7

DIS – Week 3

Parking today was a lot easier. One of the two parent spaces outside of the children centre was free, I mean why do they only have two near the place. If they had more hopefully all the adults just going to the doctors or an outpatients clinic wouldn’t park in the children centre car park and it would make easier parking for everyone attending the children’s centre!

As we walked in today she was already waiting for us by the door, fantastic! I  am ever so pleased with how accommodating she has been and it makes it a more positive experience for everyone. She gave Dylan the little spade that he uses in the sand and he ran right along to the room.. well past it a little and I had to redirect him but he was trying to find the right one. She opened the door and off he want straight to the sand smiling as she sang the little song and filling up the shapes with the sand.
Great, what a wonderful start, even better than last week. I was trying to contain my excitement as I knew the difficult part was coming up.
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She then showed him a piece of jigsaw to make him aware that it was time to go do some work. He went straight over from the sand to the next table without a fuss, he was very happy to change in-fact more than happy to change to the jigsaw and posting activities. I couldn’t believe my eyes and she then aided him in putting them away in the ‘all done’ box, and by his third task at this table he was then putting them in the box himself! How incredible!

Time to move to the water tray and he knew straight away that the fish meant the water tray so he ran straight over and proceeded to soak the lady and himself but all while having fun so that’s all that matters!

He wasn’t so pleased about leaving the water tray but with little encouragement and being shown what he was going to be doing at the next table made him more than happy to cooperate. At this table he did lots of colour matching which he is very good at and he really enjoys trying to say his colours. He also played with lentils at this table and thoroughly enjoys burying his hand.

Next up was the last station before it was time to go home, she showed him the train and off he went straight to the mat to play with the trains and pop up toys. It was then time to go after that.. he found leaving the most distressing today as he was having such a wonderful time!

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He was absolutely amazing at DIS today and it seems that week 2 was not just a fluke! It seems like such a strict routine really is key to helping Dylan. I also think that him being able to walk straight in without having to wait in the waiting room with others around his has been a huge help.
I can’t wait to see how the next three weeks go and then what they are going to do for him with this being such a success. I’m hoping it will mean that they will try to do some speech therapy on a lot more regular basis and some occupational therapy too.
Fingers crossed it keeps going so well and we will be offered more regular support after this!

What is DIS?
DIS week 1
DIS week 2

-WeeOhana

0

Growing my Knowledge

Soon I am going to sign-up to do some online-training and I’m rather excited for it!
I have been hunting online for a course that will help to extend my knowledge and understanding on Autism, and I have finally found one that sounds fantastic!
What I really like about this course is that is has been made and written by people who are on the autism spectrum.  This too me means that it will have an even better insight into autism than the courses written by someone who isn’t on the autistic spectrum.

The course is complied of nine modules which are;

  • Understanding autism
  • Autism and communication
  • Autism and sensory experience
  • Autism, stress and anxiety
  • Autism: supporting families
  • Autism, sport and physical activity
  • Autism and the police service
  • Safeguarding children on the autism spectrum
  • Managing money

I’m hoping to learn many things from this course that will enable me to understand Dylan a lot more and ensure that I provide him with the best opportunities that I can.

Once I have completed this course I will receive a Continued Professional Development certificate which will be a great addition to my qualifications!
I can’t wait to share with you how I get on with this course and to help broaden your knowledge about autism while I broaden my own!

This course was founded by The National Autistic Society! It is also a great website to pop along too to find out lots of information out about Autism!

5

DIS- Week 2

This week I had arranged with the lovely therapist that we would meet at the front desk so that we did not have to go into the waiting room with other people. This works well as he is her first appointment of the day, so she can ensure she is there promptly.
We arranged this because people being close to Dylan or looking at him causes him a lot of distress, so to have this 6-week course of DIS working as successfully as we can he needs to in a calm, happy and cooperative mood. 

One thing that I must say is that parking is crazy here, so even though Dylan’s appointment wasn’t until 10:15 I went straight over after dropping Amellia at school! It took about 35 minutes going round and round the car park to finally find a space! Thankfully Dylan is really good in the car and he sat happily waiting until it was time to go in. 

We went in and waited for all of about 2 minutes at the front desk before she appeared, which was fantastic! Dylan was then shown the spade for the sand and he was really excited going through the sets of doors to get to the room. He really enjoys playing in the sand so this is the task that he will always do at the start so that he begins with a positive and knows what to expect… Routine is key!! 

He happily played in the sand, smiled when she sang her little song and it was going fantastically! Though this went well last time too, so I didn’t build my hopes up too much though it did give me a smile! She then showed him the next item.
After a little protest he was more than happy to take part in the next few things. They were posting tasks, and this is something that he really enjoys at home and I had told her last week. She aims to put things around the room that he enjoys so it makes moving from task to task an enjoyable thing for him. After finishing the posting activities, he then had to move to the next table.

He wasn’t as happy changing to this table as he was moving to the previous activities but with some gentle encouragement and sitting him on my knee for a few minutes he was then really enjoying the activities and I was able to move away. He then proceeded to colour match on several different occasions which was fantastic!
Finally, then he moved onto the last task before a quick play in the sand and going home.

This week’s DIS was a huge success and I am hoping that all the others will all go as smoothly now that he knows what to expect when he enters the room.
I think not having to go into the waiting room was a huge help and I am very glad that she has made changes to how she usually greets the children who attend to try and enable this to be a positive experience for Dylan! 

Fingers crossed next week goes as well! =D

If you want to check out what DIS is or how the first week went check them out;
What is DIS?
Week 1

-WeeOhana

 

 

4

DIS- Week 1

Before I start, if you missed me explaining what DIS is, check it out here then you will understand this blog a lot better.

I walked in feeling positive, we played in the waiting room… until another family came into the waiting room. Dylan started screaming, flapping, lashing out etc, so I took him out of the waiting room for a walk to calm him down and thankfully the lady arrived!

She showed him the spade for the sand and he was very happy, knew exactly t into the room and up to the sand. Perfect, I got my hopes up while I sat on the chair and watched him play in the sand and dancing along to the lady singing… but then it was time to change task.
She took his hand, showed him the object for the next task and led him over, kicking and screaming. She then asked if I could come and help her… by help her she meant hold Dylan still while trying to encourage him to do the task. Holding Dylan isn’t an easy task, he’s a lot stranger than he looks and when he is flailing around, screaming and grabbing at you it’s pretty hard to try and encourage him to do a task too!
She kept at it though and completed the tasks herself and kept showing him the different objects for the next task.

We got through 6 tasks like this, I’m not quite sure how I managed. It was tough, I have a very sore shoulder from battling with him like this on a daily basis but also mentally this was really hard. Having to restrain him while he is screaming to be free, having to try and encourage him to do things that he really didn’t care for, was very tough.
I had to keep telling myself that it was for his benefit, that it was to help him.

Thankfully she then brought out some dried lentils for him to play with and this settled him and he had lots of fun with these, then over to trains and some colour matching before the sand and home!

He managed to make it through 3 tasks out of 10 without having to be held and made to do them.
Let’s hope next week goes smoother.

Check out how week 2 went here!

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9

What is DIS?

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.

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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!
Fantastic news!
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!

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Roll on the next six Thursdays mornings! =D
Check out how we got on here;
Week 1
Week 2

-WeeOhana

0

Sibling Love.

My daughter always makes me proud, and I try to ensure that she is very aware of how proud she makes me. Especially when it comes to her brother.
Yes, like many brother and sisters they fight, dislike each other at times and want the same toy as what the other is playing with.
Though having a brother like Dylan is a lot more challenging than just the usual arguments and misunderstanding that happen between siblings.
It means that Amellia has had to learn a whole new way to play, interact and socialize with him among with many other things.

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She is currently waiting for him to say her name and asks on a regular basis do we think he will ever say her name. This is always a hard questions to answer because as much as we hope he will gain speech soon we cannot guarantee or promise this.
She longs to play duplo with him, kick a football about and get up to mischief together like you would expect from having a sibling around.
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She has adapted how she plays with Dylan, and if she really wants to get his attention she knows how to do this;will wave her hand in front of his face, or show him a train close by and this generally works. He also loves being spun in his chair that she has so she will often spin him in this and it is great when you can hear them both giggling away together. Its times I treasure and they really melt my heart. You learn to really treasure these moments as they are far and few between, so when they do happen they are just magical.
Sometimes though it just makes him angry and lash out. Unfortunately but also thankfully she is getting better at dodging his aggressive swings for her when she does something he doesn’t like, or want to do. She is starting to learn the signs for when he wants to play or for when he just needs left alone.

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Amellia really keeps me thinking positivly about all that is going on in our little family, yes sometimes things are really tough for her and we ensure that she gets time out to be a typical 5-year-old without having to worry about leaving if Dylan dislikes a place or whatever we have chosen to do that day but her understanding when Dylan gets overwhelmed by a place is absolutely magnificent. She will often say to me if it just me taking them to the park that she is ok with leaving if Dylan doesn’t like it when we get there.
I also really admire how proud of her brother she is, when we are out and she is talking to someone she will openly say about her brother having autism and people are generally shocked by how open she is and never quite know what to reply. She will then go on to tell them about Autism and how it affects her brother and that sometimes he will get mad, but he isn’t doing it to be mean, he just can’t understand you and doesn’t know how to tell you what he thinks.

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Yesterday she came home from school and nearly had me in tears.
She came up to me and told me that we don’t need to send Dylan to the school that we have seen for him because she is going to open a school just for children with autism. She is going to make it with a soft play room, sensory room, colouring and a room especially for Dylan with Thomas the Tank engine all over it.
Then she went on to tell us about how she will let them play most of the day so that they don’t get upset and she will try to teach them but if they get upset she will have an Ipad there for them to use to help to calm him down and they can then play letter games on it to help them to learn.

My heart melted.. My little girl amazes me everyday. She is so understanding, caring, loving and wants to just help in every way that she can.
When we explained to her that he will be a little to old when she has done she said that’s ok then mummy, because I can help other children like Dylan and he can come in and help me ❤img_4646

Dylan is so lucky to have a sister like her, and she helps him so much and wouldn’t ever be without him.
She tells me often that when I get older and I can’t look after Dylan anymore she will live with him so that she can keep him safe and make sure that he has the best life he can. She doesn’t want to get married or have any children so that she can always be there for Dylan when he needs her.

Simply put; I think he is the luckiest little brother and she is the most understanding big sister around.

-WeeOhana

0

The impossible wish.

I wish I could spend a week, or even a day being you.
I want to know how this world seems to you

What makes you smile
What makes you cry
How all these noises sound to you
Why you don’t like eating ham
And why you love mince so much
Why playing with letters is one of your favourite things
But putting them together to make words seems.. well I guess scary to you?
I wish for this so I can really understand you
So I can understand why you dislike so much that brings others joy
And how things Bring you joy that I don’t understand why
I want to bring you all the joy possible
But how am I meant to when I have no clue what it’s like being you
Or what is going on in your little world.

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