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.


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