Auditory Integration Therapy on a 3 year old boy with social pragmatic communication disorder

Finn is a 3 year old boy.  He currently undergoes ABA, OT and Speech Therapy.  Finn was initially referred by a developmental pediatrician for a different type of auditory therapy as there were no slots available.  Finn’s mom decided to do diligently do some research on the internet and came across Sound Therapy.  She compared the different forms of therapy available and settled on AIT due to the short amount of time it needed.

Finn is diagnosed with social pragmatic communication disorder. Children like Finn have difficulty using spoken language in socially appropriate ways.  Finn has limited speech.  He also has hypersensitivity and is dislikes certain sounds of the blender, electric toothbrush, vacuum and  the rosary announcement as SM.   He also gets easily surprised by loud sounds.  He has fleeting eye contact with people. He has difficulty expressing his needs.  He tends to ignore people and needs to be prompted in order to him to greet.   He likes to play by himself.

Finn for his age is easily distracted, and has difficulty with long periods of sitting and paying attention. Finn’s mom often uses the ipad as a way to make Finn sit down for longer periods of time.  In a restaurant, Finn’s mom often requests for a high chair as a way of physically restraining Finn from wandering around the place.   Finn’s mother hopes this therapy will help Finn with his auditory sensitivity and help Finn improve in other aspects such as attention.

Finn is resistant to having AIT done.  He has difficulty with tolerating the sounds.  He would cry often during the sessions, especially the 1st and 2nd day.

3rd day: Finn was a little bit more behaved and calmer during the 1st session, but was again crying during the second session.

4th day:  Finn didn’t cry during the 1st session and was actually able to say “ I’m finished” within 2 minutes of the starting.  When Teacher didn’t remove the headphones, Finn started crying and wanting to remove headphones until the end.  He also had to be prompted to say “Finish”.  On the 2nd session, he cries again and says that “I’m really sad” which is says three times.  He also turned to Teacher and demandingly asked. “ Are you sure?”  Ang sakit. Carry. I’m sleepy. Ayaw mo.  Ayaw ko. Why? Go down. Daddy Go down. Finish na.    He would say these words during the session.   He also needed again to be prompted when the session was over . He calmed down after the music stopped and looked up at the airplane mobile hanging in the room and said “Airplane” and spends a few seconds staring at the airplanes.

5th day :  Finn is again upset and crying.  “ Mommy “ , “ I’m finished na”, “Teacher, mommy, yaya. Why? Why? “ At the end of the session, when the music stopped, Finn was able to say “ Teacher, I’m finished “ with a little prompting like “ Are you finished?”.  At the start of the 2nd session,  Finn already says “ I’m finished.”  “Teacher Music go home na.” “Why?”  “ Go home na”.  He was actually able to say  “I’m finished” without prompting when the music ended.

That night, Finn surprised his family by greeting his Lola and aunt by saying “ Hi Lola and Hi Tita Cha “without prompting.  Previously, he would just ignore his Lola and Aunt.

6th day:  Finn again cried during the first session.  On the 2nd session,  he was also crying but fell asleep at the last part.   When Finn woke up, he was in a good mood since the session was over.  He was asked by his mom to say goodbye, since Teacher Steph was distracted and talking to someone else.  He went over and touched Teacher’s wrist to  call her attention, this made Teacher Steph look at Finn, and Finn said his goodbyes.

Finn surprised his parents today by greeting and kissing Manang Tess . This was done with no prompting from anyone.

7th day :  Finn started fine and then starting crying and having a tantrum.  He kept saying “ I’m done”  “Are we done na?” “I’m done pa”.  After that he shouted “ Oh my God!” “Mommy” “God! God! God!  “  “Remove headphones.” “I want to remove headphone.”

After the session, Finn again says his goodbyes.  He now kisses people on the cheek with sound effect.  He also looks at people and waves goodbye.

8th day:  Finn says “ no more sound”  “ I want music please.”  “Teacher  remove headphones”. For the first time today, Finn did not cry.  He also kissed Teacher on the cheek.     On the 2nd session,  Finn got upset and said “ What are you doing? “ Why?”.  He also said “ I want remove? “   He needed to be taught to how say “ headphones”.

9th day :  During the first session, Finn is crying less.   He asks “ What’s wrong? “ “Sakit” “Remove the earphone” “Massage the ears”. He would whine but would also try to cooperate.  He wanted to pull his eyelash  On the 2nd session,  he was able to say more words “ Teacher look. I remove it. No.  It’s okay. Don’t cry (while crying).   He says again “ Teacher look.  I want to remove it. Later. Later. It’s okay. Mommy I remove it.  Look at me. Look at you.  Then he turns to teacher and says “ look at me first (with eye contact).  I want to hear.  What you want to say.  At the end, he was able to say “Teacher I want remove”  .  He had to be prompted with “ I want…”.

Finn went to his Grandparents’ home for a party. Finn surprised everyone by showing interest in wanting to play and interact with the adults, something he would not do before.

10th day :

1st session.  He said “ Look, Teacher. I want to remove this.  Please help. Help me. Help me . Help.   At the end of the session, he says “ Look at me. Teacher, please get.”  After he requested, we removed the headphones.  At the end of the session, Finn surprises Teacher Steph by saying goodbye. He hugged Teacher and pressed his cheek to Teacher’s cheek.

Finn’s mom took him out to lunch and was pleasantly surprised to find the Finn was able to sit down on a regular chair and pay attention to his food.  He was not given an Ipad during this time and was very well behaved during the entire lunch.

2nd session was much better. Finn was much calmer. Although he whined and complained that he wanted to remove the headphone.  He said he was sleepy and eventually fell asleep.

Mom’s observations:

Finn has lost his aversion to the blender, vacuum, and electric toothbrush.  He now pays attention to what he is working on during coloring activities and even looks at the numbers on the sheet.  He has also become more verbal.  Mom plans to have Finn do another session next year as a follow -up.

It’s surprising to see how much one’s hearing can have so much impact on one’s behavior.

 

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Christmas comes Early for R, a 5 year old child with developmental delays

R is a 5 year old child who showed signs and symptoms of autism at 2 years 8 months old. R’s mom noticed that something was amiss when R took his MMR vaccine at 18 months old. At 18 months, R was a bubbly child and could say words like “Daddy”, “Mommy”, “Yaya”. He was sick and had high fever after the vaccination. A few weeks after, R seemed different. He started saying less words, having less eye contact, and showed tactile, auditory and other sensory integration issues. He started tiptoeing as well.

R’s parents were able to start him on occupational therapy once a week at age 3. At age four, he started speech therapy once a week. He also started going to a SPED school once a week at four years of age for around 7 months. R’s mom started doing her research and began R on a gluten free cassein free diet (GFCF). 

R’s mom saw improvement when she started the gluten free cassein free diet. After seeing the changes, R’s mom decided to look for a biomedical doctor to handle his case.

R’s mom had difficulty handling R. He had so many sensory integration issues. He’s afraid of the razor, blender, juicer and any other “objectionable” sounds from the environment. A visit to the mall can end up in disaster as R is overwhelmed by the varied lights, sounds and smells coming from the mall. He is often anxious and has difficulty understanding verbally given commands. He keeps to himself and doesn’t play well with peers.

R’s mom learned about AIT while searching through the internet trying to find the best form of sound therapy that could treat her son’s issues at this point in time. R is described by his mom as a child with auditory integration issues. She wanted to address his hypersensitivity to sounds and at the same time be able to address other symptoms. It was definitely a leap of faith for R’s parents to start the therapy as they both had to take a leave from work in order to help R get the therapy he needed.

Mom’s expectations prior to AIT:

1. To be able to tolerate certain sounds such as razor, blender, juicer and other objectionable sound from the environment.

2. To be able to manage transitions and changes and cope w/ unexpected situations, persons and events.

3. To be less anxious.

4. To understand more verbally-given forms of communication. Improved comprehension.

5. To be able to improve speech & verbal language and communication.

6. To be more social and play with peers.

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1st Day AIT Coloring

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1st Day AIT Drawing

The Sessions:

1st Day – R cries during the 1st session and is very upset. Parents had to hold him. R is more behaved during the 2nd session and actually sat by himself. He is compliant. Halfway through the session he is happy and laughing and would say “ headphone” , “bye” , “no” , “open door” or “remove headphone” without prompting. When the session ended, he surprised everyone by saying “ finished” without prompting.

During sleeping time, R is often asked by his mom “What time is it?” R would always answer “it’s bedtime” or “ time to sleep”. This time R surprised his parents by answering “ it’s 4 o clock”. Parents notice that R is starting to approach other people, when he would just ignore them before.

2nd Day – R turns on the lights by himself in the therapy room. When removing headphones, R often makes eye contact with his therapist. R continued to be behaved and articulate a lot of words in a clearer manner. He is more talkative and would say “ I don’t want to” , “Ayoko” and “ I don’t want headphones”. He also started approaching his parents more in order to communicate his needs.

3rd Day – Parents notice that R is easier to call and follows instructions unlike before wherein he had to be physically prompted.

4th Day – Mom noticed that R hasn’t been staring at the ceiling when going out of the hotel room. R also seemed irritated the whole day. He was cranky, impatient and easily upset. On the 2nd session, he surprised everyone by saying “let’s start” before the start of the session. Parents noticed that R is able to stay still in the hotel lobby and stay calm while waiting.

5th Day – During the 1st session, R cried for 10 minutes. He was upset and wanted to remove the headphones. He often likes sitting on his Mom or Dad’s lap for AIT sessions.

Parent’s feedback: It’s R’s first time to be able to take a shower for the first time without trying to get out of the shower room. He was crying while taking the shower. R is very calm in the car. R surprised his parents today by going into the mall without a fuss.

It is R’s first time to enter a mall without being overwhelmed by the sensory overload he often experiences when he enters places with unfamiliar lights, sounds and smells.

R can also stay longer and stay still in the hotel lobby without crying. Prior to this happening, he would always hesitate entering a room. He would spend time studying the area, the ceiling, nooks and crannies. He was able to go on trips to nearby historical places without giving his parents much trouble.

6th Day – Today he was again behaved and surprised everyone by saying “ No more headphone” When teacher asked R teasingly “more headphones?“ He reacted by strongly shaking his head in the negative. He also made an upset sound and significant eye contact to show his displeasure.

He is impatient to remove headphones and would get upset if Teacher would prompt him to say “Teacher please remove headphones”. He would say the words after three reminders but he would get very upset afterward and immediately leave the room.

7th Day – For both sessions, R is usually happy the first twenty minutes and gets upset after. He tries to make eye contact with the therapist and says “Remove headphones” around 3 to 5 times, before he gives up and starts to have tears roll down his face.

He is able to say “finished” when the session ends and gets upset when the therapist doesn’t immediately remove his headphones or asks him to say the words again.

8th day –  R is happy during the 1st round, after twenty minutes of sitting on his mom’s lap. He will often refer to “mommy “ and “daddy” each session. He again tells the therapist to “remove headphones” and gets upset when nobody removes his headphones.

9th Day

1st session. R is relatively happy through out. He was able to say “finished” , “ I’m done” twice.

End of session: R surprised Teacher by going all the way to give me a big smile and a buss on the cheek when I called him.  The last few sessions after therapy, he was so impatient to go home and he would go inside the therapy room and pull his mom to go. Once he even tried to gently push Teacher back into the room so that everyone (his parents and Teacher)  would all stop talking and finally go home.

Parents’ Feedback:

Yesterday R went up to mom holding an orange, and asked her to “remove sticker” and then he was also able to say “ peel orange” without any prompting. Mom was so surprised because this is the first time R has done that. Usually, it’s Mom who says “do you want me to peel the orange?”. While they were talking, R wanted Mom to go from the kitchen to the bed area. R would instinctively look at Mom while she was talking. Mom was amazed, before R was unable to pay close attention to what she was saying.

R’s Dad also noticed that R went to the restroom on his own and removed his pants and underwear on his own. This is the first time R has done this. Before, R’s parents would have to prompt him or even pull him to go to the bathroom. Both parents are happy at R’s increased awareness.

10th Day. R was very much behaved. He would say words like “ remove”, “remove headphone”. “oh yeah”. Prior to the end of the session, he would look the therapist in the eye and say” remove the headphone”. At the end of the session, he said “ I’m finished” without any prompting.

Parents’ Feedback:

R is able to understand verbally given commands more. He can now tolerate loud sounds that used to bother him, although he is still uneasy in restaurants. He has shown signs of improvement in terms of increased meaningfully used words.

Yesterday, he surprised everyone by engaging his 7 year old cousin in a game of chase. R initiated the game and the little girl reciprocated by running after him and chasing each other around. This is unusual behavior for R as he usually keeps to himself and does not seek to interact with other children that much. Overall, parents are generally happy with R ‘s improvements and the changes they perceive in him.

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10th Day of AIT Coloring

10th-day-of-ait-drawing

10th Day of AIT Drawing

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Kay’s Autism Journey of Exceptional Progress

We first met Kay at age 6 in 2008. He was first diagnosed with ASD at age 3. Kay’s mom first heard about AIT during a seminar in Mall of Asia that she attended.

Kay’s interventions include GFCF diet, ABA, low oxalate diet, occupational therapy, biomedical intervention, speech therapy and HBOT.

Kay has inconsistent eye contact, he has problems with language development and interpreting body language. He is very fixated on his Thomas trains and loves spinning objects like fans. He has hyperacute hearing and hears sounds more loudly than others. Sounds like the hair dryer bother him.

When Kay was born, he had sub-arachnoidal hemorrhage and had to stay in the ICU for two weeks wherein he also had jaundice and hypoglycemia. He was a picky eater and would gag at lumpy food and fruits. He had allergies to dairy. He was constipated and also suffered from diarrhea.

He was sensory defensive in terms of taste, olfactory and auditory. He has a bionic memory and would recall places like where the car is parked. He would often overreact over TV commercials about hair and laundry products. He would toe walk, spin and hand flap. He had poor listening skills. . He rarely interacts with his peers and is particularly attached to his mother. He is able to empathize with babies crying and he would also pretend that his toys are crying.

He has a lot of stims. He doesn’t follow instructions well. He lacks self-discipline. He is withdrawn and has a tendency to shut down under pressure. He has adverse reactions to physical touch and unusual reactions to noise. He has poor gross motor skills and is “wobbly”. He wets his bed at night.

He generally has poor focus, but is able to hyperfocus on things that he obsesses about.

Mom’s wishes:

Mom wishes for Kay to have more verbal interactions. Mom hopes that Kay becomes less sensitive to sounds, especially that of the blow dryer. Mom would like Kay to lose his deathly fear of the barber. She would like for him to become more verbal/conversational. She also would like Kay to pay more attention to verbal instructions. She would like to see Kay begin to socialize with peers and classmates as well as other kids. She wishes that he would be able to relate how he feels and what happened on his day at school/therapy center in a more complex manner.

During the evaluation, he was unable to draw on the drawing sheet provided or comply with instructions given.

Improvements of Kay after the 1st round of AIT:

Kay is able to concentrate longer . He no longer flits from one thing to another.

He no longer takes others by wrist to use their hand to open doors or get objects.

He no longer needs instructions repeated several times.

He is motivated to learn.

He still gives odd or inappropriate responses to conversation.

He now tolerates social contact

His echolalia improved, repeating sentences and phrases has lessened

He has a faster response to simple questions compared to before.

He still hates to have a haircut

He responds better now whenever his name is called.

He is not as easily startled by sound as before.

He still turns on the music loud.

He has less issues with delayed toilet training and blowing his nose. He is better able to dress now but still requires assistance.

Tantrums are not as bad as before.

He doesn’t like to told “no”.

He is not as picky with food as before.

Improvements after the 2nd round of AIT

Kay showed a lot of improvement after the 2nd round of AIT in the areas of language. He no longer needs instructions repeated as often. He no longer has problems recalling what was heard last week, month, year. He is better at relating to what he hears. He is better motivated to learn. He has longer attention span. He speaks even without being prompted. He no longer comes to situations “without a clue”. He no longer tries to read facial expressions.

His organizational skills have improved. He knows the appropriate use of toys. He no longer withdraws from family gatherings. He no longer has distorted speech.

He still has delayed response to verbal stimuli. He has better comprehension compared to before, but it is limited to basics. He likes to hum and makes noises to himself and give inappropriate responses to conversation.

He has poor handwriting and difficulty in spelling (although this skill has improved, Kay can spell basic words only). He speaks too fast and can be fixated on gong to certain places.

Kay doesn’t like to have haircuts. He likes putting his ears next to the TV speaker. He easily responds when his name is called. He no longer hears things ahead of everyone else. He has lost most of his issues with regards to tactile sensitivity.

In terms of self-help, Kay is very much toilet trained. He can blow his nose by himself. He only needs assistance when it comes to dressing up.

Kay still loves to spin things and has difficulty using public bathrooms that are dark and cluttered.

Many of his previous behaviors have been resolved like tantrums, repetitive watching of videos, fixations on a topic. Routine is still very important to him. He no longer lines his toys up. He is less picky. He is able to accept being told “ no”. He is more aware now of dangerous things compared to before.

Current issues are mostly auditory in nature: Kay has a fear of heights, certain TV commercials and hates large exhaust fans in hospital elevators.

2013  AIT Therapist’s Observation:

On Kay first day, he keeps on trying to remove the headphones.

On Kay’s 3rd day of AIT:

Before listening to AIT, Kay was not behaving, keeps on talking and laughing.

Mom asked: “ What do you like, we go to the dentist or here AIT?

Kay answered: “ Stephanie.”

While listening to the AIT music, Kay keeps on laughing (tries to tickle himself and laugh.)

On Kay’s 4th Day:

Kay is very restless. He tries to remove the headphone since day 1.

After the therapy ended, Mom ask Kay to say good-bye to the therapist but he doesn’t want, so he was ask to give a handshake.

Kay complied and shakes hands with therapist  and said, “Good-bye Doodles” with a smile on his face.

From Mommy’s Diary:

2013  6th day

When Kay had a conversation with his Daddy on his 6th day, he noticed that Kay can answer more questions than before, Kay was more focused. He immediately complied when his Daddy called him. Kay was more articulate when asked, like when, “ Ask what he listened to from the headset?” Kay answered, “ Lullaby ” without prompting.

His Tita also noted more focus from Kay in studying his lessons. His Teacher Tita was able to introduce multiplication for the first time.

Kay was noticeably attentive and patient while working. Kay’s fear of heights was also partially addressed. Kay can go down the stairs by himself with minimum assistant versus having to grab Mommy’s whole body and both arms before while walking down the stairs.

Kay is also calmer – he doesn’t get upset easily or doesn’t get irritated much by the ads in the TV.

7th day

When Kay arrives at the center , he usually is excited and immediately went to the C.R and urinate, this is his routine every morning.

On his session he is excited, giggles and laughs.

2nd Session:

While waiting for his turn for AIT, he was asked if where he did go for his 3 hours break.

Kay looked and answered: “ Shangrila.”

On his 10th day of AIT.

Was asked to do some worked (writing, colouring and drawing).

While doing his work, Mom notice that he doesn’t focused while colouring the shape (oval), keeps on smiling and laughing, but when prompted to focus on what he is doing, he immediately complies.

In writing his name, he does it by spelling the letters and wrote it in the sheet. He followed instructions when asked to write his name on the 3 lines.

Conversation while writing his name:

Kay keeps saying, “Yummy, Mushroom Noodles”

“Yummy, Lucky Me Noodles”

He smiled when answered back, “ Yummy, Lucky Me Pancit Canton?” Kay answered back “No, Yummy, Lucky Me Noodles” and went back writing his name.

He is more focused now when ask to draw the following: SUN, RAINBOW, FACE, HOUSE, CIRCLE and NUMBER 8.

One month after AIT

Kay seemed to have become irritable and seemed to have lost calmness and focus that he has gained immediately after AIT. He was always crying and throwing tantrums although he was communicating better than before.

In July, Kay had some change of diet. He takes more beef fat soup (bulalo), duck eggs, buffalo’s milk and has started taking organic sulphur (MSM).

4 months after AIT

Kay has significant improvement in terms of communicating with others – he can now converse in 1-2 detail levels. He can answer what, why and who questions (the latter being most difficult for him). He can report incidents that happened yesterday last week or last month. He usually speaks in the third person.

He likes playing games with his teachers, parents and other relatives – his favourite is tag-running. He can now sustain playing more age-appropriate games like monopoly. He is more observant of what is happening around him and tends to imitate other children – like yesterday at church, he observed that a boy in front of us stepped out and went into the garden to pick flowers. Kay commented “Why did he go there?” When mom said it’s ok, Kay also stepped out to pick a flower and showed it to his mom.

Kay can now go to the barber, sit on the chair without prodding and finish the haircut without crying. He even gives a tip to the barber.

Kay’s handwriting has improved significantly. He would now engage in writing words like Yes, No, names of his classmates, names of airplanes – on a blank paper or on the white board. He as gained interest in the calendar and days of the week. He is anticipating his birthday this year and has communicated how he wants to celebrate – Jollibee party, Shinkansen cake, cupcake giveaways with popsicle stick picture of shinkansen on top, train engineer’s costume.

Kay has gone a long way. AIT and a combination of therapies and alternative health practices as well as GFCF have given Kay’s parent’s hope.

Kay’s story is one example of a devoted mother who begins her journey with the single step of acceptance .  She has tried  to learn and apply  everything that she has discovered about Autism.  Kay still has his autism, but what matters to his mother is that he can communicate better and that he is more capable of  handling his sensory issues.

  Autism is a journey that will take many parents thousands of miles to discover the path  to   recovery if only they are willing to take that single first step.

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How A 5 year old Boy with PDD NOS finally found his words

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My son W. has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS (within the Autism Spectrum Disorder) at the age of 1 year and 9 months. He has speech delay and poor socialization. He can identify things but would not name them when asked.  He also would not use words to communicate with us whenever he felt  like making a request or calling us.  He also preferred  to play alone and would not consistently respond when called.

My husband and I were shocked when the doctor we consulted for W.  gave him a diagnosis. I started recalling everything to see what went wrong during my pregnancy. My son was a product of a term pregnancy by normal delivery with birth weight of 8lbs. He has been generally healthy, he had mild infectious diarrhea when he was younger and has history of seasonal allergy manifesting as skin rash and rhinitis. His immunizations are all up to date.

We became concerned about his speech when he was more than a year old when we noted that his eye contact was fleeting. We also noted some changes in him.   He would often communicate by pulling our hands to lead to what he wanted. He would also shout or bang his head when frustrated. He is active and would just repeatedly run around the room or run back and forth.

The Developmental Pediatrician recommended us for Occupational Therapy for Sensory Integration & Behaviour Modification twice a week and speech therapy once a week on one-on-one setting. Although imitation, attention and sensory-processing skills have improved, hyperactivity, distractibility, sustained attention and speech still remains to be an issue.

When he was 5, my friends introduce me to AIT (Auditory Integration Training) where a headset was used to retrain my son’s listening  for 10days”.  To our surprise, my son started to use the word “I Want” properly after the AIT program. Before he would always say “ I want water” even he is asking for other things.

We also noticed that he can understand what we are telling him and what we want him to do. He can follow instructions better and he can also self-correct his words like calling names of a person and answering YES or NO question (except with regards to preferences). Other words he said are “Remove shirt please”, Put it in the laundry basket”, “eat your rice”, “drink water”, “open the door”, “sit on the chair” (with prompts).

Even he is still hyperactive, his hyperactivity is much tolerablenow. He also learns fast when taught. We also noticed that he is very good in figuring out puzzles. W.  can do 48 to 96 pieces of puzzle in just 15 minutes, but while he is working on the puzzle, he keeps tapping the board and talking jargon or garbled words in a loud voice.

I was told by my friend to look for a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) Doctor who practices natural medicines. We change our son’s food to GFCF (Gluten Free, Casein Free) diet. The doctor collect my son’s blood, hair and urine and send it to United States to test his allergies and to see how much bacteria, yeast and mercury, etc has to be remove from his body.

This was the time that we realized that we are giving him the wrong diet since he was born. We didn’t realize that he was allergic to milk and that the diarrhea and skin rashes were caused by drinking cow’s milk.

Up to date vaccines are not recommended especially when the baby is sick, right now we only give vaccines which are really important and safe are required to be given to the child. The doctor gave my son natural medicines to detoxify all the heavy metals and bacteria that should be removed from his body because these things can hinder to his progress.

During the process of detoxifying my son shows some regression which was expected to happen as this is a reaction to some of the heavy metals is being pull out from his body.

In addition to his daily activity, we added an ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis) therapist who visits him 3x a week for 2 hours each session. Also we fill in taekwondo and swimming (should be 3 months after the AIT program) to subsides his hyperactivity and to gain his attentions. He is now studying in a regular school with the supervision of a shadow teacher he is happy and is aware of his surrounding and the people around him.

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My Thoughts on Early Intervention

The longer it takes for your child to get the early intervention he needs, the harder it is for you to reach him.

If lack of therapists, a long waitlist or finances is an issue.

Make sure you do your research. Be your child’s therapist if you have to be but make sure you do the work before he locks himself into his own world forever.

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Autism and the Fear of Dentists

A problem most parents have with asd kids is dental hygiene. Because of the kids’ sensory issues, getting them to open their mouth and brush their teeth is like going to war on a nightly basis.

Please don’t delay going to the dentist. Make it a habit to get a cleaning done every six months even if you dread the idea of going there with your child.

Role play going to the dentist so the child has an idea of what to expect. Scout around for a good dentist who is patient with kids.

For kids, cavities are a problem because of sweets and milk intake. Blackened teeth are terrible and cause pain. Putting off the inevitable only makes things worse.

The last thing you want is for your child to be sedated for a tooth extraction.

So please make time for your dentist and do keep your kids’ teeth healthy.

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Punishments and the Concept of Timeout

Time out is one of the most effective means of disciplining a child.  Dr. Sears even recommends that a timeout be introduced to a child as early as 18 months. For the  time out, to be actually effective, the parent must invest in time “in” with the child- playing, having fun, etc…

Basically, timeout is meant to be a “break” from the child’s activities.   Thirty minutes of sheer boredom can be such agony to a hyperactive child.  It is also meant to be used as a reinforcer  to discourage a child from doing improper behaviour.

When you send your child to “timeout”, keep your cool.  Don’t shout, threaten or be aggressive.

Assign an appropriate place in your home as the Timeout area.  It should be quiet and clutter free.  The walls should be plain and boring.  You should use this place all the time whenever you implement a timeout.

Prior to implementing a timeout, discuss with your child what a timeout is and explain that whenever they do something that Mommy doesn’t want them to do or engage in improper behaviour like fighting , etc. – they will get sent to the Timeout area .

For small kids who don’t want to cooperate, Mommy unfortunately, has to be spend time in the Timeout area to ensure their cooperation.  You may have to restrain your child and have him/her seated on your lap facing the wall until the time is up.

For bigger children who refused to cooperate, you can add either extra five minutes to timeout or giving a punishment like being grounded for a week from playing in the yard or watching TV.

If your child is willing to stand and face the wall without need of any coercion, then you don’t need to restrain him/her.

To give a young child an idea of how long timeout is, the best is to use a kitchen time or the alarm on your phone to visually show them how long they have to wait. The timeout for very young children can be as short as 10 minutes to as long as 30 minutes to an hour depending on the gravity of the misbehaviour.

Remember to be consistent in implementing your timeouts .

To make your timeout effective, the timeout has to be implemented as soon as the improper behaviour happens so that the child can connect the two events together.  If I do this, then this is the consequence of my actions.

Prior to implementing the timeout, ask your child to think about what was wrong about what they did and why they shouldn’t have done it .  Timeout gives your child the time to think.  Let your child realize the consequences of his/her actions. Try not to do a sermon during timeout.

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Always Keep Your Word

Always keep your word and make sure your child knows that you really mean it.

Years ago my then 6 year old son behaved so badly that Yaya threatened him that if he didn’t behave she would tell Mommy not to bring him to Shangri-la.

I made the mistake of pitying him and told Yaya that it was okay he could go since the whole family was going.

When we got to Shangri-la, I overheard my son smugly telling Yaya. “See? Even if I don’t behave, I can still go to Shangri-la.”

Big mistake. I was mortified when I realized that I just taught him that Yaya ‘s threats don’t count.

I couldn’t undo what I had done.

The next time he behaved badly though. I left him with Yaya at home (without any tv, ipad or computer) while everyone went to Shangri-la.

He never forgot the day we left him behind. It was there that he realized we really mean it whenever we give him a warning.

It was a wake up call for me and a lesson learned.

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How do you turn your child into a monster?

How do you turn your child into a monster?

Simply by just saying yes to everything he wants.

It’s easier to give in than it is to tell your child ” NO ” and having the mental discipline to ensure you are consistent and that your word is law.

Arguing with a child with behavioral issues is like arguing with a tape recorder sometimes. He keeps repeating the same arguments over and over again. It took 1 and a half day to convince him- no more unlimited IPAD usage.

Setting rules and limits can help a child.

It can also change a child’s routine. Without the IPAD, the child goes back to being a child. He looks for books, looks for board games and tries to play tags with his siblings.

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One Year After AIT Revisiting 8 year old Nicky’s Improvements After Therapy

Meeting Mommy C after all this time is a wonderful experience. She’s filled with funny stories and anecdotes about Nicky.  I’ve taken the time to document changes that she and her familiy have seen after AIT.

Movement

Nicky exhibits better posture now compared to before.   He no longer jumps repetitively, he only jumps he is excited.   He no longer freezes or stops when walking .

He is able to sit down, before he would always lie down and would often have to be prompted to sit straight.

Language

He now longer needs instructions repeated several times.  He can now recall things heard before with some prompting.  He is able to relate better to what is seen and heard.

He used to say “what” indiscriminately.  Now, he is able to say “ what” more appropriately.  He relies less on visual cues and picture print.  He daydreams less and shows a more active imagination now.

He used to “hum” and make noises to himself.  He still makes noises but the words that come out of his mouth have more “sense”.

He likes educating himself about words now compared to before.  After AIT, he learned to use the dictionary and now he’s moved to checking the meanings of words over the internet.  His speech has also improved now because of his newfound interest in words.

He used to frequently give odd or inappropriate responses to conversation.  Now, Nicky is able to answer questions more appropriately.

He is able to communicate better and think about things :

On Dominoes:

Nicky was playing dominos and ran out of dominoes.

Nicky: I need more color dominoes

Yaya:  You need money to buy more dominoes

Nicky:  Ha? I need money ? !  Can I pray na lang.

Mom found this amusing because Nicky realized that he needs money in order to buy dominoes.

On Brownouts:

Nicky experiences a brownout while playing computer.

Nicky: There’s no more electricity, can you please call the electrician?

Mommy: The brownout will not be fixed by the electrician only.  You need to wait for Meralco to fix the brownout.

Nicky: So the electrician work for Meralco?

Mommy: Yes

Nicky: So let’s go to Meralco and get the electrician.

(After a few days of succeeding brownouts, Nicky goes up to Mommy:

Nicky:  Hay, when I grow I want to work for Meralco .

Image

On Google

Mommy: Do you know what Google means?

Nicky (goes to the computer and googles the word Google).

Nicky (comes back and says): Google is the number 1 search engine in the Philippines.

Mom is amused because Nicky would often use the dictionary to search for word meanings to increase his vocabulary, but ever since he discovered Google he likes to say “ i Google na lang…”

On Robot:

While watching Voltes V on You Tube:

Nicky: I’m a robot. Do you know Mommy that robots needs batteries as food ?

Mommy: Uh huh

Later on:

Nicky: I’m hungry. I need some batteries.

Mommy:  What?!

Nicky: Pretend lang  (with a smile).

On Being Angry:

Nicky (tells his brother): Don’t  knock down my dominoes or I will become an angry bird.

Mommy (overhears) : What will you do if you are angry?

Nicky: If I am angry I will become an angry bird

Mommy: what happens if you become an angry bird?

Nicky: If I will become an angry bird, I will become an angry N. If I become an angry N. I will spank /smack you.

Mommy: If you smack mommy what will happen?

Nicky: Mommy will cry

Mommy: What happens when Mommy cries ?

Nicky: Mommy will cry like a baby

Mommy: I s Mommy still a baby?

Nicky: No, Mommy is not a baby anymore.

On Toys and Going to Sleep:

Nicky  doesn’t usually want to fix his toys and Mom always insists that Nicky should fix his own toys.  Nicky didn’t want to pack away his toys :

Mommy: No more toys

Nicky: No no no. How about five more minutes?

Mommy: No, time to sleep.

Nicky: No no no. No time to sleep. Time to play.

Mommy:  No more time to play. Go to sleep.

Nicky: No sleep. How about no more mommy?

Mommy: No Mommy. No Toy.

Nicky: How about five more minutes?

This conversation goes round and round.

Sound Sensitivity

Nicky is able to sit down longer and he has no more issue.  He still hears noises at night but compared to before, he now asks what the sound is. He no longer hears sounds before anyone else.   He likes to adjust music that he likes (louder).

Around certain sounds, Nicky likes to say off:

While Yaya was listening to her radio program:

Nicky: Turn off the radio.

Yaya: Don’t you dare  turn off  my boyfriend

Nicky: No no no. Turn the radio off.

Yaya: No, that ‘s my boyfriend.

Nicky:  Shut down your boyfriend. (and he went and turned off the radio).

On Thunderstorms

Last year, one of Nicky’s major issues is that he’s bothered by thunderstorms.  This year we thought was no different until I saw how he managed his fear.

“For those who know my boy and are aware of his sound sensitivity… Nicky  is aware that  after  lightning… a loud thunder noise follows… Tonight is no different… he was even covering his ears when he saw the  lightning from the windows and he would jump under the blankets for cover.  What I find  so delightful to observe is that after each time he covers  his ears  under the blanket.  He comes out smiling shouting…”Voltes V!” V formation…. ha ha ha…what a sight… he didn’t let his fear defeat his sunny disposition… love u anak… Voltes V naman kami ngayon…”

Habits and Behaviors

Nicky ‘s preoccupation is dominos.  He’s into dominos and Google.  He likes to do it on the computer  or use a pen and paper to draw whatever comes to mind.  Routines are no longer as important as before. He no longer has periods of anger with acting out.   His eye contact is a lot better.   He still likes to do his own thing during school play time.

Nicky needs prompting often since he is so curious.  He gets distracted because he likes to do things all at once.

On Jesus:

Today. Nicky told me he had a wonderful day…in fact to almost everyone in our home…his dad, his brother, his Amah and even to his two ate…jolly and babbly about his most wonderful day… what makes me grateful is not because he could actually express his happiness and satisfaction today but at the end of the day…my big little man did not forget to tell Jesus… his great buddy…how grateful he is for such a wondeful day…  Thank you God… good night everyone..

As retold by Mommy C.

We first shared Nicky’s story last year :

https://soundtherapymanila.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/ait-experience-of-an-8-year-old-boy-with-speech-delay-and-sensory-integration-issues/

We are happy to update everyone about Nicky’s developments today.   These are anecdotes from Nicky’s mom that we’ve taken time to collect and share.  More than eight years ago, Nicky’s mom was devastated when he was first diagnosed with the classic signs of autism.

Today, after a long journey, Nicky is finally emerging out of his shell .  Mommy C is happy that God kept his promise to her in giving back her boy.

Congratulations, Nicky and Mommy C.  We’re glad to have been a part of Nicky’s journey.

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