Monday, April 16, 2012

Game On

Just a quick update. Spring break is over. The longest two weeks ever. Jonah, like most autistic children has not handled change in his routine well in the past. This break was no exception, but a milestone in ways. It was the first time he was able to express why he doesn't cope well with the disruption to his schedule. He was asking for his teachers and his friends every day, and wanting to ride the school bus. It turns out the he just misses the people in his life but was never able to say it before.

We have started a third round of the DTaP clearing after having to bring the second round to a stop at the 1M dosage due to aggravated behaviors a few weeks back. Jonah's behavior has been slightly disrupted by the clearing this week, but very mildly. We run on a Tuesday and Friday schedule for his doses, and I noticed immediately on Wednesday morning that there was more shrieking and screaming with more defiant protests than normal. This increased again on Saturday slightly. He was demonstrating this talent at breakfast this morning when I was trying to get him to focus on eating. The throwing of random objects has resurfaced after completely disappearing at home over the last two weeks. Of course these behaviors are occurring only when he is mad about something. It is to be expected in developmental milestones for children of Jonah's age to protest and establish boundaries with their parents at the age of six, and Jonah is right on track with this. By this afternoon, he had a runny nose and then the behaviors died off. I wonder if the runny nose was an exteriorization of sorts.

On the upside... he has been such a chatter box again the last few days. He's been singing in the bath and commenting on everything. There is more and more clarity in the things he is saying, although there are times when I have no clue what he is trying to say. Overall, the intention is there, and he knows what he is talking about. His comprehension seems to be improving everyday, and he has been initiating helpful tasks on his own. Yesterday, after grocery shopping, he initiated helping me carry in the bags. Since most of the bags were too heavy, I asked him to carry the package of toilet paper in to the house. He picked it up cheerfully and said "Put toilet paper in the bathroom" all on his own.

My great motivator for Jonah as of late has been the game of "chase". I ask Jonah what he wants to do, and he replies "Play chase". This consists of the two of us running around the house in circles, scrambling around random furniture objects, back and forth while Jonah is laughing hysterically. I hide and jump out to tickle him. We generally play chase for about 10-15 minutes at the end of the day, and he will do just about anything to ensure we play chase. He's been cleaning the house, making sure all of his toys are picked up. Playing chase is the best motivator EVER! After the game is done, Jonah likes to talk about where Mommy was hiding, and Mommy tickling Jonah. Melts my heart. 

I see more and more of Jonah's true self emerging everyday. He is sincerely the sweetest and most lovable little guy ever. This has been such an amazing experience so far, I can't even begin to imagine how much more change CEASE Therapy may bring to our lives. It has changed everything and I suspect there is more to come.