Sophia is doing just fine. Have been in talks with the school district. Right now, they have instituted a "No kindergartner in the emergency exit aisle" rule on the bus district wide. I would also like a "No more than 2 children in the emergency exit aisle seat" rule. The bus has been inspected. They are looking into the buzzer operations for me - when it is activated, and if the buzzer was faulty on this bus. The transportation folks were supposed to send me a copy of the report and the principal is looking into when this was sent to me. The principal of Sophia's school has actually checked in with us periodically, which I really appreciate. She understands my concerns and is really respectful of my feelings. All in all, I am satisfied that they are taking this seriously. The principal has extended us an offer to go and check the actual bus for ourselves which Steve and I will do after the winter break. Still looking into whether to use the seat belts thing. I am sort of wondering if kids in the emergency exit should wear them. Anyhow, still don't have a definite opinion on the seat belt usage thing.
Zach is coming along now that we are feeling better around here. When grabbing my hand to bring me somewhere, he is now manding "Come" spontaneously and independently. Most of the time, I will ask him "What do you want?" and then he says "Come".
Something called intraverbals, which basically means word fill-ins is also coming along nicely. Zach is doing a few songs such as "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed", "You Are My Sunshine", "Twinkle, Twinkle", "Alphabet Song", "Row Row Row Your Boat", "Pop Goes the Weasel", "I Love you a Bushel and a Peck", "Thomas and His Friends", "If You are Happy and You Know It". He tends to only want to do the last word of every phrase, but we have been working on words mid-verse too. He enjoys this. He also completes a few phrase: "1-2-3" and he reponds "Go!" , "Ready-Set" his response "Go". There are a few others that I am unable to think of.
We are working on his "high 5" being not so wimpy. Zach is so gentle when he does this! He laughs when I take his arm to push it so that his hand slaps mine.
He seems to be interested in us clapping for him lately - he says "Yeah" and begins to clap his hands and smiles when you start to clap. I have been trying to do this when he sits on the potty, particularly when he actually pees on the potty.
As for motor skills - he is zippering his pajamas himself, pulling up his pants part of the way (I start first half, he does second), and pulling his shirt off over his head when I begin to take it off. I have begun trying to show him how to get his coat on. He will sometimes straightjacket himself (put the jacket on backwards). He recently went up to his cousin and gave her is sock and said "On" to her. This is really exciting for us!
His PT recently told us she has never seen him break out into an all out run. He generally is kind of lazy - wanting to be carried, not wanting to reach too far, etc. The problem, as is with many of Zach's delays, is not the ability, but the motivation. In an effort to work on this, we have decided to pursue private swimming lessons with Zach. Now to find a swim instructor who is familiar with young children with autism.
Something we are blessed with is that Zach has a diverse interest in toys. Some children on the spectrum perseverate on just one or two toys. In fact, Zach becomes bored rather easily, which makes that motivation thing kind of difficult for us, since something that works one day may only work for a few days.
A class we are taking on behavioral difficulties of children with developmental delays went over how to do preference assessments for children. This was pretty common sense type stuff for us - in fact the whole class hasn't provided a lot of insight to us. Not sure if this is because we have already read up on developmental and behavioral psychology or if it just sort of syncs up with our innate analytical thinking. Also - we currently aren't plagued with problem behavior. Some of the parents do seem to have difficulty understanding the concepts.
However, the class has given us an opporunity to meet other parents, and hear about the possible issues we could have in the future with school districts such as FBAs and BIPs (Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans). I have found that these insights are more important since they result only from experience and no book really captures these real world issues. I hope to never have to blog about these things, but I can tell you that it is very sad what some parents have to go through to try and help their children get what they are legally entitled to.
The other nice thing about this class is that it gives the kids another opportunity to socialize and be in the company of new people. Part of the support for the class includes providing child care for us parents. How great is that? Zach initially cried for a few minutes during the first couple of classes- and as of last evenings class, didn't shed a tear. He is doing so much better with transitions! It's a nice assemblage of children - some are siblings who are typical, some have down syndrome or ADHD or other developmental delays. Sophia loves it.
So Zach can do zippers and loves to say the word zipper. That's where we are today.