Six months ago we had no idea how she would adapt to going to a Mom's morning out program at a local church. She was diagnosed the day after she started "school". In fact she struggled A LOT at the beginning. I wasthisclose to pulling her from the class because the stress of not knowing how she was, was really hurting me. For the last month or so almost all the reports from when I pick her up are good. A great blessing because I knew she needed to be with other kids her own age, and learn to play with them. Well she was around the other kids but had yet to learn to play with them. If any other child came into her area she would have a meltdown. I've been hearing these are few and far between these days. She's picked up the routines finally of when it's time for circle time, wiggle time (free play), and this past Monday she actually "allowed" another little kid to play with the same toys she was playing with. Now it might seem like no big deal to a parent with a kid who doesn't have Autism but it was a big deal for her.
The most important thing for her is to have a strict schedule. I feel that almost every day we have a routine down. It's either therapy & school or just therapy during the week. Her sister goes to school in the afternoon. The two weeks they had off for the holidays were a doozie at home. Her nap schedule went off kilter and it's still up in the air. If she takes a late nap, it is HELL to wake her up and get her to eat dinner and play for a bit then go back to bed. I know she needs that nap. The last few days I've been experimenting with letting her hang out in her crib for an hour or so and if she's not asleep I take her out and we don't go through the struggles we went through the last few weeks late in the afternoon. If she doesn't nap, she hangs out on my lap or the couch, with her little butt up in the air (you know how little one's sleep), a blankie with her and trying to cover herself up with the pillows from the couch. So it's still a "do we let her give up her nap or does she really still need them?" type of thing.
So some of her triumphs in the last few weeks are:
* eating with a fork.
* motioning to get up in her booster seat
* helping with letting herself down from her booster seat
* inferring that she is done with her meal by handing us her plate and fork (if we don't catch her, it gets flipped to the floor)
* she's engaging with more eye contact with her therapists
* she's following more simple directions from her therapists* saying more words for her therapists spontaneously, and making more sounds that are trying to sound like words.
* playing with others including her sister:
Although my friend Kris says "look at Avery she's holding on to Jessie and Woody like, don't you dare touch them!" lol. True she does look like she is. They were quiet and that's what brought me into the room and this is what I saw.
The sisters playing together is a big deal. The tall and short one as we first started calling them when the youngest arrived have had a rough time of it. The tall one has always played well independently. Avery will play by herself as well. Well it's become more play in the last few months based on mimicking other actions that she seeing. She loves Jessie and Woody from Toy Story. I have 3 Jessie dolls in my house right now. Not a day goes by that there isn't a fight over that darn doll.
What I've been noticing in the last few weeks is the playing together they have going on. Paige is pushing herself into Avery's world by tickling her, making her laugh and hugging her. It's wonderful when Avery is accepting. Sometimes she is and sometimes she's basically wants to be left alone. Yesterday was one of those moments when Paige was let into Avery's world and they were both giggling.
She's making improvements, and while they may not be leaps and bounds they are indeed little triumphs for her.