12

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.

img_8986

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!

img_8801

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

-WeeOhana

0

Rice Sensory play!

Here is another simple, sensory fun idea for you to do with your little ones!
I bought a bag of rice from the supermarket poured it into our tub from IKEA that we use for our sensory play and dug out some stacking cups that we already had in the house!

img_3767

We had lots of fun pouring the rice out of the cups, it made lots of different noises when you changed the speed of the pouring and he had great fun using the other cups to fill up the big one to pour it out!
img_3783He wasn’t so fond of touching the rice even after playing with it for a while. Though he did let me pour it over his hands and he really enjoyed that! He did sit in the other sensory play that we did,but not the rice; I’m not quite sure what was different about the rice to the others that he wasn’t quite so keen on it! I  must try to work it out and then I can try and do a few more like the rice to try and get him used to it more!

So to end this post here is a lovely little video that makes me smile every-time I see it! What a handsome little man I have ❤
WeeOhana xx

 

10

Our First Speech Therapy

Last week we went to Dylan’s first speech therapy, though it was a different lady who had seen him at the CDC clinic so it was a review for her to decide what she thought was the best plan of action! She has decided that he would really benefit from some joint therapy with the occupational therapist as well as the speech therapist at the same time. She hopes that this will start before Easter but can’t be too sure, so I have my fingers crossed that we hear sooner rather than later about it starting so that we can get cracking! She was a lovely lady and gave me some tips and things to try with him along with lots of advice which I am going to share with you all! =]

When we first went in she asked a few questions then played with him, tried to encourage him to do certain tasks and to see how he got on with all the things she had prepared for the day. She did a game with him which was putting some bean bags in a post box type thing, which he really loved. When this task was over and she put it away Dylan couldn’t handle it and went into full meltdown mode.. luckily enough my hubby had came along too so took him back to the car while I chatted with her about the best actions to take to encourage speech.

The first thing she told me shocked me, she said that she isn’t going to work on his speech for now.. it is all about his concentration, engagement, interacting and eye contact. To me I was a little taken back by this, but they have to be able to do these things before speech will come or speech therapy will really work for them! So I have lots of ways of trying to do this and have a long list of toys that I will need to purchase to help!

She also said that his depth perception is very bad, so to try and do lots of things that encourage climbing, pulling out chairs to sit on, and grabbing items off the floor. Lots of that sort of thing to help him, I wasn’t aware but apparently it is very common in autistic children!

The toys which she has advised me to get are lots of simple, easy toys. She said that it is better if he can very easily do the toy and it to have lots of parts. For example today I got him a ring stack. So I then sit, or even better lay on the floor with him while he is doing this he is doing this, and give him one ring at a time to put on, he then has to engage with me to get the next ring. Even if it is just him coming over and me giving him the ring, he is starting to learn that to get the things he wants/needs he has to engage with people! Another thing to do with the ring stack is that I put the part they go onto on top of the sofa and then bring him to the other side of the room with me and give him the first ring, he then has to climb on the sofa which is working on his depth perception and then come back to me get the next one etc!

img_3240

I got told as well when I am playing with him to spend a lot of the time laying on the floor behind what he is playing with, she said then that they will catch a glimps of your eyes and make very short eye contact now and then and hopefully will build up to longer periods of times! Unfortunately we have just had laminate flooring put down so it isn’t the comfiest, but needs must!

We also have been advised to buy a lot of different cause and effect toys, so that he learns when he does something it will have a reaction, and that when he wants something he has to do something to get it! I have got him a pop up toy for this, the kind where you turn the handle and a cow pops up, turn the other handle and a dog pops up etc!

To encourage him to interact with us we have been advised to only put a little bit of juice in his juice cup and get him to learn that he has to bring it to us to get more, so that way he will be engaging with us and getting what he wants back. If we only put a little bit of juice in it is then encouraging him to have to do it more often and get him used to it! Another way to encourage this is to teach him that the remote controller turns on the tv, so that when he wants the tv on he can bring us the remote and other things like that!

There are many other toys and things that she has told me to get for him, but I think he will be able to make do with what i bought until next pay day! Dam toys are expensive! >.<
Her main thing was that we keep the toys all easy and simple so that he can do them himself, doesn’t get frustrated at them and really enjoys them! Dylan is like a lot of other autistic children and likes lots of repetitive play, so if its something he can do easily over and over again without getting frustrated it is great! Especially if its working on his depth perception and even more so if he is having to engage too! =]

Here is what I ended up with today for Dylan! =]
img_3233

What cause and effect toys do your little ones enjoy?
WeeOhana xx

5

Porridge Play!

Today I decided to do another different and fun sensory play for Dylan! This time again using something that was safe to be eaten, just in case he decided to taste it or my dog got some of it! I had thought about putting sparkles in it or dying the porridge oats but then again I thought I would rather leave it safe to eat!

I made this really simply/quickly and very cheaply! We actually had all the things I used in the house already, but if you don’t it can be bought for very cheap or you can use whatever you have in the house!

I started off with a container the same one that I used for the pasta play, got out some porridge oats and filled the container so that the bottom of it had a nice layer on it, then added some diggers and it suddenly looked very cool!
img_2999At the start he wasn’t too sure about the feeling of the porridge oats though he was happy to drive his JCBs through it if it didn’t touch his hand.. though in time as he got more and more used to it slightly touching his hands he then dug in! He absolutely loved it! He was picking it up and burying his cars under the porridge oats, scooping the oats up with the diggers and then he started to used the diggers to scoop up the porridge oats and put them in his mouth! He was using the diggers like little spoons, it was wonderful he was happy chewing on it and feeling it in his mouth! He then proceeded to  sit in the container with the oats and sprinkle it over his legs and his feet, it was simply wonderful to see. He was having so much fun.. Though he then decided to empty the whole lot onto the floor which I wasn’t too pleased about but thankfully with our new wooden floor down it is easy to clean so I left him too it! He was than laying in it, running through it and having the time of his life. It was simply wonderful, I am really enjoying doing all these different sensory play ideas with him! I think I will do a few more dry ones before moving onto squisy/mushy/wet/sticky kinds of things as they are the things he really doesn’t cope well it. I want to keep it as fun and enjoyable as possible!

img_3052

Do you have any ideas of different things I could try or that you have tried? =]

I have also just made a facebook page and and an instagram account where I put things on daily that we do or that have tried out and enjoyed! If you have enjoyed my blog I think you would enjoy them too, please check them out and give me a like and a follow if you want, I would really appreciate it! =] @WeeOhana << Facebook Link! =] @WeeOhana << Instagram Link!

WeeOhana xx

 

18

The Start of a Long Journey

I’m not really sure what to write, or how to phrase what I write really, I just know that I need to write it somewhere as a place to get it out and as a sort of journal for what all is about to begin. Currently we are just starting a long journey with our handsome son to see what is going on with him. Our first step is Monday when he is getting seen by the audiologist.

I’ve had my worries about him for a while, but it took me  until a few months to convince myself that I wasn’t just being silly and there was something going on. I then decided to book a doctors appointment and went armed with a list of my worries and concerns about what was going on with him. I felt like a crazy mum going in with a list, but the doctor there knows me well, was very welcoming and told me he was glad I had a list so that I didn’t forget anything. So after him checking over my little monkeys ears/throat etc we discussed what I was worried about, he decided that we needed to get the health visitor over to see him asap and to get the ball rolling to sort things out with him. One thing he said that really got to me was that “he will either progress from here, or start to go backwards.”

After speaking to my doctor I was hoping to have a weight lifted off my shoulders and him telling me that I was just being silly, not to rush him and so forth but as you can tell, thats not how it went. I came home and got on the phone to the health visitor to get her to come and sort us out. I had to wait a week until she was available to come over, and I’m sure a lot of you reading this are parents and you know how long a week feels when you are in panic and upset about your child.. little did I know the waiting time of a week was the shortest I would endure in this process.

When she arrived she asked me what my worries and concerns were and we got to have a good chat as he was having a little nap. My worries were.. I suppose still are!

  • He doesn’t respond to his name, no matter how loud you shout it. Though hears things like doors creaking etc. At the start I was worried he was deaf, until I realized it was more a selective hearing thing. (this is getting checked on Monday though as they have to clear his hearing before checking everything else)
  • He is 21 months and doesn’t say a word, he babbles a bit, but no words or sounds that mean anything to him. He used to say dada/dog etc and knew what they meant.. now they have disappeared.
  • He tiptoe walks, a lot. Like right up nearly as high as he can get.
  • Extremely fussy with the foods he eats.. Doesn’t really like lumps or bumps in his food.
  • Doesn’t brings toys over to show me/his dad or his sister
  • Isn’t keen on his sister sitting beside him, when she does he will try to bite her/pull her hair.
  • Very little eye contact, or response to emotions from others.
  • Head banging against a wall/floor (very upsetting to experience =()

As I told her these she asked me had I been on google and were these all big worries or just little things.. when I told her that I used to work with children with additional needs she started to listen a little more, and then when he woke up and demonstrated to her several of these things she then said that I was right to have a list written. She then plowed on to serious mode.. She told me that she hoped she would come here and see him and tell me that she would come back and see him in a few more months and that he would grow out of the things he did. Unfortunately she told me this wasn’t the case and she wanted to write down reports etc and get them sent off that night to get him on the list to be seen by the child developmental team as soon as possible. . This was at the start of July.

I have had a lot of time to take it all in, think things over and over again, worry, get upset, get annoyed and most emotions possible really. This is a real tough thing to be going through and to be left in the dark with when the ball will start rolling. I have his audio on Monday so at least that is something but I am yet to have an appointment from the child developmental team. I am going to ask them when I am in on Monday if they have a clue about time frame.. I think the not knowing when it is all going to start is the hardest.. Especially when I know that when the ball has started rolling it wont be straight forward and that it will be a long time after many appointments to know what is going on.

As his mum, I just want to make it all ok everything be fine and one day for him to wake and to have came on leaps and bounds. Be talking and everything.. but as the days and weeks go past, I know that wont be anytime soon. It hurts a lot, but I have to keep my brave face on, keep smiling and positive for my family.

One thing I have found through all this though is that you constantly seem to be on the look out for things that are different/worrying/wrong etc.. So I have tried to concentrate on the positive and enjoy what makes him, him. The way when he laughs, its from deep within him, he has the most wonderful and infections laugh and when you have discovered what makes him laugh you can do it 1000 times over and he will find it just as funny as he did the first time! How when you hand him something new he will inspect it in great detail, turning it over and over again in his hands looking at all the tiny little details on it. That he empties out the whole box of hot wheels to find the one with the red roof and then will grab any other one to have one in each hand.. then will go to the table and play with them for ages without anything distracting.. unless his sister goes near him! 😛  That he will pick the tiny bits off the carpet and place them in my hand and will do this until he thinks they have all gone! When he climbs up beside his sister and for the brief moment will sit beside her and how excited and happy she gets by this, and how at the park he will find a bridge, and go back and forth across this bridge the whole time we spend there chuckling away to himself. He does a whole load more that makes me so proud and privileged to have him as my wonderful son. I love him, and I always will, no matter what the outcome is.

WeeOhana. xx

 

2

Quality Time!

I have had a great morning today! My parents had my daughter over night and then took her out for a nice walk and some exploring too burn off that amazing amount of energy she has! For the first time I really felt like I had just me and my little man time! It was incredible.. I always feel guilty about the time I spend with him. It’s normally me juggling my attention between him and little miss, when he is sleeping she gets my full attention.. but he never gets that, because she never sleeps! Whenever he was younger I used to get to spend time with him while she was in bed and so forth, though he now goes to bed when she does! He also interacts a lot more with you now, whenever I was getting quality time with him before he could barley hold his head up and just wanted cuddled to sleep!

Now though he is so much more interactive.. he smiles, giggles(kind of), grabs for things and lets you know when you do something he doesn’t like. It’s fantastic.. and this morning just felt really special.. we chatted, cuddled, laughed and just let everything else pass us by!

It was just magical! :]

Weeohana x

2

Baby Wearing!

Who baby wears? I have recently discovered how amazing it is! For starters its like having a constant cuddle from you baby, Who doesn’t love that!? A few people on my birth board baby wear, so this is where I first really got the idea from seeing there pictures and thinking it looked great and babys all seemed so happy! Also with having a hyperactive three year old and a baby who has started to want to interat too.. its pretty tiring and hard trying to keep on top of it all! Having him in the baby carrier enables me to be able to do arts and crafts with her with both my hands, rather than having to help my little man sit up and try and help her.. which just doesn’t work! Now he is happy talking away to me in his carrier and feeling feathers etc, while I aid her in doing the task at hand!

Do any of you baby wear? Does it make your life easier and whih one do you us? Mine is a Connecta! I looked through all the designs that they had and instantly fell in love with one that was out of stock, I was rather disapointed and was sure no where else would have it.. but took to google and found it here! I was so excited that I Imediatly ordered it, I couldn’t have been more ipressed with how fast it was recieved!  I ordered it late on Tuesday night, so it was posted Wednesday and I recieved it today! (Thursday) and look at just how awesome it is! 

   

How could I resist that awesome design right! I’m so in love with it and he is so happy in it! I know my love for it will just grow.. though im sure the hubby s hpoing it doesn’t grow too much so that I want another one ;] Another Connecta that is! Not another baby! 

This is his cheeky little face ❤ he adores it! Well does so far ;]

 

I’ll keep you guys up to date with how we get on with it! I’m rather excited for the summer time and to be able to go out for walks and exploring with them both! Colleting leaves and the such for some art and the such! 

Other baby weares, does he look like he is in it right? What type of expiditions have you done with your little ones in them? =]

WeeOhana .. excited for some adventures!