Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. ~ Nelson Mandela.
He is fifteen now and I still live for the day I get a kiss.
He has a number of sensory issues but with the exceptional support he has received in secondary school and from my unending drive to support and offer him extensive therapy he has made astounding progress in his ability to cope and deal with being autistic to the point where his symptoms have lessened so much some people who meet him for the first time are actually surprised to discover his diagnosis. Don't get me wrong every now and then he has to throw us a curve ball just to keep us on our toes and remind us just how much effort he has to put in to appearing to function 'typically'.
- Wore wellies permanently for a time (yes even in summer) while we worked on getting him to wear shoes. Wellies are ‘roomy’ where as shoes were too constricting for him. He still to this day does not like trainers, he finds them far too tight.
- Wore bright orange industrial strength ear defenders for a time or at least took them everywhere with us so he had the option of putting them on if he became unable to cope (if they went on that was a visual clue to change the environment or risk a meltdown).
- Took sunglasses out with us and also to school. They were very accommodating because he doesn’t cope well with the fluorescent strip lights in school.
- Kinaesthetic toys like stress balls and stabilo writing pens.
- Good choice / Bad choice cards and major use of social stories by Carol Gray.
- Egg timers that show visual count-down to needing to do something with buzz at required time. Worked really well for Ryan.
- Autism alert card that he carries with him to show people.
- Invested in a locator devise as he had a major tendency for bolting. Not cheap, but who puts a value on child safety. Well worth the money, we certainly got our monies worth on several occasions.
- School have included him in social skills classes and Circle of Friends support groups.
- Intensive Speech and Language Therapy. I particularly like Black Sheep Press resources such as Speech Bubbles program.
- SPELL framework: Structure; Positive (approaches); Empathy; Low arousal; Links (between all components and aspects of your child’s life).
- Make use of & encourage participation in clubs and groups both in school and out: 5x60, lunch time teacher led, cubs/scouts etc.
- Engage in and encourage child’s interests. Ryan loves 3 things in his life other than animals. Lego, PC gaming and Photography.