Back to Autism Advocacy

Thank you so much to my readers for your kind words in the last week. It is not a week I would care to repeat, but we got through it. Despite the losses, Boo Bear is thriving. He started PT at Gillette Children’s yesterday and loved it. Kristen, his therapist, immediately recognized his need for deep pressure and went to work on all of his joints. He liked it so much he climbed into her lap. She asked it he were always so loving and I said yes. He is my gentle giant. Boo and I do a lot of walking. This is great but it burns a lot of calories, which my skinny guy does not have so spare. Kristen wondered if the walking is providing him much needed sensory input and if we can substitute some of the walking with more passive, deep pressure activities that will fill that need but not burn as many calories. We spent a wonderful hour with her and left with a ton of great ideas. Deep pressure, massage, joint compression are all things we routinely do with small children on the spectrum, but we seem to forget that they do not outgrow these needs as they become adults. Yesterday was a good reminder for me that though Boo is 6 feet tall and 19 years old, he still has the same sensory needs that he did as a toddler.

On the communication front, things are going wonderfully well. Boo now has his own device, a Nova Chat. The loaner device is going back to the factory to be reset and then sent out to another budding communicator. Here is an example of how Boo has been using his device. We take it everywhere we go, including when we go grocery shopping. I make him ask for every desired item instead of just letting him pull it off the shelf. He knows that at the end of every successful grocery run we will stop by Starbucks for his beloved juice box. The other day we finished our grocery shopping. Boo told me he wanted a juice box so we got in line at Starbucks. While we were in line it occured to me to check in with him and see how he was feeling, rather than just having him tell me what he wanted. I asked him how he was feeling and directed him to the appropriate page. I was expecting him to tell me he felt good, or bad, or whatever. Instead, he told me he was thirsty! “Of course you are thirsty,” I said, “Let’s have a juice box.” Boo looked very pleased with himself. He is learning to say what he feels, rather than just asking for desired items.

The Nova Chat allows the user to set the amount of pictures on the screen and from the pictures create sentences. Right now I have it set so that there are twenty pictures per screen. There is also an option to go up to 42 pictures per screen. I am going to begin using this option while Boo is on break from school these next few weeks, just to see how he does with it. The nice thing about the device is one can switch options with ease. If Boo is having a good day and is really connecting, I can challenge him with the 42 picture screen. If he is having a harder day I can step back and use the twenty picture screen, which he has been using like a champ since early this spring.

Once again, thank you all so much for your kind words and messages this past week. It was meant so much to me. Be good humans and I will keep you informed of what Mr. Boo is up to. Peace.

Author: snort262

I am a wife, mom, long distance runner and fierce autism advocate. My background is in education. Currently, I am a nanny, a tutor, and an autism consultant.

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