I haven't updated in a while, and so I thought it was a good time. We have had such a long cold and snowy winter here in Ontario, I am so ready for the spring to start. Spending time indoors is not fun, we are a beach loving family and love being outdoors as much as we can. Its been tough because we have been sick several times, and Violet regressed terribly during the Christmas holidays after a bout of the flu. We are back to where we were before the holidays again, and then some. She bounced back within about a month, thank goodness. Scary stuff. She didn't lose any words, but her behavior was as bad as a year or more ago, as if we had lost all we had worked on. It made for a memorable Christmas in all the wrong ways, but you win some, you lose some I guess!
So Violet had started school, junior kindergarten and is absolutely loving it, she has a wonderful one on one aide and really has a good rapport with her. She has started using PECS and really got the hang of it. She uses them in school too. Since starting with the picture cards, she has opened up more verbally, now when she hands us a card she will also say what is on the card, and it seems to have alleviated the meltdowns to a great degree. We are continuing with biomedical treatments with some great success. The biggest gains seem to be from adding Vitamin E, Vitamin K and Neuroprotek I would say. Its hard to pin down exactly what is helping, its kind of a symbiosis of everything working together I believe. Violet is now on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and eats only organic, grain free with no sugar or prepared foods. I do give her pork rinds as a carb free treat, because every kid needs a little treat, and they do contain cholesterol which is essential for her diet. She eats eggs, nut butters, fruits and veggies and drinks green smoothies though out the day. We use coconut oil in the smoothies and to cook with. Its just a simple, clean diet.
We heard from the speech pathologist recently. He wants to set up another evaluation to see how she has done in this past year. His evaluation in Dec 2011 was what had convinced me that Violet had autism, and it was difficult to read, because at the time she was 3 and was estimated to be at the level of a 9-12 month old.
Anyways, fast forward to today and oh how things have changed! 2012 was a long year, one evaluation after another, a formal diagnosis, diet change, supplements, speech and sensory therapy and floortime and junior kindergarten starting in September. Lots of ups and downs. So, we got to talking about how Violet was doing while he had me on the phone, and it made me realize how amazing she is doing now, and he was shocked at how far she had come. Here are some of the things we have gained in a year:
- probably 400 words, as opposed to just a few
- words used in context, not just random gibberish
- mastered picture exchange, now can name each picture
- strings together 3-5 words
- uses yes and no
- uses I to refer to self
- has imaginative play
- less frequent meltdowns
- about 50% less sensitive to sensory things
- self aware
- good eye contact
- good listener, will come when her name is called
- able to be around other kids playing, occasionally interacting with them
- expresses emotions she is feeling
- can feel when things hurt, not dull to pain anymore
- wants to play with mom and dad
- learned abc's and counts to 20
- has read several words
I really am so proud of how she's doing, and how far she has come in a short time. We are starting ABA this week, so that will be a whole new experience. I feel she is open to learn now, and can't wait to see how it goes. I will blog about her ABA sessions in the next few months.
Love and Snowflakes,