our journey of hope and healing through autism

Then and Now- 1 years progress


Photos by Becky Noblet

Almost exactly a year ago, I attended a meeting with a whole panel of professionals-speech, physio, and occupational therapists, a psychologist, social worker, and so on.  The purpose of the meeting was to assess how Hannah’s challenges affected our family, what services and supports we needed to make progress. (In this area, at the least, the government likes to feel confident that it’s money is well spent).  I came to the meeting prepared with a summary of how Hannah’s challenges impacted us in each area of living.

I am amazed, humbled and grateful when I contrast the notes I wrote one year ago today, with how things are now.  It has literally taken a small army of people helping Hannah in every area of life to help her get to this point (plus the Specific Carbohydrate Diet,  biomedical treatments, a skilled naturopath, and many, many answered prayers). (I’ve gone kind of crazy with the hyperlinks, in hopes of pulling pieces of the story together, if you’re newish to the blog).  Hannah is making improvements daily, and it’s an amazing thing to see.

Then: Hannah had a hard time falling asleep, and woke up multiple times most nights, but settled down to sleep quickly.

Now: Hannah goes to sleep easily, and sleeps through the night, every night.

Then: Sensory related problems with toilet training.

Now: Hannah is totally independent with toileting. Okay, maybe she doesn’t wipe very thoroughly, but she wouldn’t be the only 5 year old who doesn’t!

Then: She insisted on wearing the same dress day after day.

Now:  Hannah will wear pretty much anything.  She wore some kind-of-stiff jeans to kindergarten the other day!

Then: Hannah was easily frustrated, and couldn’t tolerate waiting.

Now:  Hannah will get upset and cry maybe once or twice a week.

Then: Hannah had difficulty with any changes in routine.

Now: She’s a little anxious about new things, but we talk through it, and she is generally just fine.

Then: Teeth and hair brushing were battles.

Now: Hannah brushes her teeth with no problems, and tolerates her hair being brushed.  I’m pretty content with that, since I don’t know any curly girls that really like having their tangles brushed out?

Then: The level of Hannah’s anxiety was so great that it made traveling to visit family nearly impossible.

Now: Hannah did great on our 12 hour drive to and from Utah this summer, and all through the visit!

Then: Hannah didn’t understand turn taking in conversation

Now:  Hannah and I have conversations all the time.  Sometimes she interrupts when others are talking, but not more than other kids her age.

Then: Hannah didn’t make much eye contact with those she wasn’t close to.

Now:  Hannah makes great eye contact with most people, most of the time.

Then:  Hannah was unable to process and answer questions.

Now:  Hannah asks and ton of questions, and answers simple or familiar questions pretty quickly.  She still struggles with more complex or abstract questions.

Then: Hannah would get stuck or “hyperfocus” on a topic, and have a really hard time moving on to thinking about something else.

Now: Hannah seems to be able to move on with her thinking, most all of the time.



I feel like I have been given the moon. The behaviorist who works with Hannah’s new therapy team said that she had no behavior concerns for Hannah!  Hannah still has some fine motor, receptive language, and social communication delays that we are working on, but can’t wait to see what the next year brings!


3 comments on “Then and Now- 1 years progress

  1. Heather
    October 10, 2013

    Wow, what an amazing amount of progress! I haven’t heard of anything like “Specialized Services” in my state. Once Early Intervention ended at age three, all we get is developmental preschool. It’s been great for my son, but I still worry if he’ll be ready for kindergarten next year. However, kudos go to you, too, for working so tirelessly on behalf of your child.

  2. Robyn (@AutismHealer)
    October 10, 2013

    How wonderful. These are all the things I’m doing to help my daughter, and its working for us too 🙂 Thanks for the morning inspiration.

  3. Mike Kapel
    October 10, 2013

    My granddaughter is amazing, like her mom and dad. As I read your comments, I couldn’t help but think of the times I may have interrupted somebody, and a few other issues that lots of adults deal with. With the help of loving family (parents and siblings), good professionals, and others she will be just fine. Thank you for the report and keep thanking Heavenly Father

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