Well, it is about that time. Time for another progress report for Sir Dantes. The funny thing is, there is no real "timetable" for progress with children that have autism. They are kinda of each on their own. Typical kids get one; those with delays do not. Regardless, I like to let our readers know how things are going. So, here it is.
Socially Sir Dantes is doing pretty good. He loves to see people come visit. Most everyone who comes over gets greeted with a smile and a hug. Sure, he may ignore you the rest of the time but he will definitely acknowledge that you came over. For regular visitors, like our good friend Drew, he will slap a "high five" and crawl into your lap.
When we go places, it is still a "hit and miss" situation. We still never know when some sensory issue may attack him and make him completely uncontrollable. This has got to be watched. However, the last few times we have went to the grocery store Sir Dantes has walked along side us and behaved pretty well. Every once in awhile he still likes to grab at items on the shelves and gets mad when he can't have them, but once we move on he is generally okay.
A couple of weeks ago we had a friend of Ms. Maxie's over (and her little brother) for a play date. The interaction with a new peer was touch and go. At times he wanted to engage in play and other times not. This coming fall he will be enrolled in kindergarten, so hopefully we will see improvement in that area. I expect we will because, for an autistic kid, he actually enjoys people.
He is still having some "social cue" issues. Today he took a wire that attached to the controller of his Play Station and wrapped it around Ms. Maxie's leg and proceeded to pull on it hurting her leg. She screamed and yelled for him to stop and he just didn't get it. I had to wrestle it away from him while freeing Ms. Maxie's leg and then hide it from him. I am not sure what his motivation was to do this but I really don't believe he meant to hurt her.
Sir Dantes likes to help. He will frequently bring me my coffee cup after I have sat it down on the counter. He will bring his plate to the sink after he's finished eating. He will put his clothes into the hamper at bathtime. The problem is, however, sometimes he doesn't seem to realize that the help is not needed or wanted. For example, he will put Ms. Maxie's clothes in the hamper also even though it is her clean jammies she plans to put on when she is done with her bath. He will insist that I want my bottle of water even though I have put it the fridge to stay cold; so he will bring it to me over and over again.
He is still having a hard time understanding the concept of "no" and gets very upset when he hears it. This lack of understanding leads to many, many meltdowns. These have gotten worse the older he gets.
The reasons why he has meltdowns has not seemed to increase; it is the intensity of them that has increased. Perhaps this is because he is older and stronger now. This is cause of great concern for me because his ability to hurt himself or another is much more likely than what it what even a year ago. Lately I have noticed at times when he is mad at me or his father for telling him "no" he makes a fist when he "hits" us. I am not sure where he learned this so I will blame cartoons. If we decided to put him on any type of behavioral drugs this will most likely be the reason. It will not be to get him to focus to learn.
Another milestone reached today was that Sir Dantes actually wrote his own name by himself on the Etch-A-Sketch I bought him for Christmas. Given the subject and the presentation of that subject, he absorbs information like a sponge. He is highly intelligent. He studies. He observes. He remembers. However, as I said, it depends on what the subject matter is and how it is presented. He is also very interested in how "gadgets" work whether it is the cheese grater or a screwdriver. Sir Dantes pays close attention to how the gadgets work. When given the chance he will use any "tool" you give him appropriately. We have to stay on our toes though when he decides he wants to turn on the oven to cook something like daddy's tape measure.
Physically, he is doing great! He is an extremely healthy boy. Many children with autism seem to have a lot of digestive issues and eating issues. We are lucky that he does not seem to have a lot of issues in this area. While at one point we seemed to change a lot, and I mean, a lot of poopy pull-ups his amount of poop has lately regulated itself into a normal amount. But, when I say we have no issues with his eating I am not being quite truthful.
Whereas a lot of autistic children seem to get stuck on only wanting a few selected foods and difficulties in getting proper nutrients because of that, Sir Dantes is an eating machine! He loves food and loves a variety of food. So much, that we have to hide food and at times, lock up the fridge! He will just help himself to whatever he decides that he wants. On the positive side of that, no nutrient issues and he is getting pretty good at pouring milk into a cup without making a huge mess.
I do wish he would communicate his wants with us however, and this is still an area in which we have a lot of problems. I get so excited and post on our facebook page when Sir Dantes says a word, but he is still not using them. He will repeat...and it is pretty much the same thing with the sign language. He will repeat but not use either to express himself. The point or "grab your hand and lead you there" methods have improved some. Usually when he grabs my hand to lead me somewhere it is to the Play Station. I hope the therapist at school will help him finally to reach that point where he can use some sort of language to communicate whether it be words, sign, or technology. For now most of this wants and needs are still a guessing game for us.
He stills likes to run and we have to hide the keys. He loves our new dog, Baby. He is playing more appropriately with toys, such as shooting the basketball and riding his tricycle. He is sleeping better with the use of the melatonin. He used the potty once by himself but has not since. He laughs, he cries, he ignores, and he loves. There is not a time table for the successes. We take them as they come. I hope you enjoyed the update and there will be others to come. Take care everyone and good-night.
He does not like any kind of sticker and will not wear anything on his head like a stocking cap or ball cap.
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