The other day we went along to our first DIS appointment (I’ll explain what this is in 1 second!) and were told not to expect it to work out well for Dylan but they wanted to give it a shot anyway. So of course I was game to try it, I mean anything that will help him is worth a shot really isn’t it?
So; DIS stands for – Developmental Intervention Services. Basically what they try to do is help your child to prepare for going to nursery in the near future. They do this by encouraging them to move from one task to another without fuss and to sit nicely in a seat when playing.
Going from one task to another is something that a lot of autistic children find really hard and something that Dylan really struggles with. They encourage this by a lot of adult led play, and hand on hand play to encourage them to try the new things.
Also by use of an object to show to the child that the current activity has finished and its time to move on to the next one to see what this items purpose is.
They set up several things on various tables that your children like so that they hopefully find moving to the next table an enjoyable experience and not so distressing.
To be able to do the next task at the table they need to be sitting down in the seat so that they can enjoy it. At the start of this they made find this difficult but we got around this by letting Dylan sit on my knee at the start and then by gradually putting him on the chair and me sitting beside him and moving slowly away until he is then hopefully good-by the end of this at sitting down for a short period by himself.
When we went today I wasn’t sure what to expect and after being told that they didn’t think it would work to well with him, I was trying not to get my hopes up. Though I went in feeling positive and fingers crossed. He wasn’t so upset by the waiting room this time, but I think that’s because I just let him free roam and he wanted to walk up and down the hallway so I let him do that rather than upsetting him and then this having a knock on effect to how well he coped with the DIS.
As we were taken into the room we met the lovely lady who was going to be doing this with us and his speech therapist was there to aid her with him as she knows what he can be like.
He went into the room without a bother which is pretty unusual for him in an unfamiliar place, and went straight over to the sand pit! Over the summer we have spent a lot of time at the beech filling buckets and emptying them so he loved doing this task, she then moved him onto the next one with lots of adult led moving as he wasn’t very keen on leaving the sand but then settled to the next few tasks well, after about 5 minutes he then decided he wanted back to the sand so she asked me if I would try him on my knee to try to encourage him to stay on task and surprisingly this worked wonderfully.
Though again after a few minutes he wanted back to the sand, she then decided that it was time to let him go back as he had coped really well with what she had done so far!
We then got asked a few questions and asked if we would like to try him with the six-week course, and I jumped at the chance. She told me that she would be very willing to do this as long as I agreed to be her helper while we were doing this to help encourage him and of course I agreed to this!