Therapy= Time and patience
My granddaughter is three years old and is nonverbal. She was tested and we were told that she was on the spectrum and that she needed speech and occupational therapy. They are teaching her sign language and I am trying to do it as well. Just very frustrated as I am sure she is too. I wonder what else can we do to help her?
That seems kinda hard. Facilitated communication works for older kids but not if you can't spell yet. Hope that sign language gets real easy for you both. Fun stuff always made me real happy to work. Wasn't like therapy it was more like fun and it got my brain going.You could use pictures for different things. Different pictures like food, feelings, thoughts, wants, needs. She can point to what she really wants. She can bring these pictures with her wherever she goes. Hope that can help you both. Don't lose hope things will get easier.
Mom, here. Brady has done so many different types of therapies over the years. I'm not sure if I can remember them all. Maybe one day I'll do a blog post on our therapy adventure. But, I'll highlight the ones that had the most impact on Brady's development.
He has done the "main" 3 therapies almost his entire life: Occupational, Physical and Speech. Finding the right therapist is the key. If your child doesn't "click" with his therapist, it can be detrimental to your child and your wallet. Autism is EXPENSIVE and insurance companies don't like to fork over their funds, so a lot of therapies are paid for out of pocket!
I'm not sure if learning sign language would be considered therapy, but it is extremely helpful for the entire family to learn. Even if it's just nouns: juice, water, hot dog, pancakes, Mac and cheese, manding (requesting): toileting needs, swim, swing, all done, more. Brady still uses sign language to communicate. It gets straight to the point; no guessing. This can be done with flashcards, but we did hire a couple of people over the early years to teach all of us. (Thanks, Grace!)
From age 3-13 we did ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy. Our first ABA therapist was amazing (Thanks, Amy!). She used errorless learning, positive reinforcement, rote memorization and other tools to teach Brady his foundational knowledge. We spent numerous hours with Amy and our team: 20-30 hours week! 40 hours a week is recommended! Yikes, this got really expensive, but in hindsight, so worth it. Then our last ABA therapist was also amazing (Thanks, Courtney!). She was his 1-on-1 teacher for 2-3 years. She taught Brady the more complex aspects of education: reading, math, science... I believe these 2 ladies had laid the foundations that set Brady up to be so successful with Facilitated Communication!
Another thing that has had a great impact for Brady is keyboarding. It was very evident early on that handwriting was not a realistic form of communication for him. His fine motor skills and dexterity in his hands and fingers are poor. It led to many tantrums and tears. As early as the 1st grade, I insisted that Brady learn to type on a computer. We used to type lists of words in categories, which led Brady to use augmented communication technology: Dynovox and Proloquo2Go. He used these programs in school on an iPad. These, in turn, set him up beautifully to be so successful with Facilitated Communication!
There is so much more, but these were the most effective for Brady. I hope this helps!
Faith keeps us open to all possibilites in our foolish life.
Good fools believe in faith for God.
God mends all things that are broken.
This is my chance to help the fractured friends I have.
Lift them up and forgive their cracked flaws.