Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Big Leaps

I was thinking about Thane's development today. I guess I really expect him to be almost "normally developing" if he sticks to his diet, but have more clearly autistic behavior if he doesn't. He still has some autistic tendencies, but they aren't so overwhelming . . . and I think we all have some issues here and there. Now we're playing a bit of catch up delays from before the diet change -- no one learns well when going through life stoned. On one of the lists I am on, they talk about children recovering from autism. I am not really sure how that works, though, if they don't stay with the food restrictions.

Anyway, I noticed another big leap forward and I have to say each one of them is totally exciting to me. His speech may still be a year behind typical for his age, but the clear improvement also means he isn't falling further behind. I hope that made sense.

Back in August he was doing a lot of echolaliac talk -- copying what others would say. At first he was doing it as an affirmative:

Me: "Do you want a cookie?"
Thane: "Want a cookie."
If he didn't, he would say, "No."

Then it moved to, "Want a cookie. Yesh."

Then we moved on to scripting . . . he would take phrases that he heard others say and repeat them over and over. We joke about him placing his order. We went to a drive through and ordered french fries, milk, diet coke, and a plain sundae, no sauce. Whenever we are within a mile of that place, Thane places that order. And then he might repeat it for the rest of the drive.

He also was watching "Kipper" on Sprout. Arnold the pig got away and Kipper has to catch up. Kipper says "Wait for me, Arnold!" Thane started it yelling it at the TV, and then he would repeat it. Then we got in the car and he amended it to "Wait for me, car, wait for me!" This is still a kind of scripting, I think, because he is taking a phrase from elsewhere and not coming up with his own sentence.

This morning, I asked if he was hungry.
He replied, "Of course! Popcorn?"

That's totally independent speech!!! No echo, repeat, copy, script or whatever you want to call it -- he came up with it on his own!

And speaking of big leaps, Braeden was just cast as a skomorokhi in the Russian fairy tale "The Snow Maiden." Basically, he's a clown doing physical comedy throughout transitions in the play. He's a little worried that he won't get laughs, but in all honesty he gets them daily with his over the top physical reactions to things. It's the perfect part for him, in my opinion.

No comments: