wet/dry, long/short, etc) using objects and pictures
- Answers basic safety-related social questions (wh-questions)
- Develop fine motor skills in preparation for handwriting through activities such as lacing, stringing beads, using tongs, etc.

Social & Play Goals:
- Spontaneously attends to peers during play situations
- Initiates physical interaction with peers
- Engages in sustained social play with peers
- Spontaneously responds to the mands (requests) from peers
- Spontaneously mands to peers
- Line up upon request to leave an area without additional prompts
- Respond to group instructions in the presence of 2-3 children
- Sits with peers for at least 10 minutes while attending to materials and/or teacher

I'm optimistically hopeful.

Aside from starting school, he's been having a bit of a regression period going on for the past 2 weeks. His focus is pretty much non-existent right now. Today's been better. But, the past 2 weeks have been a challenge. It's so hard to watch him do SOOOOO well for months at a time, and then out of nowhere, he just slips. Almost like it's a cruel game of "back and forth". Like, someone allows us to see a snapshot of what he 'could' be like, and 'should' be like, and then they come and take it away without warning and he's back to not responding to his name, stimming, and displaying classic autistic symptoms.

Even though it's been 2 years, it's no easier to watch him during these regression periods than it was the first time I realized he had autism. I guess it never does get easier to watch your kiddo "check out".

So, I'm hoping the next time I update - I'll have some kind of miracle to report.



real play! (cont.)

OHHHH, forgot to mention something in my last post. During bathtime, Jackson loves pouring water on Holden's head. Course, Holden doesn't necessary love when he does that, but anyway. The point. The last couple of nights I noticed Holden looking over at Jackson when he pours water on his head ... then taking the cup and doing the same thing to Jackson! So, I'm going to consider this "real play", too. He's interacting ... back and forth.

real play!

And, I mean ... full-on giggling, laughing, hiding, more laughing ... PLAYING with Jackson this week. I was going to blog about it on Monday, but wondered if it were just a fluke. Sometimes you think they really get something and then the next day you wonder if you were in fact dreaming. Not this time! At least I don't think so anyway.

Holden started bringing a blanket out of the bedroom and hiding under it. He would take the cover off and say ... "there he is!". Jackson wanted in on the action so he started tackling Holden while he was under the blanket. I expected a scream from Holden, which is his normal reaction to Jackson messing with him. But, instead, he started laughing. Cutest thing. Then he would take the cover off and say ... "there he is!" and just laugh and laugh (while looking at Jackson the whole time). He's done this everyday since Monday. So, no fluke. He's playing, appropriately, with his brother.

Also, today in the car Jackson was crying. I noticed Holden look over at him with a look of curiosity. Once Jackson stopped crying, Holden started giggling. Then they were both giggling.

It's like they're FINALLY becoming "partners in crime".

I love it.