A 6 year old with ASD finds his Voice

Angel is a 6 year old who was first diagnosed at 2 years and 8 months with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by his developmental pediatrician. His parents still remember Angel at age 2, he was a relatively normal typical child. As he had very conscientious parents, he was always up to date on his vaccines.

It was only at 2 1/2 years old that his parents realized that Angel was not developing as fast as his twin brother.  He was non verbal, had fleeting eye contact and  would often  ignore his parents.  There were no physical telltale signs that something was wrong.

At 3 years old, he was taken to an alternative doctor who put him on the gluten free cassein free diet (GFCF) and on methylcobalamin b12

When Angel was 4 years old, his parents decided to put up their own therapy center as they were tired of not having enough slots for Angel to do his therapies. Angel would have 3x a week therapy which would range from OT, Speech and SPED.

When he was five years old, he joined group socialization.  He was able to get ABA training.  His parents saw that Angel improve the most with occuupational therapy.  Angel was non-verbal and would mostly babble and make nonsensical sounds. He would try to “mouth” the words or say them in a breathy manner.  He seems to understand simple one step commands.  He points or pulls at you to get what he wants.  He is fixated on food, water, cookies, crunchy food and juice.  When he dislikes the texture of the food, he will cry and spit out the food.

Angel has many sensory issues.  He hates the sound of the piano, the wheel.  He hates the sound of hammering, his brother crying and thunder.  He hates having a haircut, so much so that his father had to learn how to cut Angel’s hair.

Angel was recommended for sound therapy by his therapist due the child’s auditory sensory issues.

Day 1 : Angel spent the first 20 minutes crying and trying to remove the headphones.  He calms down the last ten minutes.  On the 2nd session, he would still cry but not as much as the first session.

Day 2: On the 2nd session, Angel spent 10 minutes trying to remove the headphones. Prior to the session, his dad says that Angel remembers this building and did not want to get down from the car.  He gave up after 10 minutes and just calmed down.  He kept making clicking sounds with his mouth.

Day 3: Angel, initially didn’t want to go in. Dad had to physically carry him inside to comply.  He would even grab at the door post to prevent his Dad from bringing him inside the room.  Today, Dad noticed that Angel was hyper for the first two days.  He would run and jump but would respond more to being called.  Once inside the room, Angel was cooperative and would listen to the music.  He also seemed relaxed and concentrated.  He also said “Ddddone” when he finally realized that Teacher Steph would not remove the headphones after the session.

On the 2nd session, Angel was behaved throughout.  He was only able to say “done” out of frustration after 30 minutes with very heavy prompting.  He was able to say “open” in a breathy manner.

Day 4: Angel sat down quietly for the first time.  He was also very well behaved.  He was able to say “ Done” with prompting after 2 minutes.  He said “ apu chick” instead of open .  He didn’t get mad today. On the 2nd session, he again was able to behaved throughtou the session.  He was only able to say “done” after 30 minutes.

5th day: Yesterday, Angel willingly walked out of the car to go to the center.  It had been a struggle for the last four days.   Angel behaved for around 17 minutes sitting by himself before Dad had to hold him as he tried to pull the headphones off. On the 2nd session, Angel sat down and behaved.  He was only able to say “Done” after 10 minutes. He got very upset with his Dad though and pulled his hair in retaliation. He did not say “open” today as they had to leave earlier.

6th day: Angel was very behaved and sat down beside teacher.  He was able to do therapy for 30 minutes.  He was able to say “ Ddddone” in two minutes and said a silent “ Open”. On the 2nd session, he went in by himself and was behaved.   He even fell asleep till the send of the session.

7th day: Angel was behaved  and would try to reply even if the words are barely understandable.   He got to say “ Ddddone” after 5 minutes.   On the 2nd session, Angel was sleepy and not too cooperative.  They also had to leave early.

8th day: Angel was behaved throughout the session and said “Dddone” in less than 5 minutes with prompting.

9th day:  Angel’s first time to go to AIT with his mom.  He threw a tantrum and was very upset during the session.  It took him more than 30 minutes to say “Dddone” and he was angry and crying before he said “Done” clearly.

2nd session, Angel is  a little calmer this time but is still crying and having tantrums. Mom still did the AIT session with him.  He was able to say “Ddddone” without prompting and he was able to say “ open” before we left.

10th day:  Angel took Teacher’s Steph’s hand and went in the room. He was calm . he made clicking sounds. Thirteen minutes into the session, he said “Dddddone.”  He is talkative.  He is playful.  He said “Ddddone” after 5 minutes.  And “Open” clearly after 2 minutes.

Mom’s observations:

Angel’s “Daddy” became clearer.

Before Angel would only say “Ma” and only when he is upset, now he says “Mommy” to call his mom’s attention.  He has done this four (4) times since AIT started without prompting.

Angel is less sensitive to sound and calmer.

He is easier to call to pay attention to do tasks.

He is also became more compliant.

During eating time, Angel would often stand up half way through his meal but now if his attention is called, he would come back.

Prior to AIT, the whole trip through NLEX, Angel would cover his ears. Now, he is able to do the whole trip without covering his ears.

Angel will be resuming his therapy after (9) months.