holdingtomorrow

our journey of hope and healing through autism

Overcoming Autism’s Limitations

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What a week!  With three kids, at three different schools, special  treats for special diets at end of year parties, one fridge dying,  the replacement (used )  fridge that leaked and ruined about 1/3 of the laminate in our kitchen, considering making an insurance claim, and some extended family situations needing extra prayers, I’m  relieved to have made it through the past two weeks.

When the first fridge died, and the used one we bought leaked, I thought- either this is just crummy, or maybe we’re getting some trials now, but we’ll just be blown out of the water with some blessings that are about to come.

Maybe there are more blessings to come, but a huge blessing is that Hannah finished  the school year with a bang!  She  was courageous and sang part of a song from Frozen in a school wide talent show.  In an informal assessment by her kindergarten teacher, Hannah’s scored in the age-appropriate range in Awareness of Self and Environment, Cognitive Skills, Language and Communication, Fine Motor Development, and Social Skills and Approaches to Learning.

Did you catch that?

AGE APPROPRIATE in Language and Communication as well as Social Skills.  If that isn’t overcoming autism, I don’t know what is.  Yes, my girl, who at 3 years old had the language skills of an 11 month old can communicate within the range of age appropriate-ness.

(I know that to some, autism is something to be celebrated, not overcome, and I can respect their viewpoint.   Our experience  of autism has been one of great suffering, rather than a gift or merely a different way of seeing the world.  I know that lots of people don’t believe you can overcome autism. Most people DO accept the idea that  genes + environment= outcome.  If you can figure out the involved genes  or biochemical variances (through specialized testing) for this specific child, and sufficiently alter and support the environment for this specific child, it makes sense that you can change the outcome for this specific child.  Doesn’t it?  Does it mean I could abandon the diet changes and vitamins, etc that have made such a difference?  Not yet- maybe someday.  Does it mean that I think we shouldn’t promote love, support, and acceptance for those who are neurologically different?  Absolutely not.)

Hannah will be fully mainstreamed next year, with no aide.  Her teacher is amazed by the progress she’s made over the past school year.  (I’ll admit- I love it when professionals are astounded at her progress!)

Does that mean that Hannah is done with therapy, or that there aren’t any gaps in her skills, or that we are ready to have her re-evaluated to see if the diagnosis still applies?  Not yet.  Her eye contact isn’t always consistent, and  some of her social skills need more refining.  Formal assessments show that she still struggles with understanding idioms and irony.  Some areas of contextual based expressive language need help.  I’ve got a plan for those, and I’ll blog about those soon.

We’ll being keeping up the 14 hours of therapy per week during the summer, and will work to close the gap even more.  Some of our summer-time goals are improving Hannah’s skill in group games like Hide and Seek, and tag, as well as practicing meeting new people, and lots of nuanced social interactions.  It’lll be fun AND skill building, which is good.  🙂  Here’s to a wonderful summer!

 

 

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2 comments on “Overcoming Autism’s Limitations

  1. fit4fifty
    June 29, 2014

    Becky, I am so sorry that you have gone through these trials. It can be so difficult. Your faith and positive outlook on the situations have been the blessing along with, of course, the wonderful progress of your dear sweet Hannah girl. My our Father in Heaven continue to bless you and your family. Lots of love and hugs, Sister Donna 🙂

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