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Disorders & Conditions >> Classic Autism (3-6 years old)

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agrif3
New Member


Reged: 06/19/06
Posts: 3
Loc: reno, nv
real communication, ever??
      #178 - 06/19/06 10:25 PM

Can somebody please advise me??? My son was diagnosed at 2 1/2 on the spectrum. In some ways I'm lucky, he is very high functioning (as autistic as Bill Gates I was told). He does play with other children and will initiate. But communication really holds him back. He is now 4 but prefers to play with 2-3 year olds becuse they don't ask questions and don't speak so good either. He has a rather large vocabulary considering he had none at 2 1/2 but he cannot put more than 3 words together. His dad and I try to get him to say sentences before we give him what he wants ("I want milk please") instead of saying "milk please" but his brain just can't seem to do it. When asked a question he has to make a choice he always says he wants the last thing said. He is a parrot a lot too with repeating many things said to him and other times he will say the same thing over and over and over when it has no relationship to what is happening around him.

Will real communication ever develop???? We get so discouraged and our "experts" sure don't seem to be able to encourage mom and dad too well. I would love to hear from a parent who has "seen the light" at the end of the tunnel and has a child that does speak and communicate.

Also, as weird as this sounds, can somebody give pointers how to potty train an autistic child??? He just can't get it together even with rewards.

Thank you!
Alice


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Anonymous
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Re: real communication, ever?? [Re: agrif3]
      #182 - 06/20/06 01:50 AM

>Will real communication ever develop????

a. you already have real communication, he is constantly communicating real things to you in a real way, if you'll learn the way he is communicating to you. He really is, and you'll both be better off if you can do it (of course, I'm sure you are probably already there, but maybe just don't realize it, you seem to be a very good parent. You probably do realize it, actually, you were just very frustrated when you wrote that. We've all been there and know that frustration.).

b. what you mean by "real communication" - Will real communication ever develop????

Maybe. I'm very sorry, but that is all you have to go on right now. He might learn to speak the way you want at 5, 6, 10, 14 or maybe never. But he is learning to speak as best he can.

Don't be discouraged by occasional echolalia, it is speech and something you can work with. It's only perhaps worrying if that's ALL you ever get.

As for the requests "I want milk please" that stuff is great, have you tried using sign language? Also sign language tapes/DVD's? It took us several years, but with the sign language stuff, aided by the tapes which we let him do on his own at his speed, he does use full sentences now for requests....sometimes. (I use sign language to prompt..."please" "I want" etc) Now he does it soemtimes... unprompted. And he now sometimes answers simple questions with yes or no. He is 9 and LFA and very much like your child when he was that age.

Oh, and toilet trained at 5. It can be done. combination of praise, rewards, demonstration, encouragement, only positive reinforcement. It can be done, for many/most kids. Don't despair, don't give up. But potty training is such an important thread it probably deserves its own section.

krnewman


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Anonymous
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Ooops, sorry [Re: Anonymous]
      #183 - 06/20/06 01:53 AM

this was the really important part:

>We get so discouraged and our "experts" sure don't seem to be able to encourage mom and dad too well.

This is something I know all about. Care to expand?

krnewman


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Jarrett
New Member


Reged: 06/08/06
Posts: 12
Loc: Arroyo Grande, California
Re: Ooops, sorry [Re: Anonymous]
      #185 - 06/20/06 01:48 PM

Wow, that was my son a year ago. Even down to the gravitating to the younger kids.

Connor is now 5.5, and has had a burst of language recently due to a combined dual point intervention: A strictly structured Special Day Class for 3 hours a day after his Regular Preschool Class for 3 hours a day. He thrives in a highly structured envrionment, we have found. The other prong of the interventions is a Biomedical attack. We recently found a DAN! Doctor in our area who set us on the path of the DAN! protocol: Stepwise addition of A Megavitamin (Lee Silsby Powder), Mg/B6, Trimethylglycine, and the kicker: Methyl-B12 injections. I cant say whether which intervention helped more in his sudden language burst, but he has had a significant one. I lean towards the Biomedical, but thats probably because I am a Biologist by education.

Before those interventions (and where you are currently) we were just falling back to continuous and consistent ABA principles for behavior modification. ex: Prompting him to use "All His Words", Modeling the proper request, and "partying" when he did it right. (We dont always give candy as a preferred item, I have seen too many rotted teeth from constant candying.) Oftentimes, a big proprioceptic hug (pick him up and swing him while bear hugging him) works wonders for Connor as a reward.

As krnewman mentioned, we used some signs early on to help him generalize the concept of communication. We received a snippet of advice when we first received his diagnosis that was pretty key: Whenever he communicates (in any fashion) have a party. He needs to learn that when he communicates, that is a GOOD THING. In the beginning, we made a huge deal out of any communication, and it grew. Sometimes slowly, sometimes in bursts, but it did grow.

And for the echolocalia, we would make sure he was paying attention, and ask him two to three times, switching the final choice, and offering the choices visually at the same time. Ex: Juice or water? Water or Juice? We would often stick the preferred drink on the front side of the choices, so that if he was just echoing, he would miss out on the preferred, and then stick to the choice he made. Sometimes we got a little tantrum when he was thinking Juice, but echoed Water, but thems the breaks.

As for Pottying, at 5.5 yrs we are still working towards 100% no accident days. We had an interesting time even getting him to sit on the potty to go. We got a "Princess and the Potty" Book, and read it several times during the day. We pushed through getting on the potty by filling him up with Juice, then putting him on the potty, and reading the potty book, then continuing to fill him up with juice. We could tell he had to go so bad, but he just refused. Finally, I got him with the old "first person asleep at the sleepover" trick: Hand in Warm Water. He couldnt hold it anymore, and just went. After that, we had a BIG Party, with Musical instruments, Candy, and lots of attention. ... It has gotten much easier since.

We had a really good aide through our local Regional Center (California Specific Agency) who came and helped us with scheduling and reminders and a "book". I should try and scan it, it is remarkable. It is a laminated 2x2 flipbook, with pages describing the potty process. We now read that one several times a day. We also set up a potty chart, which is just a cardboard sheet with three commodes and a reward square on it. Each commode has a velcro sticky on it, and he has numbers 1,2,and3 and a set of rewards (computer, special snack, candy, etc.)with the other half of the velcro. Before we started, he chose the goal, be it computer time, candy, whathaveyou. Whenever he went potty, he got to put a number up. After the third number, he got to cash out and received the pre-chosen reward. We started with just going potty, with prompting, then moved to without prompting, then going and having pants stay dry/clean, each time building on generalized knowledge. As I said, we are still working on 100% accident free days.

ok, enough from me, let's let someone else share.

Jarrett

p.s: At least in our son, we have always seen minor regression right before a (physical or mental) growth spurt. We now dont stress if he doesnt do what he has already mastered, we just look forward to the breakthrough.

Edited by Jarrett (06/20/06 01:52 PM)


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Brief regressions [Re: Jarrett]
      #186 - 06/20/06 06:54 PM

We had the same experience as Jarret. With virtually every brief regression, there came at the end of it some great move forward. It got so we very quickly learned not to be sad about the regression, however frustrating or heartbreaking it might have seemed on the surface. Rather, it was like Christmas was coming and we would try to guess what the "present" would be.

Also, about toilet training, one thing to look forward to, once they get it, they get it, and the accident rate is virtually zero, much much lower than a normal kid.

I always found that if I pay close attention, there are all these little miracles going on, which provides the incentive to keep going.

krnewman


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lag
New Member


Reged: 06/21/06
Posts: 2
Re: real communication, ever?? [Re: agrif3]
      #188 - 06/21/06 05:57 PM

Hey Alice , you are doing a great job helping your son to learn to communicate with you and your husband. Did you try PECS? I used with older kids who severe developmental delays on the top of their autism, and it helped them a lot . Some of those kids who very not functionaly verbal( they produced sounds and words with no real meanings) developed speech. Hope it will help you. Keep up your good work!!

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agrif3
New Member


Reged: 06/19/06
Posts: 3
Loc: reno, nv
Re: real communication, ever?? [Re: lag]
      #192 - 06/25/06 01:14 PM

Hi all!

Thanks so much for all your input.

To those that have advised using sign or PCS we have tried them. PCS didn't work as my boy was born with some vision issues that eventually straightened out mostly on their own and with some surgery. He has ocular albinism (too little pigment in the retina--caused constant eye movement-nystagmis) and to top it all off got a lazy eye too. The nystagmis straightened up on its own and surgery helped the lazy eye. But the vision was not good enough for PCS until he was about 3. So we did sign and he picked up on it very quickly at 28 months and until words developed we did sign. He has many, many, many words as I discovered when compiling a word list for the school system, just can't put them together into sentences. I do get very frustrated as I want to be able to talk to him and have him let me know what's going on in his little mind. As being his mom, my instincts do let me know what he wants with his way of communication. I had the OT ask me how I knew what he wanted before we discovered signing and I had to answer "It's because I'm his mommy".

Good news, we went to the Reno Rodeo last night with him for the first time. I was afraid the huge crowds and noise would just send him over the edge and went knowing we might have to leave. Well, he really did well! He only freaked out at the noise of the adult rides and did not mind the crush in the grandstands. He did enjoy the horse riding and bucking. We did have to leave before it was over because he was getting very tired about 9:30 and would have slept on my lap if it weren't for the noise. Typically the rodeo goes from 7-10:30pm so it is late for the little guys. But there were no meltdowns like we expected! Woohoo!

It's very encouraging to read others have been where we are at right now. Thanks for the potty encouragement too. We have the potty training almost down pat with running around the house with no pants on as somebody doesn't like helping mommy clean up the puddles. I never thought having to help clean up a mess would be the enforcement needed to get him to pee in the pot, haha. Usually he likes helping wipe the table and stuff down so I figured wiping the floor he would take as fun too but guess not, haha. The big jobs he got pretty much immediately as I guess it's easier to tell when it's coming on. It's the training to pull his pants down and go potty that is proving very hard. We have yet to succeed with that on anything. Thanks for the encouragement!

Alice-Daniel's mommy


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sashasmom
New Member


Reged: 01/11/06
Posts: 5
Re: real communication, ever?? [Re: agrif3]
      #195 - 06/28/06 08:07 PM

We had planned to just let potty training be on the back burner b/c we were no where ready to tackle that demon. We spent a month in NC doing hard chamber hyperbaric (HBOT) and around week 2 my son woke up went and pee peed in the potty flushed it and got back in bed with me. He had not been provoked to go nor had we tried showing him how to pee in the potty. We had a wonderful experience with Hyperbaric and are going back for another month in September.

My ASD son was recently diagnosed with Apraxia and we started the Kauffman Praxis program at home and his SLP also works on it with him. Along with the biomedical treatments we have done and now just starting the Apraxia program he is really coming along. My son still can't say "milk please" so be fortunate for the 2 word sentences that you have. He has just started saying "mommy" this year. -Crystal
www.sashasrecovery.com


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Annette
New Member


Reged: 06/11/06
Posts: 6
Loc: Virginia
Re: real communication, ever?? [Re: sashasmom]
      #200 - 06/29/06 07:16 PM

I second all the advice you have been given so far!!! With my son, Ryan (3 1/2) I figured potty training was beyond me given everything else we were doing... but after HyperBaric Oxygen Treatment HBOT(which we are continuing) [we were in a small clinical trial] he started pounding on the bathroom door {they are child locked b/c of the water issue].. so I decided to use his interest and reward him with being able to wash his hands {he is very very water obsessed.} He is now mostly dry through the night {he goes before bed and when he wakes up} During the day, I take any sign {walking past the potty to his removing the diaper} as an opportunity. I am amazed at his fast progress... we also made up a phrase referring to the potty, {do you need to go potty?? say YES YES or NO NO with the head shakes... so sometimes I will catch him shaking his head YES Yes and rush him to the potty and so far with a very high rate of success} and we read lots potty books and we made a PEC book about it for him too.. I expect I will actually buy him underwear soon...
so don't give up... and if you ever get a chance to do HBOT try it... After the 4th or 5th session, Ryan sang a song to us [one we had been singing to him since birth] He has gained 150 words so far but needs alot of prompting and relies on his PEC book too... but hey prior he was competely non-verbal... I would also credit his verbal expansion to his daily MB12 shots... [he has been on them 9 months so far] The MB12 can help "grow" nerve connections that may be lacking in the mouth region {Ryan couldn't move his tongue both directions prior} but plan on doing the shots for at least 2 years {subtle results occur within weeks} Another thing to try is DMG or TMG... {we use both.... TMG in Brain Child Spectrum I and lots of DMG/Folic Acid/B12 combo from Kirkman's... When he misses the DMG combo for about a week {like when I forget to order} we lose the verbal almost completely.... Let's see you also might want to look at the Baby Bumble Bee DVDs... we bought the entire series {on Ebay] They are great at building volcabulary... {shows the word in several different applications {our kids have a hard time generalizing things otherwise.} Almost all the words he has gained are from the DVDs {but we only watch 45 minutes of any TV/DVD twice daily.} We recently (5 weeks so far) started doing weekly IVs of gluthathione and his verbal organization {not a real term} seems better like he will go to the freezer open it up and point to the organic grape juice popcicle and say I want popcicle. Where as before I would get fragments of the process.... Lastly, don't under estimate Epsom Salt baths {for Ryan it supplies the methy groups he needs to detox...} Ryan has gotten where we won't get in the tub until I get the epsom salts out... {remember this is a water obessed kid... so that is huge}
Good Luck!!!
Annette


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karin
New Member


Reged: 10/11/06
Posts: 1
Re: real communication, ever?? [Re: sashasmom]
      #263 - 10/11/06 05:25 AM

Can you give me some info on the Hyperbaric chamber- I have heard of it but never spoken with anyone who has actually used it?

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luvnit
Junior Member


Reged: 10/17/07
Posts: 29
Re: real communication, ever?? [Re: agrif3]
      #577 - 10/17/07 12:56 PM

Have you tried implementing a PECS system into his routine. You can even put them into sentence structures to create sentences. This can help your child 'see' what he is supposed to say. It works for my daughter. She is 5 1/2 and the PECS symbols help her a lot. We even used PECS when we were potty training. She just didn't seem to 'get it' until she could see each step she was supposed to do. IT was wonderful. If she can see it, she can understand it.

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