Adam's Journey

Homeopathic Healing of Autism

Adam Then and Now – A Six Month Progress Report

on April 28, 2011

The other day it dawned on me that it’s been six months since Adam embarked on his healing journey.  I thought it would be nice to write a post focusing on all the remarkable progress he’s made in such a short period of time.  I think you’ll all be amazed by the contrast.  I know we sure are!

ADAM THEN:

Six months ago, Adam’s communication primarily consisted of finger pointing at and “hand leading” to items of interest.  He couldn’t nod or shake his head or wave goodbye.  He was definitely allowing us to play with him but his focus and attention span was short so he could only concentrate on the task (i.e. building a leggo tower) for a few minutes before wandering off to play with something else or watch TV or rock on the couch.  Adam watched A LOT of TV; mostly DVDs which he would often ask to be changed as much as every 5 or 10 minutes.  Flipping through a book with him was impossible.  He had no patience to listen to the story and he did not like to render control of turning pages to us.  He only showed “minimal” interest in a few books and even then he only seemed to like certain pages.  As a result of his inability to focus or concentrate he could not sit with other children at a table or participate in circle time.  He literally could not sit still for longer than a few minutes.  In the fall, I had tried to keep him in my Sunday School class but after a handfull of attempts I realized he was too unfocused and disruptive.  Back to the nursey he went. 

Adam’s behaviour during trips out of the house was unpredictable.  You couldn’t shop with him or even take him for a walk unless you were fully prepared to allow him be in total control and follow his lead.  You had to watch him like a hawk because in the span of a few seconds he could easily run out into the road or wander out of sight.  He was simply incapable of following anybody’s agenda but his own and once his agenda was thwarted he would immediately get frustrated and have a meltdown.  *Sigh*  It was much easier to just stay home or be somwhere where he was safely contained (i.e. by fence) so he could maintain the perception that he was in control.  I still remember the horror show of taking both kids to the mall so that Emersyn could see Santa – luckily Emersyn didn’t have to wait in line and she was done talking with Santa before Adam took off running down the mall.  Yep, that trip ended with Adam in tears and a premature trip back home.

Socially, Adam only played with Emersyn.  He wouldn’t even LOOK at children younger than he was.  I remember observing this during a trip to the doctor’s office where an infant was trying desperately to get Adam to notice her while he completely ignored her (he wouldn’t even LOOK at her).  He also seemed to get anxious around other children and perceived them as threatening.  If he was playing with a toy and he could sense another child approaching he would panic and throw the toy away as if he was attempting to diffuse the threat.

Six months ago, Adam’s personality seemed more buried.  This was Robot Adam.  He earned the reputation of being serious because his smiles were not doled out freely.  He would laugh at us when we reprimanded him and showed zero remorse.  He didn’t respond to verbal praise though we gave it to him anyway.  He could easily stack a tower of eight cans and while he seemed impressed with himself he didn’t really respond if we broke out in applause and praise. 

ADAM NOW:

It’s funny, but in many respects, we didn’t realize that Adam was as bad as he was until we started seeing these changes appearing.  Many days we just commented “he’s doing really good today” without knowing specifically what we meant by that.  He was just different.  A good kind of different:  more alive, more silly, more easy going, more playful, more focused.  It shed a lot of light on his prior weaknesses which we hadn’t even realized were there.  However, we certainly took notice when they left!! 

Now, six months later, Adam can gesture “yes,” “no” and wave goodbye.  He can still only say a handfull of words and he uses them sparingly but he’s learned a multitude of animal sounds.   Adam’s daily play routine has changed and he watches much less TV.  In fact, sometimes he turns it off completely.  He much prefers to engage with his family, play with Emersyn, put together jigsaw puzzles or play with his V-tech laptop.  He’s become obsessed with this V-Tech laptop computer and he’s learned all of his letters and numbers from it (we suspect it may be teaching him to read as well).  His focus has increased significantly and he’s now interested in books.  He’ll even let you read them to him!  He’s also learning to sit with other children during structured activities such as circle time and snack time and he’ll even participate in group games.  Six months ago this would have been impossible. 

These days, Adam listens to instruction much better and it is much easier to take him on outings out of the house.  The other week, we actually stood in a driveway and chatted with some people for about 15 minutes and Adam stayed close by and responded to our instruction to stay away from the road.  I took him to the park this week and was amazed to watch him play on the play structure the whole time without getting bored and running off in the opposite direction.  What a world of difference!! 

Socially, Adam plays with Emersyn in less selfish ways and even follows her lead.  Before, he only wanted to play with her if she would chase him.  Now, he watches what she is doing and often intrudes on her play (i.e. takes away her toys) much to Emersyn’s frustration.  Adam is also starting to observe other children and even plays with them the best that he can.  Sometimes this means, just playing near them since he can’t converse with them yet.  His anxiety is disappearing and he’ll even share toys unprompted.  Amazing!!

Adam’s personality is developing at a rapid rate.  His emotions are more apparent and he is less robotic.  He cries when he is reprimanded and is upset when Emersyn cries (empathy).  He also shows much more excitement to see us after being separated.  He is extremely silly and does an assortment of things for attention (i.e. jumping out of the bathtub covered in suds and waiting to be chased back in).  He’s responding much more to verbal praise and seems to enjoy the attention.

Besides the signifcant language delay, Adam appears to be a regular kid.  At this point, I would say his greatest struggles are language, ritualistic behaviours, transitional problems and irrational fears.  You would have to spend a lot of time with Adam to recognize he plays in a ritualistic manner (i.e.  first the Canada puzzle, then the farm puzzle, then the Hullabaloo game).  It’s always the same toys in the same order.  He even completes his Canada puzzle so that the same two puzzle pieces are left at the end and he first fits them together on the floor before putting them on the board.  His transition problems seem to involve places where there are kids around (i.e. daycare, the church nursery).  Even though he is much less anxious around them I suspect their behaviour is a little too unpredictable for him and he immediately puts on the brakes.  This is probably why he doesn’t like to render control of the TV to Emersyn either.  He likes it to be his DVDs all the time.  Otherwise it’s too unpredictable for him to handle.    He even has a hard time allowing a show he dislikes to play on another TV in another room, with the door closed.  Based on his reaction he seems to be genuinely fearful of certain characters or shows.  Poor little guy.  😦

Luckily, the list of Adam’s struggles continues to get smaller and smaller.  You’ve likely noticed that I have MUCH less time for blogging because Adam hogs all my attention these days.  Before I could easily write an entire post while Adam watched TV or played with his cars.  These days, he’s hopping up into my lap as soon as I sit down at the computer.  So in a way, my lack of blogging is a good thing people!! 

I realize that it is impossible to attribute all of these changes to his Heilkunst therapy since there are many other interventions to consider:  natural development, speech therapy, daycare, etc.  While I can’t attribute ALL of his developments to Heilkunst, my mother’s intuition (which is highly scientific and not in the least biased, right?  RIGHT??  😉  ) tells me that it is working.  And BOY is it working. 

Looking forward to updating you all in the NEXT six months.  Can’t wait!!

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2 responses to “Adam Then and Now – A Six Month Progress Report

  1. Taina Walsh says:

    IT IS WORKING!!!!!!
    AWESOME PROGRESS ADAM!!!!!
    A big hug from Taina 🙂

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