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.
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.
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.
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.
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.