Monday, July 11, 2011

Progressing with Autism...

Hi Friends!

This post is to get you up to speed with Bella's development. She's now over 2.5 years old and is becoming increasingly independent. While the amount of words she says 'spontaneously' has not increased that much, her communication has definitely improved. She grabs our hands and drags us to what she wants and typically says "help" or "juice" or "apple" or "outside".

She still tantrums often and has a hard time with the word "no" but, we are working on it. Most two year old's aren't keen on hearing "no", but the difference for Bella is that she has a hard time "recovering" from hearing it. She often gets physical (throwing herself on the ground, rolling, kicking ect) or screams uncontrollably for a while:( Usually this happens in public and not typically as severely at home. Her tantrums do not occur as often as they used to but they are still quite prevalent. This is something we work on specifically in ABA Therapy.

Bella can say lots of other words (besides what I listed below) by mimicking what we say, however we are really wanting her to say the words on her own independent of us asking her to do so. A typically developing toddler's vocabulary should increase at Bella's age to the point where the amount of words produced is basically too many to count. They should routinely combine three or more words into sentences and understand commands like "put that on the table". Now, we know our sweet Bella is not typically developing but, we like to celebrate her accomplishments.

Yes, I can (and I do) count her words and literally come to tears at each new one she says on her own. I am proud of where she is and pray for further progressing to take place. She is more loving to Josh and I than I could have ever imagined a child with autism being. She gives kisses, tackles us, laughs with us, and thinks we are hysterical :) I think she's so funny too. She has her autistic quirks like spinning, laying on the floor and looking at things upside down, crazy laughing, oh and her "orderly process" of doing EVERYTHING. Today I am thankful for the fact that she has started crying when I leave the room (most parents hate this.... I cherish the fact that she even notices).

Here are Bella's spontaneous words (words she says without prompts).
  1. Help
  2. Ball
  3. Banana
  4. Apple
  5. Juice
  6. Milk
  7. Mommy (more like Mimi)
  8. Daddy (sometimes)
  9. Outside
  10. Names about 50% of the alphabet when she sees the letters
  11. Swing
  12. Hot
  13. No
  14. Princess
  15. Tinkerbell
  16. Kitty
  17. Dog
  18. Come on
  19. Please (pees)
  20. Thank you (tank you)
  21. Cow
  22. Sheep
  23. Paci (Pacifier)
  24. Blanks (Blanket)
  25. Old McDonald (sings song)
  26. Alphabet (sings the alphabet -- in her own little way)
  27. Circle
  28. Frog
  29. All done
  30. more
  31. open (sounds like opi)
  32. stop
So, we are excited about these words and excited about Bella's future in general. We are still eating gluten and casein free and receive two forms of therapy 4 days a week. Bella starts early intervention preschool this fall (two days a week). We are hoping this will help her social skills a bit:)

Here's the big girl feeding herself:) I am thankful she can do this (we are still working on using a fork).

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