Thomas is our 10-year-old son and he is autistic. That sounds a bit like an introduction at an AA meeting doesn’t it – Hi my name is Tom and I’m an Autistic. But hey if the kid could say that he’d be in a much better place in the world right now. And I wouldn’t feel the need to write about him.
But lately I feel that we are at a cross-roads with Tom. His behaviour is once again regressing and we are being challenged outside our skill set by him. In other words I have no idea what to do with him lately.
A bit of history on Tom; he was diagnosed before he turned two as being Autistic on the spectrum as severe, along with a global development delay, major sensory issues, and asthma thrown in as a bonus later on. He communicates with other humans very rarely and his only motivation to do so is usually food. He is also not toilet trained. And that’s just for starters.
Anyway Tom seems to be increasingly frustrated by his existence lately. I can tell that he is trying to get a message across and when he can’t his only option left (to him) is to throw a huge tantrum. So what can we do? His current communication system uses PECS communication pictures, where he picks out a symbol or picture of the item or thing that he wants to do assembles it on a sentence board and brings it to us as his request, is just not enough for him. Occasionally he will say the word of the object he wants, but this is now disappearing. So I am now searching for a new communication tool for him. I am leaning towards trying out the ‘go talk’ system, that plays a childs request using a pre-recorded voice that says what they want. I’m thinking this may be a way of bringing back some speech with him. Where else do I turn with such a child?
In other news his sister Georgie, who was only diagnosed a year ago, is responding to all our intervention efforts and we are starting to hear clear speech, lot’s of singing, and GET THIS she is almost toilet trained – hurrah.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have them both progressing well at the same time?!