Friday, January 28, 2011


1/27/11 School Report - Speech: Tried to work on what ?'s - not too interested. Got a fake cry. Worked on greetings, I see____, & "my turn" taking turns on trampoline w/me.

I also wanted to include an email correspondence I had with Nikko's OT regarding his "singing through verbal instruction" incident yesterday:

Me: Hi J,
Your note: The harder the skill is - the more it seems Nikko sings through my verbal instructions - sounds very on par with Nikko's current attitude to date. Into the new year, he has become more challenging to his ABA therapists such that we are currently in realignment with their team leader so that all the therapists are on the same page in terms of methodologies used to work with Nikko. He has been difficult to come sit at the table and work. He has been really "unfocused" when trying to get his attention, yet is able to complete the required tasks. He is challenging authority, including mine. I observe him when he is watching something on TV that he doesn't particularly like or doesn't suit his tastes at that moment, and he usually starts droning and/or covering his ears to block out the audio (but not the visual). I just found it rather interesting that he is doing this at school, too.

The "unfocus" is the crux of many problems, and also the hardest thing I am dealing with as of late. I don't really have a point to this email except to tell you that I'm not surprised he's doing that at school, but also that it transcends into the home as well. Any thoughts?

The Reply: Yes - I do think he can be "challenging authority" based on activity preferences. My past experiences with children with autism is that the winter months can be especially difficult. With Nikko - the winter break and then the illness probably just compounds this. Its hard at times to determine if he truly is struggling or is "choosing" not to try. Hang in there - we just keep on trying. Know that we appreciate your struggles and are glad you know your child so well.

This is an interesting point about the winter break and the illness. I agree with both, but I am really quite perplexed on the timeline of when things happened. October and November were not great months for Nikko at school, plagued with constipation problems (they're not over, they're just currently being managed under the radar) and Sarah came aboard again. Nikko started improving speech-wise by early December, then at the end of the month Rebecca came along. Nikko had been steadily challenging both Sarah and Kathy during their sessions in the fall and winter. But he has not been great with Rebecca at all. Winter break came and went, and when he returned back to school Nikko seemed to be doing well. We are four weeks back into school and now the issues of being unfocused are coming back.

I'm feeling really pushed by Nikko at times, especially when it comes to wanting something he doesn't necessarily need at the moment. He was demanding "cheese sandwich" a half hour before our regular lunch time, and I went ahead and fed him even though I wanted to wait longer. He saw a random bag on the kitchen counter that had Santa PEZ dispensers in it. He wanted it. Ultimately, I gave it to him including the PEZ candy. Within minutes, Nikko was howling and cackling. I like to think it was due to his latest coup in getting the PEZ dispenser, not because he inhaled all the PEZ candy. Harumph.

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