After Noah was removed from Easter Seals and we discontinued all services held at the Center. We noticed an improvement.
To ready myself for Noah to be home daily and accept the fact that I would not be able to work for a while I made up schedules.
Noah would get up in the morning and we would get him changed. He would eat breakfast and then we would work on some Academics.
When he was in Daycare they had informed me that Noah did not know any of his Letters or any of his Numbers.
By the third week of him being home he knew A, B, & C. We had about 1 1/2 hours of Playtime and Academics each day. During the afternoon if it was nice we went for walks and picked "Baby Pinecones". I also stared teaching him "Road Safety", as far as crossing the street and understanding that large cars will cause serious damage.
When his Developmental Therapist first came he was so excited.
One problem in particular was Noah couldn't stack rings in order so ...It was a goal...Easter Seals set it and Noah broke it on his first session with Amy.
We had questions on his care at Easter Seals but now we were seeing proof.
Amy also has a son who was diagnosed with P.D.D. She was great and Noah loved her (I wish we could have kept her). She tried to relate to him and understood his requests. He was also in a "Snow White" mode at this point so every picture that was drawn was the "Queen".
She would bring a different toy each visit and Noah would like to play with them. Each one having their own Developmental quality. What was nice was that she never forced him to do something. Only accepted what he gave at each session. She made it fun and that was what helped him learn. He learned how to take turns and ask for items rather than just point or demand.
Amy was here 2 times a week and I enjoyed her visits also.
Noah also had Speech Therapy in the home. Andrea was also very nice. She would too bring toys for Noah and she would also get him to ask for the items.
We had a problem with getting Noah to say "Yes" or "No". He would always repeat what we said.
Throughout the whole time we saw Andrea we could not get him to say yes or No.It took us a while.
Memory was always a good game for Noah. He liked to match the pictures and he was also learning what was on the picture and learning identification.
Play dough was used also with Andrea. However she used it as a tactic to get Noah to ask for items..such as: Cookie cutters or scissors.
We also had an Occupational Therapist for Noah. This was Maylene.She too was good with Noah. However each therapist had their own way of doing things they all brought toys.. (ha ha)
Maylene brought Therapeutic clay for Noah .So he could learn to grip on to things better.
Noah had therapy 4 times a week. 2 of them being Developmental. On occasions we actually had all 3 the same day. Noah was a trooper and cooperated much better than we though he would.
Throughout all of his therapists' visits and the extra work in the home we started to see an improvement.
There were 3 Holidays throughout this time period of in home therapy and some sessions were missed but in the whole year that he was at Easter Seals he made the best improvements at home.
If I knew then what I know now I would have never placed him Daycare. I would have had the in home sessions all along.
A general and main example was in Easter Seals Noah was stated to be in the 24 month range for Cognitive Development. By the time Amy was done he was at 38 months. This was a huge 14-month improvement.
In December we met in front of the Special Education Assessment Team. While here they observed Noah. They also asked us numerous questions about how Noah was at home and what we have noticed in his behavior along with his ability of learning.
They also did a Psychological Evaluation on Noah. They used the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale (GARS).
When they were done and the results were in Noah had tested at:
Autism Quotient was: 93
The Percentile was: 32
Here is a brief description on how the (GARS) system is based.
The Gilliam Autism Rating Scale is a behavioral checklist that aids in identification of persons with Autism. It also helps to distinguish them from persons who are developmentally handicapped, severely emotionally disturbed and those who demonstrate speech, language and hearing disorders. The GARS was normed on a sample of 1,092 children and young adults who have been diagnosed as autistic. Autism Quotients of 90 or above were found to be strongly suggestive of autism. Within the normative sample, approximately 50% of the subjects diagnosed with autism obtained Autism quotients of 90 through 110. Ninety-eight percent of the sample obtained an Autism Quotient of 70 or greater. Thus, an Autism Quotient of 70 or below would strongly suggest that an individual is not autistic.
So, while we were at this 3-½ hour meeting. Noah was of course “bouncing” off the walls. But, interesting enough he was not too bad.
We spoke of the concerns that we had for Noah. (Good time to head to section 504 and IDEA link on the homepage).
Noah is a very active child who at a very young age had no regards for his own safety. We actually joked that he would run out of his room and right into the wall. He would get right up and shake it off like nothing had happened.
Then the jokes turned into reality and we realized there was a mojor issue.
One time we were going down the stairs and he fell. Only, to get up. Inform us that he fell and then asked where his cup was.
So, as you can see. This was a major concern. We live on the second floor and our windows opened side to side. So I made a special insert so that he could not open the window. He was getting older and opening the main door to the house was no longer a thing he couldn’t do. We have had 2 occasions where he just walked right out. We have security doors and he is much too small to reach the buzzer. So his bedroom door is locked at night so he cannot get out unless he tells us he needs something.
As we explained all of this to the Assessment team they fully understood. They even reassured us that we were doing the right thing.
Noah was being accepted into “The Early Intervention Program”. This program usually housed up to 10 children each class and each one had conditions that needed extra attention.
Noah is to continue all therapies during the program time and we thought this would be good for him.
There were Teachers that understood these children and hopefully he could build some Social Skills.
By the time we left the meeting we felt a little better and had a “second” opinion as far as Aspergers’ Syndrome.
Noah turned 3 in January and all In Home Therapy had stopped. It was a little hard at first to get Noah to realize that all of his therapists were no longer coming to see him. However we reassured him that he was going to start school in January.
Right after his Birthday we met once again with the Team Leader. They worked up a plan that would fit Noah’s needs and we decided the afternoon program at the recommended school would be the right way to go.
So, on January 12,2002 our little guy started school.
He gets to ride the bus.
He gets to have a Snack, attends Circle Time and works on the Computer. He also receives his therapies while there. Some incorporated right in that he doesn’t even know that they are extra.
It’s been a strange and trying trip with Noah so far. He is a little over 3 and we know that the journey down the road could be a long one. No one is ever ready for this. It is a process you can take one day at a time. We have met some people on the way that are understanding to Noah’s conditions. We have also met some that refuse to believe there is even a problem with Noah.We have even been accused of Neglect.That Noah doesn't have a condition at all he just wants attention. Attention that we supposedly didn't give him. That we only use the Aspergers and ADHD as an excuse.
Noah is like 4 children wrapped in one and by nights end you get so “mentally exhausted “ you are ready to sleep for days.
But, then you get the nights where he has a “night terror” and screams bloody murder. You have to hold him and rock wit him until he realizes where he is and who is with him.
So, as I said before. Everyday is a new struggle. With much love we can get through them.
There is so much more that can be posted.I will update on a regular basis. Thank you :)
Oh Before I forget. Noah has shown extreme improvement from both school and at home academics. He knows all of his letters and most numbers up to 20.
Yes and No are no longer an issue. On his first day of school we had to pick him up (bus was not scheduled for him yet) We asked him if he had a good time and he said YES. So to make sure he fully understood my question and the proper way of using the two...yes and no . I proceeded to ask numerous questions and he answered as he should have...That was a great milestone.
Words of Wisdom
( But he's only 3 and what can we expext from a 3 year old ? We can hold their hands and kiss the booboos that life has to give. We cannot protect our children from everything but we can carefully guide them into life.A sheltered life is a dull life...You need to get up and go..Take the puches as they come..and conquer all you can!!! )
The following link is a good place to see more information on GARS.
Autism ...Testing and Information