Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jacob's 4th birthday

Here's Jacob on his 4th birthday, in the fall of 2004. At this point in our RDI program we were working to decrease the imperitive language we used with him, and were trying to incorporate more declarative language and non-verbal language. We had made a few attempts at working on Stage 1 objectives, with no luck, because we had yet to discover the importance of Regulation. In the coming month, we discovered the key to our road block -- regulation -- and how to work on that with Jacob, which I've already discussed.

By the way, at this point (age 4) Jacob was reading pretty much anything he picked up. He would have been reading a full year earlier, but he got distracted by phonics (quite accidentally, and as a direct result of the Between The Lions public TV program). We're quite grateful for that distraction for him, because at 3 he was no where near ready to understand what he was reading. By 4, he was pretty much understanding what he read, so long as it was age-appropriate. Of course, if he picked up the New York times and started reading it (which he would happily do), he certainly didn't understand that. We made a real effot to NOT give him access to items that were beyond his comprehension, in an attempt to try to keep his comprehension at the same pace as his reading ability. But there was no way to stop him from reading altogether -- billboards, street signs, junk mail -- words were everwhere. So the best we could do was to try to keep the majority of his access within the realm of his being able to understand it.

This early ability to read (and write, which was coming right along with the reading, but a bit slower since he was having some difficulty holding a writing utensil) pegged him squarely into the Hyperlexia category. This is yet another diagnosis, not neccessarily on the spectrum of Autism disorders, as reportedly there are Hyperlexic children that are not Autistic, but the two do seem to go hand-in-hand in many cases. Posted by Picasa


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