The next inflection ?

As the (extended) summer holidays for the DS comes to an end, we look back at the hols. I believe this was one of the most fruitful holidays - rhythm was set, RDI was woven in to an extent to the lifestyle, understanding (although basic, I'd say) of Sensory difficulties were internalized and DS seems to have made some good progress in several areas. Not sure if school would help him in that progress or would impede in it; we need to go to the school and talk over with his teachers on this.

The other thing was that we had taken a video of his school time (about 2hrs) and had shared it with both our RDI and Enki consultants. Good inputs from both of them. The Enki specialist had said that he seemed not to be inhabiting is body (I would have gone, "wwwhaat ?" several years ago - but with the DS being special and my own tyrst with martial arts, I see possibilities); and his perseverative actions like banging the table in frustration on the video or wringing his hands, are actually his attempt to come back into the moment. She has advised us to have a shorter class span for him, where he is on 'taught mode' for about 15m, then do a 3-5m sensory activity and then 5m of his own time; and she has given us a possibility of using Origami to build on his need to have strips of papers on his hands.

We had also met with a Sensory specialist and she has provided us with a set of sensory activities that we need to do on him. I'm still unable to schedule them in a way that we could run it well and consistently - need to do that this weekend; the Enki movements has given an added set of tools for us to use. (Btw, why the "I" in the "I'm unable..." is that we have a kind of division of labour between DW and I - she does the RDI and Enki and I am supposed to design the SI for him; as ever, I believe I woefully equipped to it forward, but we will stumble on ;) ). Reminds me, need to send a note to the SI specialist and ask her to give us a pilot schedule on which we can op the SI activities.

Wonder, if the next inflection would come from here - confluence of the mind and body ? As a non-sequitor, it does sound funny that the logical guy I am, I'm talking about abstracts; but having a special child opens up new philosophies; theories abound and fresh axioms appear !

Asking for help !

It has been quite tough for DS to ask for help in a way thats descriptive. If he is looking for something and he cannot find it, the graph gradient from quiet to a temperish tantrum would be quite steep. One of the things we have been working as a part of RDI is to being descriptive and asking for help, rather than getting stressed about it. We have made some progress; progress within the confines of what the child in the spectrum would make.

Two days ago, DS was playing in the apartment play area in a grass mound. He was playing with another kid (half his age though), and playing throw-catch with the ball. I had decided to swim in the adjacent pool and there is a kids pool area between the bigger pool and the grass mound (photo adjacent ;) ). DW, who was with him, decided to go upstairs for a few minutes. In midst of my swimming I heard DS talking to someone. When I surfaced he was talking to an older gentleman, asking for his help, since the ball had gone into the kids pool. He was asking the gentleman to help, since he cannot get into the swimming pool without the swimming attire.

Later on when we were discussing this - we told him that we were very proud that he asked for help, but asked him (ofcourse, in our own declarative way :) ) on what his thoughts were. He said, he knew the gentleman since he and DW had gone to their house for a function. So, he knew that man, hence he asked him specifically for help. He also said that the other option he had was looking for a long rod, that he could not find.

Looking to help himself first, check and continue to reinforce.
Asking for help, check & ctr.
Identifying the appropriate person for help, check & ctr.
Make judgment if the person can help, work in progress.
Articulate emotions when things dont go the expected way... yet to start, long way to go !
ps: The gentleman in question said he could not help, since he was carrying a baby. By that time, I had intervened to get the ball for him; in the hindsight I did that too quickly. Should have waited to see what else he would have done. Later, I tried to get him to relate how DS felt when he was refused help; he wasn't able to articulate from an emotion perspective; he said it from logic - ie the man could not help since he was carrying a baby and cannot get into the pool.

Good break ! But a good thing ?

We had a vacation over 10days and just returned two days ago. We had been to Mumbai and from there to the final destination, where it was Sun, sand and water. The last two are stuff our DS absolutely loves. It was a good good break - for me from work, for DW from daily routine of working with DS and for DS from the daily routine ! So much so, that DS wants to go back there next year too; and while we were returning, he asked us at every logical point (like hotel checkout, airline checkin counters, immigration point etc) that if we need to tell them that we want to book in advance that we would return the next year !!

Not sure what it was for him; he was not physically very active; but I guess the break itself was good enough - also, because we were in alien conditions, keeping to the diet was quite tough and we had let go. So, perhaps that was enjoyable for DS. We did see some regression in his behaviour - like inappropriate laughing at times, a bit more excitable than normal. So, sometimes I wonder if this its a good thing for us to take this kind of break; but then I also think, when we reconcile the balance sheet, this is a short-term loss for a long-term gain - i.e., recharge ourselves (all three of us) to continue on this path for the next year, until the next break. So much so, that before we left the hotel, with DS we took a vow that we would all do what is expected of us and with no "task avoidance". Back at home, the last two days has been good - DS has gotten back to groove. Ofcourse, adjusting to new SI activities has been a bit tough, but eventually he did agree...

...which brings to the other good part of the trip. We did meet a SI specialist, who had evaluated him and recommended a host of SI activities - which is kind of overwhelming. We've requested the specialist to schedule it for us as "sensory diet", so that the whole thing is more systemic. Now, the jury is out on that on where we would be and how successful we would be with that. Fingers crossed.

The judgment day cometh !

We did an IQ and Skill (re)assessment of DS over the last month. His IQ, although has come down, is normal range; and the Doc believed that if he had the motivation to complete a few, he would actually be better off.

But the best part for us was this: Doc had done the skill assessment on him - reading comprehension, arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing etc - The tests were:
  • Weschlers' Intelligence Scale for Children III edition
  • Weschlers Objective reading dimensions (WORD)
  • Weschers' objective Numerical dimesnions (WOND)
  • Weschlers' objective language dimensions (WOLD)
  • Diagnostic interview for social and comm disorders (DISCO 10)
Although he did very little at school over the last couple of years, his skills were closer to his age-group - a year or so less max. Except his writing, which was like 4-5yr old. I think that is due to his SI issues...

DW, who was tense before the assessment, is all smiles and I think that would remain on for a while :)

It helps us keep the faith in the path we have chosen -
  1. Part-time schooling
  2. RDI
  3. Enki
  4. SI
  5. GFCF kind of diet
I believe, these help build the foundation and creating neurological pathways for him - creating the functions; and the actual schooling and skill building can come later; i've no issues with that at all !!! This is a good milestone - to look back with satisfaction; and look forward for more work ahead.