Hi, I’m Jen. Lisa invited me in to share some good news with you, and bribed me with some good coffee into the bargain. Usually I blog here, drop in and visit, I will do my best with the coffee!
Recently we have seen a big jump in my sons speech. He is putting a lot of effort in and is it so exciting to see the results. He has begun to attempt the words himself while using PECS, something I genuinely did not even have a timeframe for in my own head.
Needless to say we have been celebrating this, encouraging it too. Then someone who is facing a diagnosis of autism with her child asked me this:
‘What do you do?’.
I was torn between replying ‘so much’ and ‘so little’. ‘So much’ because my daily routine revolves around his tutoring hours, appointments and spotting all the learning opportunities to push yet another gem of information. ‘So little’ because it is second nature to us and this is just our normal life. I couldn’t give this reply of course, not to someone who is starting out and looking for help, so I sat down and had a think about it.
1. We have an amazing tutor who loves my son almost as much as I do. She knows what makes him tick and works with his strengths and interests to achieve incredible progress.
2. We are just about to finish a block of Occupational Therapy. We have been working on a sensory diet, sneaking in things he doesn’t like while he is doing activities he does like, in the hopes that he won’t be as offended as he would normally be. We play on the trampoline, climb on the slide, roll around in the ball pool and use the swing. This is how our back garden is decorated these days, all from an OT point of view.
3. He loves the computer and TV. We use language building programmes and DVDs and a host of internet sites that teach him lots of different skills. Being a computer addict myself I completely understand his facination with technology so this doesn’t feel like ‘work’ for me either. One of his first words was ‘google’, another was ‘Facebook’. No idea how that happened *cough*
Then I realised that the common thread through all of this is that we are all doing what he enjoys doing. We are using his interests to help him learn and he doesn’t even realise it. He gets to do the things he enjoys all day and we get to watch him make more progress than we ever dreamed possible in 7 months. It’s a win win situation.
I have been very glad of the chance to do a mental review. It would be so easy to let things slide and not even realise it.
‘What do you do?’ is such an simple question and it turns out the answer is too: Follow my child and go where he leads me.