Shortly before his 2nd birthday, October 20, 1997, Mike had the recommended developmental assessments and the autism journey began.
Over the years, Mike has received a multitude of therapeutic approaches. While I do not believe in a window of opportunity for brain development, I do believe in a window of opportunity for some aspects of functional behavior management. In short, size matters. It is easier to physically assist a 5 year old than it is to assist a 15 year old.
My best advice; focus on a form of communication to minimize language anxiety, teach your child be recover from meltdowns, and expose your child to everything.
August 11, 1998 – Mike was 2 years 7 months – Almost
one year after diagnosis…
(Exerts from evaluation)
Relating To People
“The child shows aloofness (seems unaware of adults) at times. Persistent and forceful attempts are necessary to get the child’s attention at times. Minimal contact is made by the child.”
“The child imitates only part of the time and requires a great deal of persistence and help from the adult; frequently imitates only after a delay.”
“The child shows definite signs of inappropriate type and/or degree of emotional response. Reactions may be quite inhibited or excessive and unrelated to situations; may grimace, laugh, or become rigid even though no apparent emotional-producing object or event is present.”
Adaptation to Change
“The child actively resists change in routine, tries to continue the old activity, and is difficult to distract. He may become angry and unhappy when an established routine is altered.”
“Meaningful speech is not used. The child may make infantile squeals, weird or animal-like sounds, complex noises, approximating speech, or may show persistent, bizarre use of some recognizable words or phrases.”
“The child exhibits extremes of activity or inactivity and may even shift from one extreme to the other.”
“The child shows many symptoms or an extreme degree of autism.”
May 6, 1999 – Mike was 3-years 6-months – Almost
two years after official diagnosis …
(Exert from speech evaluation)
June 2, 2005 – Mike was 9-years 7-months – Almost
eight years after formal diagnosis …
Yes, at 9 years 7 month, Mike was just “beginning to use 2-3 word phrases to communicate”. If there is a ‘window of opportunity’ – it opened after this evaluation.
If you would like to learn more about the changes I implemented during this time period, please attend the Autism Hippie webinar series.
Taking this trip back in time has been a wonderful experience. If you don’t believe that anything is possible, go watch some of Mike’s videos!