Hot off the press:
Zach has learned to move a mouse independently. I am still in shock. He still has to learn how to fine tune his movements, but he definitely gets it and that is step one. The game he was using doesn't require him to click, so that will be the next step. He still has more fine tuning when it comes to how much to move the mouse around, however, he is proficient enough to play this particular game independently ~85% of the time. Lesson learned: when motivated, he will learn.
Verbally, we noticed he is spontaneously saying words more frequently. His old words of banana and apple are most obvious, although he referred to an orange as an apple which I had to correct. Problem is - orange is a hard word for him to say. It will come in time I am sure. He has also said cracker, chip, ting, milk, juice, bubble, ball, tickle, spontaneously although when referring to an object, is was usually within sight or sometimes visually prompted by holding the object before him to make a choice. But not always. A few evenings ago, while he was sitting near me, he said "leg" and gestured for me to rub his leg. Last night, we were at Wegmans and they gave us balloons. Before we said anything, Zach said "aboon" without any other prompt. What is particularly interesting is the leg and balloon are not things we are working on, they again were just highly motivating.
As for his school program, good things happening there, although I feel that in some areas he is doing less for them than he can do at home. His OT reported that he needed help completing puzzles and simple shape sorters - and we were really surprised by this. He was given one shape sorter with about a dozen different shapes last Christmas, he had it figured out on hiw own within 3 days. But then again, the PT wrote that he had ridden his tricycle independently across level pavement for ~ 20 feet, and we haven't seen that at home!
We were able to get candy canes that are GFCF, no artificial dyes, and organic. At $3.25 a box - I have to shudder a bit, but they are one of his favorite food items right now, and I am thrilled that I could find them at all! A highly motivating item that will be sent to his school. Let us see if that creates any results.
But right n0w, all I can say is something is going down with this little boy, and it looks good.