Friday, June 23, 2017

Living on the Spectrum - Rowan Updates

Things have been busy here lately, to say the least. We have had an appointment or ABA therapy almost every day. Heidi Anne spent nearly a week at Grandma's going on different adventures.

Heidi Anne is making her way through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which she is loving. Char's been waiting for her to be old enough to start enjoying the world of Hogwarts. We even got it on Audible for her to listen to it in the car when we're driving.  
Rowan's ABA therapy is going good. He attends ABA Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30-2:00. 5 1/2 hours a day, 3 days per week. It's a 20 minute drive to the office, (which is a lot better then a 90 minute one way trip that we were facing up in Evanston). Our insurance doesn't cover in-home ABA sessions, only clinical ABA at a facility. We pack him a snack and a lunch. It's basically a pre-pre school. 

Rowan has his own therapist who works with him 1-on-1 and there are 2 other children with their own therapists as well. They all get together about 1-2 times an hour and do their group therapy sessions. They practice on talking to someone their age, work on taking turns, trying to get them to play together, or just plain interacting. 

Rowan's already picked up some new words and learning to use the ones he knows correctly. He can say "Wader" and knows what the word means, he loves playing with water so much. He also knows "car". He enjoys his cars and watching the cars drive by through the windows. He even said he's first sentence the other day, "Car go!" It was so exciting!
They've discovered he has a fondness for puzzles and he's pretty good at them. He loves to jump on the little trampoline. Rowan likes to get on the slide and they chant "Ready? Set?" He promptly says "GO!" as he slides down. 

We, (by we I mean; the Primary Children's speech therapist, Early Intervention speech therapist, the ABA therapists, and us) are all working on teaching him to use the PECS system. Right now we have about a dozen pictures of his favorite things or actions, he brings or points to the picture he wants and receives the item. This system has helped to reduce meltdowns. We slowly add more pictures to his vocabulary as he learns the old ones. 

Rowan is actually starting to speak more. He's beginning to say; "Yes, No, Cool and Shoe". He doesn't use them properly, as of yet. He randomly says "Dank-you" (thank-you) "You Elcome!" (You're welcome). We're loving all the speech and ABA therapy he's receiving. He's made so much progress in just 1 month. I love watching him grow, I can't imagine what he'll accomplish in the next 6 months to a year!

The other day we took the kids to a larger splash pad. Heidi Anne got super soaked. Anastasia stayed in the stroller. Rowan had fun but there were too many people. He kept coming back to the stroller, sit backwards facing away from people, and white knuckle grip the sides of the stroller. After 30 minutes we headed out.
That's when Char spotted the swings at a nearby park. Neither Rowan or Anastasia have played in a swing. Rory LOVED it! He kept laughing so hard and saying "Weee!" or "YESSSS!". Which surprised us. Anastasia was a tad tiny for it and kept slipping backwards inside the swing. Even Anastasia giggled a few times.