Joshua’s Improvements and Future Autism Treatment Goals

This Christmas Season has brought with it many things to delight in.  The kids all get excited this time of year, and for the first time, Joshua has expressed verbal interest in preparing for Christmas.  He is talking a lot more spontaneously and it feels like he’s truly making some strides developmentally.   At our parish, during the last Religious Education night before the Christmas break, we went Christmas Caroling, something Joshua had never done before.  He was resistant at first, but having two aides with me, helped make it easier to manage Joshua.  Maria, from Syringa, who usually helps on Wednesday evenings with Joshua, was showing Amber the ropes and what fun we all had!  Amber had never gone caroling before and was delighted with the experience!  Joshua wanted to get to the front of the group to look at the Christmas decorations of the houses we were singing at and when we went to go sing for Fr. Bill, I went ahead and let him go all the way to the front.  Fr. Bill sure enjoyed having him up there and Joshua even sang along a few lines that he knew.  When we got back to the RE Center, they had a visit from Santa set up and Amber worked with Joshua helping him with waiting in line to have a turn to sit on Santa’s lap.  Joshua was thrilled to sit on Santa’s lap but wasn’t sure what to say.  When asked what he wanted for Christmas, Josh simply repeated the phrase he was asked, common for autistic kids with echolalia language.  He finally, with help, asked simply for a toy for Christmas.  The staff at our parish certainly knew how to make the time a special one, not only with good ol’ St. Nick, but with singing of the Birth of Christ.

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While decorating the Christmas tree, Joshua remembered the scene from Alvin and the Chipmunks and placed Alvin, Simon and Theodore in the tree, thankfully, without knocking it over.  He then says in his chipmunks voice, “Christmas!  We love Christmas!”  He was talking about presents, enjoying the Christmas shows and singing along with some of the Christmas songs.

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What was also remarkable was he seemed to remember the presents he brought from school he made and picked out for me, searching for the presents and bringing them over to me to open.  He had never done that before.  I was truly touched by his thoughtfulness and the care the staff at school put in helping him make a calendar and picking out a note pad for me.

Christmas 2021

Joshua was also quite interested in all the presents he received this year, although he still needed prompts from his sisters to open a few gifts and to sit on his new bike.  Once he opened the Transformer Rescue Bot, that also turns into a helicopter, it mesmerized him, due to being able to spin the blade.  For a while, he’d only put it down when Rachel let him play the new Kinect Joy Ride Racing game she got.   Joshua received a Kinect game as well, but he’s refusing to play the one he got and is enamored primarily with the racing game, probably because he gets a kick out of  her crashing into the wall.  At some point, we will reintroduce the game he received, though, and the gift will keep on giving!

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What has been such a blessing during Joshua’s Christmas break from school, has been that he has been able to have a good chunk of the morning with his IBI aides on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, for 2-3 hours.  They are taking him to the center at Syringa and working with him to develop a good working relationship while also having him practice social skills with other children at the center.  This is such a great focus for him as he truly is getting a well rounded approach to his treatment.  At the same time, he is also going to speech therapy and physical therapy during the break.  This is such a treat that I can’t begin to express my delight.  The skills he is learning are also being transitioned for home use, which gives him so many opportunities to develop the skills he is delayed with.

When we have my 2 1/2 year old great nephew over, or other kids close to Joshua’s age, it’s a great opportunity for Joshua to practice the social skills he’s learning.  We are making progress, bit by bit and look forward to what this New Year will bring.  As Joshua told me this morning:  “Momma!  It’s January 1st, 2013!”  He has so many incredible talents and it’s such a treat seeing more and more skills develop.  I can’t wait until we can get him into Occupational Therapy, next (he’s at the top of the list at one agency) and what more he will learn, develop and discover as he continues to recover.

Thank you, one and all, for your prayers and support and for spreading the word about our little blog for Joshua.  We are hopeful Joshua will continue to make great strides this year and that others will join us on this journey.

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                                                 Michael (8); Sarah (13) doing the Joshua wrangling;

                                                 Joshua (6), more interested in the fan than in getting

                                                 a picture taken; and Rachel (11). 

                                                Christmas Blessings and a Joyous New Year!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 at 5:59 am and is filed under Autism Resources, Autism Treatment, General Autism Info. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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