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Shift into turbo! (Just a short update)

So I have a 4 soon to be 5 year old brother who may lack in speech but he can open the car door using the keys. Gifted? Yes I think so.

It was such a great day out yesterday! Mainly because of my brother. He somehow managed to put the car keys in the keyhole thing and with a little help, he turned the keys and unlocked all the car doors! And then he got in all by himself c: And his hat came off but he put it on- with no support^^ And once we were in the supermarket, he began to push the trolley! And then he got bored and kind of ran off and I ended up chasing him o.o

But by him just doing those things made my day! My smile became even bigger with the excitement of my parents just talking about it. It’s just those simple things that he does. Like it just makes you forget about the fact that he can’t speak yet and look way beyond that :’)

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Too many unnecessary words guys!

Children with Autism are known to have a very limited vocabulary.

This being said, when giving instructions or asking them to do something, ask them in the most simplest and most direct form. For example, don’t say ‘Hang it over there’. This will make the child with autism confused because to them, they don’t know what ‘it’ is, or what ‘there’ is either. They won’t understand the meaning of those words so instead, say ‘Hang your coat over by the door’. This would be so much easier for them to understand because they know that they have to put THEIR COAT by the DOOR. Children with Autism take things literally so the second example would make life so much easier for both child and parent/sibling/others. It’s simple, and directive.

But with my brother not being able to say actual words and just babbling when he does say something, even speaking in sentences seem useless. Sometimes, you think ‘Why even try?’, but the thing is, YOU HAVE TO TRY. Having a negative attitude will get you no where. You have to try, you have to be able to think and believe that if you keep trying, they’ll be able to understand. And soon, they’ll pick up on it. We were told by staff and others to say the word when performing an action. This is so that the child would be able to put the meaning behind the word. So when my brother comes up to me and puts his arms up because he wants me to pick him up high, I have to say ‘Up’. So the next time he hears the word, he’ll know what ‘Up’ is- maybe not straight away but perhaps in the near future. It’s situations like these were I feel as though using a word rather than sentences is better for him, so he’ll be able to understand a word rather than a jar filled with words he can’t relate to. (at this point, I don’t know if I’m making sense but if you understood it, 10 gold stars to you!- no sarcasm intended, I’m serious)

However, I sometimes think that maybe in some cases actions speak louder than words. For example, when I want my brother to come to me, I flick my hands towards me when I have his attention, and he does come to me and I hug him in return as a reward for him understanding. Though, times like these I don’t know what words to use. ‘Here’ is the one that comes to my mind but I still think that word would confuse him but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try 🙂

I’ll end this post here. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember the point I was trying to make but I guess the point was, with and autistic sibling- don’t bombard them with truckloads of words they won’t be able to understand. Keep it simple.

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Sensitive to sound?

So recently I, as well as my parents have noticed that whenever we change the channel to this specific channel, he runs behind someone and hides his head  or goes into the kitchen and hides- or he’d take the remote and want you to change it. It’s funny because before when we used to change it to this specific channel, he never used to hide or anything. But now he does.

Yesterday couldn’t have been any better timing as yesterday, I managed to pick up ‘Ten things every child with Autism wishes you knew’ again and started and finished reading chapter two- ‘My sensory perceptions are disordered’.

*SPOILER ALERT*

(FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK, PLEASE DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT- OR YOU CAN IF YOU WANTED TO)

2. My sensory perceptions are disordered.

Sensory integration may be the most difficult aspect of autism to understand, but it is arguably the most critical. This means that the ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday that you may not even notice can be downright painful for me. The very environment in which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or belligerent to you but I am just trying to defend myself. Here is why a “simple” trip to the grocery store may be hell for me:

My hearing may be hyper-acute. Dozens of people are talking at once. The loudspeaker booms today’s special. Music whines from the sound system. Cash registers beep and cough, a coffee grinder is chugging. The meat cutter screeches, babies wail, carts creak, the fluorescent lighting hums. My brain can’t filter all the input and I’m in overload!

My sense of smell may be highly sensitive. The fish at the meat counter isn’t quite fresh, the guy standing next to us hasn’t showered today, the deli is handing out sausage samples, the baby in line ahead of us has a poopy diaper, they’re mopping up pickles on aisle 3 with ammonia….I can’t sort it all out. I am dangerously nauseated.

Because I am visually oriented (see more on this below), this may be my first sense to become overstimulated. The fluorescent light is not only too bright, it buzzes and hums. The room seems to pulsate and it hurts my eyes. The pulsating light bounces off everything and distorts what I am seeing — the space seems to be constantly changing. There’s glare from windows, too many items for me to be able to focus (I may compensate with “tunnel vision”), moving fans on the ceiling, so many bodies in constant motion. All this affects my vestibular and proprioceptive senses, and now I can’t even tell where my body is in space.

*Small extract of the chapter which can be found in this website: http://www.ellennotbohm.com/article-archive/ten-things-every-child-with-autism-wishes-you-knew/

I found out that the channel or more importantly, the adverts featured on that channel (since he hides away from those) may be an overdose of visual images and sounds. Note: I’m saying sorry in advance for using this specific example but its the best way to explain it- its like having an overdose of someone’s fart clogging up your nose and you can’t stand it so you want it to go away so bad before it drives you crazy! I guess thats how its like for him. And perhaps this changes every now and then, I don’t know but it is something I’m going to look into but at least I can tell my parents that its too much for him. However this then means that he’ll need some form of sensory therapy which I’ll raise next time I see the paedetrician or when I visit his new school c: I swear, this book it like the Holy Book of ASD :’)- or something like that o.o

On another note, as much as I would love to post everyday, I can’t. I’m doing a lot of things and theres just not enough hours during the day but I will try and post at least once a week- THANKS GUYS! Also, I do appreciate each and every person liking my posts :’)

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Its the end of an eventful chapter.

My baby brother is finishing nursery tomorrow and for all of us, its a pretty emotional time because it just shows how far he’s come. Looking back, it highlights how much he’s improved and how much theres still left but all in good time.

On Monday, my parents had to visit the school he was going to go to in September and his head teacher was there. And once he saw her, he ran up to her and gave her cuddles with his arms round her neck. Its amazing that just a year ago, he didnt want anything to do with her but through a lot of intensive interaction, he’s some to love her- just like we do :’) We owe so so so much to this lady, its unbelievable. Well, not just her but to his key workers as well.

I think sometimes when you try to do your best with a child with autism, you could throw them at the deep end straight away but sometimes and perhaps majority of the time- the best way to get a child with autism to do things is to start off with intensive interaction. In simple terms, includes lots of hugs and cuddles. Such a simple method can have a huge impact with interaction between the child and the person. I believe its the best method to use before doing anything- especially PECs. When my brother started nursery, he was immedietly thrown at the deep end with PECs. He couldn’t do it. He didn’t understand it, he didn’t know any of these people, he absolutely H A T E D it! However, after scrapping that idea and spending months using intensive interaction to I guess, get to know her, (or whoever was the keyworker at the time) in a way, it enabled him to trust him and whenever any of them walked into the room, he would always look at them- so his eye contact improved HUGELY.

A few months later, they decided to try PECs again and success. He did it because he knew it was ok. And the keyworkers thankfully were patient enough to try and try again. Its amazing to see how far he’s come. He’s babbling more which is great!. I remember in English, we studied this  person who said that when parents try to correct their childs speech, they won’t repeat whatever said. So I decided to do the opposite with me copying what he’s saying and it actually helps him to babble more. I would rather have him babble then not say anything at all. And hopefully by him continuing to babble it’ll help him form words and perhaps go onto the next stage of learning language. *fingers crossed* I’m actually looking forward to the future and having those moments where everything that you’ve done to said point was worth it 🙂

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The epic battle of remote a.k.a channel changer.

As if it isn’t bad enough trying to watch T.V and having 4 other people who want to watch something else- my baby brother decided to join in as well!

If he were watching something, and then suddenly he starts playing with his toy piano and you decide to change the channel- he’ll become upset. I’ve come to learn that even though he’s not paying attention, he still likes to have the channel on to whatever he was watching previously. When he becomes upset, he’ll take the remote off of you and kind of shoves it at you for you to change it. It’s really C U T E!  >~< But can be a bit of a nightmare at times.

I remember once, he went the whole day without letting anyone watch anything and the other day- mum decided to change things up a bit so she changed the channel to something she usually watches and put the remote out of his reach. Of course he started crying… still continued to cry until I think, he got the message. SO the next time something similar happened and my mum put the remote out of his reach, he didn’t cry. He just did whatever really o-o

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The medicine that could kill you with its smell.

Basically the title- true story. (the stench of the medicine not the death o.o)

My baby brother has to have this vitamin medicine which literally all the vitamins in the world (exaggerating) in it. This is because of his diet being really restrictive. The dietician prescribed this and told us to feed him to medicine for as long as we can. So, being the loving and responsible family that we are, we do what we’re told. I remember opening the bottle, and the stench (smell) of it hit me. It was just naasttyyyy.

Whilst I was helping my mum to prepare, I was thinking ‘how on earth is he supposed to get this down?’. My fears came true when he refused to have it- I don’t blame him, just looking at it made me gag. And its really frustrating when we went back to dietician and she doesn’t seem to understand that it is I M P O S S I B L E for him to have medicine that smells like crap. He’s not going to have it. Even if you try and force it down. He usually has his medicines- he knows he has to take them. However with this one, it just smells really bad and he’s not budging.

So we’re in a bit of a smidge. The dietician said that we should feed him it and then quickly give water but IT WONT WORK.  I don’t know what makes it smell so bad. I’d say the name but if you have a memory like mine, its pretty useless.

I held the bottle out for my mum, and I just sniffed my hand and the stench… *dies*

 

 

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Cutest thing ever.

My brother was sitting next to me- and he was playing with my hair. I don’t know what fascination he has with it but he loves my hair- he’d even lick it o.o (with the licking thing, the lady said that it was his way of identify things o.o)

Anyway, I had my hair in plaits and then the end hair band came off so my brother got off of the sofa and picked it up, then he gave it to me :’) it was the first time ever I’ve seen him do it and it was the cutest thing ever! I told my mum and she got really happy. Things like this show that he’s just improving everyday, and things like this do make my day. Also, he ate bread dunked in tea today ^^. He never ate bread before but my mum wanted to make him try, so she got him on to her lap and some how made him eat it. I think he found it tasty and so my mum put him back on his chair and ate the whole thing :’)

She tried feeding him cucumbers but he hates that stuff. In actual fact, he hates all solid-hard food. Just pondering on whether theres ways to get around this? Before, when any of us gave him a slice of apple or carrot, he would lick it and he’d know its meant for eating so he’d put it down. Now he won’t even go near the stuff o.o

Any ideas on how to go round this?