In the short amount of time that Gabriel has been home schooled (roughly 4 months) and considering that he only has 2 hours a day, 4 days a week of ABA therapy, he is doing remarkably well.
Here is what we have noticed :
1. There is a lot more eye contact. At times it is for a few seconds and other
times for a good minute.
2. He is so much more verbal. Although most of his speech is echolalia-based,
he knows when to use the words 'up' and 'come'. At this point, G-Dad and I
are just thrilled to hear him speak!
3. We have noticed he has far fewer meltdowns. This is freaking awesome!
4. Gabriel is a lot more relaxed and confident. He is more willing to try things
(except new foods).
5. There is far less bolting! Before, we would have to keep a firm grip on his
hand. Now, Gabriel is starting to understand he needs to stay close to us
when out and about.
6. Gabriel is far more responsive when called by his name. He will often look at
us when we call him.
7. He loves to learn! He really does and looks so forward to G-Mary Poppins'
8. His fine motor and gross motor skills are improving dramatically! He is
starting to cut paper with scissors more often and more confidently, and his
ball throwing and kicking skills are slowly improving. The following photo
shows how beautifully he is progressing drawing with a set goal (along
dotted lines). Before, there wasn't a chance he would have even attempted
9. Finally, his tactile tolerance is improving dramatically. He will touch shaving
cream, bubbles etc. without gagging or flinching!
These, for a parent of a typically developing child, may not seem like monumental achievements, but trust me, for a child on the Spectrum, they are GIGANTIC!
Sadly, the only downside we have discovered to having Gabriel home schooled, is that he seems to have regressed when it comes to social interaction/tolerance with other children (not that there was much to begin with and is also anxiety driven). But this was to be expected and is being worked on, with monthly structured play dates, so as not to overwhelm him. We just need to remind ourselves that Rome wasn't built in a day!
Thank you for reading Gabriel's 1st Progress Report. We hope you are as immensely proud of him as we are!