Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You can't keep a Coens down.. or an Edwardson.. or whatever else Owen is made of...but the kid is stubborn...

It is true. Today I picked up Owen from IBI, and again I was greeted with more accomplishments that he has done..including now matching pictures to pictures! He is just doing amazing.. but Owen's downfall - he is STUBBORN. Mind you this is not a trait he las learned or inherited from his parents.. (note the sarcasm) lol.

What we wanted from Brick By Brick from the beginning, is that the Number 1 issue we want worked on with Owen is his verbal communication. If he could start talking, then it will open a world of possibilities for him. So, needless to say.. they are really pushing Owen to speak more.. and Owen doesn't like it. He likes to do things on his own terms in his own time, and does not enjoy being pushed into things.. but unfortunately for Owen, his parents work in this field... and taking a person out of their comfort zone to learn, is most times the key to success. Poor Owen.. lol.

They really pushed him today, and they got to see Owen get frustrated, upset, throw things on the ground.. they got to see Owen. What I did really enjoy when the therapist told me though, was that when Owen did throw something on the floor, he rolled his eyes at her and right away picked it up... he knew what was expected of him! I have to give Ryan and I a pat on the back for that one as well.. we are very consistent in Owen cleaning up any type of mess he makes.. even before he goes down for his nap, he cleans his toys up! Good job buddy!

When I think about Owen's stubbornness..I think what a normal thing to do for a child his age.. even my age.. if we are really not in the mood to learn.. chances are, we won't! What the therapists are doing in that kind of situation, is that they reward his positive behaviour with pieces of areo chocolate bars!! and he is doing wonderful with this!!

I also am a learner... I love to read what works and what doesn't work for parents who have children with ASD, but I have to say my favourite thing to learn from is watching them! I love going on Youtube and looking up children with ASD, seeing the before and after videos from the parents.. reading the parents blogs with pictures and seeing if I see any familiar characteristics between them and Owen..and I love finding NEW shows and documentaries on ASD as well..

When we just, "suspected" Owen had Autism, this was about a year and a half ago, I still enjoyed to watch whatever I could on Autism. I found this documentary on HBO called, "Autism: The Musical"... I remember it being so amazing.. what this adoptive parent of a child from Russia who then was discovered to have Autism when she brought him back to the USA did! she is such an amazing women, and the patience, understanding, creativity she has for her son and others with Autism = amazing. I will give you a little blurg on this HBO show I just watched again for the 2nd time today - A woman was married, her name was Elaine..and they could not conceive a child. She comes from Russian decent, and decided to adopt a son from Russia. He ran right into her arms.. she knew he was her son... and she named him Neal. When they came back to the USA, people began to ask her if something was wrong with him, she kept saying, "no, it must be coming from a different country and being adopted.. it will pass". Neal was diagnosed as ASD when he was 3. He would not sleep at night, he would ran naked throwing just awful tantrums, and did not speak - he could only say his name. She was told to send him back to Russia, he should go into an Institution (I could only ever imagine hearing people tell me this.. it would just crush me). ABA/IBI therapies were not helping him (like the one Owen is in) Neal was not responding to them...so Elaine hired theatre people to perform for him, act out for him and engage with him in the most dramatic ways - this he responded too...and from there, she developed a musical group for children with ASD - truly inspiring for me.

We (so far) are very lucky on our journey with Owen, that he is making tremendous accomplishments, and he is furthering himself in therapy - it shows it is working. I could only imagine being a parent of a child who is regressing from therapy - what would you do? and where would you go? but Elaine did more than that - when she knew her marriage was failing and she had to return to work, she chose to work with children with special needs.

As I have received such encouraging and supportive emails from people who read what I write and listen to my story with Owen time and time again and call me, "Inspiring".. I have to do the same for Elaine and her Autism Musical. Reading and watching people like her, give me the strength to continue to find new ways of improving Owen's way of learning - through environment, music, toys... anything to keep trying to open all these doors inside his mind that are closed ...and get a little more of him each time the door opens before it slams shut again..

thank you Elaine for inspiring me today...Neal has give you a new purpose..as Owen, Maddie, and Ben have given me a new one as well.


1 comment:

  1. Love ready the blog....and yes my dear...stubborness does run in this family...on your loving mother's side...