Children, Lifestyle

Dean’s EI Week 1/12/17

Feels so good to be caught up on all of these posts. I was starting to get anxiety, because I was so far behind. Now, I can relax and enjoy these posts more. Dean has had a fantastic week and I just found out that I’m having another interview for a claims position if I don’t get my preferred one. Not sure I would take it if I got it, but it is good to have options. I like having options and it pays more than what I’m getting now.

1/8/18 – Speech

Dean is off today. New tilting of head and toe walking. Dean was seen with Mike after a session with HMEA. Mike reported that it was a tough session today. Dean was not interested in choices today. He enjoyed turning pages in books and pulling apart duplo blocks. Dean was happy and calmed when swung slowly. Dean smiles and complains to let others know his feelings.

  • Continue to model word for book, ball, eat

1/9/18 – OT

Mike responded that he has been tippy toe walking as well as tilting his head and spinning. Spoke about that both are signs of seeking vestibular stimulation. Dean did excellent today. We interspersed swinging today between “time to work” activities. He was able to pull apart pop beads independently exerting enough pressure 100% of the time with minimal assistance. He attempted to push beads together 90% of the time. He calmed very well and was still when swinging which was nice to see. He was able to stack items into stacker with moderate assistance to independently.

  1. Try to keep manipulatives like stackers, ball drop out of reach until 1:1 working with him.
  2. Try to swing him in a sheet or a blanket when 2 people around him to do this every two hours.

1/10/18 – OT

Dean had ABA this am and it went well. Dean had a great session. He continues to make improvements with manipulating toys appropriately. He was able to stack all shapes and star stacker and all wooden shapes onto pegs. He made more of an attempt to place shapes into shape sorter. He continues to pull apart pop beads and he tried pushing shapes together. He continues to love swinging.

  • Continue to intersperse “time to work” sitting in booster seat with sensory play – rice bucket, bean bucket, swinging in blanket between two people.

1/12/18 – OT (Make-up for 1/5 missed session)

Mike reported that toe walking and spinning less over past few days. He also has not been walking backwards. Less jumping noted today. Dean did amazing today. Great eye contact upon arrival. He sat in his working chair was able to place all stars on stacker and all wooden pieces onto stacker. Also worked on attending to name. Mike had pieces to stacker and I had pieces. We took turns calling his name. He did very well looking towards his name greater than 60% of the time, about 25% he needed visual cue of holding up shape. He loved taking swinging break. He responded to prompt for high five and came to sit in chair 1 time.

  • Continue to do 1:1 work
  • Encourage pointing to desired items
  • Sensory play throughout the day

I learned that he really loves to swing this past week. His OT is making him a custom swing for his doorway. It usually costs around $500, but she is making it for us and charging it to her work. That is great that essentially the state is paying for him to have a calming swing. It will make it easy for 1 person to swing him in it. Today is a bit of a sad day for me. This is the first time I’ve touched him and he freaked out. He wouldn’t go near me for a minute or two. The longest minutes of my life. I couldn’t why he reacted that way. I wasn’t yelling or upset. I was trying to see if he was okay after falling. I guess, that could have been his way of saying that he was fine. It still hurt nonetheless. He just wants me to know that he’s a big boy.

With Love,



6 thoughts on “Dean’s EI Week 1/12/17”

  1. Congrats on the interview you scored, it’s great to have options!

    I am also happy to hear Dean had another good week, with little struggles. Those are going to happen, it is all apart of the journey. It is great to hear about his toe walking, spinning etc. It may be great for not just his stimming, but motor skills as well. If it is og any comfort I spun around while walking for a long time as a child. It was one of my common stimming behaviors, often over seen as a bad habit. Meh whatever it helped me get to where I was going. I also would walk on my tip toes a bit as a kid, but not as much as I spinned. I never knew why though, like what stimulation came out of that. Most of these actions I have broken, but were very common as a child and hey it never bothered me. I still catch myself spinning sometimes when alone, like I still would like to do it but you know I try not to look like too much like a freak, Joke I stopped caring what other people think of me along time ago. But because I was a victim of bullying and was told by certain peers certain behaviors were seen as bad, I stopped doing a lot of things that literally use to help keep me sane or calm down. I am glad swinging calms him down, I too have a love for swings to this day. 🙂

    I will say although it is great that he is spinning less, sometimes you may find because your child is on the autistic spectrum, he will often find a need to self stimulate in overwhelming situations and it is important to know what overwhelms him if you can figure it out. It is also important to know it is nothing to be ashamed about or embarassed by. Whenever my stimming was said to be ‘bad’ and need to be reduced it was met with the opposite attention. I felt like an outcast. My natural defense to situations I find horrifying is to stim. And it is important to not try to force anyone to try to reduce it unless they actively show they can themselves. I wrote a post about stimming today and you may be interested in reading it. As your son gets older I think you will come to know these things more, but know stimming is nothing to be embarassed about and it is NOT a bad thing. It is very therapeutic to people on the spectrum and actually can be very healthy. It just needs to be managed maybe, but not entirely taken away. Like that the more he goes through support and therapy he will know more about himself as well and what will work. He is lucky to have those tools offered to him especially if they help him.

    Here is my post from today about Stimming

    1. I will give that a read for sure. Thank you! Yes, I should know by the end of this upcoming week if I get the job. I like that he is finding the need to spin less, but I also have been swinging him more now that my OT has completed the swing for him. He gets swung every two to three hours. The bottle drinking is also a self soothing this as well. Recently, I have noticed head slapping out of frustration and I immediately swing him. I don’t want him to feel like he needs to hit himself because he doesn’t think like me. I don’t yell. I say No, Let’s swing instead. I don’t want him to be ashamed, but I don’t want to encourage the hitting either.

      If I feel myself get frustrated, I walk away after putting him in a safe place. Sometimes I need a time out and I think that that is good to know yourself as a parent. I also spin with him sometimes like spin him around. To let him know that it is okay.

      1. I spinned a lot in circles a lot while walking as a child and I never realized it could have been self-stimulation until I got older. I just thought it was a bad habit. lol I had other odd habits too, but never did damage to me. The thing about stimming is a lot of people on the spectrum need to stim, it can be a very important coping mechanism for them and if it is safe they should not feel ashamed for doing it. It often is response to an overwhelming situation. So in a way it could give you a sign he is feeling overwhelmed and maybe he just needs like a 5-10 minute break to himself to refocus, or that day he just isn;t feeling that activity and that is okay. It in a way can help you prevent frustations and bad feelings he may get, and protect him. It is important to make him feel safe. Swinging is great and I am so glad he likes it and it can prevent him from hitting himself. It is actually a suggestion to prevent kids from harmful stimming. Though hitting can be seen as self stimulation, there is such thing as dangerous stimming (when it can cause harm to oneself or others around them) and hitting yourself can cause harm. So no you don’t want that, and it is important to find another way like swinging to replace it with. Something safe. Let him know as he gets older that he stimming is healthy, but it has to be safe. Maybe he will find something else for himself over time to replace hitting with something more safe. Or you can continue helping him find safer and healthier ways to stim. For example I bit my parents sometimes as a child, now when children have this need to bite or chew when frustrated safe chewie toys are becoming more common so it can be replaced, instead of biting one’s nails, themselves or someone else they can chew on a chewie toy instead. So it is not replacing that self need to stim, just replacing it with something safer. If that makes sense? Maybe look into stimming toys for your son. They have so many now and a lot of options that may help him. Maybe it can help make the hitting less frequent, while trying to get him to stop completely but also so he knows it is because it is dangerous and not that you are trying to take away his only way to respond to something. I don’t know if that makes sense? One thing that would maybe help is try to find out why he is hitting himself, that can help you to maybe either avoid situations that are causing him to feel that need to hit himself. Believe it or not there is a reason why some people stim in a harmful way, mainly because pain is quick. It can be hard replacing it with something else because there’s a reason why one is doing it. So it is important to find out the reason to why ti is being done, so you can take the steps to prevent it but also may help you find more safer ways to replace it with. Etc. Here is an article that may be of some interest to you.

        We all need time out sometimes and that’s okay. And that is great you spin him around etc and make him feel comfortable about it.

      2. This made plenty of sense. He does have a chewy toy that is specially made for stimming. 🙂 He used to bite my shoulder, too. The latest was drawing blood when he scratched my face while getting a finger scrape for lead testing.

        Poor little guy. You could tell that he was sad that he hurt me and didn’t mean too. He just became too overwhelmed.

        I think he is hitting, because he doesn’t respond to pain usually. So, maybe he is trying to feel something? I don’t think he’s under stress when he hits himself. He’ll just be walking around and starts hitting himself. Sometimes, I know he’s tired and that is why, but there is no consistent reason. He doesn’t do it with his service people.

        He’s also taking to kissing his hand in a repetitive way and I was asked about it by the ABA supervisor. I’ve never seen him do it. He kisses my hand though.

        I stim. I crack my knuckles, move my feet/legs, I am in constant motion. I talk too fast and can’t keep still. I am not against it at all. Everyone asks me if I’m nervous. I’m not. I just have a lot of energy that I need to release and I just have a need for it.

        The ABAs said that I might be on the spectrum as well, but I don’t feel special or different. I just stim in my own way, don’t like social situations and have only one friend, I find interacting with people draining and would rather be at home and be myself. I’m not autistic, I feel like you would know if you were and I feel it is insulting to people who are autistic for someone to say to someone normal that they are. Is that confusing? I just feel like diagnoises shouldn’t be thrown around or speculated on.

      3. That’s good that he has a chewy toy that helps him to stim and replace if he has a need to bite out of frustration. I can relate as I was the same as a kid. In frustrated situations I still have to stop myself from biting my nails, clothes etc when I have nothing else around to stop me. Lol.

        Maybe as he gets older you will find more reasons why he has this need to stim in such ways such as hitting himself. There is nothing wrong with stimming like you said. Everybody does it, autistic or not. Just sometimes when us on the spectrum do it it could be out of being overwhelmed or it can be just because. As we get older I think we distinguish between the two. It is said that autistics may stim more because of it is a response we do to react to a overwhelming situations and it may be to more extremes because we use it as a coping mechanism or a way to calm down. Like when overwhelmed and we stim it helps us focus on one thing and like gain refocus and balance. Stimming is healthy and everybody does it. Unless it is harmful to the person doing it or others. In which case if you are worried about if your son is hurting himself when he is hitting himself you could research or ask around about maybe replacing with something he could like hit instead that wouldn’t hurt him. Like a mini punching bag? I don’t know. Worth looking into maybe. 🙂

        I know what you mean that they shouldn’t throw speculations fo the diagnoses around based on few similar traits. I think you would know, like if you never felt different and you feel like you can relate to most people you may not be on the spectrum like you said. They are finding out though the more they debunk other things for the cause of autism, that the most prominent answer that is coming to light seems to be genetics. But because parents hate the thought of blaming themselves or it could be in there family(especially as they find out more about autism. Autism has been around since a very long time we just didnt diagnoses it back in the day like most things etc) people want to blame other things like vaccines, something we did during pregnancy. Which in some cases it can be a combination maybe. Those who study it and are looking into autism trying to find the cause they are more turning towards genetics and really starting to test that theory. Interesting stuff. I know autism could very well be in my family but no one has the proper diagnoses I just can tell by observation. Maybe I’m wrong, but it has been in question.

      4. A mini punching bag? I’ll look into that. I think he would have fun and like you said, a safe place to hit.

        I for sure know that autism and mental disorders/illness runs in my mother’s side of the family (not sure I am biologically her child. I have my theories but that is another story). My oldest brother has what you have for sure. He denies it, but he cannot connect with adults or women at all. He always games with children and works at a youth center now. My second oldest brother has autism. The umbilical cord supposedly strangled him a bit, but he stutters, has a hard time getting what he means across, gets stressed easily, and has the characteristic autistic melt downs growing up.

        He was in handicap classes, until my dad fought for him to be mainstream. Neither has had a diagnosis. Mother is bipolar. Her side of the family is related to Lizzy Bordon who murdered her family with an axe.

        I just have never felt different. No doubt I probably carry the genes, but I have never felt different. I just find people draining, I stim, and I’d rather be alone than out in crowded places. I can’t handle crowds. I’d freak out, but I think that’s true of other people, too.

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