Utter Autism

July 23, 2008

House of Shock

Adrian was looking for attention tonight.  Standing on the furniture, trying to steal Grandma’s glasses, taking my pens and doing what ever else he could think of to get me to pay attention to him.  Dad’s been gone for a few days for work and without my tag team partner, I was feeling kinda tired and ready for a break.

I turned to our Dynavox V to try to distract him from getting attention in negative ways.  With our surprise success the other day, I went into the keyboard screen to see if he’d type something for me.  I wasn’t prepared for what he did.

He typed


and then thought – hard.  It was as though you could see the wheels in his head turning.  He stared off into space, looking for that word in his mind’s eye.  He continued…


By this time he started to close his eyes and squint.  He was just thinking so hard!  He tentatively finished…


and hesitated before he slowly asked the machine to say it.  He knew it was wrong but couldn’t figure it out.  I had no idea what he was attempting to say and told him so.  He went to his computer and I watched to look for clues.  He went to the Clubhouse Mickey webpage. Suddenly, it dawned on me…. HOUSE!

I asked him to come back and I showed him how to spell house.  I was so pleased at that point I couldn’t have fathomed that it wasn’t over yet.  He continued…


He finished the rest of the title without hesitation or help.  And I sat there in shock for a minute.  Then I ran and got the House of Mouse – Villians DVD and put it on for him 🙂

What an amazing thing words are…. and what an amazing son I’ve got 🙂

July 19, 2008

Exciting Development

My husband came upstairs the other day and said,

“Adrian just typed out Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin without looking at anything with those words on it.”

These are two of his favorite movies and he accesses them on his computer by sight reading them.  So I wasn’t shocked to hear he’d used them.  But then I thought about it. 

He typed them without looking at anything else and spelled them correctly. 

First, this means that not only can he learn to sight read words – he can learn to reproduce them.  And if he can reproduce them, he can learn to use them.  There’s a whole lot of hope in that statement and if you’re not the parent of a non-verbal child you may have missed it. 

While being able to use programmed vocabulary is great, it still limits what he can say.  The ultimate goal is to teach him to read and write so he can type his own spontaneous, unique messages – to be able to say what ever he wants to say, whenever he wants to say it. 

So what did we do next?  I opened Adrian’s keyboard page on his Dynavox V.  And he began typing…


Lune?  I couldn’t figure out what he meant.  He thought for a second, went into his ‘time for’ page and looked there, then when back to the keyboard screen and typed…


He could have just hit the lunch button but he didn’t.  He typed it.  Could it be that he really recognizes the power of all those letters?  This is one exciting development 🙂

July 9, 2008

Summer Camp

It’s finally time for camp!  I’m not sure who’s more excited about it. 

Adrian loves being outside, all the movement involved in the day, the swings, the swimming and the relaxed atmosphere.  He’s working the the same teacher and support staff so he is comfortable with the people he’s with all day and many of the same kids he knows from school attend camp also.

I love that it starts a half hour later and is 15 minutes closer than school.  I could go for this schedule year round.  The drive is far more pleasant and taking Adrian is so much easier cause he’s just so happy to go. 

Yup, Adrian and I agree… we wish the summer were longer! 🙂

July 1, 2008

Dynavox V Returns and Family Leaves

Filed under: aggressive behaviors, Dynavox, Parenting Autistic Children — Carol @ 11:47 am

Our Dynavox V came back from repairs in record time. 🙂  Thank you, Dynavox! 🙂

And even without it, we managed to survive 9 family members coming to visit in the same week.  Adrian tends to look for attention when we have people over.  He tried everything from stealing my grandfather’s cane to pinching the baby.  It was good to see everyone but I’m glad things are back to ‘normal’ around here.

Next week Adrian goes back to the summer camp he loves so much.  We can’t wait!

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