Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Such a simple phrase isn't it? More. More tv time, more working out, more romance, more food, more coffee, more wine, more more more more. Something that up until having a child with Autism I totally took for granted.

Signing in our house is not as frequent as it used to be, but it is there. Owen signed much more than his brother, so seeing and using the signs for, "more, help and different" were seen constantly. We saw how much signing worked for Owen, and I admit I was one of, "those" parents that did not believe sign would help him, wouldn't it take away from being verbal? Hell no. What I learned back then, was using a sign and SAYING the word with the sign would eventually turn into the child understanding the sign before they are able to verbally say it, and hopefully the repetitiveness of saying the word while using the sign would have the child also say the word and be understood.

I saw this with Owen - and went right away to using sign with Maddie, and then with Ben. Maddie picked up on it right away, and the first one is, "more" . More everything, but in our home it is either more milk or more food they are wolfing down. The newest member to add to the signing party is my man Ben. We have been working on signing, "more" with the verbal for about 2 months, and with Ben, it is 99% normally for more food. He loves to eat, and can eat a lot. Last week, be began to sign his version of more, and say, "moooo moooo", which like Owen, I thought was a total fluke and I needed to see this over 3 times for it to be real and convinced this child now understands it and uses it appropriately. Then it happened - he did it. He was eating a pudding, then signed MORE and followed me into the kitchen and signed it again, so we got another pudding and he finished it. Again, he follows me into the kitchen and is constantly signing MORE and saying, "moooo moooo". I sneak in a quick picture for proof and pride, and grab that boy another pudding to chow down on. Then he tells me after he finishes the pudding, "all d", which in Coens language in our home is All done.

I was so proud of this little monster. Not only has our hard work paid off in his benefit, he is understanding what he is asking for, and in return, he is satisfied because I understand what he is communicating as well. So, this is not resulting in a temper tantrum because he is trying to communicate and can not express what he wants. Since February when Ben was initially diagnosed by Dr. Donkor Ben now:

Can express when he is all done, verbally and signing.
Can express when he wants, more of something.
Can express when he stinks in his diaper, waving his hand in front of his face saying pee ewww, or caca.
Ben can wave buh bye, and blow a kiss from his mouth, and verbally say bye bye.
Ben is able to identify Ryan as dada, me as momma or ada, Ryans dad as Oda (opa) and Ryans mom as granny, but doesn't come out perfectly.
Ben is able to tell me no when he is angry, or answering a question, also is able to say yes.
Ben high fives like a rockstar, and fist bumps like a champ.
Ben can identify his shoes to go to the van for an outing, and helps get dressed by sticking his arms and legs in his clothing.
Ben dances :)
He can play games with his siblings, like ring around the rosie, and monster chases.
Ben can ask to come "up and down", and when he is ready for bedtime.

There is also so much more, I am just thinking off the top of my head. Seeing his advances in the past 2 months alone, makes me more excited now than nervous to send him to preschool this coming September for 3 mornings a week. The biggest issues for Benjamin are transitions, which is getting much much better at, communication to express his needs, and separation from his mom ;) I am really hoping by September we will have most of these issues handled or know how to effectively deal with them, and he will then have his resource teacher for school.

For now, I will take pride in celebrating that my little man can effectively sign for, "more" and make a pretty close sound to verbally saying, "more". What a huge day for Ben.

Love you sweetheart.



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