Thankful for Joshua’s Progress

Joshua had his annual IEP update back on October 9th and his parent/teacher conference on Tuesday and has already met most of the new goals set out for him at the IEP.  I had such a feeling of gratitude looking around the table at all the people invested in helping Joshua progress in his treatment.  I was so impressed by not only the school team, but the support Joshua has been getting by the treatment providers Joshua has been receiving outside of school.  Jen B. from Syringa agreed to join me for the meeting and I was able to give reports of how he was doing in his speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy, not to mention his developmental therapy at Syringa Family Partnership.

Joshua's school picture.  It only took 13 tries to get a good one!  Not quite the school record, but close (16)!

Joshua’s school picture. It only took 13 tries to get a good one! Not quite the school record, but close (16)!

Academically, Joshua is meeting all his goals and rapidly improving this school year, being the sponge that he is.  He’s getting up to grade level with his modified curriculum, reading 363 sight words and reading at 30 words per minute on a second grade reading level with 80% accuracy.  He is having more difficulty due to his expressive language delay, retelling details from a 2nd grade story, currently doing do 1 or more times, 57% of the time.  In math, he’s almost achieving the goal for the year scoring 30 on the 2nd grade computation probe, with the annual goal of 40.  However, in the concepts and application probe (ie. the dreaded story problems), he’s up to a 7, not quite achieving the goal of 12 for this time frame.  Joshua’s telling the time on an analog clock while also stating what school even it is time for 90% of the time, already surpassing the annual goal.  He’s writing 3 detail word sentences with a picture cue, graphic organizer and adult support 80% of the time.  As for Joshua’s General Ed class participation, he is involved in Science, Social Studies, Art, music and PE, where he is participating quite well and the kids are excited he’s there, wanting him to sit next to them, not surprising considering the fun, outgoing kid that he is.  In class, he does try to contribute to the discussion, although, it’s difficult for him to get the words out in a way that makes sense.

Regarding his social skills and behavior, he’s responding well to directions 93% of the time, getting up out of his seat less than 1 time and appropriately answering questions.  The challenges he’s having is socially, yet making improvements, initiating social interactions with peers 55% of the time.  He is improving on complying with adult direction by the first request, already doing so 82% of the time, yet regarding regulating himself when the environment is chaotic at the start of the school year, he had more difficulty, earning a couple of time outs, such as when he wouldn’t stop the pencil taping he was doing in math class after some other kids had been loud.  This is hard for Joshua, understandably, and we have seen this at home, too, when the kids are upset about various things and loud, etc.  The OT, Syringa staff and school staff devised a few sensory breaks and his behavior has already improved.  We are still working on this at home, but for some reason, his siblings tend to provoke him a bit more.  A common trait in most homes where everyone feels more free to let down once in a while when stressed.  I’m afraid this will be an ongoing  goal the whole family needs to work on by God’s grace.   Lord have mercy!  Sigh…

Living in a small town, the school providers often know personally, the out of school providers, which makes the continuum of care all the smoother.  In fact, Joshua’s Physical Therapist at Jump Start is married to the school physical therapist.  In both venues, Joshua has improved so much that he’s meeting a lot of his goals.  Linsey, his Jump Start PT shared that Joshua can do all that she asks, however, in accordance with the evaluations, she must phrase the directions a certain way.  For example, she must say to Joshua to do the “Superman” pose and hold it as long as you can.  If phrased that way, he doesn’t quite get what she means and doesn’t do it very long, but if she shows him her watch and tells him to hold it for 45 seconds, he can do it with no problem.  After working with Joshua for a year now, he has now met his PT goals at Jump Start and can come back in June for a check up.  Linsey’s husband, Craig, reported that Joshua has met all his PT goals at school as well and simply needs support in the General Education class room where he goes for PE.  In the PE class, he’s participating and doing well.

Joshua has also improved with his OT goals at school, however, he resists using a tripod grip on his pencil.  Despite needing it to improve his grip, he is doing quite well with his writing and will also move to a consult basis, with support in helping him learn to tie shoes as well as help him with sensory regulation.   Joshua has ongoing OT  at Super Stars with Kerri, before school once a week, using the iLS and continuing to work on sensory integration issues.  Kerri does such a great job with him and gets his compliance with ease in working on the tasks he’s asked to do, while drawing out more communication from him.

Joshua's new phrase, "My spidey senses are tingling!"

Joshua’s new phrase, “My spidey senses are tingling!”

With regards to his speech goals, he is making improvements, yet still has a way to go, working on stating wants and needs, and his expressive language, especially when frustrated or overwhelmed, tending to scream.  His school OT and the OT at Super Stars have worked with him regarding categories and recall from stories, etc., and it’s so neat to hear him pipe up and inform me of the different things that interest him.  A neat occurrence happened recently where I was picking up Joshua after school and noted a friend’s Transformer’s t-shirt.  I pointed it out to Joshua as his brother Michael, who loves Transformers, would LOVE a Bumblebee T-shirt like the one his friend was wearing.  When I asked Joshua if he wanted a shirt like that, he said, “No”.  He said the same when asked if he’d like an Optimus Prime shirt.  Up until this time, he showed the same interest in the themes Michael liked (ie. Thomas the Train).  I asked Joshua what kind of t-shirt he would like and he said, “I like Spiderman! I like Spiderman the movie!”  This response blew me away in so many ways.  First, he expressed his very own interests, separate from his brother and second, the recall and expression he was able to do, as he just watched Spiderman the cartoon this weekend as I finally signed up for Netflix.

The staff at Syringa continue to do such great work with Joshua.  He goes there after school every day and a staff member is with him Wednesday nights in his Religious Ed class, as well as comes to our house on Saturday mornings to help him learn how to do chores (which inspires the troops to all do theirs in a timely manner- BONUS!).

Pictures of Joshua done at Syringa Family Partnership Fall 2013

Picture of Joshua done at Syringa Family Partnership Fall 2013

We are incredibly blessed by all the folks working with Joshua this past year.  I look forward to seeing him continuing to improve, as well as learning more skills to help him at home.  It’s such a neat experience to witness his discoveries and growth spurts in his development.  Joshua is continuing on in this Battle of Autism and walls are starting to tumble down more and more!  During this time of Thanksgiving, we are truly grateful for all the Lord has provided for this boy!.


This entry was posted on Saturday, November 30th, 2013 at 11:34 am and is filed under Autism Resources, Autism Treatment, General Autism Info, Sensory Integration Disorder. 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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