Personal Update

Well we have had a busy morning, which is why you haven’t heard very much from me yet today! Dylan has just started on a homeopathic treatment through Houson Homeopathy. Since he refuses to put anything unfamiliar in his mouth (including fruit, cookies, pretzels or anything else he has never eaten), getting him to take his remedies three times per day has been quite the effort. Finally, he is beginning to allow us to give them without too much fussing (except today!) and we are hopeful that we will see some positive progress from this.

For those new to the blog, my youngest son is four years old and autistic. We have him in preschool three hours per day, and therapists come to our home to teach him for another three hours per day. A year ago, he was nonverbal and did not understand simple commands. Today, he has a vocabulary of hundreds of words. He understands much of what we ask of him (e.g. sit in chair, open door, put your shoes away, etc.) and has recently been volunteering words in an appropriate way. He tells me “stop it”, “c’mon” and when I ask him to show me body parts, he points to them and says “right there”. I am beyond thrilled.

I know it doesn’t sound like much. But we celebrate every small success and hold on to all the hope we can. It helps to know that folks like Temple Grandin, who didn’t speak until she was four, now hold a PhD!  His future is wide open!

If you’d like to read about what we’re doing, here’s you can find more details:

Future Goals:

I need to thank all of you who so kindly pray for us, ask about Dylan, and send me notes of encouragement.  One of the things that makes blogging so fulfilling is having a network of caring women who offer support and wisdom.  I can’t tell you what that means to me :)

Comments

  1. Such a cutie! Thanks for sharing Lori.

  2. Thank you for sharing your world with grateful readers like me. A dear friend of mine has a 3-year-old son with Autism, and she writes about her family’s experiences on her blog. If you’re interested in having a look in all your “free” time :), here’s the link:
    http://courageandcoffee.blogspot.com/
    I hope you and your family have a fantastic weekend!

    • Jessica – thanks for the link – I had a little time to look at her blog and it’s great! Always glad to hear what another ASD mom is doing and what is working :)

  3. Lori,
    Keep up the great work with your kids! Yes, Dylan’s future is bright and you’re the light that he needs to make that happen!!!

  4. I am the mom from Alaska with two special needs children– a daughter with both Down syndrome and autism and a son with autism as well. Prayers and hugs to you as you navigate your way through the days of autism. We recently were able to add in some ABA therapy and that has been a help… We have been blessed that our son is now verbal and extremely so. Both children are reading, though our daughter is non-verbal. She communicates her comprehension by choosing correct answers etc…We also are saving for an iPad and hope to have one soon. We have been incredibly blessed by our service dog. She has been the best help ever as we deal with bolting etc. God’s blessings to you….

    • Hi Amy, so glad to hear you’ve had success with getting your son to be verbal and that your daughter can communicate in her own way too. I’d love to hear if you have anything you think helped them in particular. Diet or supplements or therapy techniques…

  5. I am thrilled to hear that he is progressing so well.As for homeschooling,I homeschooled our oldest from 6th grade on but have kept our younger son in public school(both are autistic). I will be praying that God will let you know which to choose as each child is so different.I believe early intervention is the key to our youngest doing so well and I have watched children enter his classroom nonverbal and end elementary school almost on line with their non autistic classmates.

    • That is so encouraging because he is verbal, but still doesn’t generally volunteer words unless he is highly motivated (e.g. “I want cookie please). The rest of the time we must ask him questions to get him to say a word or two. So to hear that you’ve seen kids enter school nonverbal and exit on line with neurotypical peers gives me great hope :)

  6. Lori,
    Like yourself, I have a child (daughter) that was diagnosed with Autism two years ago, at the age of three. It was a struggle to get her to communicate past one word, that was until we received ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and enrolled her into preschool, five days a week for three hours that she came around 180 degrees. She’s now in Kindergarten and she does have her good and bad days. She still toe walks, jumps frequently, and flaps her hand (the last two she started just a few months ago), but I would take that all day, everyday, now that I can hear her tell me that she loves me.

    Much kuddos to you that you have so much on your plate, but you can continue to host such a wonderful blog like this.

    Thanks,
    Dwan

    • Thanks for the comment Dwan – Dylan does have issues with hand flapping and some hyperactivity that I think interferes with his learning. We are trying now to figure out if there is a dietary or environmental trigger because it comes and goes. So far, we haven’t had success figuring out if there is something we can do to help it, but we are going to keep trying. It’s a bit like being a detective this whole autism parenting thing. :) He doesn’t do the toe walking but he does jump frequently too.

  7. It’s strange that I found your blog while looking for blogs with information about couponing and money saving tips and then see we have so much in common. My 6 year old son has autism. I know exactly what you mean by celebrating every sucess. I’m just so happy to hear him say anything.

  8. Add me on the list! My daughter MacKenzie was diagnosed at age 2. Started talking at 3 and now never shuts up, lol. She has high functioning Aspergers and you would only notice some social issues and noise sensitivity. A blog I following that either brings laughs or tears and lots of “yes, she really gets me” is Diary of A Mom. Jess even got invited to the White house last year, she is our voice (and also hilarious!) Check her out on facebook or blogspot and thanks for letting us meet your cute son!

  9. We homeschool and I had suspected for many years that our son was autistic (toe-walking, arm flapping, need for strict routine, sensitivity to clothing and sounds, etc.), but we never had him “tested”. This year through some other medical problems, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 12. He has trouble sitting still for school so we often use an exercise ball for him to sit on, which is a great help. Our biggest challenge now is putting his thoughts into the written word. I mostly have him dictate to me and I write it for him. This helps, except when he has to answer ‘how does this make you feel, or how do you think the person felt about something’ questions for which he can not process. I am still trying to learn about his diagnosis and any recommendations (books, websites, etc.) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and God bless!

    • Brenda, the book “Autism for Dummies” is a good place to start. Also there are many blogs that parents with autism write. They have a vast community of followers with children all over the spectrum. My email is mcasper10@msn.com if you want to contact me. Take care!

    • Hi Brenda – Our ABA therapist has tons of activities for emotion recognition. I have them listed here: http://dylansautismrecovery.blogspot.com/2011/09/all-about-me-activities.html Since my son is younger I have not had to learn how to teach him writing, but I would expect a good ABA therapist would have some ideas. Also, it is such a valuable thing to get connected with other ASD moms in your area because they are the best resources. Our San Antonio group has over 100 members so I know if I have a specific issue or question I am sure to find at least one mom who has already conquered it. You can find groups in your local area at meetup.com.
      For websites, I like tacanow.org and autism.com. I know there are some awesome resources specific to Asperger’s but I am not familiar enough to recommend them.

  10. God could not have given Dylan a better mommy, I know that for a fact. Love ya and miss you, sweetie.